1. CrossFit is a fitness program created by Greg Glassman and is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. which was founded by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai in 2000.
2. Promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and also as a competitive fitness sport, CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises.
3. It is practiced by members of over 13,000 affiliated gyms, roughly half of which are located in the United States, and by individuals who complete daily workouts (otherwise known as a “WODs” or “workouts of the day”).
4. Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai founded CrossFit, Inc. in 2000.
5. The company was conceived a few years earlier, in 1996, as Cross-Fit.
6. The original CrossFit gym is in Santa Cruz, California, and the first affiliated gym was CrossFit North in Seattle, Washington; there were 13 by 2005, and today there are more than 13,000.
7. Coaches associated with CrossFit include Louie Simmons, John Welbourn, Bob Harper, and Mike Burgener.
8. Glassman retains complete control over the company after a divorce resulted in his estranged wife, Lauren, attempting to sell her share in the company. Glassman was able to obtain a $16 million loan from Summit Partners to buy out her share.
9. It has been theorized that CrossFit’s combination of resistance and aerobic exercise may benefit muscle size and cortisol levels, but this has not been substantiated by a body of good medical evidence.
10. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program consisting mainly of a mix of aerobic exercise, calisthenics (body weight exercises), and Olympic weightlifting.
11. CrossFit, Inc. describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains,” with the stated goal of improving fitness, which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”
12. Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or “boxes”, typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity “workout of the day” (or WOD), and a period of individual or group stretching. Some gyms also often have a strength focused movement prior to the WOD. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.
13. CrossFit gyms use equipment from multiple disciplines, including barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, jump ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls, plyo boxes, resistance bands, rowers, and various mats. CrossFit is focused on “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement,” drawing on categories and exercises such as these: calisthenics, Olympic-style weightlifting, powerlifting, Strongman-type events, plyometrics, body weight exercises, indoor rowing, aerobic exercise, running, and swimming.
14. CrossFit programming is decentralized but its general methodology is used by thousands of private affiliated gyms, fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and military organizations including the Royal Danish Life Guards, as well as by some U.S. and Canadian high school physical education teachers, high school and college sports teams, and the Miami Marlins.
15. CrossFit appeals to both men and women alike and a recent statistical analysis showed that CrossFit participants were almost equally 50% male and 50% female.
16. Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, is a former gymnast and personal trainer who has described himself as a “rabid libertarian”.
17. There’s still a strong law enforcement/military connection. Police academies, tactical operations teams and military special operations teams all use CrossFit as their “principal strength and conditioning program,” according to CrossFit.com, the site Glassman started in 2001 to share his workouts of the day (WODs) with a wider audience.
18. The workouts are named after women because they “wreak havoc.” Glassman’s alleged explanation for this naming scheme is quoted on many devoted websites: “I thought that anything that left you flat on your back, looking up at the sky, asking, ‘What just happened to me?’ deserved a female’s name. Workouts are just like storms, they wreak havoc on towns.”
19. The very first CrossFit workouts were for the sheriff’s department in Santa Cruz. The department got wind of Glassman’s exercise mentality and called him up to train officers. Today, he told ReasonTV, there are over 6,000 affiliate gyms (called “boxes” in CrossFit lingo).
20. Other workouts are named to commemorate fallen soldiers. The Hero Workouts, on the other hand, are all named after naval officers, army sergeants, SEALs and other soldiers killed in combat, like Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy. Murphy was 29 when he was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, according to CrossFit.com. One of his favorite CrossFit workouts was renamed “Murph” in his honor. The workout consists of a one-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats and topped off with a final mile run.
21. CrossFit Workout Basics:
- Workouts usually last 45 minutes to 1 hour
- CrossFitters usually aim to do them 3-5 times per week
- WOD = Workout of the Day
- Workouts always vary. You will rarely do the same workout twice at CrossFit
- The Box = CrossFit gyms which usually look like large warehouses
22. Crossfit equipment:
- Bumper plates
- Gymnastic rings
- Jump rope
- Medicine ball
- Plyo box
- Resistance bands
23. CrossFit workouts include:
- HIIT (high intensity interval training)
- Plyometric Training
CrossFit workouts aim to improve: Balance, Coordination, Agility, Accuracy, Strength, Flexibility, Endurance, Stamina, Power, and Speed.
24. The CrossFit Games were created in 2007 and host the world’s top athletes. Every year since its inception, both participation and sponsorship have grown rapidly. To put it into perspective, prize money for first place was $500 in 2007, in 2015 the prize for first place was $275,000. Participation has also grown from 70 participants in 2007 to 273,000 people signing up to compete in 2015.
25. CrossFit has a philanthropic side. Beside chances to give back hosted by individual boxes like the anuual Memorial Day Murph and Barbells For Boobs, CrossFit’s official “fundraising arm” CrossFit for Hope funnels 100 percent of donations to fighting childhood cancer, providing education in Kenya and other charitable ventures.