October 06, 2012
CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman describes a pilot program that combines CrossFit training with education—a perfect fit with CrossFit’s mission to change lives.
CrossFit has been in the business of improving athletic proficiency for a long time. We’ve got a physiological answer to the question of fitness, and it’s constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity. But in net what we do is we make people better, and that’s the more important part.
If better involves academic success, getting into the right schools, and getting the right job—and that is indeed a definition of “better” for many—I think in our gyms we can improve cognitive function by just about any standard or accepted measure. We can do it with children, and we’re going to start by improving SAT scores. We can make kids smarter and improve their thinking processes, logic, vocabularies. We’ll give them better tools to process and understand.
I learned early that the emotional and character components that led to significant training effect—success in athletes, success in training—were also carried over perfectly to academic success. It was after finding success with gymnastics, for instance, that I found success with mathematics. Not the other way around. Mind-body dualism is a myth. I don’t want to train like there’s some sharp division between what happens from the collarbones up and the rest of the body. Brain function is part of the body.
I’ve long thought that our training was a metaphor for boatloads of life lessons and patterns for success. It’s time to tie all of that together with the SAT-prep project.