Date: 28 Mar 2012 · Author: admin · Category: HEALTH & FITNESS
I’ve written a number of times that Roark is in the business of building athletes who get better at their chosen sport/hobby, as opposed to just building athletes who get better at the exercise we practice here. With that said, there is no denying that the Crossfit athletes who practice Crossfit specifically to get better at the sport, are very impressive athletes.
Crossfit was developed with the idea of training to be proficient at every and any task life can throw at you. The bigger the brand has got, however, and with Reebok now sponsoring the Crossfit Games, people have begun to specialise in Crossfit, as there is undoubtedly fame and fortune to be made for those who excel.
Crossfit needs to be honest and say that although they still encourage people to train to be ‘fit’ across a broad range of disciplines, the focus has certainly moved to people training to get better at Crossfit. There is nothing wrong with this, and the Crossfit brand has developed on a global scale. Greg Glassman, who started Crossfit, is a wealthy man today.
Crossfit has become a sport, and with sport come the freaks. Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, Daniel Carter. Crossfit has Rich Froning Junior. Rich Froning Junior (RFJ) came second in the 2010 Crossfit Games as a result of a poor rope climb. He had never practiced rope climbing, and battled with the technique. One poor climb cost him the title of ‘fittest man on earth’. In 2011, RFJ made sure that mistake wouldn’t happen again. He absolutely dominated the Games, and was crowned champion.
As Crossfit is a sport that is expanding so rapidly, many new and highly talented athletes are entering the ‘market’ each year, and as such the past 12 Crossfit Games have seen different champions crowned and fresh faces sitting on top of the leader board. What makes RFJ so special is that this is the third year in which he will finish inside the top 3 (barring injury) and in all likelihood win the Games. To be honest, I have no idea how anyone is going to beat him.
In the Crossfit Open, which are the five exercises released weekly by the Crossfit Head Office over a period of five weeks, RFJ has placed 32nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd. In the world. There are thousands upon thousands of the best athletes you and I have ever seen, who are naturally better at certain types of exercise than others, yet this guy has completely dominated all of them across the board.
Africa is a very small division within the Crossfit community, but to test myself against those who practice Crossfit religiously, I decided to do the last workout released in The Open. This involved 3 thrusters (with a weight of 45 kilograms), 3 pull-ups, 6 thrusters, 6 pull-ups, 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups, etc. The number of reps increasing in increments of three, and the test was to get in as many reps as possible using this rep count, in seven minutes. Seven minutes? How hard can that be? Its absolutely lung bustingly awful.
I didn’t have anyone to make sure all of my reps and pull-ups where of competition standard, but I managed 108 reps which places me in the top 10 in Africa. On dropping the bar after my last thruster I lay on the ground for a full ten minutes, wrists swollen and body burning. 108 reps means I completed the above rep count until I reached the end of 18 thrusters, in other words I completed 63 thrusters and 45 pull-ups in 7 minutes.
The best in Africa was 127 reps, which is very impressive.
Rich Froning Junior completed 161 reps.
Try this workout, and see how you feel at the end of it. And then picture having an entire day to do the difference between your amount of reps at Rich’s. It’s beyond me that a guy like this even exists on our planet, but it’s incredible to behold. RFJ also eats ‘a little peanut butter in the morning, and dinner at night.’ That’s it. The rest of the day he drinks recovery drinks.
The point is that this guy is a freak, and that with all professional sports the freaks are the one’s who win not because they practice harder, but because their body composition is perfectly suited to what they specialise in. No doubt he’s also mentally tough, but on that diet to be that far ahead of the top guy on a continent, genetically he is superior to he rest of us.
The lesson is this; don’t be overwhelmed by guys who can lift more than you, pack on muscle quicker than you, or lose weight faster than you. You have the body you have, and you are the only one who can build it.
RFJ certainly impresses me, but he doesn’t inspire me. What inspires me is an athlete who religiously sticks to a programme, battles through the tough days, and doesn’t quit.
Be inspiring ahead of trying to be impressive.