Three years ago, 25-year-old Rich Fronning, Jr., and 22-year-old Annie Thorsdottir would have never guessed they’d be crowned the Fittest Man and Fittest Woman in the World at the 2011 CrossFit Games. When they returned to defend their titles in 2012, they easily remained on top of the world, ending the three-day event with a combined lead of 199 points over their runner-ups. And just to think, in early 2009, neither had even set foot inside a CrossFit “Box” (that’s “gym” to the rest of us).
Take a cue from Fronning and Thorsdottir’s playbook and apply their fitness expertise to your own workout routine. We caught up with the two repeat champs last month in Manhattan at the grand opening of Reebok’s Fifth Avenue store—complete with a 10,000-square-foot CrossFit “Box” downstairs—and asked for their best training advice, whether you do CrossFit or not. Here’s what they had to say.
Keep It Fresh
“One of the great things about CrossFit is that you learn so many skills, it’s hard to get bored even when you’re working the same muscles,” says Fronning, who played baseball growing up in Tennessee. “When I was younger, I wish my coach had us do more functional movements like cleans, deadlifts, and squats rather than just repeat the same old body-building moves (like bicep curls) that isolated muscle but didn’t actually prepare us to play,” says the champ, who’s eyeballing another set of Games in the near future. Fronning’s aiming to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team for weightlifting.
But functional movements don’t just make you better at CrossFit—they improve your overall athleticism…
Read more: Men’s Health