Train with Rich Froning Weekend Review

train with rich

I attended the first Train with Rich weekend session of 2017. In this post, I will outline the flow of the weekend to hopefully give you more confidence to make the decision on whether you should spend the $1,000 it costs to participate.

I wanted to go because I have been watching Rich compete for five years mainly through online videos, the CrossFit open, Regionals, and Games’ events. I admire how he approaches the sport, and I wanted the chance to see it firsthand. I was also looking to get a few important training tips to take with me. Lastly, I love training. I knew this would be a great weekend where I could indulge in a weekend of all CrossFit.

What I Got out of Train with Rich Weekend:
  1. I need to make time for more aerobic interval work. Do aerobic work as a warm-up to help fit it into your workout. Tools or movements to use include rower, bike, or ski erg. Pair burpees with them sometimes. Always include a work / rest component. Feel free to vary the work to rest ratio.
  2. Make time for barbell cycling. This is simple and quick but effective for CrossFit training. Cycling clean and jerks or snatches at a moderate weight (135/95) is a good way to work on building touch work capacity.
  3. Train with other people and make it fun.
  4. The best part was the experience training alongside Rich. One of the ways I learned how to snatch was through watching Rich’s perfect technique. During the weekend, It was cool to work up to a heavy single for snatch and clean and jerk right next to him.  My technique is certainly not perfect but being able to weightlift next to him proves I have come a long way.

What Were the Workouts? 

As promised there is a lot of working out. Whether you are new to CrossFit or have experience CrossFit training, the volume will be satisfying. For reference, I CrossFit five days a week mostly following the competitor programming at CrossFit Southie. Now to the workouts we did:

Friday Night Session

Warm-Up/Aerobic Training Partner Style
  1. Row 250 meters until you reach 5,000 meters.
  2. Immediately after rowing 250 meters, do 10 burpees until you reach 100 each.
Partner Style Barbell Conditioning – I think I was told this was a consistent workout for previous Train with Rich Froning weekends.
  • 5 mins of snatches at 135 with a partner
  • Another partner group goes
  • 5 mins of clean and jerks
  • Another partner group goes

Those were the Friday night workouts. I think we left the gym around 7:30 that night. Overall, I got a lot out of this first night. I learned the importance of aerobic interval training, and I really pushed myself during the barbell conditioning session because a few of Rich’s training partners jumped in with me and my friend. That definitely help push me harder than I usually push.

Saturday Morning Sessions

I was told they often go to the track for a workout in the morning; however, we did not because of the weather. We started with a little more than an hour aerobic session. This was partner style and included rowing, ski erg, assault bike, and sled pushing. This was a useful workout for me because I don’t always train with all three (rower, ski erg, and assult bike) at once. Also, sled pushing is something I don’t usually make time for.
workout #1

Again this workout took over an hour. We rested five minutes after spending fifteen minutes at each station. One partner would row, bike, or erg 25 cals then the other partner would go. If it was a sled push, the numbers referred to the number of plates we had on the sled for each 30 yard push.

Next was by far my favorite part of the weekend. In part because I really enjoy olympic lifts. We worked up to a heavy single for the snatch then the clean and jerk. We added ten pounds every time and worked in teams of six to eight. I ended up, not on the same barbell as Rich, but right next to him. It was a memorable experience to complete an olympic lifting session next to Rich Froning. One of the ways I learned how to snatch was through watching him do it…a lot.

After working up to a heavy 1RM for the snatch and clean & jerk, we broke for lunch. When we returned we did a Q&A session with Rich for an hour. You can ask him any questions you want.

Saturday Afternoon Session

After Q&A, we warmed up and did a fun chipper:
workout 2

We then played handball for about an hour before eating BBQ and heading out for the day. At these parts of the weekend, Rich is definitely available. You can approach him and ask any questions you might have that you don’t want to ask during the Q&A.

We ended up leaving CrossFit Mayhem around 5:30-6PM feeling very satisfied with all the workouts we got in. That said, I think they could have added a strength or accessory session into the flow of Saturday.

Sunday Morning Session

We met back up again at 9AM. The day started with a short bible study led by one of Rich’s friends. Overall this was valuable for me. I felt they kept it short enough where if you really aren’t into it, it goes by quick. Regardless of the religion you associate with, the message was definitely useful. Following the bible study, was another hour Q&A session.

Then we finished the day with two 20 minute partner AMRAPs. We rested five minutes between each one. These were fun and also very challenging. Being sore from the weekend already, these AMRAPs helped improve on how I perform in workouts when I am already a bit sore and tired. This is a good thing to practice if you are interested in competing because most competitions take place over two days and/or have multiple workouts in one day.  Another really effective part of their metcons is we always built in 5 minutes between workouts. Here we had five minutes between AMRAPs, and yesterday we rested 5 minutes before switching stations. We also had rest built in before going back down for the second metcon of Saturday.
Overall, I was really happy with the weekend and felt like it was worth the cost. I got a few training tips, I got better as a CrossFit athlete, and got to lift weights alongside the fittest man in history. Now, I will outline a few things that I believe could have been better.
  • Make an advanced track: The 30 or so people there fell into a wide range from beginner to advanced. I was definitely more toward the advanced track. I love CrossFit because anyone can do it and working out alongside all abilities is rewarding. That said, they could consider setting up an advanced track where only more skilled CrossFitters attend. As a result, they can insert more volume, strength,  and high skill stuff throughout the weekend. This will help those advanced CrossFitters who attend hoping to get better, become even better.
  • Include the group when programming: Each time a met-con was programmed throughout the weekend, Rich and his team would group up to figure out what we were going to do. I believe they could have included the group when they brainstorm programming. This could be a way to teach people how they think about programming.
  • More instruction for newer folks and cuing for advanced people. There was limited coaching going on throughout the weekend. I get that it is not the main focus since the title of it is Train with Rich. I think working in some coaching and cueing is manageable.
  • 1 or 2 free months of What’s Rich Doing: All who sign up should receive a free month or two of What’s Rich Doing programming. This further gives insight into what he’s doing to people who attend the weekend and it is good for Rich + team because it will increase chances of signing up.
  • Make photos available: Throughout the weekend a few different folks took pictures of us. They should make these available to us somewhere such as Facebook or a Google Drive.
Over, I got value out of the Train with Rich weekend and look forward to applying what a learned to my training for the Open.