April 5, 2013
Frenemies: Chris Patterson and Rob Silver
By Lauryn Lax

Rob Silver and Chris Patters are each other's best friend and worst enemy. 

Photo by: Christy Levya


Photo by: Chris Walters


Photo by: Cisco Meno


Photo by: Christy Levya


Photo by: Chris Walters


Landscape photo by: Chris Walters


One of the best things about CrossFit is the friendly competition it breeds, often motivating athletes to push themselves harder.

South East training partners and CrossFit coaches, Rob Silver and Chris Patterson, both 23, are each other’s best friend and worst enemy. Both of them say they probably wouldn’t be the CrossFitters they are today if it wasn’t for the other one.

Patterson is currently in 35th place in the South East, while Silver sits in 72nd after four weeks of Open competition.

The two train together, text workouts and times to one another, compete in local competitions and share meals together every chance they get.

But they weren’t always on friendly terms.

The two athletes initially met two years ago during the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games Open. Silver was a coach at I AM CrossFit, and Patterson was a member competing for its “sister box,” CrossFit Vida Brickell. While both gyms were in the same network, the members enjoyed friendly competition with one another. 

“I would judge his workouts, no-repping him for not jumping over the bar, and he didn’t like me much for that,” Silver says of Patterson. “His girlfriend also hated me, primarily because of some rumors started about me, so we weren’t on good terms.”

Despite some no reps during the Open, Patterson and Silver both managed to qualify for the South East Regional that year for their respective affiliate teams. Since both team members knew each other by association, all of the athletes were forced to room together for the weekend to cut down on expenses.

“It was one big awkward experience for us all due to Rob, my girlfriend and I not getting along very well,” Patterson laughs.

To break the awkwardness, one of the I AM CrossFit teammates made them confront each other and come to peace the night before the competition began. 

“We ended up becoming best of friends that weekend. We just got everything out on the table and moved on,” Patterson says.

The rest is history.

Patterson went on to compete with the CrossFit Vida Brickell team at the Games that year, and Silver came along to support his buddy. The two have been inseparable ever since.

Today, while they are now both coaches — Silver at I AM CrossFit and Patterson at CrossFit Vida Brickell — they still strive to uphold the CrossFit community they have found in one another. They train together whenever they can and touch base with each other at least once a day to check on each other’s workout or to see how their days went.

A look at their CrossFit athlete profiles reveals their friendly competitive nature and support for one another.

Silver’s “work/rest schedule” reads, “When Chris Patterson rests, I do Murph.”

Under “How I Train,” Silver states, “Whatever Chris Patterson does, except 1 second faster and 25lbs more.”

Patterson’s athlete profile is just as amusing. Under “How I Train,” he says, “Bench and bicep curl more then Rob Silver. Wod slower than Rob Silver but look better doing it ... I wait around patiently for Rob Silver to catch a cold, get run over by an R-V, have diarrhea and suffer pneumonia so I can challenge him to do 'Amanda’ and win by 2 seconds. While Rob Silver CrossFits, I do tricep extensions and hammer curls in front of a large mirror in Porky's surrounded by roiders that don't know what CrossFit is.”

Before discovering CrossFit four years ago, Patterson says he was a typical globo gym meathead, working on his six-pack and bulging biceps. Then one day, a co-worker invited him to try out a free workout called Fight Gone Bad.

“I remember doing the warm-up (workout) and reading the back of some guy’s shirt in front of me that said, ‘Your workout is our warm-up.’ As I huffed and puffed doing jumping jacks, I began to get nervous,” Patterson says.

Seventeen minutes later, the workout was over, and Patterson stumbled out the door and threw up his pre-workout drink. But he was convinced CrossFit was for him.

“It was a very friendly environment, and after I saw how out of shape I was for CrossFit, I decided it was something I would like to use to get in better shape,” Patterson says. “When I look back on what I use to squat and lift in Porky's, I can definitely say that if it wasn't for CrossFit, I know I would not be squatting 365, cleaning 275 and deadlifting 525 right now, that’s for damn sure.”

While they had not met at the time, Silver found CrossFit about a month before Patterson when he read about the Filthy 50 in Men’s Fitness magazine and decided to give it a go.

Although Patterson is ahead of Silver on the Leaderboard this year, Silver says he couldn’t be happier for his “frenemy.”

“I know that competitions have sometimes got the better of me, but Chris always keeps a cool head, and I look up to that,” Silver says. “Our (athlete) profiles were the continuation of Chris and my friendship. We started out not friends at all, and we took the courage to take a step forward and fix our differences. Now, I know that I can always rely on him for advice and count him as one of my best friends.”

“That doesn’t stop me from whooping his ass though,” Silver adds with a laugh. “I’ll let him have the Open this year.”