In CrossFit, HD Videos

August 23, 2012

Video Article

In this video shot at the Montana stop of the CrossFit Tour, CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman responds to a devil’s-advocate question about affiliates who might be tempted to expand their business to include selling supplements, apparel and more.

“In my head, a trainer trains and doesn’t do anything else,” Coach Glassman responds.

That’s because Glassman believes a trainer is just as much a professional as a doctor, lawyer or accountant. Those traditional professionals don’t often try to sell you some shoes after rendering their services.

“Professionals don’t sell shit,” Glassman explains. “They sell their service, their knowledge, their experience, their talent, their skill, their commitment.

“We sold shirts. Why? It was just part of the community. It was part of who we were. They said foul things that shocked people. They were cool. It was a part of the whole thing. Let’s leave the supplements and the power bars and the apparel as a critical part of your revenue, let’s leave that to a different gym model.

“Now I’m not going to tell you not to do those things. I’m just telling you I’d never do them. Never, ever, ever.”

As always, Coach Glassman leaves the choices up to the affiliates, but he’s clear that being a great trainer is all you need to make money and thrive. According to Glassman, full commitment to clients results in two things for a trainer: health and wealth.

6min 4sec

HD file size: 222 MB
SD wmv file size: 73 MB
SD mov file size: 40 MB

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Additional reading: Professional Training by Greg Glassman, published Jan. 1, 2006.

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30 Comments on “A Trainer Trains and Doesn’t Do Anything Else”

1

wrote …

I agree that Affiliates maybe shouldn't be selling supplements. But at the same time, it would certainly benefit an affiliate owner or its coaches to be highly educated in supplements and able to inform their athletes and clients on what to stay away from and what to look for.

How many of you off the top of your head as coaches and affiliate owners can tell me the difference in whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate? What's the difference in how they are made that sets them apart? What about hydrolyzed whey protein? Which protein fractions are people allergic to most that makes them think they are lactose-intolerant? What's the difference between creatine monohydrate and creatine glutamate? Does Beta-Alanine work in the same way as creatine?

People are going to be asking questions about supplementation. It's a complicated field and a sneaky industry.

2

wrote …

Unless you are a chemist, biologist or a nutritionist,
you can not, nor should you answer those questions.

3

Jason Pelham wrote …

Great piece Coach. Product sales and coaching CrossFit, there couldn't be two world further apart!

4

wrote …

Well, I was there and the supplement part killed me a bit (I own AtLarge Nutrition). And yes, one day I hope to get coach to say, "Except AtLarge, they are kind of cool..." lol. Well, maybe not, but the thought is nice :).

Seriously, despite how I make my living I DO respect his stance on the matter. I understand what he is saying. I also like the fact his business model allows the affiliates to sell whatever they see fit to sell and for THEM to keep the profits. That is a huge part of the beauty of the model. That is also a part that likely would disappear should a company like Anthos get their hands on CF.

5

replied to comment from Ricky Doyon

Meats and vegetables, seeds and nuts, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.

6

wrote …

I believe trainers should be very professional when training... focus and have a purpose.

On the flip side if you're earning $6,000 a month or more and have NO assets it's bad.

As trainers most have NO assets and recommending supplements that can change a clients health and lifestyle / income is very smart in my opinion.

If a client goes on to create a $3,000 passive income it's a huge bonus for recommending supplements.

"An employee or being self-employeed is the worst way to create financial wealth"

We need more leverage.


7

wrote …

Glassman is idealizing the role of trainers and professionals. If selling your product takes away from your training, then you shouldn't do it. But the idea that you can't do other things is stupid.

Why not be a generalist in business too? Be a really great trainer, coach, friend and supplement seller! Can you sell clients rings or jump ropes to workout at home or on the road? Or do you have to refer them to Rogue, Again Faster, or whatever company, for fear of being considered an unskilled, unprofessional trainer and laughed at by your peers?!? Or are some things ok (Tshirts and jumpropes) but others not? Telling your clients to buy their gear somewhere else is just taking away your ability to make money. You devalue yourself if you let it get in the way of training others, but if they are going to buy it anyways... you aren't changing anything. Even doctors do this. Some are sellouts and it does cloud their judgement, but why not help promote the best product. (Not call something the best because you are selling it.)

CrossFit IS leaving money on the table, but the fact that they make money doesn't mean they have to fuck over affiliates. Why not be proactive and offer a service to help affiliates that WANT to sell products make money? Many in the community already buys the reebok gear, Rogue, AF, Inov8, LifeAsRx, 2pood, etc, why not help the affiliates get the products out there more easily. Pay shipping or buy the product in person at YOUR gym? Easy decision. I don't understand why CF wouldnt want to do some of what Anthos is (allegedly) proposing. I'm not saying involve Anthos, fuck them, I don't care about whether their takeover is legit or not. I'm surprised there aren't more people who are think "their" ideas are legit. CrossFit clients are paying money to buy products from someone else, and as a gym owner you are letting some one else (eg Rogue, or whoever) get that money. It's all strange.

8

wrote …

Matt Solomon,

I don't see how CrossFit is fucking over any affiliates. If getting into selling supplements is something you want to do in your gym than by all means do it. Glassman isn't preventing anyone from doing it, he even says “Now I’m not going to tell you not to do those things. I’m just telling you I’d never do them. Never, ever, ever.” Why do you have to wait for CrossFit to offer those services you speak of? What is preventing anyone else out there from offering those services? The answer is nothing. Glassman is letting everyone have the freedom to try these things if they so choose. He is not preventing anyone from doing anything. It's a real free market model. If you think your idea is good then do it and prove that it's good with results. If it turns out to be a good idea then others will do it too. No disrespect or anything just wanted to add my opinion.

9

wrote …

I could not understand why there were so many videos on not make affiliates sell stuff. I crossfit out of my garage so I had no idea what was going on with the lawsuit stuff. I have now read most of the thread and watched some youtube videos. Bryan Kelly says he just wants to help affiliates grow and give them ideas. Guess what Bryan you can do that now share your ideas with everyone Im sure they wont mind. But dont waste your time or money investing in HQ. If you want to invest in crossfit open a box and help people get healthy. I dont need you ideas, thoughts or inputs I like the way it is run now.

This lawsuit will not directly affect me, I have watched enough videos and read enough articles from Coach, Dave Castro and others to make up my own WODS in my garage and never have to look at the mainsite again. I, as a garage crossfitter do not want Bryan Kelly or Anthos as a part of this community.

I love CrossFit because it is not "professional" the way so many companies are. Its not always PC and I like that. I like wathcing Rob Orlando throw shit when he misses a lift. I like hearing people people curse on video. I like that CrossFit can be crude and does not applogize for it. I would hate to have any of that change. I dont know the ins and outs of this community, but I love what I have seen for the past 3 years. I trust the people who are running it, and no one else.

10

wrote …

Hi,

This is the first I have heard of Glassman buying out his ex wife to stop a investment company changing what is loved by millions of people.
You can only say wow, the guy still holds the passion for Crossfit and not the dollar sign.

Steve

11

replied to comment from CHAD NELSON

Chad -
the way I'm hearing Glassman - he is basically saying YOU make up your own mind, sell what you want and as someone else pointed out - YOU keep the profits - YOU have the freedom to create - he has thoughts on how HE would run a box - but isn't TELLING (Demanding?) you how to run yours - Crossfit is the platform -

As a platform there are certain ideals you know to be "sacred" - as a business, keep the ideals and do what you think is right for you (and by default your customer).

As opposed to the alternative, a HQ that tells you everything you MUST do - so while you see value in supps and selling / reco'ing them - if they say,OK - it has to be JUST these supps (cuz we took a deal to only sell a certain brand, you can only buy through us and YOU will pay us a royalty) - even if its not what you believe is best, do you want THAT?

And its THAT which he doesn't want - cuz next it might be you have to sell a certain Jump rope, or approved T-shirt, etc - and....pay HQ or only buy through HQ - and most likely - a FRANCHISE agreement (read - pay up)

PS- not sure where you got your quote - but being self employed is one of the best paths to financial wealth - just isn't easy or guaranteed.

12

wrote …

All,
First off a CrossFit trainer is not like a Doctor, Lawyer or Accountant. Don't get me wrong I love my coaches, but attaining a level one cert does not require anywhere near the level of dedication that is takes to obtain an MD.

Second, ENOUGH I am tired of all the rhetoric on this topic, especially since it is coming only from one source.

Third, let’s say Anthos does obtain an equity stake at CF and they want to provide the affiliates an opportunity to sell supplements. Then the folks at Anthos and CF Corp. set out to research the best brand to take to the CF Affiliates. Next CF Corp. negotiates a great price based upon the potential volume of sales. CF Marketing in conjunction with the supplement provider then provides product bundles, marketing material and pricing to the CF Affiliates. The CF Affiliates now have an opportunity to sell CF endorsed supplements.

What does this mean to me as a CrossFit athlete? I say it is awesome. First I no longer need to make a special trip to GNC. Second I get to leverage the expert guidance of CF Corp., instead of having to do all the research on my own. My box owner makes a few extra dollars which has in every occasion made the gym nicer. CF Corporate makes a few extra dollars. Net-net we all win...

13

wrote …

Many professional trainers do sell supplements, and many of them are fantastically successful in both. Charles Poliquin, James FitzGerald, Chris Mason, etc. No need to make blanket statements condemning trainers who expand into the supplementation business for the dual benefit of their clients and themselves.

14

wrote …

I think one of the issues that may arise from boxes selling supplements and shoes etc. is that they become less about the actual training and more about the products. The attention, the focus on getting people healthier, is overshadowed by the selling of products to turn a profit. That seems like the fear to me, and I think it's a legitimate one.

Of course, there are any number of hypothetical outcomes...

15

wrote …

I crossfit in my home (don't own a garage...) I had no idea this was going on. Four thoughts:

1. You gotta admire this man's character: principle over greed (or perceived greed...) is rare in our world. Some things are indeed « too precious for the market place. »
2. Keep your marriage together! Amazing to see how one divorce can potentially affect so many people.
3. I'm a preacher... (seriously) and I am totally devoted to what I do. No time for coaching...
4. You gotta love the T-shirt!!!

Cheers!


16

wrote …

I crossfit in my home (don't own a garage...) I had no idea this was going on. Four thoughts:

1. You gotta admire this man's character: principle over greed (or perceived greed...) is rare in our world. Some things are indeed « too precious for the market place. »
2. Keep your marriage together! Amazing to see how one divorce can potentially affect so many people.
3. I'm a preacher... (seriously) and I am totally devoted to what I do. No time for coaching...
4. You gotta love the T-shirt!!!

Cheers!


17

wrote …

I crossfit in my home (don't own a garage...) I had no idea this was going on. Four thoughts:

1. You gotta admire this man's character: principle over greed (or perceived greed...) is rare in our world. Some things are indeed « too precious for the market place. »
2. Keep your marriage together! Amazing to see how one divorce can potentially affect so many people.
3. I'm a preacher... (seriously) and I am totally devoted to what I do. No time for coaching...
4. You gotta love the T-shirt!!!

Cheers!


18

wrote …

"A Trainer Trains and Doesn't Do Anything Else..."


"I wouldn't want my doctor or attorney to have a pro shop..."


“Professionals don’t sell shit,” Glassman explains. “They sell their service, their knowledge, their experience, their talent, their skill, their commitment."

Unless its a Crossfit Reebok Gym, right?


http://www.core77.com/blog/events/reebok_fit_hub_store_crossfit_gym_opens_in_new_york_city_23269.asp (work/family safe)

While I realize Coach also says its up to each affiliate if they want to sell things or not, he still comes off like a disapproving parent saying, "Well I think its a stupid idea and I sure wouldn't ever do it but its your life, kids."

19

replied to comment from Matt Solomon

Matt,
Frankly, I'm surprised to see such a poorly thought out response from you. The answer to your question is very very simple. Every endeavor requires attention and effort. If you're a trainer but also worried about sales, inventories, supplies, etc, you have less focus and energy for training. You cannot, by definition, give your best to your clients if you're also busy running a pro-shop. And truly giving your best makes for great business.

Another component here is that training is a relationship business. When you are aligned with your clients in helping them be better, the bond is strengthened. When you see selling to them as additional profit opportunities, you change that relationship and they sense it. It weakens the trust and hurts your community, and thus your business.

20

replied to comment from Jesse James

"While I realize Coach also says its up to each affiliate if they want to sell things or not, he still comes off like a disapproving parent saying, "Well I think its a stupid idea and I sure wouldn't ever do it but its your life, kids."

That's exactly what he's doing, like any parent, based on his experience and guided by his principles, he's suggesting this approach. He believes that following this approach will make their business better for the reasons Tony posted above.

The "kids" are free to ignore that suggestion and for some of them that will be the right choice. They'll run their lives differently than "Dad" wants them to and may not fulfil his vision of what he wanted them to be. They may exceed it.

What I knew before and am certain of from recent events though, is that while Coach may disagree vehemently with how an affiliate approaches this aspect of their operation and will do his best to sway them to his way of thinking, he will defend with everything he has their right to ignore him.

21

wrote …

Not affiliated (YET), but we sell Hammer Nutrition products because they FUCKIN ROCK!! Not too worried about making money off of it. But it pays for our usage, which is really cool. I'm a big believer in dietary supplementation, whether it be electrolyte replenishment during a hot mountain bike ride, or a recovery drink after a hard as shit wod.

I've seen it work in my own life.

Now, all that being said, I totally respect Mr. Greg's opinion and stance on the matter. And I understand it.

Hammer on! and excuse my language

JW

22

wrote …

First, I don't want to waste anyone's time. If you are a entrepreneur nothing I have to say here matters to you. It doesn't matter because you won't get my money. I'm good. You're good. Have a good evening.

I've crossfitted since 2005. I've never joined a box. I've subscribed to the journal twice. I used to go to MCRD in San Diego which has all the equipment I could ever need and it was free to me. Now I workout out of my garage or go to the free university gym where I work. Never reached monster status but I've reached don't-fuck-with-me status. I've dropped into gyms time to time. Stopped into Invictus to get some Oly tune-ups by Sage a couple times. I've dropped in on the folks at Elysium. Love those folks. Awesome trainers.

I respect Coach's attitude completely. I don't respect a doctor that gets a kickback from pharmaceutical companies and I don't respect a trainer that sells me supplements.

What I've seen as I've lurked in the xfit community for these years is the same thing I've seen in martial arts communities. You all will split up. There will be factions. The core ethos will be mutated. Those that will become strong will do so despite the pettiness. Those that aren't about the fitness will subsidize the rest. And there will be the those of us just watching working in the shadows.

I personally want Coach to be as comfy as possible so he will keep the mainsite free and allow me to tune in for the free programming. I could set my own programming but I like not knowing what I'm doing day to day. If it goes away. Ok. I've got wods since 2005 to keep me going. But I also want to keep monitoring for the evolution. I look at crossfit like jazz. It is an evolution. Evolve or die.

Keep pushing, keep learning, be fit.

Thanks, Coach.



kgp

23

replied to comment from Kevin Partridge

"I look at crossfit like jazz. It is an evolution."

Awesome! Way cool. Thanks for posting.

24

replied to comment from Kevin Partridge

Excellent post -- my CF background, experience and approach are almost identical to yours, and I couldn't agree more with what you've said.

25

replied to comment from Tony Budding

Tony,

Apologies for being more off-the-cuff than usual, but I still disagree with some of the general points.

"Every endeavor requires attention and effort. If you're a trainer but also worried about sales, inventories, supplies, etc, you have less focus and energy for training."

I agree with the above, mostly. I started off by saying that if your training deteriorates, you shouldn't do those other things.

But I disagree in the assumption that they are always overlapping. They can be exclusive (in scope and time and skills). Many CrossFit gym owners that I know are worried about sales, inventory and supplies but of the gym. It's the same concerns. This is an inescapable reality. Training is their primary job, and they are good at it, but it shouldn't have to be their only job. Lots of people seem to offer additional for-sale services at their gym, from buying jump ropes in bulk to post-workout food/shakes. I view that as an extension of their training services and not a detraction.

26

replied to comment from Richard Edwards

For liability purposes I agree. Playing devils advocate the same can be said for amlotmofmother things that apply to coaches. If you're not a USAW or Crossfit Oly cert coach should you be teaching Olympic lifts to clients and athletes? Potentially damaging lifts to the body and CNS is still damaging like recommending the wrong supplements to take.

If you're not a nutritionist should you be providing nutrition advice to clients and alerts? Plenty of coaches do it. Globo gyms have policies about doing so.

I'm going to email Mike Warentin and see if we can work something out for the journal on the subject of supplementation.

27

I'm with Tony! I didn't get into CrossFit to be a sales man and strongly believe that pushing product is a sure way to kill the community. I hooked up a fixed discount rate for our members at a local supplement shop and by looking after them and not dipping into their pockets at every opportunity I believe helped with retention and a building a solid community base. As Tony mentioned, the relationship between a coach and athlete is clearly defined and their is no doubt as to our motives when giving advice.

Thank god for CrossFit! I cant imagine doing anything else as a career and would be the worst salesman on the planet.

Cheers
Jas

28

replied to comment from Jason Pelham

I just think that if coaches and owners are able to educate themselves or be educated sufficiently they will be able to help their clients and athletes by steering them clear of certain supplements and companies.

I see KStarr wearing a MusclePharm shirt sometimes, and I shake my head. KStarr is an expert in his field, no doubt. But he's wearing a supplement company shirt that is the equivalent to Physical Therapy as IcyHot is. We learn certain h from seminars taught by people who are considered experts or very proficient, right? We should be able to do the same thing in terms of supplementation. Like someone said earlier, some of your clients are going to ask you or be interested in supplementation, and a lot of them at that point are going to go through with it anyways. I'd rather steer them in the direction of good companies than have no education at all and let them get sucked into the hype and trickery of the industry and go with terrible companies. People are bound to ask about Jack3d, MusclePharm products, NO-Xplode, and the like. All products and companies that are not really the greatest to be giving your money to.

We can do better than simply turn our backs to that issue and leave it to the client/athlete themselves to make a decision or for someone else to persuade them (because they will most likely be driven by money in their suggestions).

29

wrote …

Did Speal run through a proshop in the newest workout example video?! That community is strong enough to host a cert and a store. Which is fine. Having both seems pretty ok.

30

wrote …

When we have WODs that are tough on the wrists, our members have been eternally grateful that we have had wrist wraps in stock for immediate purchase, rather than them suffering through the WOD and then heading out to the local sporting goods store for the next time. I really don't see how this detracts from our member experiences, especially when they outright tell us how appreciative they are that we thought through it for them.

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