One of my great passions is studying the advice of the world’s most successful. Today, I want to cover the domain of fitness and athleticism.
Although a new sport, Crossfit has taken over the nation as a groundbreaking training program, gym service, and sport. Tens of thousands tune in every year to watch the Crossfit Games. Athletes compete to be crowned the “Fittest in the World”.
8 Lessons I’ve Learnt From the World’s Fittest Man
I want to share with you the top lessons I learned from Rich Fronning’s book ‘First: What It Takes to Win‘. He is widely regarded as the best Cross-fitter of all time in the short several years of the sports existence.
He won back-to-back three years in a row and came in 2nd place the first time he competed, a feat no one has come close to.
1. Learn Work Ethic Through Example and Company
Rich developed his work ethic not from someone lecturing him, but by modeling his parents. His parents taught by example instead of by instruction. They worked endlessly and rarely sat down to relax.
2. Get Around Competitive People If You Want To Be Competitive
When Rich was young, he had over thirty five first cousins – on just his mother’s side. Family reunions were a natural grounds for competition. He and his cousins competed on everything, from video games to sports. It stoked his competitive fires.
3. Don’t Be Intimidated. View Yourself With The Same Lens You View Others
The first time Rich competed in the Crossfit Games, he was intimidated by everyone else who showed up.
The same reaction replayed during the Regionals and Sectionals.
He saw everyone there as physical specimens and he thought he didn’t belong there. Yet every time, he took home first place by a wide margin. He realized that he was not viewing himself in the same lens he views others.
Nowadays, people say he has a monstrous appearance worth admiring. But he says he was only ten pounds lighter before he began training to be a world-class competitor. The lesson is to not count yourself out. Give yourself the self-worth you deserve.
4. There’s Always Tragedy Happening, But Trust In God
Rich worked as a fireman for many years after he graduated college.
During the job, he learned that there was always a fire going on somewhere. No matter how peaceful or quiet it was, he realized there was always something amazing or tragic going on out there in the world. It changed him to see young, innocent people die.
He finally reasoned that God has a better plan for all of this, even if it seems tragic in the moment.
5. Not Having A Meltdown Means More Than Winning
Crossfit is about endurance across a variety of taxing physical exercises. Rich realized during his competitive days that to win, it isn’t about coming out first in every workout.
It’s about sticking among the top people for most of the exercises. It’s similar to a Triathlon or Decathlon in a way where it’s the average score of all your activities that matters.
Therefore, if you don’t have a meltdown and screw up completely in an exercise, you’re on your way to being a winner.
6. Use Your Failures As Motivation Fuel
Rich placed second in his first ever Crossfit Games.
But he was devastated because he had failed the last competition because he didn’t know proper rope climbing technique and couldn’t climb the rope in the last event. He had lost by just three points because he was unprepared.
Had he known, he would have easily been first.
However, this failure motivated him beyond belief. Some people say he would have won four years back-to-back if it wasn’t for the rope climb event. Looking back, he says he would not have won any if it wasn’t for the rope event.
It was the devastation of coming in second place that drove him to train and win so many times later on.
7. Have A Purpose Bigger Than Yourself
Later on in Rich’s life, he didn’t like where he had gone. His friends and mentors asked him, “Why do you do what you do?” and “Would you go to heaven if you died now?”
And he didn’t have good answers. It put him in the longest period of self-reflection in his life.
He only prayed for his selfish reasons. And he didn’t like the legacy he was leaving because it was just about his achievements. By having a purpose beyond yourself, you are more motivated and work harder and longer.
Because of this revelation, he returned to his faith in Christianity. The stories he had read in the Bible in his childhood actually had meaning.
Later on, when he competed in the Games, his purpose of promoting his faith served as a key motivator to keep him going when he was mentally and physically drained.
8. Have A Definitive, Specific Goal
Rich didn’t have any fancy routines or secret processes for his success.
He would often choose workouts purely on feel.
However, he did notice that there was a difference between people who stuck with Crossfit and those who gave up on the sport when they signed up.
Those who stuck with it always had a specific goal they were after, whether it was completing a workout under a certain time, lifting a certain amount, or looking a certain way.
Here’s a recap on the lessons I learned from the fittest man in the world:
- Learn Work Ethic Through Example and Company
- Get Around Competitive People If You Want To Be Competitive
- Don’t Be Intimidated. View Yourself With The Same Lens You View Others
- There’s Always Tragedy Happening, But Trust In God
- Not Having A Meltdown Means More Than Winning
- Use Your Failures As Motivation Fuel
- Have A Purpose Bigger Than Yourself
- Have A Definitive, Specific Goal