Here’s What CrossFit’s Rich Froning Eats In A Day | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Here’s What CrossFit’s Rich Froning Eats In A Day


Mat Fraser might be the name that’s come to be synonymous with CrossFit – and rightly so, the man has dominated the sport to such an extent, that only now in his retirement does it feel like competition has become something of an even playing field. Having been crowned the Fittest Man on Earth five times since his meteoric rise to fame in the sport, Fraser has left a remarkable legacy in the world of CrossFit. But much like every athlete has an origin story, most also have one that’s walked before them and paved the way to success. In CrossFit, such an accolade belongs to Rich Froning, a man who has come to be labelled as one of the best CrossFitters of all time. 

For those unfamiliar with Froning, know that he was crowned “Fittest Man on Earth” four times, in back-to-back wins. It’s no easy feat – even Fraser proved just how challenging such an achievement is. Froning transitioned from individual to team competition in 2015 but the success he found in CrossFit was unprecedented. If Fraser is something of a household name today, it’s only because Froning came before him and made CrossFit a sport worthy of such attention and respect. 

Now though, the 33-year-old lives on a farm with his family in Cookeville, Tennessee, where he raises bison and maintains dirt trails for mountain biking. Within the property though, as you’d expect from someone of Froning’s calibre, there is of course a state-of-the-art gym, housed within a large barn. Inside, you’ll find endless racks of iron, air bikes and rowers. It’s no surprise that even outside of competition, Froning is still as dedicated as ever to the pursuit of fitness and wellness. It’s this kind of mentality that saw him achieve a 570-pound deadlift, 475 pound back squat, and do 75 pull-ups unbroken. 

But what exactly fuels a four-time Fittest Man on Earth? In a recent interview with GQ UK, Froning revealed how he hits his macros and the ingredients to his magic shake that he swears by. A self-confessed coffee snob, while intermittent fasting, Froning wakes at 7am and has black coffee. “I only drink black coffee because of the fasting, which I’ve been doing for about three years now,” he admits.

At 8.30am, Froning does a live workout on the Mayhem Athlete YouTube, a gruelling session that torches some serious calories. It’s only at noon that he has his first meal: a shake he makes with Advocare lean body protein that he drinks daily. “In there, I add 400 to 500 grams of berries, like raspberries or blackberries, as well as some almond milk and a little bit of a PB2 powdered peanut butter.”

As for lunch, Froning explains that he typically has something pre-made that delivers all the macros and calories he needs. He admits to following an RP diet template and says his favourite go-to meals are a meatloaf with sweet potatoes, grilled barbecue chicken, and a buffalo chicken Mac.

At 2:30pm, Froning takes in some more calories, typically in the form of 40 to 50 grams of carbs, and 20 to 30 grams of protein. He does another 30-minute training session, before his third workout of the day, either from 3:30 to 4pm or 5pm. “I head home to spend time with my kids for dinner. Both Hillary [Froning’s wife] and I cook, but she’s more toward the carbs like spaghetti and that type of stuff,” says Froning. “So if that’s what’s in the cards, then I’ll grill up some chicken or something to go with that or something else from the farm.”

The farm is an integral part of Froning’s lifestyle and the life he’s looking to create with his kids. As he explains to GQ, he didn’t have a working farm when growing up but was taught diligence and organisation through housework and chores. It was this attitude he wanted to instil in his own kids. The farm has since progressed and now Froning is producing meat sticks like bison and biltong. 

Froning doesn’t eat after 8pm, but after dinner he’ll take in about 40 or 50 grams of carbs and 40 grams of protein, usually in the form of Honey Nut Cheerios with some blueberries thrown in. While intermittent fasting has become something of a buzzword, this way of eating has been beneficial for Froning for, as he explains, “It makes me eat.” He adds, “It might sound silly, but I used to eat in the morning, then get super busy, maybe take a shake or two, and then not eat again until the night when I’m done training for the day. So this actually makes me eat after that first training session and I notice a big difference in how recovered I feel.”

He also believes it’s helped with inflammation and his blood work is looking good, too. As for the workout, the morning session is the longest for Froning and usually involves metabolic condition, “Think classic CrossFit with box jumps and burpees and thrusters.” Then in the afternoon, he does Olympic-style heavy lifting, before another metabolic conditioning session in the evening that has an endurance focus. He utilises tools like Whoop to track his recovery and is also partial to an ice bath and massage to aid the process. 

While Froning doesn’t take rest days, saying he instead tries to move every day and simply lowers intensity depending on how his recovery has been tracking, he has developed a recovery technique in recent months: an ice cold shower first thing in the morning. “It’s miserable,” says Froning. “I take five deep breaths with the water on my front side and then five deep breaths with it on my back side. It makes me feel pretty good, and if I miss it I notice that I’ve felt like trash for the whole day. I don’t know if that’s completely in my head, but it works for me.”

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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