CrossFit Longevity: Results

By John Van Every

Video Article

“I actually think this demographic is actually a lot more rewarding to work with because although gains are small, they’re huge in the daily lives of these people,” says John Van Every, owner of CrossFit Longevity in Santa Cruz, Calif. He’s offering CrossFit to a specialized segment of the population: athletes 50 years of age and older. In this video, Van Every highlights some of his athletes.

Gary Reece came to CrossFit from a sedentary life.

“I was the ultimate couch potato. I mean I didn’t even like to move to get the remote control,” he says. Now he can pick up his six-year-old granddaughter and has noticed an improvement in many facets of his life.

“I feel a lot better. I feel like I’m 10 years younger, actually,” he says.

Gloria Thomas was a cyclist before finding CrossFit and has made great strides in her fitness since finding CrossFit. She was drawn to the program for the challenge.

“I could see that it was hard work, and I know that hard work means that maybe you get some good results,” she says. “I’ve noticed that I’m much stronger.”

Learn the stories of these and more of Van Every’s athletes as they share how CrossFit has changed their lives.

13min 20sec

Additional reading: Seniors and Kids by Greg Glassman, published Feb. 1, 2003.

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8 Comments on “CrossFit Longevity: Results”


wrote …

this has been my favorite series of videos. i love that people can make gains no matter where they are in there lives!


wrote …

OUTSTANDING series! I'm in my 40's and have been CFing for almost four years. I would love to become level 1 certified and start working with the older population.

I'm a firm believer that 98% of the people who are in nursing homes are there because they didn't take care of themselves. Our culture dictates that everyone will eventually have to go into some form of assisted care living facility someday. Of course, it's also the same culture that thinks that skim milk, chicken breast, fruit, oats, and statins are the recipe for great health!

Keep the series up. We have it for kids, let's keep it for the older population, which keeps exploding.


wrote …

Nice work John!

I really liked your warmup/agility drills.

I'm kind of stuck with the CFWU and would like to renew myself.
Would you mind posting it (or mailing it)?


wrote …

The SEALFIT series is what i initally paid to watch for when i signed up on this site, but im thoroughly enjoying this series also. Its just good to know that we all wont be feeble and decrepit when we get older. I think Crossfit should get the Nobel Peace Prize for inspiring hope, not Obama lol!


wrote …

Nice work John!!!


wrote …

The written introductions to this series on working with "masters" contain more than a little condescension toward older Crossfitters, of which I am one. Is age the most important factor contributing to being scared when you first walk into a box? I have seen scores of younger prospects scared to death as newbies -- just like me, who started at age 51. I have introduced myself to scores of prospects, almost every one of them younger than me. Most never joined after their introductory period. Something scared these young ones away. I stayed, old man that I am and I am deadlifting 425.

I wish that you had not taken a deficit approach to older Crossfitters. You might have led with the maturity, confidence, and sense of purpose that some of us with a few grey hairs often display. I came to Crossfit with maybe average fitness and no background in athletics of any kind. I did not come in weak. My strength came from the fact that I wasn't pretending it was easy for me or that I didn't find the WODs scary as hell. I did. Nevertheless, at 51 I had overcome more than a few obstacles in my life. I had the experience to know that I had the will power, discipline, stubbornness, and balls to come back, try, finish last, curse, ask for help, and come back week after week until I got to the point where I could not not come back.

I do not think I could have overcome the embarrassment and exhaustion and disbelief I experienced as a new Crossfitter when I was a younger man with less confidence. I am certain that I could not have learned as much about myself from the experience (ongoing) of becoming a Crossfit athlete if I started in my 20s or 30s. Our box has some terrific 20-something and 30-something athletes. They amaze me but I don’t regret that I am not one of them.

We all come to Crossfit when we are ready and we come with different gifts, at any age. I have many weaknesses as a Crossfitter but believing for a minute that my age is a deficit alone -- as your article implies -- is not one of them. My years, as we masters know, are our strength.

Edward Gray
Colorado Springs
53 yo


wrote …

Love this series! At 61, I have been CrossFitting nearly 3 years. Still seeing improvements, and expect to for years to come.


wrote …

Keep plugging along. Great series.

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