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Number 1 and Number 2: A Day of Training by Sevan Matossian - CrossFit Journal

In Athletes, CrossFit Games, HD Videos

July 20, 2011

Video Article

Find out how 2010 Games champion Graham Holmberg and second-place finisher Rich Froning Jr. are training for the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games. At the Rogue Fitness training center in Columbus, Ohio, and CrossFit Cookeville at Tennessee Tech University, Sevan Matossian captures these two elite athletes preparing themselves for the mental and physical battles they are soon to encounter.

Reminiscing on his experiences last year, Froning says, “You can look at it like I lost or you can look at it like he won, and either way the outcome is he won. There’s not much you can do about it, and I can’t change anything about it.”

To prepare for this year’s Games, Froning says his game plan is simple: “Train as hard as I can. That’s what I’m going to do, and that’s what I have been doing.”

Reigning champion Holmberg confronts criticism about his performance and obscurity over the past year. He says the Open was a “lose-lose situation” for him—if he did well, people expected it, but if he did poorly, people would question his capability. Holmberg finished 37th overall in the Open, and he didn’t compete in a regional event.

Both athletes say they are ready for the Home Depot Center and July 29. They analyze their own past performances and that of their peers, sizing up the competition.

“We’ll see what happens when we get to the Games,” Holmberg says. “That’s all that really matters.”

1hr 3min 49sec

HD file size: 2.27 GB
SD wmv file size: 763 MB
SD mov file size: 669 MB

Please note: These files are larger than normal Journal videos. For smoother viewing, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Fittest on Earth by Mike Warkentin, published July 28, 2010.

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34 Comments on “Number 1 and Number 2: A Day of Training”


wrote …

(Pause Video) Now, this is the stuff I wnat to see. Great Job!!!!!!!!!


wrote …

I love Journal pieces like this. Great video Sevan! Anyone know where I could get that Rogue Fitness wallpaper Graham has on his Mac?


wrote …

Only 4 hours until the download is complete. Gotta love Hotel WIFI. Oh well, as with all of Sevans videos, it is well worth the wait!


wrote …

is anyone having trouble downloading the HD file?


wrote …

Awesome work as usual, Sevan. Nice to see some light shine on Graham. He is no joke. The main reason he's not on anyone's top 3 is we never get to watch him like this. Wish these guys articulated more in some of their answers but what wasn't captured with words so well is often captured through the imagery. Awesome.


wrote …

I eat PB&J the same way Rich. It's awesome.


Jonathan Bundy wrote …

Awesome soundtrack. Third Day, Lecrae, etc


wrote …

This video in no way validates Graham's win last year. His win last year validates itself! The guy was the fittest man on the planet last year. He was able to do what no one else could. All the what if bullshit is old. Rich did not deserve to win last year the guy who wins deserves to win. Nothing against Rich the guy is a beast, he worked on the one weakness and stands a great chance to take the title this year. Graham is a better man than I. I would be mohter f'in all the critics on the video. Good luck Graham (the fittest man on the planet). P.S.Great way to end the video.


Dane Thomas wrote …

Interesting observations that Graham made regarding Dan Bailey vs. Miko. Sure, Dan may be more open to suggestion regarding taking on anything that Graham throws his way, but he also has much more to prove than Miko does.

What some may interpret as a reluctance on the part of Miko to expose weakness might also be interpreted as a greater priority on stricter oversight and control of his training modalities, dosage and recovery. It may not be as exciting, but it is my observation that that kind of maturity of purpose is often associated with lower injury rates and more steady, sustainable progress.


wrote …

Graham really went up a notch in my book. He seems like a very educated and down to earth kind of guy. I believe he is the one who took crossfit to a new level with his sick skills. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if he won again because he has been exposed to moves no one else have even tried. That was one of the main reasons behind his win last year in my opinion.
Froning Jr seems to be doing long CFFB workouts. Powerful lifts over and over again. If the format continues to go more towards the glycolytic pathway/work demand, he is going to crash it.
However, well done Sevan, good luck to everyone.


wrote …

i think one of the main reasons people haven't talked about graham winning again or even being on the podium is that we haven't seen or heard much about him all year. there were a couple things there after the games but that was about it. we constantly hear about and see videos of mikko, froning, bailey, etc...i'll be the first to say that prior to this video i thought graham had a small engine. it's good to be reminded that the games really are always up in the air.


wrote …

Great stuff as usual Sevan. This is a really interesting look at these 2 great athletes/men. What was most interesting to me was-and I know it's cliché but-Rich has the "eye of the tiger" and seems incredibly focused and hungry. Graham on the other hand, it seems like the title that he so rightfully earned last year has become an incredible cross to bear. The weight of it seems to far outweigh the 155# bar he was C&J'ing.

I'm so looking forward to these guys compete and tear it up. They seem like incredibly classy individuals (as is the case with so many of the top athletes) and I wish them nothing but the best of luck.


wrote …

One other thing...

Why is Rich referred to as "The Tin Man"? I would take this to mean that he has no heart, but I would think that couldn't be any further from the truth.

Just wondering.


wrote …

The guy at CF Regionals at the Reebok HQ said Rich lacks heart. Thus the title of "Tin man" for every wod.

I've both been around Graham and Dan in person, met with them, talked with them, way back in 2009 before they were "big" in the CF comm. Classy guys all around, who both know what it takes to win. Graham knows what he is doing and will be top 3 again this year. With Dan #1. But even better is they are not doing it just for themselves...they serve a higher purpose - to give glory and honor to the One who gave them their abilities. To me, they've already won... Wishing them both the best again...


These guys are amazing and inspirational.
- Both have a great chance. I am anxious to see them both compete

-- how about a similar vid for 3 & 4, I'd love to see this sort of thing with Speal and Chan. Also strong contenders!

PB&J outta a bowl, eh? Never seen that, but I like the idea!


wrote …

has anyone been able to download the HD file? my computer is not recognizing it as a video file.


wrote …



wrote …

It's crazy what's required to compete at the top level. Seems pretty impossible for anyone other than someone employed by a gym (owns a gym/box) or independently wealthy.

Also, I wonder what the long-term consequences for health and longevity are for that kinda volume of intense training? Seems like all that cell destruction and regrowth has to have consequences down the line.

Still awesome to watch. I love Sevan's subtle trolling, i.e. asking the questions that we, as viewers, really want to know rather than typical stuff. I love these insights into the character of these men as well.

Also, all those unbroken 135 lbs squat snatches were unbelievable. Gonna be hard to beat Froning this year.


Mauricio Leal wrote …

After watching this, I'm still trying to decide if Rich is a monster who's going to help redefine what the human body is capable of, or just a supreme CFFB athlete who will get brought down to size in more endurance-based WODs at the Finals. I'm leaning towards the former.


wrote …

nice video! very well done!


wrote …

Steven - Great idea. I would like to 2nd the proposal to see a "3 & 4" video with Speal and Chan. Epic!

These two athletes are so impressive. I don't understand all of the disrespect paid to Graham. I watched the 2010 games again, and the dude was in the lead or in contention from the beginning.

Predictions are silly. The results are as unknown as the events themselves.


replied to comment from Jonathan Bundy

Awesome indeed, beats and a message


wrote …

amazing...watching these 2 guys really motivates me to work a little harder today


wrote …

Thank you Sevan. Brilliant.


wrote …

Either way you slice it Graham is The Winner of the 2010 Games. Even if he had lost the final he still beat everyone below him (2nd place) . He came prepard and being part of the Top 10 at the games is an amazing thing to do for anyone. He is awesome and with the level of Athletes this year and years to come, it will be anyones year.


wrote …

Handicapping CrossFit has to be one of the most worthless exercises this side of a lat raise. Don't believe me? See CF Games champion 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010...

And if it were only just handicapping, ok, no harm there. However, in order to make a point for sake of the argument I constantly see many hard working, solid people thrown under the bus, and for what?

All Rich and Graham want to do is work hard and perform well each and every day. Same goes for any one of the men and women who qualified for the Games this year. In fact, same goes for you and me I'd suspect.

I'm not posting to sound like anyone's conscious here but let's appreciate these athletes for who they are and how hard they work and let the chips fall where they may come next weekend.


wrote …

Awesome video.
That facility Froning trains in is fantastic - my university's gym was in a converted squash court!


wrote …

Started loading the movie and at 10 minutes in noticed it was actually an hour long... made my fkn week :) Sevan, your work is awesome. Every second counts is 3 years old now and it keeps getting better, *applause*.

And about the two athletes... the capacity of sustaining 5 workouts a day and more for weeks and months and punching out squat snatches in the middle of it like that... I knew wild stuff was possible, but if this wasn't on film, I'd call bulls#it.


wrote …

First comment I've left on any Journal piece in 2.5 years, and my comment has been mentioned above. All of the predictions are tiring, but I can understand why the questions are being asked. As a onlooker, I can say that there are a bunch of great guys in the upper eschalon of Crossfit athletes. Graham, your performance last year was outstanding, and I'll be pulling for you this year. I love your presence in the video, very telling of your personality. Good luck to all athletes, I'm excited to watch.


wrote …

What is the first song Graham is playing? Sounds like some kind of crossover metal.


wrote …

This video is pure motivation! Awesome to see two fierce competitors in their own rights not bashing on anyone else!!!


wrote …

what type of jam would work best in the peanut butter?


wrote …

I have watched this almost 10 times now. Still the best video on here.


wrote …

Successfully Download you video, and I am now watching ...

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