Skip to main content

Captain CrossFit Talks CrossFit

So we heard that Captain CrossFit himself, Seth Rollins, was pretty steamed over not making it to the top five of our recent survey on the best bodies in wrestling today. After all, not only does he rock a six-pack that would make Channing Tatum blush, he routinely pulls off spectacular athletic feats that perhaps only a handful of wrestlers in the world today can do, like his awesome twisting Phoenix Splash for example.

Rollins is a huge CrossFit fanatic who's been a cover boy for "The Box," one of the more popular CrossFit publications out there.

Of course, we all know Seth is on a head-on collision course with "The Beast Incarnate" Brock Lesnar at Battleground this weekend, and Brock is no pencil-neck geek himself, to put it mildly.

And so the reigning WWE World Heavyweight Champion sat down with our buddies over at Men's Journal to talk a little bit about CrossFit, why it's so great for him, and why he feels it gives him a unique advantage in the ring today.


Do you think old school "pumping iron" is getting outdated?

I think it's a little antiquated, especially considering the evolution of professional wrestling. If you look at the wrestlers in the '80s and '90s compared to what we do today, I think training in that lifestyle is just asking for injuries. Using limited range of motion to move light weights a bunch of times just to get a pump so you're aesthetically pleasing, I feel like you're begging to hurt.

In the ring, we move so fast. We take so many more bumps than those guys did, and we do so much more high-risk stuff. We're athletes now. We're not cartoon characters anymore. To do what I do 250–300 nights a year, if I didn't train like this, I wouldn't be able to do what I do at this level. So for me, yes, I think bodybuilding is slowly drifting out as a placeholder for athletic training, and I think, slowly but surely, people are understanding that they have to train functionally to do this well for a long time.

Rollins knows rowing.
What makes CrossFit so perfect for wrestling?

The only experience I have to go off is what I do. I know the New Orleans Saints have started to use CrossFit a little bit. For me, it's tailored specifically for what we do. The intensity level is constant and high, and there's variables you can't foresee in our in-ring action. And having to work at a high level while you're under duress is something we're accustomed to, sotraining like that really helps us. It carries over very well into the ring.

When you get down to it, what it’s doing is teaching movement patterns and the intuitive patterns we use in our physicality on a daily basis. A power clean is nothing more than a deadlift and a jumping movement, and those are two things you do every day. If you drop something on the ground, bend over to pick it up—that’s a deadlift. If you’re an athlete, you’re gonna jump in some way, so CrossFit teachers patterns that are seen not only in sports but in life. And they do a good job trying to teach these things.

135-pound front lunges. We crei.
How does a CrossFit regimen help reinforce your motivation?

For me, there's no other way to train these days. I love the intensity. I think that’s the one thing that separates me from a lot of the other guys in our regimen. I train with intensity and focus. There’s never a day where I’m going through the motions. If I’m doing that, I may as well be taking a day off. And for me, CrossFit takes all the elements of fitness that I want to focus on and mashes them into an intense workout. That helps me stay on track and have fun at the gym, too, which is a big part of wanting to go in there and putting in the work.

This is why Seth looks so good raising the WWE Championship up high.
Has CrossFit essentially become its own separate passion for you?

I would say so. Before I discovered CrossFit, I was really just doing regular bodybuilding, didn't understand athletic training and movements. I didn’t even know how to squat, necessarily. I just knew I wanted to get bigger and train for a pump and all that stuff, but I found myself getting hurt a lot, and it was boring. Once I found CrossFit, I started to enjoy fitness, and once my body adapted and I started to become more mobile, it was a game changer as far as injuries were concerned.

So it definitely has become a passion of mine. I enjoy being in the gym and sweating and watching other people push themselves. It's nice to have two different passions instead of focusing all your energy on one.

We wish we could rock short shorts like Seth.
When you're slightly older and less mobile, will CrossFit be able to adapt to you?

The beautiful thing about it is anyone can do it. There’s people in my gym who are upwards of 50 and 60 who are doing CrossFit and are as healthy as they’ve ever been. As I get older and my body wears down a little bit, I'll have to modify what I'm doing, but at the same time, there are some power-lifters well into their 50s who are still pulling 700 pounds. I hope I'll be able to continue that for a long time. The cool thing about CrossFit is the scalability of it.

You call these kettlebells? Seth calls these breakfast.


What do you think, fellow smarks? Could CrossFit be Seth Rollins' biggest secret weapon against the Beast himself at Battleground? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Trending This Week

#FinisherFriday (3/27/20): What's Worse Than A Coup de Grace?

How WWE Wrestling Rings Are Made

The Grapevine (3/27/20): Reign Another Day

Ruthless Roundtable: WWE WrestleMania 36

#FinisherFriday: The Science of the Stinkface