The turn of a new millennium in 2000 meant the introduction of a new sport, CrossFit. If it were not for the man, Greg Glassman, many of the sport’s fans might not have known it as it is today. However, this story starts a few years before the name CrossFit came to be.
Where it Began
Greg Glassman trained as a gymnast in his teenage years. At the time, most of his colleagues used bodyweight exercises to reach their goals. However, the man wasn’t satisfied with this way of working out. He wanted more strength. Soon, he started using dumbbells and barbells to push to his intended purpose. Glassman had another hobby, cycling with his friends. This contributed to his overall exercises, and he realized he was getting fitter plus stronger.
The CrossFit Ritual
Other gymnasts were specializing in specific areas, and some were way better than Glassman. However, thanks to his diversification, very few were as good across different areas. The gymnast realized that he could outshine his friends who only went for weightlifting or cycling and override his cycling group.
This brought up a question that changed his life; what does one sacrifice by pursuing expertise? The answer introduced CrossFit’s heart principle. It is not about mastery of one practice but embracing the idea of being a jack of all trades. This way, athletes can expand their capacities in different modal domains and across broad time.
CrossFit trainees focus on ten physical qualities: strength, stamina, respiratory endurance, power, flexibility, agility, balance, coordination, accuracy, and speed. Today, even amputee athletes embrace CrossFit in their training rituals because of its overall success.
In an overview, CrossFit borrowed these qualities from Dynamax’s Bruce Evans and Jim Crawley. The two were medicine balls’ founders. The difference is that in CrossFit, athletes achieve these qualities through movement diversification assisted by disciplines such as weightlifting, gymnastics, high-intensity workouts, and sprinting.
A Community Concept
Glassman started designing workouts in the early 1990s. By 1995 he could open a gym in Santa Cruz. Classes began with intense gymnastics and later included calisthenics. It was not long before Glassman landed a job training the Santa Cruz Police Department. This is when he realized that he could merge two clients in one training and still get a significant increase in profits per hour.
At the same time, he was extra busy, often getting overbooked. The community concept became a win-win situation. Two or more clients often enjoyed being trained together, and Glassman could make more.
In 2000, Glassman officially founded CrossFit, with the first affiliate in Seattle. The sport concept spread like wildfire. By 2012, over 3,400 affiliates had spread across the world, with people picking up CrossFit as a sport and a part-time fitness program.
CrossFit began as one man’s concept of working out and quickly spread to a universally embraced system. Within as little as five years, the affiliates went from one to seven and then thousands in only a dozen years. Greg Glassman has one secret he says to have made this simple. The history of its marketing tells more of the same.
Quality Sells Automatically
You will notice that CrossFit is one of the few sports that keeps its name off merchandise branding. According to Glassman, putting such labels allows a brand to be stocked with other useless clothing in someone’s closet. Another truth is that CrossFit does not need such publications because its quality is itself a self-marketing advantage.
While most gym exercises focus on one muscle group, CrossFit began with a wholesome approach and still upholds the same. It incorporates weightlifting, calisthenics, gymnastics, and compound exercises to bring forth the desired result. Since participants see tangible improvements in their daily activities, they keep coming back.
The Games Advantage
Before the sport debuted in the 2007 games, its spread was through success stories, word of mouth, and tangible results. Once it got popular enough, the Olympics agreed to add it to its sport’s list. The best part is that even participants have no idea what every CrossFit game will demand until the D-day.
The secrecy brings forth the game’s unexpectedness, thus keeping everyone on their toes and anticipating outrageous performances in the next season. More than this, people watching the games often leave the show inspired to test their fitness limits.
Support Through Communities
Going to the gym to exercise on your own with a pair of headphones isn’t CrossFit’s way. This structure’s importance came accidentally, as Glassman tried to expand the limitation of one-man training. When more people sort his services, he found out that training two people at once at a discounted price still retained his hourly profits.
As clients enjoyed working out together while supporting each other, Glassman realized the advantage of the situation. Soon several people were having their CrossFit training at the same time, boosting support and a community feel. This, in its unique way, became another marketing strategy as people working together motivated them to reach their goals. Using a scoreboard also improved the process.
Seven years after CrossFit officially launched its first affiliate, it had its first games in Aromas, California. Dave Castro, a small ranch owner had the honor of hosting the games with 70 participants and around 150 spectators. The first games were selected randomly since Glassman believed that the fittest athlete was one who dominated any task.
What the First Game Entailed
The 2007 CrossFit Games included 100 pull-ups, seven push jerks, and a 1,000-meter row. Judges selected winners as per their average speed in completing each task. Since the game was still new, it was open to anyone who could make it to the games. The gym that had the best overall participants also received an award.
The Growth of CrossFit Games
The first games were such a sensation that 2008’s event saw over a double of the previous year’s participation. 300 competitors signed up, with 800 fans cheering on. In 2009 CrossFit went international. Participants and audiences came from countries in Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. Regional games were also introduced in the same year to accommodate the diversity of the situation.
By 2010, the games had embodied a structural approach with multiple sections, and a series of events to open the games officially. Everything changed when Reebok decided to sponsor the games in 2011, for the next ten years. The prize money would then drastically shift to $1 million.
Online qualifications were opened in 2011, and 26,000 athletes registered to be a part of that year’s games. Participants got stronger as popularity increased. This could be why the tournaments were said to open the biggest event in the world in 2018.
People can rave about all the exceptional strength brought to CrossFit games, but no one can deny its advantages are also worth the effort.
It’s a Whole Package of Advantages
When trying to figure out where to start with fitness, there are many options to consider. With CrossFit, it is not an either-or decision. One CrossFit box comes with several free weights, flexibility aids, and other cardio equipment items. You can then hire a trainer to help you get started and join a community for accountability.
Fitness and Flexibility
Since CrossFit cuts across different exercises, it challenges different muscles at once, thus contributing to overall fitness and flexibility. You will have both weights and strength days, which makes your session spontaneous. Since it incorporates an intense workout, you will do serious bodywork in a few minutes.
Individual and Business Benefits
CrossFit is intense to the trainee, assuring overall advantages while also incorporating business benefits for the gym and trainers. As the results are undeniable, it is a self-marketing system. Its programs are decentralized, meaning participants in one gym enjoy the same routines, workouts, and benefits as anyone in any other affiliate. Licensing is also straightforward.
You have likely heard the term, ‘the fittest man alive.’ However, have you ever thought about what it means to attain that title?
1. Work with Expert Trainers
If you want to be an expert, train with the experts. Different trainers specialize in various attributes of CrossFit exercises. Ensure you work with a well-achieved trainer to make your investment worth it.
2.Watch Your Diet
You can’t expect to beat the best while not observing proper body care. If what you eat doesn’t attribute to holistic fitness, you are doing more harm than good to the body. Research proves that an unhealthy diet reduces energy levels and body mass which makes working out less effective.
3. Switch Up Training Schedules
Many people work well with specific routines. However, in CrossFit, switching up one’s schedule could lead to a better outcome. You will be teaching your body to stay prepared while making it easy to tell how much strain you can handle in any circumstance.
4. Attitude is Everything
If you have a wrong mindset when approaching CrossFit, you will not succeed. The activity needs as much mental toughness as the body. Endure even the activities that suck since they contribute to the intended goal.