October 26, 2012
Greg Glassman published the first CrossFit Journal article in 2002. Ten years later, the Journal’s overarching purpose remains the same: To define CrossFit and inspire and support our community.
The first CrossFit Journal article, Foundations, was published 10 years ago, on April 1, 2002, and the fitness world was forever changed.
It was written by CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman, who wrote all the content for the early editions of the Journal.
The first article was aptly named and went on to become a key part of the Level 1 Training Guide, the companion to the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar and the resource thousands of new CrossFit trainers turned to for answers.
The Garage Gym followed in September, outlining a facility almost completely unimaginable in a period characterized by Nautilus machines and plate stacks sliding silently on oiled rails. “The Garage Gym” contained everything needed to create a world-class strength and conditioning facility that was elegant in its simplicity and profound in its functionality. In fact, over 4,600 gyms around the world—and countless garages—now contain essentially the same equipment recommended in the original 12-page article.
In October 2002, the seminal article What Is Fitness? was published. “What Is Fitness?” was revolutionary in the way of Isaac Newton’s publishing on gravity. Gravity existed before Newton, but he was the first to articulate its principles in a measurable way. Fitness existed before Glassman, but he was the first to articulate its principles in a way that allowed measurable, observable and repeatable analysis of the safety, efficacy and efficiency of a fitness program. No one else in the history of fitness had done this.
“It will come as no surprise to most of you that our view of fitness is a contrarian view,” Coach Glassman wrote in 2002. Yet, so successful has the CrossFit revolution been that this statement may not resonate with younger students who started their athletic journey with squats and deadlifts. For others who had been told leg extensions in 3 sets of 8 were the path to fitness, Coach Glassman’s words were like an earthquake beneath traditional views of fitness.
The now-well-known definition of fitness is increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. This concise sentence came later, in 2006. In October 2002, CrossFit’s founder used four models to give a comprehensive view of fitness: the 10 physiological adaptations to training, the three metabolic pathways, the Hopper Model, and the groundbreaking Sickness-Wellness-Fitness Continuum. Any training program could be evaluated by how well it improved its participants across all four models.
The issue also included the Theoretical Hierarchy of Athletic Development pyramid, and, of course, World Class Fitness in 100 Words (the phrase “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity” would also come later).
The document contains Coach Glassman’s original description of how to achieve high levels of fitness, and it created a feedback loop between training method and measurable results that would increase human capacity faster in a decade than at any other time in history.
What follows is a brief look at the history and the future of the CrossFit Journal.