Competition was steep at the 2014 Central East Regionals. Notable CrossFit athletes such as Rich Froning, Scott Panchik, and Graham Holmberg were among those fighting for a top-three finish that would secure a spot at the 2014 Games. Will Moorad knew who he was up against. But he believed in his training. He believed in his plan. He believed in himself. With merely a 1-point lead over 2010 Games Champion Graham Holmberg, Will qualified for the 2014 CrossFit Games. CrossFit HQ dubbed him the “Third Man in the Central East,” and the CrossFit community took notice of the former soccer player with enviable hair.

Will finished 14th at his first Games appearance. Now, nearly a year later, he’s looking to return to Carson this July. But first – the Central Regionals. And Rich Froning’s exit from individual competition this year means there are some big shoes to be filled.

But Will is focusing on other things at the moment. “We just bought a house,” he says when I ask him what he’s been up to. “We close on the 15th!”


It’s been a busy year for Will. In December 2014, Will opened CrossFit Rigged, an affiliate in Brentwood, TN that he owns with his two partners – former NFL linebacker Ryan Fowler and Fitness Management expert Josh Wilkins.

“Believe it or not, the most arduous part of opening our affiliate was coming up with the name. We kept submitting name after name, and we kept being told those names were taken. We’d probably sent in 20 names before we found out Rigged was available,” says Will.

I ask Will what he enjoys the most about being an affiliate owner. “The initial contact,” he says. “People walk into the box, and they have a certain expectation of what CrossFit is. They think it’s all about lifting heavy weights and coaches yelling at you. I like being able to show them what we really do. What CrossFit is really about.”

Programming is mostly handled by his partner Ryan. “Our programming is thoughtful. We really consider our members. Most people aren’t aiming to get to the Games. They’re just trying to get better. We want to create a comfortable environment where people can thrive.”

MooradWhen I mention to Will that it seems top athletes are drawn to pain while others, like me, shy away from it, he recommends a book that he’s been using for his own training – The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow.

“I felt prepared at the Games last year, but this year I’m smarter. I know myself better,” Will says. “This book talks about how it’s important to remind yourself that you’ve been here before. You’ve felt the pain and you survived. It’s helped me.”


I ask if his experience at the Games has changed any of his training methods. “Not really,” Will says. “What I did last year was effective. This year it’s like perfecting your art. Pacing. Strength. Fine tuning.”

And you can’t be a bystander at Rigged. “I drag people into workouts with me,” says Will.

Of all his endeavors, you can tell Will is most proud of his affiliate. So, what does he hope to teach his staff and his members? What does he want them to take away from the Rigged experience?

“I hope they’re inspired to learn. About themselves. About the world. I want them hungry to learn about their profession and how to become better coaches. I hope they learn the value of kindness. Mostly, I want them to be happy. You should feel excited every time you walk in the gym.”

Jennifer C HeadshotJennifer Charles is a member of CrossFit Talon in Franklin, TN. She shares her daily elation and frustration with the Sport of Fitness on her blog,  Facebook:  Twitter:  Instagram:

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