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Rich Froning says CrossFit is best workout: Talks injuries and high-protein diet

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CrossFit champions Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa say CrossFit is the best workout for strength and conditioning, the Sudsbury Star reported.

“If you start CrossFit, you’re going to get into the best shape of your life. Period," said Khalipa, who finished third at the 2014 CrossFit Games. "There’s no better program on the planet."

"Agreed," said Rich Froning, who has won the CrossFit Games for the past four years. In response to recent reports linking CrossFit to repetitive stress injuries, Froning said CrossFit can be scaled to any level of fitness, and that proper technique minimizes injuries.

Rich Froning is riding high after winning the 2014 CrossFit Games and has eased back on his workout schedule a bit now that he has retired from individual competition to focus on team sports. Froning, who used to do up to seven workouts a day spread out over 10 hours, said he now enjoys going CrossFit to stay in shape rather than approaching it as a job.

While most people would expect Froning to be super-strict about his diet, he's actually fairly laid-back about what he eats. Surprisingly, Rich doesn't follow the Paleo diet, which is the diet of choice among CrossFitters. “A lot of people who do CrossFit eat a strict Paleo diet, but I don’t subscribe to any specific way of eating," said Froning. "I'm not Paleo at all.”

The 5-foot-9 Froning, who weighs 175 pounds, said he eats whatever meals his wife Hillary makes, or they go out to eat. "I’m not real picky and at that point, since I usually haven’t eaten a lot and have been working out all day, food is food," he said. "Sometimes it’s not that healthy, but I try not to be ridiculous."

Froning's diet is typically low-carb and high-protein since he's not a fan of bread or pasta. Rich drinks lots of milk, protein shakes and eats big spoonfuls of peanut butter every day. He also consumes up to two pounds of bacon a week.

Rich said he does not use steroids, insisting back-breaking hard work is behind his incredible success. "I don’t take them," he told Men's Fitness. "I work my butt off. And I think people who accuse other people of using, they could be jealous, or just lazy. They can’t imagine doing the work that it takes. We’re also tested regularly too. People say, 'Oh, you can fake a test easily,' but I don’t know how to do it, so it can’t be that easy.”

Froning was recently named captain of a team of top CrossFit athletes who will compete in the first-ever CrossFit Team Series, which kicks off later this month. Rich is looking forward to the camaraderie of team sports and to having more free time to spend with his family.

Froning, who pocketed $275,000 for winning the 2014 CrossFit Games, recently signed a lucrative long-term endorsement contract with Reebok, sponsor of the CrossFit Games. He's happy to have made the sacrifices necessary to secure his win, but is looking forward to have more free time, especially now that he's a dad.

While he's officially retired from individual competition, he prefers the term "switching gears" to retirement, and insists he'll remain on the CrossFit scene for years to come. "We just adopted a baby girl and I don’t to want to let other things sacrifice that," he said. "I’ve made a good living for what I’ve done so far. But I want to have some fun on a team. I grew up a team sport guy and I want to try that aspect of it."

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