Rich Froning Training Days

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This is nuts.

Here is what typical training days in the life of 24 year old Rich Froning look like.


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Here is his general training template:

  • Monday: Squat
  • Tuesday: Press
  • Wednesday: Deadlift
  • Thursday: Press
  • Friday: Squat
  • clean heavy two times a week
  • snatch heavy two times a week

Workouts: Day 1

  • day starts at 6:15
  • 20 minutes on aerodyne: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off
  • row 4500m
  • 15 sets on the minute: 3 muscle ups with 20lb weighted vest
  • on the minute bench press and power clean ladder (1 rep bench, 1 rep pc, 2 reps bench, 2 reps pc…) , ladder, 205lb to 9 rounds, finished 10

lunch time: deadlift & sled pushes

  • 15x 155lb push presses on odd minutes
  • 15x Kettlebell swings @88lb on even minutes, for 20 minutes

Next Day

9:00 and he already did 8x500m row, with 1 minute rest between rounds

for 15 minutes 3 squat cleans on the minute @185lb

Bench Press, 5 rounds = 75 reps total:

  • 1 set 5 reps light
  • 1 set 5 reps medium
  • 1 set 5 reps heavy
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Then a 2 Person workout, one person rests while the other works out

3 rounds:

  • Handstand Walk, 1minute rest
  • Double unders, 1 minute rest
  • pull ups (strict, non-kipping), 1 minute rest
  • air squat 1 minute rest

Then power cleans for 25(?) minutes.

  • 5 on the first minute at 135lb
  • 3 on the minute for 4 or 5 minutes at 225lb
  • 3 on the minute for 4 or 5 or 6 minutes at 255lb
  • 1 rep every 30 seconds at 275 for some minutes
  • 3 every 30 seconds at 225lb for 5 minutes

Then 7 rounds:

  • 3 muscle ups with med ball in between your feet
  • 30 inch box jumps until the other guy is done

Next Day

7 rounds:

  • 7 deadlift at 275lb
  • 14 push ups

Throw in some rowing intervals.

Then for 15 minutes on the minute

  • 3 power snatch at 185lb
  • Dan Bailey is doing 6 fron rack lunges at 185lb

90 minutes later, a bit of football, sled sprints

Then some strength work with Front Squat Ladders

  • take your weight of 5RM front squat (325lb for rich)
  • do 2 rounds of: 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 reps

Then 20 reps weighted sit ups at 100lb.

There you go. Minute drills & circuit training.

Other Training Days in Life Videos:

Update: Here is another Day int the Life video with Rich Froning.

  • SAf


  • Paul


    • GregorATG


      Next time please take the time to comment in complete sentences and add some value to the conversation.

    • Muppet

      Not sure what the point of that was. I think it’s rather obvious that he’s on steroids. It would be physiologically impossible to maintain that workload, body fat level, and strength level without steroids. As any strength athlete will tell you, the harder you train, the more your strength actually declines. When you look at any drug free athlete, or even athletes who are simply off cycle, when training volume increases you experience a large reduction in power output. This is just basic biochemistry as the body is overtaxed. Then, when you remove that stressor and recover, the body “overcompensates” (sorry to steal a term from Charles Poliquin), and you will peak.

      The fact that Froning is able to perform so much work at near max weights year round, and still perform on game day should be enough to tell you that he’s juiced to the gills. The fact that he carries so much muscle mass for his height and frame with such low body fat year round is also unsustainable without the use of stimulants as well as steroids.

      Even consider how much muscle mass he has gained since he first popped up on the CF radar. Khalipa is another prime example. An athlete who has been training for years simply cannot just pack on 20 pounds of muscle in a year without chemical assistance. It’s the law of diminishing returns. This is why it’s so much more fun to be a beginner. The changes come rapidly and consistently.

      So… you’re kind of just pointing out the obvious here because to any educated or even just simply experienced coach/athlete, the fact that Froning (as well as most of the CF athletes) is on steroids is just an accepted fact.

      • Justin

        Have you ever tried CrossFit?

        • Muppet

          Of course, who hasn’t? I did Crossfit from 2005-2009. Then I took the time to educate myself and learned that going 100% all out every single workout isn’t necessary. Now my training is like that of a decathlete, I even spend one workout a week throwing the hammer and shot put. Why do think people are talking about “adrenal fatigue” so much within the CF community lately?

          I think people are likely upset at the accusation that Froning uses steroids because they want to believe in the “magic” that is Crossfit. But they shouldn’t be upset. It would be naive to think that steroids haven’t found their way into every sport. The fact that no one tests positive, even a false positive, is a statistical impossibility. So, right there, it tells you that they’re not actually testing. You honestly believe that no one took a pre-workout with 1,3 dimeth in it? And why should they bother drug testing? The World’s Strongest Man competition doesn’t drug test. I’ve been arguing for the legitimization and legalization of steroid use in sports for years. It’s no different than smoking pot, if you ban it, people will still do it. It takes nothing away from Froning’s performance, he’s no less of an athlete for using every resource available to improve his game.

          If it makes more sense, compare it to doing a Bulgarian weightlifting program. Froning’s training volume is absurd. If the only athletes who can actually stay on a Bulgarian program are those that are taking “restoratives,” why then would anyone assume that Froning is somehow genetically superior to all the Olympians and world record holders who used steroids in order to maintain their massive training loads?

          • John

            You’re an idiot.

          • GregorATG

            No insults. Keep the comment quality above YouTube levels. You know better.

          • Sav

            Although Muppet raises valid points, I disagree with his overall conclusion.
            No amount of studying can substitute life experience. I’m 33, and I have trained solidly since I was 18. In that time my lean weight increased by almost 50lbs. Obviously this is over a long time but I have never had a coach or had personal training. In fact by doing this it led me onto the path of strength and conditioning coaching. I’ve researched, trained through new methods and messed around with my diet respectively. My strength numbers have consistently increased and my results have constantly improved. Furthermore, this was without ever touching steroids. However, I have had training partners who have. If anything that spurred me on to perform even better during training sessions knowing that, naturally, I can put in similar performances to those on the juice.
            I am not a professional athlete. I have a full time demanding job. Training is a passionate hobby of mine but I also don’t let it rule my life. In Froning’s case, he is a devout Christian meaning his focus and discipline will be second to none. Whilst Muppet, has undeniably, brought up valid points, I know that through personal experience Froning’s workload (bear in mind he’s only spoken about three training days here) is more than possible without steroids if you are dedicated to the cause. If Crossfit is something he’s built his life around (which he clearly has), these results are possible. Something which has not been mentioned, or maybe I did not read in the thread, was mental state. Froning’s made reference in the past that Crossfit is a mind game above anything else which is also true about the training game. How many times have you been the gym and just haven’t been able to punch out the numbers? That’s for you to question your free will.
            It is stated that his workload, muscle mass and body fat cannot be maintained. Really? Froning’s 5’10, weighing under 200lbs. I’m 5’7 and at my peak weighed 183lbs. I’ll reiterate that I have always been clean. Crossfit is an intense workload, more intense than anything I have done which keeps you lean. In terms of musclemass, that comes from strength. There’s a lot of resistance going on there and it should also be noted that he’s not powerlifting – its strength training. An Olympic lift does not constitute power lifting, especially when we read some of the ‘ladder’ workouts.
            Also, as someone pointed out earlier in the thread, there is a chance that the numbers stated are slightly higher than they really are. After all, when someone asks you for your PB, or workload numbers you give them the best possible answer. It’s bravado. For example in deadlift, I’ll proudly boast about the 350lb deadlift (reps and not 1RM) I did 6 weeks ago regardless if I haven’t had the motivation to lift the same weight since.
            In terms of you criticising the backgrounds of crossfit athletes, that they have come from nowhere, that is simply laughable. These guys are people like us. That was the entire point of crossfit’s inception. I hate that categorisation ‘people like us’ but it’s the simplest way to explain. Question yourself – how did you even find this article? Chances are its because you want to try out a Froning workout and two, you are a regular trainer like the rest of us.
            Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a Froning, or Crossfit, lover as I am not a massive fan of one, sole discipline. Froning’s accomplishments are excellent and his reputation should not be tarnished with unfounded claims. I have done crossfit before and I will say that its extremely tough. For the record, I do think it is unsafe and not regulated particularly well. Making guys clean and jerk 220lbs after 20mins of intense activity is dangerous from an injury perspective but essentially crossfit is also survival of the fittest.
            One final point – Muppet mentions that it’s ok to take steroids. Erm, no it isn’t. It’s cheating plain and simple. There’s a massive difference between hospital patients given steroids to improve their health and an athlete taking steroids resulting in an unfair advantage in the field. Drugs are rife in sport, everyone knows that, but what’s worse is that, as a society, we are so keen to build people up and then happily knock them down.

          • Drew

            It’s almost as if you think everything written and assumed about training is set in stone and unbreakable, no one can defy what the bulgarians experienced (sarcasm). No one can know for sure if he does steroids but himself and the people around him 24/7, so being a dumbass and assuming probably because you’re jealous isn’t justifiable. I’d like to see a drug test randomly throughout the next year of crossfit winners (places 1,2,3 maybe top 10) throughout the year. Just to prove ignorant dumbasses such as a muppet (you.).

          • Muppet

            Drew, as politely and scientifically as I can put it, you’re simply not understanding physiology and endocrinology, and more importantly, you’re showing that you don’t actually understand drug testing. Which I find ironic since you call me an “ignorant dumbass” so I would assume that you’re implying that you have a better working knowledge of endocrinology than I do.

            Nothing is written in stone. You are correct. Maybe Froning is 1 in 6 billion, that special snowflake. But the idea that the entire field of competitors all just happen to be superhuman freaks despite the fact that NONE of them had successful careers as professional athletes is unlikely.

            I would like to make one thing clear, absolutely clear, I’m not criticizing Rich Froning. I am genuinely surprised by the reaction that people have over this. No one was freaking out over Klokov being accused of using steroids. It’s just accepted that he does, and no one really gets emotionally charged over it. If anything, I would actually say that he’s intelligent for using steroids properly. There is a large volume of research that shows that certain steroids (not nandrolone and stanozolol) can actually be beneficial to health. Testosterone has been shown to be effective for treating diabetes. Can we please look past the undeserved stigma that the media has put on steroids to have an intelligent discussion? I am making NO moral judgement here, purely scientific, and from a scientific standpoint, steroids improve healing, decrease injury rates, and even improve cholesterol and glucose levels.
            You are free to believe whatever you like, and I’m not even trying to convince you whether or not he uses them, because honestly, I don’t actually care if he does, and in fact, if Crossfit wants to be a legitimate sport, then they should realize that steroid use is going to happen alot. Especially when there is good money to be won. I would do it. No question. You put a solid amount of prize money up, you better believe people will do anything to win it.
            I never blame or criticize athletes for using steroids. Just put it in a different light and it’s easy to see why. If I work to support my family, and I’m making $12 million a year to play a sport, of course I’m going to take and do anything I can to ensure that I continue to make that income for as long as I can. Tell me honestly that you wouldn’t take steroids for a million dollars. There are alot worse things that people would do for a million bucks.
            Drug testing proves nothing. Even in the Olympics. Look at the testing. For example, it looks at the ratio of epitestosterone to testosterone. A normal level is 1 to 1. Yet, drug testing allows up a 4 to 1 ratio. That’d be like the difference of having a 1,000 ng/dL T level vs. a 4,000 ng/dL T level, and you’d still be considered clean. There are also allowable levels of metabolites like nandrolone (deca durabolin) that are far beyond any level that someone could naturally have. Drug testing would prove nothing unfortunately.

            And like I also pointed out, the fact that NONE of the CF athletes tested positive for anything including 1,3 dimeth (methylhexamine) pretty much says that they didn’t test at all because 0.00% is a statistical impossibility. You would expect to have at least a certain percentage of false positives even. But this has already been proven by much more intelligent people than myself. The idea of 100% or perfect is not a reality, even with the highest quality drug testing, nothing is 100% accurate even on clean athletes.

            I apologize that this topic has become so inflammatory and emotional for some people. I honestly did not intend to throw gas on a fire, and honestly, I had no idea that people would defend him so aggressively. I have to assume that you also believe that Lance Armstrong never used steroids since he never tested positive as well. It was simply an observation. When the workload and training volume reaches a point of supraphysiological levels, it only makes sense to accept that there is another “variable” in play.

            I’ll give you an experiment to try. Attempt to match Froning’s training volume. See how long you can sustain it for, and see how long it takes before your performance levels start going backwards. I’m not challenging you to prove you wrong, I’m just encouraging you to try it and find out for yourself if it is sustainable without any “assistance.”

            Again, I’m not passing a moral judgement, and it takes NOTHING away from him. I mean, steroids in sports do not make the athlete. You could take all the steroids in the world, and you’d never outrun Usain Bolt or out perform Barry Bonds. Steroids do not make you talented. They just allow you to train more volume and more often. Whether or not an athlete uses steroids takes nothing away from their accomplishments. So, again, I’m sorry if this is making you question your beliefs, and I’m truly surprised that people are taking it so personally. I was actually just discounting how casually another commenter just put “steroids” as a response, as if it even needed to be said.

          • Gawi

            So there’s no chance what so ever he’s not on steroids? He’s only 24, which should be a great age for this type of training, considering your capability of recovery. And I’ve read he sleeps 8-9 hours a day in a really comfortable, massage bed. Recovery is the key and these two factors have to be tremendously important.

            I’m 20 myself and I’ve worked out 3 times a day for 3 months now (inspired by froning), and still continuing. My strength levels have improved and I’ve gained 6 lbs in 3 months. No supplements but C-vitamin and proteinshakes. But I’ve been sleeping 8-10 hours a day.

            I’m not offended by any means, I kept reading because you pointed out some good points, but I just find it strange that he’d do steroids, after forming this image of him by watching almost all the videos of his workouts. He’s christian and says that his belief carries him, and when it comes to religion, people have a pretty strong mindset.

            And yes, I do believe Lance Armstrong was druged. Because he changed too clearly. He went from a stage were he was placed outside the top 10, then coming back the next day winning by 2 minutes to the second place.

          • Muppet

            Sure, there is a possibility that Froning is an absolute genetic outlier. I would never say that there is no chance whatsoever. I was 24 once too. I did many things that I could not do now. However, there is a limit to human physiology, and I’m just basing my educated guess off of 20 years of working with athletes. I work very closely with endocrinologists. There is a general acceptance in the medical field that when working with athletes (serious athletes mind you) they’ve all used steroids at some point in time. Could Froning be that rare exception? I suppose anything is possible, but I’ve worked with pro athletes, primarily NFL and MLB, and I’ve never seen even a 22 year old with that kind of work capacity year round.

            Consider other athletes’ training for comparison. The guys at Westside Barbell don’t lift as much volume as Froning, and they openly admit to using steroids. You will never hear Louie Simmons boast about being drug free. Powerlifters just accept that steroid use is part of the sport. They have a very progressive stance on drug use. But the point I’m getting at here is that it’s a little hard to believe that Rich Froning is somehow genetically superior to so many great athletes. I mean, just look at all the amazing athletes who have popped positive for steroids. Their training programs, even when augmented with performance enhancing drugs, still don’t match the volume of Froning’s training. So, Froning is so genetically superior that he has an even larger work capacity than professional athletes using PEDs? Why isn’t Froning a Navy SEAL or something?

            Just for argument’s sake, if Froning is truly this incredible athlete, why isn’t he competing in a real sport where he could make far more money? I mean, an athlete with his level of ability should easily be able to pick up a sport and go pro. He could do bobsled, play running back, track and field, weightlifting. I mean, if he has the capacity to train that much, he could pass Donny Shankle up in no time.
            If he’s not using “restoratives” (I like that term better than steroids to be honest), then he’s lying about his workouts. Which actually seems the most likely explanation. I mean, let’s consider this, they’re going to come and do an interview where they tape you and put this out there for everyone to see. You want to make yourself look as good as possible, so you go all out, do as many crazy hard workouts as you can in a day, and show everyone how tough you are. When in reality, you don’t train like that every single day.
            That would be the most sensible explanation if we were going to assume that he does not use steroids.
            Flip side, forget the workload and the improbability of being able to recover from that much work all the time, and let’s forget the physiology. Let’s just look at body comp. I’ll leave it to someone else to better explain it: Basically, after people reach a certain level of muscle mass, you would need some “chemical assistance” to overcome the body’s myostatin and resistance to gaining muscle. Further, you would be hard pressed to maintain that bodyfat level year round drug free as well. Pat Sherwood talked alot of sense when he discussed “The Idiot Suit.”
            Or, if you prefer biochem, Eric Auciello explained:”This type of hard effort training primarily uses the glycolytic anaerobic system, where muscle glycogen and lactate is used to produce fuel. An unfortunate byproduct of this type of exercise is the accumulation of hydrogen ionic waste, which leads to toxic acidosis and the systemic micro trauma of tissues.
            These failures cause cellular damage (DOMS anyone?) making it extremely difficult to recover from the anaerobic training stimulus, possibly costing the athlete a valuable training session. This activity is really sub-maximal when we consider glycolytic energy production only produces two ATP per each molecule of glucose.(1)
            This leads back to my original point: the hard effort crowd is not training their fat-burning engines. Their daily efforts are constantly using and replenishing the easily accessed glycogen stores and blood glucose, not fat.
            This is a problem because when our blood glucose levels drop, we crash. The human body senses an overwhelming fatigue and begins attempting to top off the tank by shunting blood from the gut to our limbs, often leading to unpleasant side effects like vomiting. This is one of the many unhealthy aspects of hard-effort training.”
            It would be “unlikely” that someone could train like that year round. So, either he uses something to overcome the physiology that accompanies this style of training OR he doesn’t actually train like he says he does. Let me share something random with you. A doctor at the University of Pittsburgh did blood testing on candidates of the Army’s Ranger School. What he found was that for 100% of the candidates, their testosterone was so low from the excessive training that they would be declared clinically hypogonadal. This is not a bunch of lazy, sit on the couch, Call of Duty warriors here. These are some of the fittest men in America, and if none of them can train all day without suffering negative effects and a drop in performance, then how does Froning do it drug free?
            Is it possible that he truly is just that much better than everyone else? Sure, it’s possible, but it’s not very probable. One would assume that if he is truly that genetically superior, then he was a stand out athlete in high school, played for a D1 school, and went pro after college. I’ve seen the genetic freaks. They lettered in every sport they played, and often had offers to multiple colleges for multiple sports.
            Again, I’m genuinely shocked by how much people want to believe that he is drug free. I didn’t realize how popular he is. I’m not trying to convince anyone, if you want to believe he’s drug free, well, keep on believing it. I was just defending my position, a position which I am confident in.
            As for him being Christian, I don’t see why that would stop him from using steroids. It’s not a sin to use steroids. And like I said earlier, and it’s worth reiterating, judicious use of steroids is not only beneficial to an athlete, but also intelligent. The research supports it.
            If you can look past the media bias that has been given to steroids for a moment, consider Floyd Landis. He had to have hip surgery. They resurfaced his hip, and just a couple months later, he wins the Tour de France. Now, that’s superhuman. Most people take at least 6 months to recover from a surgery like that. If he comes back to win the Tour de France just a couple months later, how long was his layoff before getting back to training? A week? And that’s a good thing. I’m tired of seeing steroids painted in a negative light and their dangers being grossly overstated and exaggerated.
            Steroids carry the potential to not only help injuries heal, but to heal better. Why would you not use every resource available to improve the quality of life for people? Why should Floyd Landis be the only person who benefits from steroid use following hip surgery? Why not my grandfather? But I digress.
            You state that you think that Lance Armstrong used steroids because there was a sudden change in his performance, well, then by that logic, most of the CF Games competitors would be guilty of steroid use as well. Look how many people just blew up and arrived on scene. And their performance is constantly improving by leaps and bounds. Just look at how much Annie Sakamoto blew up. That is not the same girl from all the old CF videos.

            Ask yourself this question, what was Rich Froning doing before becoming Crossfit royalty?

            I have a solution to all this. Crossfit, which has more than enough money to do this, could be the first organization to actually instate a real drug testing policy. Not one of those flimsy ones where you can get away some use, but a real policy where you can’t get away with anything. No more margins of epitestosterone to testosterone. Enough with the urine testing that everyone has long since figured out how to pass. Blood testing is the way to go. Make it random, but make it consistent. Each athlete gets tested quarterly, the date and time is random. And then at the Games, everyone gives a sample before the Games start, and then a second sample immediately after finishing the last event. Easy. And it would create an indisputable argument for “drug free competition” that even the Olympics does not come close to. Remember, they allow you to have up to 4 times the normal levels in your system before considering your sample to be positive. It’s a joke to anyone who works in endocrinology for a living.

          • Muppet

            Add on: I just found this while trying to find out more about Froning’s past athletic experience, nothing by high school by the way. His bio claims he “turned down” offers to play college baseball to go to a Technical School instead, but we’ve all “turned down” those great offers to get paid to play 😉

            Anyways, here’s the link I found. Massive progress in a very short period of time. Some by your Lance Armstrong standard, this should make a fairly convincing argument that Froning is in the same company.

          • Jake

            @Muppet have you yourself taken steroids? If you have then you’d know he’s clean. It’s amazing what diet can do. I challenge you, to merely spend 4 months training steady. Not just hitting the weights aggressively and consistently, but also eating a MASSIVE clean diet. Some people have got the genetics, some people got the work ethic and some people are too busy making up excuses.

          • Muppet

            I am a full time student in endocrinology. I’m basing my opinion off of literally hundreds and hundreds of case studies. I’m not basing this off of personal experience, though I have used steroids myself, and I have followed a strict Paleo Zone diet for years. “Massive clean diet” as you state, often upwards of 5,000 calories per day during heavy training cycles like Smolov or Bulgarian weightlifting programs. You’re assuming that I don’t know because I never trained hard enough, but I have been a lifetime competitive athlete, I train a minimum of 5 days a week and typically 2 hours per session. A good diet and consistent training can only go so far. You can’t increase mitochondrial activity, nitrogen retention, or cellular respiration past a certain point no matter how strict you are. At some point, you would actually require chemical assistance to be able to train more.

            I never said he doesn’t have genetics. He has great genetics. So does Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, John Welbourn, Ronnie Coleman, Barry Bonds, the list goes on. You have to have great genetics. You can’t take someone with bad genetics and compensate for it with steroids. If you could, we could literally turn anyone into a pro athlete. All steroids do is allow you to recover faster so that you can train more and make more progress in a shorter period of time. Think of it like this, the progress and training volume you could do in a month, now you can do it in 2 weeks because you don’t need as much rest between training sessions, and when you hit your training sessions, you’re able to work harder because you’re better recovered instead of coming in sore and stiff. You get from point A to point B faster.

            It has nothing to do with work ethic. I’ve seen guys with 10x as much work ethic whose bodies failed them because they were mentally stronger than they were physically. Look at many of the guys who wash out of military programs like Q-course, BRC, BUD/S, etc. You think they didn’t have work ethic?

            I think people are really taking this the wrong way. I blame the media for vilifying steroid use. There is nothing wrong with Rich Froning using steroids. It takes nothing away from his performance, nor is it a mark against his character, to simply accept that steroid use is a component of training for elite athletes. It is not a criticism, nor does it diminish Froning in any way, shape, or form. It is simply an observation.

            I’ve made a point to respond when addressed as to not seem rude, but at this point, I feel that we’re going in circles. I provide science for why he is, and no one has provided science for why he isn’t, just personal observations, mostly about his character. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing I say or explain will ever influence or convince anyone to change their belief. If you want to believe that elite athletes don’t use steroids, good for you. Just like how at the Olympics, all the other countries use steroids but the Americans don’t.

            So, I’m going to politely exit this conversation, but if someone out there decides to copy Froning’s training, drug free, for one year, and actually manages to make progress without suffering injuries, “adrenal fatigue,” thyroid issues, and the various negative effects of overtraining, I’d love to hear it. Even if your “study” is only n=1, it would still interest me greatly to hear how someone managed to overcome human physiology and biochemistry.

          • 16

            I’ve known Rich since High School..and he definitely is NOT on steroids. He outworked everyone on our baseball team then, and outworks everyone in Crossfit now…period.

          • boomzies

            What do you think about taking HGH instead of what you call restoritives (steroids)?Also, I have learned more in this convo then I have ever learned in any Exercise Science class in college. I thank you for that.

          • Veritas

            I think Muppet, you have a very clear and intelligent approach to this entire concept of fitness in relation to steroids. I can’t belive you have been this patient with these people who don’t believe Mr. Froner’s success (and every other top tier CF athlete) is possibe due to steroid use.
            Muppet is not arguing that Froner is a cheat or wimp. Froner is an incredible athlete and deserves all his praise. The man is a specimen, BUT HE IS USING STEROIDS. OH MY GOD, this is so obvious it is not an arguable point. Muppet, you are a patient person to respond to these comments. Recovery is simply impossible for the workload these guys put on their bodies. Guys, just like the millions of fans who didn’t believe Lance was using, you will also be disappointed one day.
            Blinders help us live a more rosy life, and that’s ok. But the life you live is technically a lie.
            PS – I think steroids should be permitted in every sport. Just be open about it. The fans will learn to accept it.

          • snow man

            what about herschel walker? science can’t explain how his diet holds for his workout, yet it is what it is. he does not eat breakfast or lunch. he has one meal a day that consists of soup salad and bread. that’s it. some people have baffling and absurd capabilities. that doesn’t mean it is impossible. in fact, it’s exciting to think that, no matter how much we think we know, there will always be something new to discover. just some food for thought (but.. in herschel’s case, barely any food)

          • joemama

            If only the idiots who think “he’z all naturalz, brah!” would read this post and actually understand it…Bravo Mr. Muppet

          • PVB

            Did someone actually call you an “ignorant dumbass”? This is probably the best comment of this sort I’ve ever read on an athletics blog.

          • highlydubious

            Something about what Muppet is saying just doesn’t seem right. While he makes valid points, they are not completely based off of facts and his evidence is logically flawed. Claiming that something is impossible has been what people have been doing for all of human history. Has this not been the story of human history, we cant run a 4 min mile, we cant travel over 20mph or we might explode, cant go to space, etc etc etc. His evidence is all inferred. For example asking “why didnt he going into professional x, if he’s so talented.” Well there many reasons why someone wouldn’t for reasons that do not incude steroids, that’s a very poor reason to infer.

            Being the ‘scientist’ that you are, surely you are aware you that you mainly aim to disprove a theory and instead you are trying to prove one, that’s not the scientific process. Saying the fact that “he can perform near max year round …. should tell you he’s juiced to the gills” — first thats not thaaat close to his max and second, have you really read up on every ‘master athlete’… this is not atypical and it’s easily possible to perform this way. Saying boom it’s steroids is unfounded conclusion to arrive just but reading this.

            Similarly, if you are so educated on this topic, how could you draw a conclusion from simply reading this protocol, you dont know how he recovers, you dont know his meal plans, you dont anything about him. To make these conclusion based off just this kinda makes me think your arriving at conclusions to fast and thus not a ‘professional’ at assessing something like this.

            Also many of the statements you say are based off of categorical generalizations which makes me believe you do not know as much about crossfit or fitness that you claim to believe.

          • Muppet

            You know what, you’re absolutely right. I played Canadian Juniors and owned a Crossfit affiliate before Crossfit was popular but I don’t know anything about fitness or Crossfit.

            Your points about 4 minute miles or going into space are invalid though. I’m not saying that what Froning does is impossible, I’m saying the rate at which he recovers and improves is impossible. I totally believe someone will squat 2,000 pounds someday. I just don’t think they’re going to progress at a rate of 30% more strength each year.

            BUT don’t take my word for it. Don’t. Absolutely don’t. You should question everything I’ve said, and you should consult the experts.

            According to people FAR more intelligent than me, anything beyond a 2% increase is suspect.


            I encourage you to read that link in its entirety.

            Then I encourage to reference:

            Rich improved his Grace time by over 38%, his FGB by 34%, and his clean and jerk by over 27%. Gains like that just are not typical in an elite level athlete. Maybe in a beginner, but then gains slow down.

            What makes Rich suspicious is not that he’s a great athlete or not, but how fast he progresses and the volume that he trains with exceeds what even a genetically gifted athlete would recover from.

            Believe me, if I made gains like I did my first year of training, I’d be deadlifting over 2,000 pounds and snatching 4x bodyweight hahaha.

            I want to thank you for actually taking the time to write a decent rebuttal instead of just name calling, and I really, sincerely mean it when I say, don’t take my word for it. You should challenge everything you read, especially when it’s posted by some random person on the internet. That’s why I took the time to actually respond to you in a thread that I had already decided I wasn’t going to respond to anymore.

            So, by all means, challenge what I’ve said, read what they experts say, and draw your own conclusions based on the available facts.

          • Muppet

            I even repped you some points because I appreciate the intelligent debate.

          • sonofluger

            It appears I am a bit late to the party, but I only discovered ATG recently…so hey, forgiveness is probably in order 😉

            First off, don’t worry, there won’t be any troll language here. I appreciate the points made thus far and has made me rethink the cleanliness of CrossFit.

            But, that all being said, I think there are some points worth addressing (even a year later).

            1) Rich Froning is not THAT strong

            OK, he’s strong as shit, don’t get me wrong. But that is primarily as compared to the regular population and then CrossFitters at large. Amongst “strong men” he is not a contender. The point of saying so? Many people have achieved those numbers. Probably most dudes in the NFL can match his squat, press, pow-clean and DL totals. Hell, I have average dudes in my own gym that can match his numbers here and there (obviously not each and every!). It would, however, be very interesting to see what he could accomplish given a Pow/OL focus without all the CF stuff.

            So what’s the point? There appears to be some skepticism that he could get that strong (quickly) and train at the volume he does at the weight he claims. Well, he is as strong as he will ever need to be in a CrossFit context, I don’t see how his maintenance of those totals is really that mind blowing – as young as he is. if next year he increased all of this totals by 20 to 40% once again, that would be eyebrow raising. I suspect that he is simply a very strong guy who ramped up quickly. Taking a strong guy with garbage form and teaching him ways and means while putting him on a structured strength program could easily show gains of 20 to 30% two years running.

            To say he lifts heavy, too much volume to sustain without steroids, is a relative statement. his routine is impossible for me, a warmup for Klokov. If I had no other priorities, that routine (scaled to my abilities) looks like a blast.

            2) Rich Froning “should be a pro athlete”

            By what standard? CrossFitters are “athletes” but truly no more athletic than a novice gymnast and mediocre weight lifter. the true talent lies in the ability to be a work-horse. That is to say, Rich Froning is good at CrossFit, there are a whole host of skills he might lack that make him incapable at competing past the collegiate level in any other sport. On the other hand, given the same love of the game, encouragement, access to tools and so on, LeBron James could have probably competed in ANY sport known to man at the professional level…including CrossFit.

            3) there is such a thing as being good at CrossFit

            and Rich is quite good at it. There are guys WAY stronger than me at my own gym, and I crush them every time in every workout we do. Why? Experience, efficiency of movement, tolerance for “the suck” and probably a few other factors. He is training for the test – he doesn’t employ “the hopper” method where he is truly experiencing a full spectrum of physical challenges (marathons, atlas stones, swimming, rock climbing…etc.). He is, rather, participating in a structured regimen that allows him to best be prepared for the “unknown” (within the context of CrossFit, obviously). His routine is less about “pure physical fitness” as opposed to “winning Games caliber workouts.” CrossFit is a skill in of itself, something you can be good at. He is the best because is the jack of all and master of none.

            Your knowledge of endocrinology is far superior to mine – this goes without saying. But, I believe that are enough explanatory factors available that chemical assistance is not yet the default. Barry Bonds would be a case where it is the ONLY explanatory factor, for example.

            Sure, I want to believe that CrossFit is pure (I own an affiliate, participate, etc. etc.) but the cold hard truth is more important. I was of the impression that there was testing for games athletes – if there isn’t to some standard that is meaningful, there ought to be. Until then, unfortunately we will only be speculating.

          • George

            I can tell you for a fat that Rich does not use steroids. I had the opportunity to train with him for a month. He is very dedicated and has always been since he was very very young. We are talking about a guy that since he was 5 he was lifting and exercising. Your body adapts to whatever you do. Astrength and a weakness at the same time.

            Check out that Russian kid for instance on youtube, he is like 6 and does stuff that most of us can only dream of. He is genetically more evolved (physically) from us and he gymnastics are part of his daily life. Now if he was 25 we would all say STEROIDS.

      • Stephenson

        Not sure what you qualify as “chemical assistance” but you make it sound like straight steroids. You make good points throughout these threads, but you should stay away from statements like…. “Physically impossible”. You say that you can’t put on 20lbs of muscle in a year??? Well I’m currently 24 and just got back from a 6 month deployment to Afghanistan. I was out training 2x’s a day 5 days a week and was on a very strict diet + 2-3 small protein shakes a day in b/t meals, and I left @ 192lbs and came back @ 215lbs maintaining my 7% body fat. My numbers were through the roof upon return! And I can promise you that I would never touch steroids… I’m too much of a health freak to do so and I wouldn’t risk my career b/c we get legitimately DO get drug tested.
        So ANYWAY…. all that to say… did Froning take steroids to enhance his training? I have no idea… he quite possibly may have… but I will say that it IS possible that he’s done all this steroid free.

        • Mark

          If you went from 192 to 215, that’s 23 pounds. However, it’s not all muscle, even though you think it is because you fat percentage stayed the same. 192@7% fat = 13.44lbs of fat. 215@7% fat = 15.05lbs of fat. So you gained about 2lbs. The 21 remaining pounds was also water and glycogen which is stored in the extra muscle you gained. If percentage remains the same, but your weight changes, then your total fat weight changes too. 20lbs of muscle in one year is possible BUT not with those levels of cardio and such low body fat percentages.
          I think it’s cute that people still dream that his level is attainable naturally. Then after 10 years of training, they see the light….

  • Vincent Ravary

    this guy is a beast

  • Rugbyman151

    First all your hearing is “all olympians are on PEDs” Now everybody who does any type of sport seems to be on?
    In my opinion its bulls**t
    Can we not just believe that there are people out there who are just amazingly talented at their sport??
    Dont get me wrong, plenty of people are on but some arenot….
    Lets leave it to the IOC to sort that one out tho eh? Not just come on here and other forums and state something that your not quite 100% positive about.

    • BALCO

      Why isn’t there one single rebuke from Rich in these posts.

  • crossfitpete

    This is the CF Drug Policy for the CF Games/regionals


    I have no clue if Froning is a juicer. The amount of work he is able to do is amazing – pure logic would want to make any scientist believe that since his ability is so improbable, it probably doesn’t exist without the aid of PED’s.

    But check this guy out:

    Long story short, for some reason when this guy runs, his lactic acid levels drop instead of building up. This allows him to run for hours at a time without an effects of fatigue. From our current understanding of human biology/physiology, this shouldn’t be happening. But it happens for this individual.

    So is Froning juicing? I don’t know. But just because he is able to do extraordinary things, DOES NOT MEAN HE IS A JUICER.

    • SomeNerd

      This is just an aside regarding the History Channel video, and has nothing to do with Rich Froning or the topic of PEDs:

      I can’t see the video, but those shows often screw up the science. It’s my understanding that, due to the body actually utilizing lactate as fuel, you have to wait to measure lactate until after a short bit following the activity.

      A professor of mine showed this clip from a show claiming Randy Couture as superhuman because his lactate levels went down after he performed a max-effort guillotine choke. They measured lactate from his fingers when, in reality, it was likely concentrated in the muscles he was utilizing, and since they did it immediately afterward, it appeared as though his exertion lowered lactate levels when it really didn’t.

      But then again, I don’t have a post-baccalaureate degree and have been drinking tonight.

    • BALCO

      That’s exactly what PED’S do, they allow you to work harder. You are able to recover faster and the flow of blood and energy cause a sense of euphoria that make you enjoy the workout, thus you become hooked.

  • Jerry Attrick

    It’s been a while since I watched the video but…I like the part when he was asked about steroids and he says something like, “I don’t think they would even work (or help?) for crossfit.” Oh ya, a football coach he who can’t fathom that steroids would be of any benefit in training. He’s no Lance Armstrong (the best cheater of all time) but he’s lying and instead of the cancer shield he uses his faith in the Lord. IMO of course.

  • Christopher Nolan Buckley

    This discussion makes me think back to a High School friend I had who was a genetic freak. This kid came out of the womb looking like Arnold. I know for a fact this kid was NOT taking anything and he could continue to make new PRs on any lift, stack muscle on with the only effort being maybe drinking more beer? Anyway I’m not genetic freak but, I have seen them so I know that there are people out there like Rich, Dan, Chan, etc, etc. that are just different then us and honestly I love the fact that Rich and Dan give the created to their lord and savior.

  • Sean

    Muppet has some good points but there is one fundamental flaw: assuming that the volume that he does is close to his maximum. If you look at the work rich is doing, yes its a lot, but a lot of the work he does is not CLOSE to what his true maximums are. It is actually similar to that of MMA fighters, wrestlers, runners, etc. when you strip it down into a very simplistic format (don’t get fooled by the mixed modal stuff, that is like a fighter doing shadow boxing). For example, 20sets: 30/30 airdyne…….this is just aerobic training for him, similar to fartleck training that any amateur runner would do. The efforts he does here may seem impressive to the non-elite crossfitter, but anyone with an kind of training experience, this is not that hard, its just getting volume not intensity.

    Next, 4500m row. 15min of moderate intensity aerobic work. Similar to a running 2 miles at a moderate effort.

    Next, 3 muscle ups EMOM w/ 20lb. vest. For rich’s size, mobility, and skill level this is similar to a wrestler doing 3 take downs EMOM x 12min (just as an example). To any trained wrestler this is not all that hard.

    Next, EMOM bench press/power clean. These weights are sub maximal for Rich, he can probably do this all day (ie, if you have a 350 Bench, and do 9 reps with 205, that isn’t that hard on the body, it’s just a lot of work.


    EMOM x20 (again, this is another 30sec On/30sec OFF work to rest ratio. Aerobic trainining) To the average person, this seems like an absurb amount of work, but for someone like Rich who is strong and has very good aerobic fitness, this is not all that difficult. If your PP is 275 and you do reps with 155, not all that challenging, its just a lot of work.

    I can go through each one of these days and break it down like I did above, but I don’t have the time. Instead, I leave off with this point. To an outsider who does not understand what an elite crossfitter is doing it seems like they are doing TONS of high intensity work. It’s not, its moderate intensity work, but a lot of it. BASICALLY WHAT EVERY OTHER SPORT IN THE WORLD ENCOMPASSES THAT IS LONGER THAN 30SEC IN DURATION. Is every elite FIGHTER in the MMA on steroids??? They train 2-3 times daily. Is every olympic wrestler on steroids???? They train 2-3 times/day with weight traininging also. Haile Gebreselassie used to train with 160 miles of running/week. This is pretty standard among elite runners. Just because it seems absurd to people outside the sport doesn’t mean that it’s not doable.

    I think volume is an invalid agreement to stand by.

    —–Rich improved his Grace time by over 38%, his FGB by 34%, and his clean and jerk by over 27%. Gains like that just are not typical in an elite level athlete. Maybe in a beginner, but then gains slow down.

    Not a valid argument either. I can take a very good Crossfitter and do this with them. Why? Because of the other variables that are not seen by the average coach, for instance skill acquisition. It is nearly impossible to hold up Crossfit numbers and use them as litmus tests to see if you are getting better. Maybe Rich did these workouts in the beginning of his career when he wasn’t very good at them. Once he gained the skills and got used to them with volume the numbers got better. Correlation is not causation!!!!

    IMHO there is no way from just looking at workouts and analyzing interviews that we can tell that Rich is using or not. I paraphrase Victor Conte (see balco), the only way to get real tests is through testosterone carbon isotope ratios. Until Rich does that he is not clear nor is he dirty in my eyes.

    • Tyler

      Rich’s volume isn’t really that absurd at all. Iv’e only been doing crossfit for about 3 years on and off (off during rugby season) and like Sean said, Rich is only working around 50% of his max on these workouts. If you’ve ever trained to compete, then you know that his volume is totally normal. I’ve met rich and trained with the same people he has and there are no steroids involved. He just trains hard and his body has adapted. Its human nature… at its best to his advantage. -CrossfitNoAla

    • Captain Awesome

      Muppet, your assumptions about other peoples’ capabilities seem to be based on your own lesser capabilities. The thought process “I can’t do what he does, therefore he must be on steroids” is really rather nonsensical.

  • LC

    Hard work pays off, this guy works out just about all day everyday. Not trying to get on his jock but taking that away from someone who works that hard is ignorant…..Get a life clowns.

  • Muppet

    @GregorATG:disqus I check your page every day to see the new links, and I cringe every time that I see this post back on the side bar under the popular posts. It’s there quite often. I just have to ask you, is this your all time most popular post?

    • GregorATG

      Yes, because of the many searches.

  • Jags

    This has to work like the Bulgarian method. Those guys workout 13x a week. 2 a days and 1 on Sunday. Where they basically max on compound lifts everyday along with dead lifting twice a week. Yeah there is some falloff in the first week but after that the body adapts and can handle the work. Some guys even set new PR’s on days they don’t feel great. Everybody today wants to jump to say someone is on steroids or some kind of PED’s because somebody puts in more work than they would even think about doing. Rich Froning FTW

    • Chad

      You don’t know much about the Bulgarians and their chronic positive drug testing, do you? j/k

      In all seriousness though, I wouldn’t compare this to a Bulgarian program. In a Bulgarian program, you’re doing the same lifts over and over and over. That’s why the body can adapt. Just like endurance runners who do nothing but run, run, and run. It’s the same stimulus over and over again which is why people can adapt to it. It’s like if you swung a hammer all day for a living. The first few months, you’d be exhausted every day, but eventually, you’d get used to the work, but mind you, the stimulus is the same every single day which is why you can adapt to it. If it was a different stimulus all the time, you’d never adapt.

      Crossfit is too varied, and the stimulus changes to often. It would not be the same mechanism of action as following Bulgarian program.

  • Dom

    Sean i can understand where you are coming from…..however what you are basically saying is he is able to train like amateur runner/well trained wrestlers and intensely trained MMA fighters. there is a noted high amount of performance enhancing drugs in each of these sports and none of these athletes will be able to cross over into each others field to the standard you are saying Rich Froning can. They may periodize their training where they will change their training for a while, but its abnormal to be able to do all this training and recover efficiently to improve in all aspects without extra help. But then i suppose Rich Froning is abnormal because he is basically Jesus and has been sent from god because he is so special. Don’t mean to sound critical…. i dont even disagree with drugs in sport just disagree with naivety

  • caleb

    I really wanna set aside 3 days when I’m on vacation or something and try this. Ill scale of course bit it’d be so fun.

  • AHowell

    I would like to point out something that muppet nailed in his comments. He absolutely does not do this everyday. Let us not forget that Dave is flying him all over kingdom come for crossfit, and I know from personally seeing and meeting Rich that he works out maybe 2 times max on a travel day He also openly admits he takes active recovery days where he does SOMETHING but not necessarily weight or resistance related. Second, Let us take into consideration when this video was filmed. It was filmed when he was prepping for the games, so It is absolutely possible that he was doing this insane volume in prep, and then taper off as the games approached to peak. In the games they are indeed working out 3+ times a day for 3-4 days and this amount of volume is absolutely possible in the 2-3 months leading to the games. I do to some extent agree with Sean that these weights are not even close to his maxes. I was at Big Sky when he put up 355 Clean and Jerk so to see him clean 205 a bunch of times isn’t surprising at all. I do think Muppet has extremely valid and scientific points that cannot be ignored for something that would train this hard year round, but putting in some logic about what he is doing now for the sport and how much he is constantly on the road it is more illogical and frankly unrealistic to think he is doing this volume all the time. I appreciate all the comments though I have learned a lot about drug testing and the actual use of steroids from this article so @8d5fe3b9da7b3498f6b31f86f5493da2:disqus I appreciate the insight and I actually do agree with the fact steroids are painted in a worse light than they actually are. I graduated with a degree in Pharmacy and Health science and to actually see them in use in a hospital is something that can never be described to someone because of the literal miracles these drugs can do to patients.

    • BALCO

      It is not so much about steroids being useless or harmful, but in sports it is about the field being level. All the big money goes to cheaters and clean athletes are forced to use in order to compete.Then again, maybe thats what draws the big money. We want to see superhuman beings.

  • Purple

    Would like to ask something specifically aimed at muppet. May I suggest that even though we have strong evidence about the body and genes and all that, there is still a lot to know. Could there be a possibility that we suggest all these limits to thing and they there is no more gains to be achieved that this concept could be wrong?

    • Chad

      You’re asking if there is a possibility that Rich Froning is that 1 in 6 billion people who just so happens to have a superior genetic code that allows him to outperform literally everyone, even those on steroids, completely naturally?

      Sure, there could be a possibility. That possibility is 1 out of 6 billion or .00000001% but yes, the possibility exists. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t bet on those odds. Just because something is “possible” doesn’t mean it is “probable.”

      But then you have to wonder this, if he’s that genetically gifted, why is he doing Crossfit and not competing in a real sport where he could be making infinitely more money? I mean, if I had genetics like that, I’d be playing in the MLB making a salary that rivals even A-Rod.

  • natheriot

    interesting comments here..

    • mehitabel83

      Yes, interesting discussion. I see that Muppet, for example, appears to
      have a relative bias towards WANTING steroid use. He is not pinging
      Froning, so much as wanting him to be a member of Muppet’s club.
      Perhaps thus the extensive discussion of how Froning is an endocrinal
      impossibility? And perhaps why the extensive discussion on
      unsubstantiated ‘evidence’ such as an example workout’s projected annual
      training volume? And the rejection of any consideration that an athlete
      with a positive result would be confirmation tested, which would place a
      0.00% in a limited sample size n well within the possibility…

      Mind you, I kinda support steroid legalization too… at least so that we can weed some people out of the gene pool.

  • jay

    A lot of naivete in this Socratic discussion. A general rule of thumb (yes, a ‘generalization’): if your livelihood depends on your outward appearance, any manipulation of your physique to produce that appearance, or pursuit of a physical endeavor (namely athletic-recreational, not functional, ie. construction), chemical assistance becomes a huge benefit, it not outright necessity. Stop comparing your self testimonials of eating clean or working out for the to negate the universality of these agents. They do not hold a candle to the lifestyle intricacies these other individuals lead.

  • Zech

    This is probably right before the games because his training is much higher, during off season it is way less than this and its about 2 or 3 workouts a day which is more than capable im 16 and i can do 3 workouts a day

  • ngq

    A few people on here mentioned how Rich Froning’s gains weren’t that impressive between 2010 and 2012 and could be obtained without PEDs. I would like to know what people think about his 45# increase on his clean and jerk and 30# increase on his snatch between 2012 and 2013. Those are pretty dramatic increases for one year. In fact, if he continues such progress for the next year, his 2012-2014 progress will almost match his 2010-2012 progress.

  • seriss

    do not judge someone just because your sins are different….the dedication it takes to compete at this level is amazing. If he is or isn’t on something, i don’t care really, his choices are his own, and if he has access so does everyone else, and then that makes this a level playing field.

  • Lifting247

    I was a professional athlete for around 4 years… I have played national and international level sports and trained for the past 17 years. I have coached elite sports teams and olympic athletes. Recovery and rest is just important as training and there is no way that Froning is clean. Even with a clean diet and good rest no way. I think when it comes to elite athletes its quite naive to think of them as clean. Muppets points are valid and very good.. The sheer volume that he trains at, the weight he lifts with that intensity whilst maintaining his muscle mass would lead any fitness professional or seasoned athlete into thinking that he was being assisted in some way.

  • Bamaman

    The only thing that leads me to think he is a juicer is he admits to eating a poor diet for an athlete, not much rest days, and high levels of volume. Sure you can gradually get there but that is a lot of training.

  • ray

    I don’t wanna sound like “that guy”

    I’ve been “crossfitting” for a while now, along with basic strength /cardio training, a couple of years now (3?)

    and I don’t see this schedule as impossible to maintain at all with adequate calories constantly in your system

    this schedule is obviously on the heavy side but if anyone scales it down and works their way up it is attainable

  • Maddie

    For everyone claiming that Rich Froning does steroids, it’s BS. He’s straight up a hard worker. Anything can be achieved through hard work… If you guys worked out as hard as he did every single day, you’d look like that too. You think he’s on steroids, test him. He already said that he would take a test every week if he had to. He obviously has nothing to hide

    • OG

      Lance Armstrong made all the same noises though. I’m not suggesting for a minute that Froning juices, but it’s certainly possible. His recovery, if natural, is freakish to be able to work at that volume and intensity every day. Moreover his lean body mass is in the ‘juicer’ territory. He may or may not be juicing, but it’s very naive to say he’s not with such conviction.