For the past year and a half, Froning has been practicing intermittent fasting and eats all of his meals between 12:30 and 8:30pm, which gives him an eight-hour eating window and a 16-hour daily fast. He says that in the time he has been following the diet he has noticed it make a marked improvement on his health. "I've found that it actually helps a lot with my inflammation, and it's increased my testosterone in about six months," says Froning.
But as well as his health, Froning says intermittent fasting has also had a major impact on the quality of his training sessions. Before he adopted his new diet scheme, Froning says he would struggle to eat regularly enough to fuel his twice-daily workouts, but with intermittent fasting, the four-time CrossFit Games champion is able to power through sessions.
"I just generally feel better [while intermittent fasting]. The problem I used to have is that I would eat in the morning, get busy training, and then maybe I'd have a shake or two throughout the day, but I wouldn't really eat anything. Then, at night, I would just kind of eat a larger meal or two, but by my second training session, I was usually kind of beat up or worn down," says Froning.
"This actually makes me eat twice in our break [between training sessions] that we usually take from about 1pm to 3:30pm, so I feel way better by the time we train again in the afternoon instead of feeling rundown and depleted.
The science definitely supports Froning's experience. A review article published by John Hopkins University concluded that intermittent fasting could boost physical performance and detailed how men who fasted for 16 hours were able to lose fat while maintaining muscle. The study subjects also saw improvements in cognitive performance, cardiovascular health and limiting tissue damage.
Having been competing for over a decade, it's understandable that Froning's training may have felt stale a few years ago, but, he says, his new diet strategy has given him the impetus to keep competing and to keep crushing workouts, just like this intense WOD he recently shared with us. "You know, I kind of hit not a lull, but I kind of felt stuck two or three years ago," Froning says, "but this has actually helped. It makes me feel way better."
Rich Froning Jr is a Theragun athlete. Theragun are world leaders in the field of percussive therapy; devices start from £229.
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