FRONING: Fittest Man In History ~ Movie Review



You may be wondering why on earth Young Catholic Mums would be reviewing this movie??

Let me tell you.

Recently my husband and I watched this documentary. It was a weeknight, we felt like watching something – there was NOTHING but trash on TV (as usual right?) and my husband wanted to watch it, so I figured why not – at the very least I will earn some brownie points.

But I must say, I was pleasantly surprised, and for a number of reasons.

Firstly, let me give a brief description of the overall premise of the movie:

Rich Froning Jnr, star athlete and highly competitive youngest, takes on the CrossFit Games. After placing second in 2010, he goes on to win 3 consecutive championships, a feat no other athlete has accomplished. The documentary follows his attempt at making a fourth win and the challenges that go along with that. It looks into his upbringing, his previous accomplishments and the current state of his family life; getting married and starting a family.


It starts off with them painting a picture of the type of guy Rich Froning is. They interview friends, family, his wife etc. I must say it was refreshing to hear their descriptions – there was so much emphasis on how he was “such a dude” ” a real boy” “he was into guy stuff” -you know, that type of language which is now deemed offensive. It was refreshing!

His parents were traditional, they raised him with manners, to be hard working and to work around the house. He was hyper – perhaps ADHD – but as his Father said, they chose to “channel that” rather than let it hold him back.  What did they get? An extremely determined, hard working boy – with a great attitude.

One of the most pleasantly surprising things about this movie, in fact the main reason why I was inspired to write this review, was that it actually had a pro-life message.

Wasn’t expecting that, right?

Part way through the movie, the married couple decide to share their struggles with fertility, and here we also learn they are Christians. His wife Hilary shared that “God put it on their hearts to adopt”. After three years of trying to conceive, they began the adoption process. Three weeks before the birth of the child, the previous adoptive family pull out – and Hilary and Rich get the call, “they are going to be parents.”

They share the beautiful first moments on camera with their new baby. The birth mother has 10 days to renege her choice to give up her child. So when the hour struck, when the baby became truly theirs, a beautiful thing happened.

*Spoiler Alert*

As the couple sat together on the couch gazing at their bundle, Rich starts to speak. He goes on to explain that the mother of this child was going to abort her baby, she even went to an abortion clinic, but someone changed her mind. Then, Rich, this guy who appeared to be so manly, is brought to tears. He looks straight into the camera and says “Thank you.” Thank you for choosing life. He then thanks all the mothers who have chosen to adopt out their babies rather than “go the other way.” And then as if coming out of a trance, he looks almost surprised at himself for saying all that, as it was so clearly unplanned. My husband and I were both in tears!! It was so beautiful! Hard to describe, and I don’t want to spoil it either by repeating it all word for word. I was just so impressed that they chose to include this in the movie when they really didn’t have to, especially in today’s society.

In addition to this, he speaks of how he rediscovered his faith and how that changed him. And above all living life for God’s glory rather than his own.

So I really urge you to sit and watch this one with your hubby. If he is a sporto, I am sure he will happily oblige!

Not only did it have this moment but it was actually an entertaining, impressive and inspiring movie! This guy had incredible skills! All of the men competing to be CrossFit champion displayed some unbelievable versatility, strength and stamina. It was an enjoyable movie all around!

Note: While for the most part, this is a family movie – and swearing etc was kept to a minimum (I actually really appreciated Rich’s attempts to avoid any kind of cursing by replacing his phrases with things less offensive) I will warn there may be one or two swear words by some of his companions – – just in case you were planning on watching it with the kids!


Filed Under: FeaturedMovie ReviewsReviews

About the Author: Mother of 4 beautiful girls and a beautiful boy. Founder of the website and dedicated stay-at-home-mum. "My inspiration for the website was to create a platform for Catholic Mums to be able to connect with each other for support and to facilitate growth. I wanted a safe place to share thoughts on different family issues, with an underlying Catholic value system."

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