Ep 118 – The State of CrossFit with Coach Greg Glassman

Ep 118 – The State of CrossFit with Coach Greg Glassman

“There was an orchestrated mass media campaign by our critics to portray us as dangerous- by the opposition. And that’s all waning now, because of the changes in the website. So, we were actually able to alter the world’s view of things. And you know the living room set? There are people that thought that I was trying to reach out to people in their living rooms, which is really funny. I’m not. I’m not at all. No one that looks like Bob on that couch is going to stumble on crossfit.com and start doing this stuff. It’s not like that. But we all know someone that looks like that, you know? That looks like my grandma’s living room, or my aunt’s living room. And we know people that are sedentary, and we know people that are eating too much carbohydrate and we know that they’re sitting there watching TV and we know that they’re older. And yet, the CrossFit stimulus has more to offer them than it does you in terms of the change in lifestyle. And so, I said to Sevan, I said, “Let’s bring those people into the gym. Let’s reach out into the community at large and let’s bring the, what I’m calling the underserved.” These are the people that no gym wants them walking in. I promise you at 24 Hour-Nautilus or LA Fitness, when you come in with a walker, no one’s getting all excited, “Look, this is gonna be great.” But I did. I would. We can. Our affiliates will - Coach Greg Glassman

As the founder of a program that has revolutionized fitness, Greg Glassman is no stranger to controversy. Known to many as simply “Coach,” he grew up in southern California participating in gymnastics and complemented his training with modalities including weightlifting and cycling.

When he later became a trainer, he was kicked out of several globo gyms for employing his unique style of constantly varied, high intensity functional movement before he finally opened the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA in 1995. Shortly thereafter, CrossFit.com was created and Greg would post Workouts of the Day, or “WODs” for athletes from all over the world to complete.

Beginning in 2003, CrossFit affiliates began to open and CrossFit experienced exponential growth -- today there are over 15,000 affiliates worldwide. During this period, we witnessed the rise of the CrossFit Games, the ultimate proving grounds for fitness which crowns the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth each year.  Most recently, we’ve witnessed a significant shift in the qualification process for the Games and major changes at CrossFit HQ.

We’ve also witnessed incredible stories of transformation in the affiliates, with participants losing weight, gaining confidence, and ridding themselves of chronic disease. With the inception of CrossFit Health, CrossFit has turned it's focus towards fighting ever-increasing disease rates and medical costs while also networking CrossFit physicians and educating affiliate owners, coaches, and the general public in an effort to combat corrupted medical science and a tsunami of chronic disease.

For his third visit to the podcast, Greg and I sat down just before the 2019 CrossFit Health conference and CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.  We discussed the evolution of CrossFit and CrossFit Health, the implications of scientific misconduct in the medical field, and what he sees for the future of CrossFit.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The evolution of CrossFit Health since the first MDL1 in February 2018
  • The changes that have taken place in CrossFit as a whole over the past year
  • The corruption in the health science research
  • How Greg has developed relationships with key physicians and scientists around the world
  • The key people with whom Greg is working with at CFHQ, and how his team makes decisions
  • Whether he foresees any changes for the next CrossFit Games
  • The direction CrossFit is headed and how CrossFit is uniquely qualified to fight chronic disease
  • Greg’s decision to remove CrossFit from social media
  • His message to affiliate owners who felt caught off guard by changes within the organization
  • His goal for the upcoming 10-year affiliate gathering
  • Greg’s advice to an affiliate owner who is looking to grow their business and serve CrossFit’s mission as a whole
  • The story behind the infamous couch set
  • What CrossFit HQ is learning from working with senior and overweight populations, and how Greg plans to share that knowledge with affiliates
  • What he’s most excited to work on these days
  • The new seminar he’s developing on modern science and the scientific method

To learn more about the CrossFit Health movement, follow along with the daily articles posted at crossfit.com. If you are a CrossFit Physician (MD or DO), email info@crossfithealth.com to find out more about future MDL1 seminars and other events.


Related episodes:

Ep 21 – Pat Sherwood on CrossFit, the Games and quality of life and longevity

Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”

Ep 69- From “Obese to Beast” with John Glaude

Ep 71 – The Sugar Free Revolution with Karen Thomson

Ep 80 - Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease

Ep 93 – Debunking Nutrition Myths with Gary Taubes

Ep 114 – Practicing CrossFit for Health with Dr. Maude Dull

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

This post was originally published on August 6, 2019.

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