In Affiliation, CrossFit, HD Videos

August 15, 2012

Video Article

In 2007, Business News Network managing editor Marty Cej asked CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman about the greatest challenge to CrossFit. Back then, Coach Glassman said “growth,” and the problem is the same in 2012.

“The greatest challenge is to stay true to our charter and to keep doing what we’ve been doing and not be distracted by the innumerable shiny objects on the roadside,” Coach Glassman says in this interview shot during the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.

The shiny objects are indeed many, and some of them might even turn out to be profitable in the short term, but they would require breaking trust with the more than 4,000 worldwide affiliates, so they remain by the roadside.

CrossFit Inc. is about something more than money to Coach Glassman. It’s about making a difference in the world with friends—and you can’t put a price on that.

That’s why CrossFit is building schools in Kenya.

“We’re going to do it because we can. We’re going to do it because it needs to be done. We’re going to do it because we’re the kind of people who do things like that. And that’s the branding message: CrossFit makes people better,” Coach Glassman explains.

CrossFit is no longer just about fitness; it’s about making the world better. And that’s slightly changed the answer to the oft-asked question “What is CrossFit?”

“I do recognize a refocusing of who and what we are. And the impact that affiliates have on their clients in the gyms is exactly who we are, and the branding effort is going to be the continued presentation to the broader world of just how wonderful the affiliates are,” Coach Glassman says.

8min 27sec

HD file size: 174 MB
SD wmv file size: 101 MB
SD mov file size: 50 MB

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Additional reading: Live and Learn by Mike Warkentin, published June 28, 2012.

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14 Comments on “An Interview With Greg Glassman”


Chris Sinagoga wrote …


I'm one of those 22 yr. olds you mentioned. I've been doing CrossFit since late 2005 and I have never seen the slightest inclination of selling out or "letting us down". I have been training a big group for almost three years now and we finally affiliated back in July. I am extremely excited to see how much success we are going to achieve. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity to do what I love.


wrote …

Great video, although I"m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the efforts to build schools in Africa. While we live in one of the greatest countries on Earth, there is a lot we need to fix before going abroad.


wrote …

I agree with Steve. I was thinking the same thing when I read the above video intro. There are not only deserving charities and meaningful social causes in the great US of A, but if the idea is to go international, why not 'make people better' by focusing on improving the environment. This would definitely 'make people better', particularly in places like Kenya.


wrote …

Coach: I don't know you personally, but someday I hope to meet you in person and say thank you. In a world where the example we most often see is one of maximizing profits or the pursuit of greed, sometimes only for greed's sake, you stand in stark contrast. Your thinking is so counter cultural it must blow people's minds on a daily basis. Your focus on what can I give instead of what can I get and keep is inspiring. If the true definition of wisdom is the correct application of knowledge, I think you provided us a small peek with this video segment. That to me is what is "unbuyable" about Crossfit.


wrote …

I love what we're doing in Africa. Sure there are plenty of good causes in the US but the need in Africa is greater and more urgent. And we just had the CrossFit for Hope event so it's not like we're ignoring the problems at home either.


Fitness is earned through work, education, and discipline. Fitness is "Unbuyable"

CrossFit is the philosophy of fitness. You can't buy philosophy. CrossFit is "Unbuyable"

An outside attempt to forcibly purchase and control Coach's philosophy and our collective work is an attack on liberty and an affront to the American Dream.

"Each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

-James Truslow Adams


wrote …

Thanks coach.


wrote …

Over the years, I've found myself continually skeptical of many of Coach's decisions in regard to the expansion of CrossFit (The Games, Reebok, etc). This was rooted in fear of losing what impacted me so deeply in the early days of the website. But Coach proves again and again that he is a man of unshakable integrity. This video displays the same man who inspired me to no end through the early journals.


wrote …

Coach just has a way of expressing things that is both from the heart and from the mind at the same time.


wrote …

I totally agree with pat. I enjoy listening to his logical and emotional all in one big fat dose of reality and his vision on the brand and what the community represents. I could also hear him say "I am not going to sell out" a thousand times a trillion times. This ship is in good hand with him at the helm.

And I personally like his hair like that he is like the mad scientist behind our "crazy fitness cult"


wrote …

Having spent more than two years in Africa I agree with the skepticism regarding the project, but not for the reasons stated above.

Crossfit is about building strength and resilience. It cannot be given. It must be earned. Through hard work comes improvement, prompting a positive feedback loop of increasing capacity building to further improvement.

When outsiders build schools or solve problems in Africa, that process is short-circuited. In order to reap the improvements from a school Africa must produce those motivated enough to build it, to staff it with qualified home-grown teachers and - most importantly - to show kids why it is important that they attend classes.

The Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo is one of a growing chorus of voice from the continent asking Westerners to stop solving problems for Africa and sending money to Africa. This flow of money and short-term problem solvers creates dependency, promotes corruption and ultimately perpetuates poor governance and poverty.

For Africa to be strong Africans must solve Africa's problems. They must do the heavy lifting in order to reap the positive changes. When we lift for them, they lose the ability to lift for themselves.


wrote …

Why does Coach keep looking off to his left? What a huge distraction. Apparently the interview/subject matter isn't important enough for his full attention? Geez.


wrote …

Wow! Elite Morality!


wrote …

*cough* PR STUNT... *cough*

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