Rich Froning has a reputation for being the best at, well, everything that relates to CrossFit® and the CrossFit Games. One of the main reasons for the three time Champion’s success is his consistency in having a high work capacity throughout all time and modal domains that the sport encompasses – from rowing and gymnastics to Olympic style weightlifting.
The training requirements to build this consistency should theoretically mean that Rich should be at a disadvantage to say a professional weightlifter, he simply can’t dedicate the time and focus to one modal domain. In spite of this, his abilities are not too far off world-class; Rich’s Snatch / Clean and Jerk total is just 20kg short of qualifying him for the internationally elite PanAm games in his weight class.
On the ladies side, the gap between PanAm Games qualifiers and CrossFit Games athletes is even smaller, even overlapping in some cases: The up and coming Maddy Myers for example, who has finished top ten in the South West region in every 2015 Crossfit Games Open event so far as well as qualifying for the PanAm Games in the 58kg class with a total of 189kg. Australian Kara Webb, who would be in the 75kg weight class with an impressive total of 208kg, more than qualifying her as an elite lifter, also holds two 2nd place finishes worldwide in the 2015 Open.
In the 2014 documentary “The test of Fitness” focusing on the CrossFit methodology, CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro had this to say about the future of Games athletes:
"They're all going to have 300-lb. snatches, they're all going to have 600-lb. deadlifts, they're all going to run sub-5 (minute) miles, they're all going to have sub-2:15 Frans."
—Dave Castro, on the future of CrossFit Games athletes
Where Rich’s progression as well as that of other up-and-comers like Matt Fraser certainly suggest this is on the horizon, will division of training requirements ultimately prevent this new breed of all-rounder from achieving par with the best in the world in each modal domain?