Who is Greg Glassman?

Hey all, here is the first of our "Manifesto" series. This is one of many posts that will give you a lot of great information about CrossFit and why we do what we do.

-Coach Joey

An Overview of CrossFit

I.                 Who is Greg Glassman?

Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, is sometimes referred to as Coach Glassman or just Coach. He grew up in a self-proclaimed, “family of rocket scientists in a community of rocket scientists” (ASEP Lecture). His dad always stressed the need for measurable and repeatable data. This focus on deriving empirical data has had a large impact of Glassman’s life.

He started personal training celebrities and athlete clientele in 1974, and over fifteen years of training and teaching was consistently finding that high intensity workouts were most effective. CrossFit was officially founded in 1995 for the Santa Cruz Police Department, but the program didn’t start to truly grow in popularity until around 2001. Glassman says, “It was my work with cops, though, that was so formative of my training. It was easy to see what was lacking in both body builders and endurance athletes when it came to the demands of arrest and control [of criminals]” (Hass 2). The shortcomings of both bodybuilding[1] and endurance training became readily apparent.

Glassman started to formulate a new style of workouts. The workouts combined traditional Olympic and power lifts (clean and jerk, snatch, deadlift, squat variations), body weight exercises, (burpees, pushups, pull-ups) gymnastic type moves, (ring dips, hand stands, muscle ups) sprinting, distance running and throwing (medicine balls). CrossFit is centered on the idea of improving the ability to move your body or objects through three dimensional space (Glassman Interview 2). While this need is obvious for law enforcement (for controlling criminals), the same concept applies to everyone. Athletes[2] move their bodies, their opponents’ bodies, or objects on the field using the same basic body movements as grandmas moving sacks of groceries. This is because these elite level athletes, police and military, and the elderly have essentially the same basic body structure. This concept will be further developed later.

PS you'll see some footnotes and citations in this paper. This is because this text is part of a very large word document that I have written over the years. You'll be able to download the complete document later on. if you'd like

About the Author


Joey Dussel is a 23 year old college student currently pursuing a degree in Applied Exercise and Sports Science from Oregon State University. He earned his Level 1 Certification in October 2009. Since then, he has received additional certifications and founded CrossFit Corpora Sana. He would like to own his own box in the future. He wrote this paper to showcase the efficacy, safety and necessity of functional movements in a strength training program; and how CrossFit purports to achieve this.