Rich Froning – Dominating That Fittest Man on Earth Title, Balancing Family & Career, and Building His Business Empire

Rich Froning Fittest Man on Earth

Rich Froning
Dominating That Fittest Man on Earth Title, Balancing Family & Career, and Building His Business Empire

Rich Froning has dominated the title of “Fittest Man on Earth” by winning four consecutive CrossFit Games men’s titles, and five Affiliate Cup Championships. The former firefighter from Cookeville, Tennessee, took up CrossFit in 2009 and made his Games debut a year later, finishing second overall. In 2014, after his fourth consecutive win, Rich stepped away from the individual competition to focus on his growing family, only to come back a year later starting a run of six additional podium finishes with Mayhem Freedom between 2015 and 2021.

In addition to world-class athlete, Rich has added entrepreneur and media brand to his portfolio; launching Froning Farms, Buffalo Brew Coffee, and Mayhem Athlete Programming business ventures. Rich is also an integral part of the ever-growing CrossFit Mayhem and Froning Farms YouTube channels, and two podcasts: Froning and Friends and Into The Storm.

For more info about what Rich is up to, check out Mayhem, Froning Farms, and Buffalo Brew, or follow him on Instagram.

Elite Athletes, Highland Cows, and Oreo Balls mentioned in the episode: 

04:35 Rich’s life before CrossFit – baseball, football, air bag factory, firefighter
05:55 Rich was introduced to CrossFit and started watching and doing workouts on, then got his Level 1 in 2009 and was excited to figure out he could compete
06:40 Like many early adopters of CF, Rich did his CF workouts in a variety of odd places including the campus rec center, corporate gyms, and his dad’s barn
07:00 Rich and his cousin Darin started teaching CF methodologies to others but couldn’t afford to become an affiliate, but once he started winning sectionals and regionals, CF HQ took notice and comped his affiliate fee
07:40 Rich started to understand he was decent when his times were comparable to Jason Khalipa’s games times
09:35 Rich plays competitive flag football – The Cheap Suits
10:02 A genetic drive to move
10:26 Rich is one of 32 first cousins and in their parents effort to wear the kids out, they developed non-stop competitions for the cousins which turned them into the competitive beasts they are today
11:15 Questionable parenting? Or amazing parenting?
13:20 The Starrett’s made their girls do a 100 KB swing buy in for tv watching
14:00 Rich and Kelly origin story; oreo balls
16:00 Rich doesn’t have a super strict diet plan
18:40 Modeling healthy eating habits
19:30 Kelly always says that Rich is one of the only athletes who’s technique improves as he fatigues in competition
21:25 Rich usually waits to call up Kelly after attempting to tackle nagging pain or injury on his own and ALWAYS wishes he had just reached out sooner
21:55 In 2010 Rich backed everything down and focused on moving well; Angelo DiCicco
22:45 There is an inherent level of risk competing as an elite athlete; Annie Thorisdottir, Jason Khalipa
24:33 Rich has started to implement intermittent fasting for the last few years; Electric DeLorean
28:55 Rich balances family life, faith, competitive life, and his business empire; Jim Hensel; Josh; Jake Lockert
32:46 Backstory of Froning Farms; Yellowstone; Highland Cows
37:33 Mayhem has the best coffee in Cookeville; Trevor Bayne (Daytona 500 champ and founder of Mahalo Coffee Roasters) roasts all their coffee
39:00 Kelly had his first snapchilled coffee at Mayhem
40:38 Topo Chico; Spindrift
41:35 Competing as a team
44:00 To be the best in the world, competing as an individual, you have to be selfish
45:35 Mayhem continues to attract incredible athletes and is expanding to a more global community; Jake Lockert; Facundo Etchecolatz; Sasha Nieves, Gui Malheiros, Tyler Christophel, Baylee Rayl
48:45 Training is ramping up for the CF Games season and the new team was announced just after this recording
50:50 Rich is considering going back for his MBA, hopefully at Notre Dame
52:18 What is Rich “living for”?
53:40 Rich’s Socials

Full Transcript


This episode of The Ready State Podcast is sponsored by Momentous. Kelly first learned about Momentous when a national champion cyclocross athlete sent him a bottle of PR Lotion as a thank you gift. When one of the best athletes on the planet hands you a tool to unlock your own athletic suffering, you pay attention! Fast forward to today and Momentous is the largest supplier of nutritional support to college, pro-sports teams, and the military in the world. Micronutrient and functional nutritional support isn’t a gimmick, it’s a performance advantage. Whether you are looking for a high quality daily vitamin, collagen supplementation, or NSF certified protein to support working tissues, no one does it better. For more info check out Momentous and use code “TRS” for 20% OFF your first purchase.

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