Rich Froning, Breath, and Your 80% Effort

There was a time when the gym world crowned a single man ‘The Fittest Man on Earth’ and no one disagreed. His name was Rich Froning and despite the lack of consensus in the fitness community, he had just won his fourth CrossFit Games and few people debated his legitimacy. 

What made Froning’s efforts particularly amazing is that he was winning and he was making it look easy. The nature of the CrossFit is extremely intense and grueling. Some would call it a festival of suffering. 

Upon closer investigation, I noticed something I’d never seen before in Froning’s behavior on one particularly arduous thruster event. As Froning elegantly took a breath at the top of each thruster, I noticed that he glanced down the line of competitors as if to evaluate how hard he needed to work to win. This assumes, of course, that the effort it took to win was less than his 100% effort.

This wasn’t a max effort.

It was the least amount of effort to win. What Froning did better than anyone is he made his 80% better than everyone else’s 100%. And, this, my friends, is how Rich Froning became the fittest man in the world. 

Since you likely don’t have the goal to become the fittest man or woman on the planet, there’s a lesson in here for all of us and it all comes down to breath. You see, you have specific gears in your body for exertion and, not surprisingly, the breath is the most direct connection of control of our autonomic nervous system and subsequently the control of these gears.

If you can control your breath, you can control your gears. 

When you are revving your engine at its highest capacity (whatever that means to you), you will naturally be required to breathe in and out of your mouth. Conversely, whether you do it or not, the lowest output gear (like the one required to read this sentence) is best done while breathing in and out of your nose. 

The best way for you to try on the Rich-Froning-approach to making your 80% more capable in the gym is to build more capacity while breathing in your nose. If you can do tomorrow breathing in your nose what you could only do breathing in your mouth today, you’re not only getting fitter, you’re subjecting yourself to less stress in the process!

You can start this today and it can change your life and your performance. You will always have your highest (mouth-breathing) gear, but the future of your best self isn’t just being able to do more work. It’s going to be about what you can make look easy.

7/13/23 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP

Complete 4 rounds
of the following:
8 Suitcase Bulgarian Split Squats
10 Single Arm DB Incline
Bench Press (each)
40 Yard Bottom Up KB Carry

5 rounds
In :60
40 Double Unders
Max Sumo Deadlifts (185/135)
-Rest 2 Min-



Complete 2 rounds for quality of:
10 Tempo Half Kneeling Med Ball Scoop Tosses – Left
10 Tempo Half Kneeling Med Ball Scoop Tosses – Right
12 Standing KB Around The World – Left
12 Standing KB Around The World – Right

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:
4 1-Arm DB Push Presses + 8 1-Arm DB Push Jerks – Left
4 1-Arm DB Push Presses + 8 1-Arm DB Push Jerks – Right
20 Plate Curls

Then, AMRAP 4
21 Thrusters (105/75)
200m Run
15 Toes-To-Bar
-Rest 3 Min-

Complete the following for time:
AMRAP score