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Understanding the Real Battle by Dave Castro - CrossFit Journal

In CrossFit, Videos

December 06, 2009

Video Article

CrossFit is committed to “forging elite fitness,” with elite being relative to folks’ commitment, interest, age, and condition in life, to name just a few factors. We have a broad definition of this fitness (“increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains”), and a prescription for how to achieve it (regular workouts comprised of “constantly varied functional movements at high intensity”). Adequate nutrition is essential, which in the broadest description means moderate (sufficient but not excessive) quantities of quality food (proteins, carbs, and fats).

The biggest enemy to fitness is sloth and overindulgence, particularly of high-glycemic carbohydrates. The second biggest enemy to fitness is the Silly Bullshit of which Mark Rippotoe speaks eloquently. Getting more folks off the couch, out of the machine-based isolation silliness, and into some form of functional training with a moderate diet is what will make the biggest impact on the world, and on our community.

In all this, there is little disagreement. Now, CrossFit is also about pushing the limits of human performance. The closer you get to the top of your game, especially if your game is the CrossFit Games, the more subtle distinctions matter. You really have to dial in your training, nutrition, and recovery.

There is significant debate, as there should be, about how to optimize human performance. There has been a trend, however, to let these debates become divisive by some members of the community. This is a mistake.

CrossFit HQ’s stance is to expose the community to the widest variety of best practices so that we can further human performance. Identifying solely with one type of deadlift, backsquat or nutrition approach is counterproductive given the success that some athletes have with another type. Know them all, and use them productively and with discretion.

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162 Comments on “Understanding the Real Battle”


wrote …

An interesting video, and one sure to spur discussion....

However, its got to be said; Despite the positive message, considering the date on the cert in the video, why didn't you just post a picture of a can of worms beside a can opener instead?? :-)


Tobias Neal wrote …

Backstepping CYA B.S., I second the fact that this was done "after" the B.S. blackbox stuff which makes it well...

Fact, I bought Rips book as I was lead to believe that he was the SME for CrossFit hence the certs...I brought the information home and taught my people.

Fact, they went to a CrossFit cert and when performing the 9 movements they were yelled or talked loudly at; that they were doing them "wrong". There was no celebrating differences but the way they were doing it was wrong, not that their form was wrong but the way they were setting up and performing the lifts was wrong.

Now sunshine and flowers, lets all get along, bunk, Dave demonstrates it best when he asks those in attendance what CF wants them to do and they get the answers "wrong", its because like it or not this is what people have been lead to believe is right by HQ, now suddenly its not one way but all ways...

I am not saying that folks can't grow or learn but suddenly after a huge blow up we get this...ah well...

I love the community, and the philosphy, but air it out, don't try to spin it. That lacks the truth, open and honest discussion, we are adults I think we could handle it.


wrote …

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt


replied to comment from Tobias Neal

I think Tobias just hit the nail on the head,just what everyone is thinking,hope Robb and Greg come in with their thoughts !


wrote …

Kind of unfair that Mr. Castro gets this forum to pretend he is so rational and accommodative all with a smarmy grin on his face. No matter what kind of marketing you do, it's pretty easy to see right through the underlying personality in this video.

I do appreciate the ideas though, even though the motives are questionable. Yes, the more people we get to do Crossfit, the better. I still think form matters though, and that the variance at the highest levels of performance are not as pronounced as the examples given.

One last thing, if Dr. Sears is coming on as the main Crossfit nutrition guy, can we get him to do some Crossfit and maybe change his diet (or maybe lifestyle) a little? He does not appear to be very healthy.


wrote …

Can someone tell me where I can learn about all this "black box" stuff that keeps coming up. I get the feeling some kind of drama or conflict went down behind the scenes involving some SME's but I can't find any real info.

Personally I think this presentation was great. Anyone who has worked at a large corporation or organization must know that while there might be a perfect mission statement, some employees adhere imperfectly. Just because some Crossfit certifiers aren't this open minded doesn't mean that Crossfit as a whole isn't.


wrote …

Finally, the voice of reason. This is EXACTLY what I thought Crossfit was since discovering Crossfit 3 1/2 years ago and reading all of Coach Glassman's articles. Enjoyed the video very much.


wrote …

This is what I had already decided Crossfit was for me.
Something is better than nothing, some things work
better for me than others, my decision and responsibilty
to figure out what works optimally for me.

This video provides a middle ground to stand in and
gives me some understanding of the issues behind the
recent events.

Hell, I bet I used all three deadlift forms tonight in one
set of 20 @ 275 lbs., and maybe a few that haven't been
seen yet.


Tobias Neal wrote …

Mark Lee, this is posted up in our gym...consequently...

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt


wrote …

I appreciate this video and CrossFit's attempt to deal with what has become a pretty hot issue. Also, like Mike E., I really like this approach. However, it does not square with how all the information has been presented in the past. We were taught to do things like they were shown at the L-certs or by the SME's ... such as in this video ...

(w/f safe link)

If this is HQ's stance now, I'm all for it - just don't pretend it's been that way all along.


Daniel Colson wrote …

Great video


wrote …

Hilarious - Nice backpedal cover HQ. And to have Castro being the one to deliver it, wow. It might have been smarter to just hide that clown for a little while.

In all seriousness, I truly hope this is the stance CFHQ will have from here on out, it's back in the right direction.

We'll see. I'll be watching the Journal for video/pdf series on nutrition that isn't Zone (not a zone hater, just want some educational variety).


Aaron Shaffer wrote …

This was well stated. Regardless of who delivers this message it is important for us as a community of trainers and athletes to keep our eyes on the big picture.

I agree with James that "this is what I had already decided Crossfit was for me". Nobody has a monopoly on information -- we all have something to learn from each other.

Thank you CrossFit Journal for staying focused on what's important!


replied to comment from Jesse Gilge

Jesse (and Dave Johnson), what's up with the personal digs at Castro? Fine,call out HQ on being inconsistent, but come on, let's be civil.


replied to comment from Joe England On that blog you'll find both Russell Berger's account of the Black Box Summit and Robb Wolf's if you go to the second page of posts. They are different enough that it's worth reading both. Competing opinions of the truth on one page...just what everyone seems to be requesting of this one.


wrote …

"Diet...we don't prescribe any one of these..."

Quoting from World Class Fitness in 100 Words or Less,"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar."

I saw the nutrition link had beed updated since my last visit to include much more Zone info.

The best thing about CF is that we can all be our own little experiments. I have received the best results on a Paleo/Zone diet, shoulders slightly forward of the bar for a DL, and a big shrug at the top of a clean, and keeping the bar low during a full (not box) squat. All this while cutting my rum & diet coke, beer, pancakes, and/or doughnuts to one day during the weekend.

Folks should try to tweak their own programs. Use that data to get the best performance. Don't follow any one blind. Once you pull out your workout log, no one can argue with that.


wrote …


I thought I was quite civil.

Forgive me, but, I'm not the kind of person that can handle a lot of bs, and the person who started this "in-fighting" is now in a video claiming to be above it, some sort of peacemaker. That's bs.

I refuse to live in a world where it's considered impolite to call people out on their bs. What you call 'civil' in this case, I call condoning more bs in the future.


wrote …

If you were not at the black box summit or have never taken one of Greg Everetts seminars to understand his attitude toward CrossFit, then any sides being taken are soley based off of the emotionally clouded rant from Robb Wolf. Not exactly independant thinking as illustrated by Peter Keenan "hoping Robb and Greg come in with their thoughts" As this video states, in truth, it is counter productive to the greater and infinitely more important cause.


wrote …

In the way of full disclosure, I'm an HQ trainer, and I report directly to Dave and Nicole. Along with the HQ Certification team, I help teach about 30-40 CrossFit Certifications per year. Feel free to infer bias and loyalty as you will.

Nonetheless, Dave is expressing thoughts in this video that the Certification Staff, HQ, and any reasonable human being would hold dear.

We are interested in what works. We know that that may vary from situation to situation, individual to individual. We are keenly aware of the merits and drawbacks of different diets, teaching methods, and lifting styles. We are also keenly aware of the human desire for "one right way".

It would be a much simpler world if there was only one way to do everything: create a family, buy a house, squat a load, climb a rope. Unfortunately for us, "one right way" is not a reality. The world is messy, plagued with gray areas.

Our recent blowup (and most problems) arise when someone decides that there is one right way, ignoring the vagaries, whether they pertain to exercise, religion, nutrition, finance, or fitness.

The problem is not that Paleo isn't a viable tool; it is. It's not that low-bar back squatting isn't a viable tool; it is. The problem comes when we say it's the only tool, it's the superior tool, it's the tool that applies to all people in all situations. We had people screaming these certainties from the rooftops, these all or nothing assertions, simultaneously degrading our mission, our teaching methods, and our reasons for existence.

When we failed to latch on to their arguments as fact, we were decried as non-open source, closed-minded, and dogmatic. It was never brought up that we may have carefully weighed the options and avoided a bias toward one tool or another. It was never brought up that someone screaming loudly for "one right way" could have a negative impact on the overall mission of forging elite fitness.

Dave isn't backpedaling here. He's describing what we've felt all along, and he's defending something that he has every right to defend.

Regardless, if we feel another way tomorrow, in the knowledge that changing our minds and our methods will lead to better fitness, this new message won't be a sign of weakness or decrepitude; it will be a sign of evolution.




Cody Limbaugh wrote …

For those of you saying this is an inconsistent message I feel compelled to point out I was in a 101 session with Greg Glassman the same day as the black box summit. Greg touched on these EXACT SAME POINTS. He even used some of these same examples. He said he personally agreed with Rip's 'shoulder in front of bar' approach but pointed out that you can't lift a dresser that way so we all need to attack each philosophy and DO BOTH.

It's a consistent message and I believe it to be genuine.


wrote …

So the SME's are supposed to stick to their philosophies and teach what they want to teach, but they have to do it without bashing anything contradictory that Crossfit has endorsed at one time or another? They can bash isolation machines and the food pyramid all they want, but abmat situps and the Zone diet are off-limits? I understand they don't want anyone saying "Crossfit sucks" at a Crossfit cert, but beyond that, where's the line?


wrote …

David Johnson wrote:
"One last thing, if Dr. Sears is coming on as the main Crossfit nutrition guy, can we get him to do some Crossfit and maybe change his diet (or maybe lifestyle) a little? He does not appear to be very healthy."

Okay so we can discount some of the greatest coaches in history like John Wooden, Vince Lombardi, Phil Jackson and the like on grounds that they were not great athletes in the peak of their coaching careers?

Sorry, but your theory is terribly flawed.


wrote …

Just post the videos from the Black Box Summit. That way we can make up our own minds...


wrote …

I'm sorry, did I say anything about the Zone diet?

I was talking about Dr. Sears himself. He looks unhealthy and doesn't/wouldn't represent Crossfit well because of it. I don't even know if Dr. Sears even follows a Zone diet. It doesn't matter, I made no assumptions about that, just said he should change something.

This is clearly from a marketing perspective. Coaches often look unhealthy, but probably weren't at some point in their history. Whatever knowledge they had that helped them achieve, or get other people results now, that doesn't change if they're fat. Maybe Dr. Sears doesn't follow his own advice, because he isn't trying to achieve the height of athletic prowess at this point in his life. However, with nutrition, most people don't look at it that way. If someone is giving advice about food, most people assume that person is following their own advice. From an outsider, looking in, seeing that our nutrition expert does not look like his expert advice is doing him much good, well, that doesn't reflect well on the nutritional advice of crossfit as a whole.

Nutrition is different than playing basketball at the NBA level. Even a 60 year old can eat well... Your analogy is terribly flawed....


wrote …

Putting aside the whole hate-session for a moment, I have a question for the HQ staff, because curiosity has gotten the better of me;

Is CFHQ purposely trying to keep this ridiculous rift/argument/debate alive, and promote the hate-fest and hits that Crossfit is taking from its followers, or are y'all just so bad at PR control that y'all just don't know better?

Really, why would you even consider releasing this video? What's the point? Anything with Mr. Castro in it regarding this topic just fans the flames. At the very least, it's Coach himself who should be delivering this speech; THAT is good PR, because it comes straight from the top. Hell, someone mentioned that Coach gave the same speech/points at a 101 just before this. Post that, not this. Even verbatim, it still extinguishes flames, because the guy delivering it is Coach.

Forgive me if the question is too direct, but as someone with a marketing background, I'm lost and confused at the approach. The Sears interview video just added confusion and flames to a debate most people just want to go away. Now this, which appears- from our end- to be clearly designed to be a poor attempt at damage control (the date is, what, the weekend following the "unpleasantness"?), regardless of the quality message it sends.

I could get into just how much this ridiculous garbage doesn't matter to me as a Crossfitter, other than to muddy up what I think Crossfit is supporting (the video and Jon's post clear that up nicely BTW, at least for now) or how bad it reflects on HQ and the brand from my view as a businessman, entrepreneur, potential affiliate, and future box owner, but I won't. There's no point. If HQ doesn't realize that half-assed attempts at PR spin- regardless of the overall message involved- will just cause more damage and more people to think their business-sense is non-existent, then who am I to bother pointing it out.

Really, you just couldn't have made the CF-connected parties to this mess just lay low for a month or so, and let this whole thing blow over??


wrote …

It's so great to know that Dave Castro can act with civility when he knows that he's being taped and when no one is challenging him. And great to know that he actually does like everybody and is open to lots of different suggestions. What a wonderful world, and what a timely message. Thank you, Pravda.


wrote …

You're right David, he should change something and people should practice what they preach. But I don't think it affects his research and credibility in the field.


replied to comment from Steve Liberati


This argument comes up a lot and Phil Jackson almost always included in the rebuttal. I've never bothered chiming in before, but here goes: Phil Jackson, at his age cannot physically play basketball in the NBA. It is impossible. Is it impossible for Dr. Sears to follow the Zone? Phil Jackson may not want to play basketball in the NBA and may be perfectly content coaching. Based on the videos does it make sense that Dr. Sears does not want to reduce inflammation and receive all of the attendant benefits of following the Zone?

You are absolutely correct that ad hominem arguments are flawed logic, and any health or lack of it pertaining to Dr. Sears does nothing to support or refute the studies he cites. Please understand that I am not trying to denigrate Dr. Sears in any way. This is a question of your argument, not anything to do with Dr. Sears himself nor the Zone diet since I have no idea what his dietary or exercise habits are, nor what the state of his current health is. I'm just saying that while an ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy, using it as a defense can sometimes result in questionable logic as well.


wrote …

Dave Castro just seems like such a nice guy in this video...I really think we need to see the video from the black box to see both sides of that story.

One question that has to be raised is: How is CFHQ and the crossfit community embracing everything (like Castro says) when they get so worked up about SMEs disagreeing with them that they tell them they are finished and they can't be at certs anymore cough cough greg everett & robb wolf cough cough. I think that just needs to be explained, an official statement by CFHQ about what happened because that whole episode seems contradictory to this video.

I am sure tempers flared at that summit, but posting this video so recently after that with no statement or anything seems like they are just trying to quietly cover their footsteps when I think an explanation is owed to the crossfit community since it is such a widely known and talked about incident. I really don't think people are just going to forget about it.


wrote …

I understand the marketing value of the Crossfit tagline of "forging elite fitness", but disagree with Castro's assertion that "elite" is a relative term. It is not. That is like being in a school where everyone who participates is a "winner". While I would consider a member of spec ops as elite, I would not say the same of someone in the regular army, for example.

Please don't "dumb down" the word "elite".

I was never a fan of "forging elite fitness" anyway, because it is a phonological ambiguity. One meaning sounds good while the other doesn't, but that is a different topic.


wrote …

Barry Sears does perfect Zone-Paleo. The guy literally eats 2 lbs of veggies every day. You say he doesn't look healthy? He is. His blood work is perfect. Nobody ever said he was fit. There are plenty of people who look jacked but are very unhealthy once you see their blood work.

Healthy and Fit are two very different things.



wrote …


Dave Castro is a badass!


wrote …

I thought that guy was fired for workplace violence?


wrote …

Uh, so because we see Dave being nice, all is ok? Ok. I'm very sad at seeing Robb go. Mainly because Barry's voice puts me to sleep.


replied to comment from Jason Ashman

Jason - I agree, this is just horrible PR. I also come from a marketing background, and the reason this bothers me so much is because I love Crossfit, and, like everyone here, I want to see it succeed. This message should have come from the top and should have addressed why it's being brought up now, and not from Castro who is at the very CENTER of all the conflict, you're just asking for it by pulling this "bs" as David Johnson puts it. This is the kind of stuff that kills your credibility and I don't want to see that happen.

Crossfit can change people lives, and the better it does from a business standpoint, the more people it can impact. Like any business there will be hicups along the way, just be honest about them, admit when mistakes have been made and bring in some better PR people to handle this kind of stuff. And Jarrett, I'm sorry if I don't sound civil about it, but to me, the timing of this video and the person delivering it is just flat out poor. If noboddy calls out BS and the people delivering the BS when its obvious, it will just get deeper.


Nico Bartke wrote …

As long as there is no official statement from the top (Coach G) and the so often stated video from the BBS isn't made public, HQ's credibility in this case is simply not given. And lack of credibility in one area will of course influence other areas. I don't understand why HQ holds on to people who are unwilling to admit mistakes or wrong behaviour.
We all make mistakes, but admitting them is the only way to go.
If there was no misbehaviour I don't understand why the video wasn't made public.
Discussions could have been kept down simply by admitting the thruth.


Daniel Carney wrote …

Bad PR? Backpedaling? . . . BS and ignorance.

Dave Castro delivering the message of what CrossFit is, and has always been, with obvious date posted on whiteboard, is perfect PR to address recent "micro fights" within the community.

Brilliant play HQ!


wrote …

1. If this video is on here, it probably is coming from the top. Just because the deliverer of the message isn't Coach himself doesn't mean it wasn't approved by him. How often do things come "straight from the top" in other large businesses. HQ probably knew this video would stir things up a little bit, but they also wanted to give some sort of answer as well.

2. How is this back pedaling? A lot of people were complaining for answers as to why HQ did what they did, over issues that were way over their heads and they did not have all the facts on mind you, well this seems to clear it up and at least give us HQ stance on the issue.


wrote …

someone please post the black box summit videos (unedited).

free the information so the average crossfitter can see what really happened.


replied to comment from Michael Donohue

I for one am tired of the media telling me what to think, buy, want and how to look. Spin, or PR as you put it, is demeaning to all of us who love this community.

Dave's message is good and appreciated. His professionalism is not. If he cannot remain civil, spur on valuable debate through logic and knowledge or communicate effectively then he should remain quite and listen/learn from his peers. He should be the one being "reigned in"

Quote from Dave Castro on "Understanding the Real Battle"
"The second biggest enemy to fitness is the Silly Bullshit of which Mark Rippetoe speaks eloquently."

Helpful? Civil? Useful?

We talk about having open source programming where the cream rises to the top, essentially the best methods prove themselves, correct? How is this possible when we ostracize leading figures in the athletic world ie. Robb Wolfe, Greg Everet and Mark Rippetoe. Granted they may have strong personalities and opinions but I haven't heard of any fist fights of them....maybe i'm just a bit ignorant there.

In any case, I second the release of the video from Black Box and hope that perhaps Crossfit HQ will either accept accountability or fire Dave.


wrote …

Little known fact Steve Liberati-

When John Wooden did play competitive basketball he had string of 100 free throws made in games (not all one game) in a row. And he threw them all granny style. =)

I do believe that the bigger battle is getting everyone on board to healthier movements and better eating. But a SME is an EXPERT in their field. They generally have years of scientific training and/or years and years of successfully training athletes that many of us don't have. If they, from their experience have a particular approach that works, (Like Burgner in his certs, "This is my method for what I have found works best for large groups, it's not the only way but it's my way") and they have science and experience on their side why wouldn't we want that voice in the community?? They have their reasons for their position.

The nuances of why quality matters more than quantity aren't always easy to put in a short video.
Neither is the nuances of what muscle groups are working more in different lift positions and different body types may tend towards certain forms.
I really hope that HQ can keep all the voices in the conversation so that all of us (trainers, athletes, regular people who follow .com) can be exposed to most knowledge and find what works best for us and for the people we train.


wrote …

From the summary of the video:

"There is significant debate, as there should be, about how to optimize human performance. There has been a trend, however, to let these debates become divisive by some members of the community. This is a mistake."

Who are these "some members?" Greg Everett and Robb Wolf? Mark Rippetoe? Anyone who has worked with CrossFit HQ then has left? That seems to be the insinuation.

In reality it is HQ that is letting the minutiae become divisive. Robb prefers putting clients on Paleo before Zone--so what? Greg Everett doesn't think the med ball clean should be used for teaching Olympic weightlifting--so what? That doesn't mean they deserve to be yelled at in the manner they were, even if, God forbid, they used humor in their presentations.

Yes, please show the BBS video, or even post Russell Berger's summary of it alongside of Greg's and/or Robb's.

It's a Catch-22. The video and/or write-ups would speak volumes...and so would omitting them.


Are healthy and fit two different things? Isn't this contrary to the 3 dimensional model of fitness put out recently by Greg Glassman?

Barry Sear did recently state, in this journal, that Manuel Uribe is the healthiest man in Mexico, because his blood work is great. Isn’t this exactly the mindset Greg Glassman lectured against earlier in the year?


Josh Elmore wrote …

Efficient, Efficacy and Safety. These are the 3 standards we hold all protocol to. All things must be tested as Dave said. However, I do think that we must continue to weed out all the things that don't measure up. If executing a clean with a particular technique is more efficient, yields more efficacy and is safer than we should adopt that technique.

I am a firm believer that conflict breeds creativity. The internal conflict that Crossfit is experiencing is natural and can be a good thing. All technique, trainers, affiliates, clients, equipment, etc. is not created equal; and as Glassman says "the cream rises to the top." It's time to put our egos behind us and pursue pure fitness. Let's seek excellence in our product, regardless of where or who it comes from.


wrote …

I don't have a problem with the video, I think it's a great point, of course timing is suspicious but I'm glad to see it. From all the information I've gathered I believe that Dave Castro was out of line for his actions at the BBS, but I don't believe that defines him as a person or that he should be fired...that's ridiculous. I like Dave personally, never met Robb or Greg Everett but I appreciate their contributions and think they're great.

Speaking on being imperfect, I love the message here that there's no 1 way. For example, Deadlift set-up can be drastically different based on a human's femur length, arm length, and other factors. No reason to ever say there's one way. I was given praise at my level 2 cert for addressing this when I went around and checked all of my test subjects set-ups, helping them find one that was best for them personally. To all of you who want to say we should listen to the experts in the field because they have science behind it and their way is the best...Okay, then lets go back a few years and have everyone follow the FDA food pyramid with grains and pasta as the foundation, because that was proven by experts and had science to back it up.

I pray that CrossFit continues striving to keep their views open at all times, never crowning one idea as the be all end all of fitness. I've chosen to drop the whole blow up issue, because it's between the folks involved. I still check Robb Wolf's site regularly because I like the info. I also check T-nation, and a ton of other sites, then I experiment and form my own conclusions on what works best.

I am not an HQ trainer, and have no agenda, just an opinion.



wrote …

That was a moment of atonement for Dave Castro, a pretty clever lecture coupled with an almost palpable desire to renew some good old fashioned CrossFit rebel team spirit. Whether we're utterly furious at him or we just shrug off the problem at the summit as some human failing, let's let it slide. Forgive him. It's in the past.

All of these people work very hard at providing all of us a lot of very valuable information. Everyone has the community's best interests at heart. Maybe the scope of the challenge is getting the best of them, and a few changes have to be made. I'm sure there are all kinds of stories about why Person A is mad at Person B, or why someone was 'fired' or why someone quit. I'm also sure that the facts and emotions for everyone involved are very valid.

Still, I would hope that after tempers cool, CrossFit would reestablish their relationships with Robb Wolf and Rip (and anybody else I'm omitting) not because Greg and Dave and Robb and this small handful of folks have to get along but because the thousands of us around the world want the breadth and depth of expertise that CrossFit has come to represent.

If Dave Castro is the head of training, then a greater act of atonement might be to publish an overview of the diverse opinions of CrossFit's various experts. A summary profile of Rip, along with recommendations for specific videos, would let people know what they're in for at one of his barbell certifications, as opposed to someone else's. At the very least, Castro and the others cannot let themselves be surprised by what's presented at one seminar or another.

On complicated issues like Paleo versus Zone, why not post a lecture in which somebody lays out the central tenets in each - just so people can make their own basic comparison? A round table discussion with Barry Sears and Robb Wolf would be fascinating; one with Rip and Dave Tate would probably be hilarious. Present competing theories. Show us the world is a fascinating place.

Good management would turn these differences into strengths.
We've got a guy on our team who does butterfly kips. I mean, what's up with that?


Russell Berger wrote …

The BBS was not a CrossFit HQ event. All available videos from the summit have been posted here: ( WFS )

The events that occurred at the BBS are both amazingly unimportant and irrelevant to the goal of improving fitness in ourselves or our clients. For clarification, re-visit comment #19 by Jon Gilson. He summarized it quite well.


Adam Kayce wrote …

I agree with everything Dave said in this video. And, I believe the timing, and lack of addressing the time-sensitive issue on everyone's mind is what is making the real message get buried under 50 comments of discussion.

Plain and simple (since I haven't seen it said anywhere yet):

• Coach Glassman needs to address what happened at the BBS, and make a statement.
• Dave Castro needs to apologize publicly (because it's not about right or wrong at this point, it's about unprofessional conduct), and make a statement of his position moving forward.

Until these happen, no matter what the content of the video or what the topic in question is, the events of the BBS will cloud everything that comes from HQ - even if 100% of the CrossFit community agrees with it.

Because this is not about right or wrong. It's about emotions, professional behavior, and the ripples of doubt that are moving through our community. Those issues can't be waived away by citing policy, providing data, or "us vs. them" arguments.

Plain and simple, the CF community is hurting around this, and only by addressing it directly is the matter going to be settled.


replied to comment from Aaron Lucke

Quote from Dave Castro on "Understanding the Real Battle"
"The second biggest enemy to fitness is the Silly Bullshit of which Mark Rippetoe speaks eloquently."

I think you misunderstud what Castro was saying here. Silly Bullshit is an article by Rippetoe of the Silly Bullshit in the strength/conditioning and fitness industry. Castro wasn't saying that anything Rippetoe says is silly bullshit.


wrote …

You can click on that Silly Bullshit to view the article. It's quite good, rather hilarious, and so true.


wrote …

Did Pat Barber just say "Healthy" and "Fit" are 2 different things?

I thought within Crossfit they are defined as one and the same with "Fit" being "Hyper-health", simply exist along the same spectrum? I'm pretty sure I've seen numerous HQ videos about this.


wrote …

You're right. Read "What is Fitness?", and Health and Fitness are described as the same thing. Its one of the mantras of Crossfit.


replied to comment from Jason Ashman

I too am a potential affiliate, and future box owner and agree with everything you said.


Jay Ashman wrote …

Interesting video, and of course this will inspire debate giving the timing and all, but we have to stay focused on giving our clients the best possible training we know and adapt to their needs.

I can see how some are aggravated with Castro because of the Black Box Summit but that doesn't affect how I train my clients and it never well. I have my methods and I constantly learn from sources all over, not just from CrossFit. To ignore other methods that work is foolish on our part and we don't need the permission from HQ to use them with our own clients.... but HQ reserves the right to teach what they want to be taught.

Thomas, I agree with your points 100% as well. Time to stop beating this to death and improve how it is all done so the future doesn't bring the same issues.

More importantly, I am NOT the only Jason Ashman in CrossFit... I feel like I've found a long-lost brother. :D


wrote …

How 'bout it everybody....who wants to see Dave Castro announce the entire Crossfit games this year?


wrote …

Sorry for fanning the flames on the last post which is completely off topic....I just want to see this all formally and publicly resolved. Like Adam said in comment #48.

"Until this all all formally resolved, no matter what the content of the video or what the topic in question is, the events of the BBS will cloud everything that comes from HQ - even if 100% of the CrossFit community agrees with it."


wrote …

Personally, I find it refreshing to work with and for a company that has more concern with spreading information than political correctness. I don't necessarily agree with every personal exchange, but the fact that this is NOT being swept under a rug in the sake of keeping things peaceful is not bothersome in the least.

This is much like sibling fighting. I can wrestle with my brother, but if someone else lays a hand on him that guy found two enemies at once. Those of us practicing legitimate functional fitness, at high intensities, are on the same side of the fence. There are big egos on our side, and managing those egos will always be a challenge for us.

However, having this kind of firepower only further distances us from our non-functional, high-carb, low-intensity, non-performing peers. No one loves a forrest fire, but they are important for new growth. As long as we keep learning and progressing, and act with civility to our brothers who share our broad vision, these sorts of debates are exactly what keeps us forging further ahead.


replied to comment from Nicholas Carcerano

I believe what Pat was referring to in his post was the sickness, wellness, fitness continuum. In this example being "well" is when you go to see the doc and he sees that your blood work is good and your other markers of health are average (ie bodyfat...etc). "Wellness" in our society is often seen being "healthy". As CrossFitters our goal is to be better than well. Our goal is to be fit, which means that not only do we have all of those markers of "wellness" where they need to be but we can also live a quality of life that only comes through our ability to perform the tasks life demands. We want to feel and perform as good as possible as long as possible. In a lot of situations you can have a person who checks out "well" by a doctor who does not have a good quality of life because they are unfit.

You're welcome Pat... :)

As an HQ trainer I can also attest that this video is completely congruent with everything I have ever been asked to convey at the certs. The message in this video is no different than what we are encouraged to teach and practice. We have also always made sure that we are nothing but respectful about our SMEs at the certs. When questions come up about why we teach something different, our response always contains the explanation that there isn't just one way and encourage the participants to go to as many specialty certs as they can. I can't say that all of the SMEs have always been that respectful of the HQ staff. There are a lot of examples of that, but I will spare you.

It doesn't matter if you like Dave's "personality". It isn't his job to give everyone the happy (that is impossible). We all need to appreciate how hard he works for the community and how great of job he does with the demands that are placed on him. Take the small undertaking and he did a fantastic job, all the while doing his job with the SMEs and the rest of the HQ staff.



replied to comment from Russell Berger

Thanks Russ, but these videos don't really show anything.

HQ, have you thought about your options? These are how I see them-

1. Public statement from Glassman
2. Release of videos
3. Apology of Castro (I see this as the least likely)
4. Ignore it and hope it goes away
5. Try to influence those w/in the community that take everything that CF says as gospel and thus alienate others

Seems like you've chosen option 5 so far. Am I correct here?


wrote …

Ha ha..should read..
It isn't his job to make everyone happy.


wrote …

I LOVE CF, Dave Castro is the man, Robb Wolf is the bomb.

"Using no way as way" & "Having no limitation as limitation". Bruce Lee JKD

Open your mind ppl... take what is useful to you, leave what is not.

No one "owes" anything to anyone.


Jay Ashman wrote …

Danny, simple and to the point... doesn't matter who we personally like or dislike, we are a part of this community and we personally make a decision to stay in it, leave or never be a part of it.

I choose to be in it and stay in it regardless of the personal drama.

Its a highly effective system and its adaptable to fit everyone's needs and fitness level, let's not get too caught up in what HQ does to address the issue and stay caught up in improving fitness.


wrote …

I think way too many people are falsely assuming that they completely understand all of what led up to the BBS incident. Furthermore, people are acting as if they are entitled to an explanation.

The Glassman's don't own fitness or the Crossfit "community", but they DO own Crossfit the business. They don't owe anyone an explanation. We are "community members" not stock holders. We don't actually stand to lose anything by these past actions. We still know who Ripp, Robb, and Greg Everett are (maybe even more so now, before I only knew Greg as the author of a book on Amazon I'd considered buying one time) and if we value their information we can pursue them independently. Crossfit contracting with SME's for certs makes things convenient, that's it. If the terms of the certs are no longer mutually agreeable to the Glassman's and the SME in question, then they don't do it. That is entirely within the rights of business owners.

Furthermore, Crossfit HQ isn't discrediting anyone. They just aren't making statements. I read this as "it's none of your business" (and it isn't), not as an embarrassed cover up. Since Ripp supposedly left I have seen several times in the CFJ where he is referenced as a reliable source of information, this lecture being one of them. Crossfit HQ can respect and endorse a trainer without privately contracting with them. Also, one must consider that maybe Ripp, Robb, or Everett aren't ENTIRELY innocent in all of this, and HQ is actually doing them a favor in not getting into a he said she said battle (which in fact would be more unprofessional than the situation already appears).

In the end, we don't know and we aren't entitled to know, so its best to move on and attack the WOD the same as you did yesterday.

A possible retort is that although we aren't entitled to this information, Crossfit could lose money or potential expansion speed so they should do what is best for their business. It is possible some people won't attend certs now or affiliate etc. because of how they perceive this mess. But that is no one's business but the Glassmans. Just as Robb Wolf said to take the high paying gig and shove it up their asses (and it seems a lot of people respected his stance there), HQ can say the same: "you can take the potential added income and expansion of our business and shove it up yours, it's not worth the hassle of working with you."

I'm not saying any of this happened. It's just an illustration of the fact that HQ is just as justified as anyone else in only contracting with whom they want to, and they don't owe anyone anything.


wrote …

Is this supposed to be HQ's response to the ugly incident at the Black Box Summit?

The timing is impeccable and the presenter is convenient. That being said, I beleive this video to be an accurate portrayal of the message CF has had since the very beginning. It's just too bad that HQ's top trainer (Castro) can't demonstrate this level of openmindedness when he's confronted with an opposing view, which by the way, was communicated at a NON-CrossFit seminar.


wrote …

My preference is that Nicole C. delivered the message.. she is cute. My biggest disappointment with HQ is not seen her around more.

When it comes to personalities, it's got more to do with you than the other. Think about it.. it's you thats all worked up about it.

I don't know about you, but I'm here for the info and community... it's not perfect, never was, never will be? That's the beauty of it... we are learning together.

Spins, back peddles and grand illusions... what happened? what does it all mean? Do you really care? Does it really matter, nope.

Save the drama for your mama, now lets get back to whats important!


replied to comment from Russell Berger

Russell, you're missing the point. I figured this would be fairly apparent to y'all, but I guess not.

It doesn't matter if "The events that occurred at the BBS are both amazingly unimportant and irrelevant to the goal of improving fitness in ourselves or our clients." I agree with you 100% percent. This is irrelevant to fitness. As a Crossfitter, the only thing I care about is doing my workouts, and all this garbage just flies above my head. I'll do what I want to do and what works for me, regardless of what y'all say.

However, as someone with a business education background who is basing my decision to affiliate around whether I believe that Crossfit as a business and brand contains a long-term business strategy and viability plan, and is a brand worthy of investing in, y'all look foolish and unprofessional, and it reflects badly on the Crossfit name. In the image business, perception IS reality, and what y'all are selling IS image, whether you like it or not, and whether y'all are willing to admit it.

Look at it this way; The programming is free. Crossfit was set up to be like that- changing it would be business suicide. So, what y'all are forced to sell is essentially the logo. In Crossfit's case, the "logo" encompasses several things; Affiliation, certs, merch, the Games, and anything else y'all do under the Crossfit banner. However, all of that is worthless without the name "Crossfit". If you tried selling T-Shirts with "Russell Berger Fitness" on it, you'd be broke in a week, because that name don't carry much weight, Fitness-wise. Not a diss, just the truth- It'd be the same if I stuck my name on a T-Shirt (although, I'd sell at least one to New York; Thanks Jay :-)). The success of "Crossfit" the company depends on the success of "Crossfit" the brand. If Crossfit disappeared tomorrow, I- and just about everyone else that does Crossfit- would continue doing Crossfit, and using the principles and methodology to continue with our fitness goals. Understand, what CFHQ is selling isn't Fitness. It is a brand, and taking care of that brand is paramount to your continued success and viability as a company.

Now, when this was a small little enterprise, all about Fitness and not concerned with cashflow, there wasn't really a brand to be had, just a bunch of fitness-loving folk who did cool things that got 'em really fit. Now, y'all got yourselves a fitness juggernaut on your hands, but, me thinks, no real clue as what public relations and image mean. Sure, the Military thing and FGB is great PR, but I'll bet HQ doesn't consider it PR, just doing their part. Overall, you still think that people will eat whatever you put in front of them, and, dude, y'all are WRONG. Sure, they'll gobble down the programming- it's free, after all- but you can't just ignore trouble spots, and expect them to go away because they're irrelevant to Fitness or because you release a video essentially saying "No fire here, everything's fine, you may go about your business!".

Things don't work like that in the image game, and they ESPECIALLY don't work like that when your company is built to be open-sourced, and where the founder runs around giving free open-door Q&As (which, BTW, is good PR). When you get as big as Crossfit is, and depend as much as you do on image, opinions matter. Like it or not, the journal discussions and the .com boards are HQ's line to it's people; Try getting back to listening to what people are saying, minus the garbage; It can mean the difference between easy damage control and having to put out a fire.

There was a post earlier about how explanations never come from the top of the company, but only come from PR folk. The poster conveniently forgets Google, Apple, and a few dozen other open source companies- big and small- that do things differently. They don't do it differently because they care, or because they're actually soft and fuzzy inside. They do it because they understand Image, and mold it as they see fit.

If you act like idiots, don't control your people, then get all arrogant about the handling of the fallout, your image takes a hit, and the people who are considering serious, long-term investment- affiliates and sponsors- give pause to bringing their money into the fold, especially in this economy. You can't honestly tell me that you don't realize that there's potential affiliates- not to mention companies with sponsorship interests- watching this unfold, can you?? What conclusions do you think they're drawing from HQ's handling of this?

Bottom line; CFHQ's handling of this comes off as unprofessional, half-assed, and damaging to the company. It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Fitness, and EVERYTHING to do with image. Like it or not, Crossfit HQ is in the image game now, and its high time y'all realized that, and adjusted your gameplan to deal with that fact. People are pissed for a reason, and you've got yourself a brushfire on your hands. Deal with it wrong- and these videos constitute WRONG- often enough, and the fire won't be containable. Try listening to the angry people- not the ones who won't let petty garbage go, but the ones offering constructive criticism- and actually do SOMETHING that is relevant damage control.

Because, whether CFHQ is willing to admit that, realize it, or even recognize it, damage control IS needed here, regardless of whether or not it is relevant to making people fit. Its a business move, not a fitness one, and its time y'all realized that.

Call it "The Business of Forging Elite Fitness".

BTW: I really love the idea of Rip/Tate or Simmons and Wolf/Sears Roundtables- THAT would be epic, and great PR.


wrote …

In my opinion commenter #63 resumed pretty well the situation.

Now let's say I'm the owner and head coach of a gym. I have couple of trainers under me that are doing their best for our athletes. Some of those trainers a female, and one of our athlete really can't handle being told something by a girl. He continuously shows disrespect toward my female trainers and make the whole atmosphere quite bad when he is around.

More than one time did I sit with him, professionally speaking about what is the problem with the girl trainers, assuring him that they have all my confidence regarding their knowledge base and that he needs to follow their advice just as he do when it is me or another of my male trainer that is correcting him. Each time he agreed to be more open minded. Each time afterward I still hear from my coachs that he isn't at all listening, he still disrespect them and he's even starting to be kind of physical with my females coachs. Only of course when I am not around. This keep going for quite a good amount of time. We sit again at my desk each time, and I'm to the point of canceling his membership and warn him one last time. He agrees, again, to change.

And then one day I was lucky to be around, at my desk, and it happened again, this guy is being really disrespectful, isn't listening to anything and is physical with my coaches, I saw it from my own eyes just when I was about to leave the gym.

I come directly to the guy, yell at him that he's done. The reimbursement will follow up shortly and that he must never step a foot inside my gym anymore. it is over. period.

Now other peoples on the gym were quite shocked , I'm far from not being able to control my self, and were really surprised by all this. Some of them perhaps found my way of action quite unprofessional, and without knowing all the rest of the story I would agree that it is unprofessional. But I know I did all I could in order to not get into this situation, period.


Now this whole story is purely hypothetical, but I hope you get my point.

Not trying to excuse Dave behaviors, but just trying to give some lights on things it seems most of the people that are whining didn't see.


Robert Guere wrote …

In the end, most of our clients have no idea this is going on, they're hooked on the workouts and that's that. The CrossFit brand get's me recognized, my training signs up the clients, who do the work to improve their lives.

I was one to criticize HQ early on when Robb put up his first blog post. I wanted HQ answers and responses. After the a-forum posts from some HQ folks, a phone conversation with some others, and after time to settle down, I realized I was just irritated and felt like the thing (CF) that I defend, own and sell was letting me down. I was wrong. It's a spat that was probably handled wrong from the get-go. But it has been festering, and this is what happens. The blame-game isn't working, and won't work.

Frankly, I have moved on, and Dave's comments in the video were what I thought all along anyway, it wasn't about the content. It was about the conflict.

I've got two newbies I have to teach the split-jerk to tonight.... none of this matters when the chalk hits the bar.


wrote …

jason...well put


wrote …



check out Robb Wolf's site for details.


Matt Deminico wrote …

Notwithstanding the whole kerfluffle with the BBS (I wasn't there, but nobody's perfect, and everyone does stupid things they wish they hadn't done, so I guarantee wrong things were said/done by folks on all sides... the only way we get better is if we admit our mistakes, and don't do them again... //end rant).

That being said, yes it's important to "all be on the same side", but it's also extremely important to have some internal struggles. It's what the free market is all about.

"Climate change" (formerly "Global Warming") scientists could just as easily be having this same discussion about not presenting opposing theories about climate change, and where would we be left if they did so?

We had a recent example of this in the news, with the eMails going around about censoring opposing viewpoints on "climate change".

Long story short, civil disagreements need to be had. I don't have evidence of anyone within CF (on any side of any argument) going around and outright slamming someone else, though I'm sure it happened.

If so (let's say Billy Bucktooth is on staff and says we should only do preacher curls, that everything else is BS...) it should be discussed privately with him, documented, and moved on. If things don't improve, then public discipline is appropriate at that point.

The only "infighting" I can recall recently is, over a year ago, differing articles in the CFJ and in PMenu where PMenu, written by Greg Everett, recommended the high bar back squat for its own reasons, and the CFJ, written by Coach Rippetoe, recommended the low bar back squat, again for his own reasons. Both were right in what they were addressing, and both were civil in their discussion on the topic when the other was mentioned.

This is how it should be, and how largely I've witnessed it. If there's evidence otherwise, and it's already been attempted to be addressed privately, then bring the evidence to public light and let us be the jury.


Matt Deminico wrote …

Oh, one other thing (two actually...)

1) A Rip/Tate roundtable would be funnier than watching Rosie O'Donnell attempt Fran RX'd.

2) Like I mentioned before, there's right and wrong done by *everyone* in everything. Here's an example:

I live at a "T" intersection that leads to a dead-end street. Just a week ago, I'm unloading the minivan, and I hear a car doing about 45 down our street, look up, and watch this thing do literally 45 mph through the stop sign (where I see kids sitting for the bus all the time, kids playing, etc...)

I'm pissed, so I start walking down the street in the rain towards the house I see the car parked at. Before I get down there, he backs out again and starts driving to go back to the main road. I'm in the middle of the street and attempt to stop him, he slows down, comes to a near stop, I go by the side of his car to ask him "Are you on your way to the hospital or something?" but before I even can say anything he swerves by me and speeds off. As he goes by, I whack the back of his car with the palm of my hand.

Later that day, this punk's mother shows up at my door threatening my life, etc... apparently he said "I hit him" (not his car), and forgot to tell his mother about him blowing through the stop sign at 45 mph.

Now, I see this kid doing this *all* the time, so it's not an isolated incident. Coincidentally his mother does the same thing, but that's another story.

Moral of this story is, though about 95% of people would side with me on this one, I'll still admit I was wrong in whacking the rear quarter panel of the dude's car. Stupid mistake I made, fine. I'll also admit this mistake even if they never admit any wrongdoing on their part, because admitting my mistakes makes me better in the long run.

So, my point is, if you're involved in this (or other stupid disputes), and you know you did something stupid, just admit it. We all do it, and it makes you look like more of a man (or woman, if you're of the fairer gender).


wrote …

Well said Jason Ashman.
Dave Castro made a mistake and acted unprofessionally at the BBS. He's human.
Fess up and apologize Dave. It's the right thing to do.


wrote …

It's good to see some levelheaded opinions. And not just people demanding an apology from Castro/CFHQ or viciously defending Castro/CFHQ until the bitter end.

I agree with Jason's points about the CF Image.

I also agree that there should be some roundtable discussions. I'd love to see any of the proposed topics/battles between Robb Wolf and Sears or Tate and Rip or really any of the CF big names. I would watch Kstar, Boz, Coach Glassman and many others, debate or discuss any topic.


wrote …

Nice #66.

There was a video a while back that centered on CF having an a-hole barrier. The explanation was that because everyone involved worked hard, there was a lack of individuals who got something for nothing. This led to a weeding out of the a**holes in the group and created a community of people who have been humbled by the pain and exhaustion that CF workouts induce and who truly appreciate the work and dedication of their peers and trainers.

I know HQ works hard, but perhaps the success of CF has made them complacent when it comes to working with SMEs. Managing people, especially a cast of characters that includes self-made experts in diverse fields, requires a level of work and expertise unparalleled in the area of fitness, except maybe in the locker room of a professional sports team. How do you get these experts to agree to disagree and create an Ahole-free community at the level of instructors and management? As stated in comments above, this requires a new approach to PR and personal relations. If any business can find a way to do this, CF can if it takes this seriously, which it no doubt should.

I love the fact that I can watch Dr. Sears and Robb Wolff nutrition videos and the same is true for lifting, gymnastics and other areas where they have the world's leading experts. I don't need to see these people square off so a 'winner' can be chosen. For me, the fact that CF gives me the best, even if the experts don't agree, makes me value it even more. An organization that chooses the top practices and let's the individual make the final decisions empowers its community to think independently. Show me the experts, their data, their conclusions and I will evaluate what makes me the fittest.

Just treat these people well so I can continue to hear more from them!


Daniel Kallen wrote …


Well said!

No one in my box seems to know about this BBS BS and I doubt they would care. They are concerned with what I task them with and what ens up on the whiteboard. To them, I am CrossFit. Therefore, it is up to me to do the best I can and get them the best results possible. Staffing issues on the SME team have no effect whatsoever on the "brand" as it is perceived by my members and potential members.

I agree with you 100%, Bob: ".. none of this matters when the chalk hits the bar."

Dave Castro's contribution, via this video, is terrific in my opinion. Let's move on.


replied to comment from Nico Bartke

Nico, My guess is the host of the summit (CF Central?) owns the videos, and they will not be released unless it is somehow in their interest to do so.

The BBS was not hosted by CF HQ, therefore, they cannot control the videos shot there.


replied to comment from Joe England

Joe - well said sir. Paul


wrote …

Good quote, please read... insert Crossfit instead of Jeet Kune Do.

I have not invented a "new style," composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from "this" method or "that" method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see "ourselves". . . Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don't, and that is that. There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one's feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back.

– Bruce Lee


replied to comment from Matt Solomon

I don't think there would be a battle between Sears/Wolf, or Rip/Tate. Honestly, they agree on almost everything - Rip claims to want to teach beginners how to lift weights to increase their strength but not to win contests and set records - do you think he would disagree with a guy that says all he wants to do is set records? I've seen Robb W advocate for Dr. Sears' approach in writing many times, despite whatever nuances of the Zone Robb disagrees with. You guys are way off base on that entire line of thought.

Look at Jon's post again - he explained what happened and why it created the backlash that we've seen.


wrote …

Someone could make a soup opera script with all these comments.


wrote …

"The events that occurred at the BBS are both amazingly unimportant and irrelevant to the goal of improving fitness in ourselves or our clients."

Might not be true. For the SME's that have left CF, have any been dismissed because of their lack of knowledge, experience or ability to coach improved fitness? If political infighting and poor interpresonal skills are dictating which SME's will associate with and provide expertise to CF and its community then it affects CF's ability to improve fitness for its adherants and their clients, no?


wrote …

I'm curious to how the lvl. 2 cert will be conducted? When teaching your group of athletes will you be graded on how you teach the particular movement, eg. deadlift with shoulder in front of the bar. I know a few people that have attended the lvl. 2 and it was expressed in the beginning that certain movements taught by SME's would be a fail and that the teaching progresions must follow a certain standard. Will this still be the case? Will there be a universal standard for the lvl. 2 or will be you be graded on what method you choose to teach? From the second hand information I have received from attendees of the lvl. 2 and the infomation in the video it seems like there is some form of miscommunication?


replied to comment from Matt Deminico

Well said Matt. I can only imagine new clients logging-on to find the discorse currently underway. This video could have been a rebuttal to the disputed BBS presentation rather than a response to the lack of professionalism that transpired at the BBS.

When new clients approach us concerning this, can we tell it the way we see it since we're now on the hook for guiding them in this direction? Or should we let what's going on speak for us?

CFHQ, I have much love & respect for what you do, but you're not done yet.

Attitude reflects leadership.

There's still time for Leaders to LEAD!!!


wrote …

Seems like HQ are content with being better than bodybuilding. That might have been revolutionary in 2002 but the game has moved on a bit since then. Anyone who dares to try to improve CF gets sacked or insulted so much that they resign. It's a big shame IMO.

Surely the minutiae matters if one is trying to attain "Elite Fitness"?


wrote …

What is this up with this SENSELESS Crossfit "Media" Scrutiny.

Dave Castro does NOT need exploitation like Tiger Woods is getting right now so lets relax.

Personally I think Dave doesn't to to apologize to anybody for anything.

Who are we to judge a feud between two people.

And for everyone saying it unprofessional?! We have all heard the "F" word in numerous videos and I don't think HQ should care about this petty incident. Its being blown up by the whole CF community whom I THOUGHT all cared about one thing: improving fitness.

It seems many of you haven't focused on the 20+ informational and inspirational! videos/articles that Castro puts out. He has more than enough proved to me his LEADERSHIP!.

Tiger Woods is still a leader to me despite minuscule flaws.

keep em coming.


wrote …

Everything in the video rings true. But I still don't understand from the video or from any of the comments why Greg Everett was yelled at and Robb Wolf was fired. Is it because they were "badmouthing the organization" or whatever phrase Dave used in referencing his phone conversation with Louie Simmons? If so, please explain how. Right now I'm not convinced that either SME deserved any of that, or any of the insinuations of being "divisive," which is what seems to be the case now. Just because they have different stances on some issues and make their opinions known doesn't mean they are "badmouthing" anybody. Just because Greg sometimes makes fun of CrossFit doesn't mean he "hates" it (something Castro is reported to have told him at the BBS). Heck, don't we all make fun of CrossFit at some point?

No one is asking HQ to "latch on to their arguments as fact" as Jon says (I know that's out of context, but I like the phrase), or even to agree at all. We--those of us who aren't just accepting this video and moving on as if nothing happened--would just like to see people treated civilly.

And to those who say the community is not entitled to an explanation from HQ: I agree completely. But unless there is one, or an apology, or some iota of owning up to the situation, or even making a convincing argument that HQ's actions were justified all along, then I and many others will continue to hold HQ in lower regard than before.

Not that it matters what I think of HQ, but there seems to be a lot of me.


replied to comment from Paul Eich


I'm not looking for an angry debate, I would just love to hear those guys shoot the shit about CF, weightlifting, nutritional approaches and/or anything else.

If K-star was talking about the history of stamps or the best rapids to canoe on, I'd listen.


wrote …

Can you imagine how different this would be right now if Castro would have started out by saying this, "some events happened that I am not proud of, I got defensive and blew up over something I shouldn't have. The only reason is because I love Crossfit and I get so passionate about it that it fogs my judgement sometimes and I lose focus on what Crossfit is about. I have apologized to Robb and Greg, we are all adults and we are working past it. I have put my heart and soul into Crossfit, I make mistakes like everyone does and I get defensive sometimes, but I'm learning and growing along with Crossfit and everyone else here. So let me clarify what the real battle is, what Crossfit truly stands for and what I believe even though there have been times when I have not displayed it very well."

True leaders can swallow their pride when they need to, and they gain more respect when they do. Instead of smiling smugly while pretending to be above the very thing that you yourself started.

It's not too late Dave, be a leader.


Brad Cogburn wrote …

I have read most of these comments, I want to everybody who considers themselves a professional to consider alternatives to their profession. Example: In the fire service there has been a debate over which type of nozzle works the best for putting out a fire.
I believe CrossFit is now entering the realm of debate from all of its trainers. Just as with the fire service there is a tool for many different applications. CrossFit can teach all aspects, a while back I remember a video of a guy doing 30 muscle ups for time. He was doing them in a why I have never seen. Nobody logged on and criticized the guy for his technique. I have learned some very good lifting techniques from all who has spoke on this blog. If you can’t teach a subject in different ways or you don’t know how to then don’t be a coach! You can have your own personal preference but teach alternatives.
By the way I prefer smooth bore nozzles ;)


replied to comment from Jonathan Gilson

Dave Castro should apolize for the comments he made, if in fact he called someone "a fat ass" (as reported on various blogs). If he called Coach Glassman a "fat ass" would he still be held in this kind of regard?

Jon Gibson, you are a great writer. I have read and and continue to follow your stuff. It's great.

However, when HQ fires Rob Wolf for presenting a different view of nutrition then what they present at their Level 1 cert (I do not recal the word Paleo at all during that cert, only zone) - then I think the community has failed itself as, you wrote, being "non-open source, closed-minded, and dogmatic."

I'm very thankful that I was at a recent CF Nutrition course that Rob presented, and he did speak about the Zone and gave it a fair amount of time. I dont feel he was yelling anything from the rooftops as "one right way"

The other certs - Nutrition, Endurance, Barbell, etc - allow other knowledgable people to present "grey areas" to those that want more info. This is open source in my opinion.

The bottom line: Yes, "It would be a much simpler world if there was only one way to do everything...The world is messy, plagued with gray areas", however, common respect is something we should all strive for and I think the actions of Dave Castro showed, in my opinion, a lot of disrepect.


I couldn't have put it better myself Phil.


wrote …

I love CrossFit, but I was a little confused and quite frankly upset with the whole debacle at BBS.

To me CrossFit represents values of humility, openmindedness, growth, challenge, support, respect and unity.

If you take away one or more of those values you undermine the elemental spirit of CrossFit and what it means, at least to me that is.

I remember the quote from Coach, to paraphrase

"Doing the right things, for the right peopele, for the right reasons"

I've bought into CF by being an affiliate owner, I expect CF and its representatives to act in a manor that represents what CF is about.

There are no excuses. What you lack with others you lack for yourself. Respect has to be earnt but courtesy and politeness are a given.

"Manners maketh the man"

To put it succinctly

Focus on putting the community before your OWN beliefs, and as my mother said "THINK - before - you speak"

Rant over. I feel better.


wrote …

This video is just so lame.


wrote …

I thought this post from a former SME was odd when I first read it, but now it makes a bunch more sense: (Not WFS, language)


Daniel Colson wrote …

I doubt anyone on this board truly understands the debate including myself. From what I can gather from the video is that CF doesn't want to be defined by offering a stance on one best way to do this or that. Instead CF would like to offer information through the Journal and certs where trainers and fitness enthusiasts can choose their own path. And I think they simply prefer the SME instructors to maintain that position, despite being experts in their respective fields. Any arguments or displays that took place at the BBS, appropriate or inappropriate would be for those in attendance to judge and I'm sure there would be as many opinions as there were seats at the event. In my 4 years in the community I've never felt pressure from CF to teach a certain standard, actually I remember coach stating on numerous videos CF will be studying affiliates or athletes that seem to see uncommon success at the Games. My personal opinion is that the video is a clear marker that CF has not discovered the one and only best way to do everything and despite the expertise of individuals within the community neither have they. The purpose of SME's is not to give the final say on "the" way things are to be done but "A" way. Anyone that has been to an OLY Cert has witnessed one of the more decorated experts in this community even describe he offers one way to teach the lifts not the only way.

The goal of CF is to get people off the couch and improve their fitness. For some that means 2 workouts a week and cutting out fried foods, for others that means strict paleo zone, wod's and extra work on weaknesses. I can assure everyone here grandma could care less about some argument over high bar/low bar but rather standing up without holding on or maintaining balance when she trips. And I can assure you the largest demographic in our community are mothers and they don't give a rip about this micro-fighting, they just want to know what they are doing is advancing their fitness and advancing it safely. Kinda makes all the taking sides and arguing seem silly when it's put into perspective.

And for what it's worth I believe wellness is on the same continuum as fitness and health in Coaches example, that does not make the three the same but rather health is superior to wellness as (CrossFit) Fitness is superior to both wellness and health. And finally anyone that finds Dr. Sears to be boring or not worthy of lecturing because he doesn't have a six pack should probably not sign up for that cert.


wrote …

Thanks John - I think you just proved my point.

Sorry for the typo.

Wow...that wasn’t that tough! Apologizing is kind of easy when you realize you make a mistake.


replied to comment from Jason Ashman

Jason Ashman (several posts here, but primarily 66) has said that CrossFit is now in the business of selling image. He and I have emailed privately on the matter, and there is no doubt that Jason is a true CrossFitter and has genuine intent on helping the community. He made a very long and well articulated case for why we need to be concerned about image and damage control and people's feelings. And so, it is with complete respect that I disagree.

CrossFit is in the business of improving human performance in the real world. If you want to get fit, or help your clients get fit, there is little doubt left that constantly varied functional movements at high intensity combined with a moderate diet is the best way to do it.

This answer did not exist 10 years ago, certainly not in the format and availability that it does now. We all have Greg and Lauren Glassman to thank for that. Sure, barbells and gymnastics and interval training and the Zone and the Caveman diet all existed long before. But saying CrossFit is nothing new because of that is like saying a great meal or a great novel is nothing new because the same ingredients and words have been around forever.

Jason wrote me that this simplistic approach worked in the past, but we are now too big and too successful to ignore image, and this event has tarnished our image. I don't believe this is true. The truth always comes out in the end, and the truth here is that we are fully committed to providing you with the most resources possible for you to become as fit as you want to be. We have created a community around the pursuit of fitness, and we remain as loyal to serving that community as we ever have been.

Jason says that part of serving that community is that we need to issue public statements about what happened at the BBS and why Robb got fired. I disagree. The way we serve the community is to provide a forum and culture where the open presentation and debate of effective fitness concepts can occur. This is what this video is about. It's not spin. It's who we are.

Why are we not talking about the BBS and Robb's being replaced? Because they are not about the pursuit of effective fitness. They are about personalities, and such topics don't belong on the CrossFit site. This is a divorce of sorts, and any of you that have been through divorce or had close friends go through a divorce know how painful it is. On a personal level, this whole thing has been very upsetting. For a long time, I thought Robb and Nicki were close friends. They came to my wedding last year (and the majority of attendees were friends and family unassociated with CrossFit). This is the second time our personal and professional relationship has gone south, and I honestly don't understand exactly why.

But that's all I'm going to say about that because it has nothing to do with CrossFit or our purpose here. Is this whole kerfuffle about fitness in any way? No. I guess there is some percentage of the population out there that thinks we fired Robb because he sells Paleo over the Zone. That's ludicrous. He's been a Paleo guy since long before he started touring the country with the CrossFit Nutrition certs. Do you think we didn't know that before?

Those of you think what happened at the BBS caused us to fire Robb are mistaken. And, that's all I'm going to say about that because it's none of your business. Robb has been told why and that is all that is needed. He may not believe it, but that isn't our problem.

For those of you feeling like the big bad powerful corporate CrossFit can and does arbitrarily destroy people's lives, check your facts. Rip wasn't fired. He left to do basically the same thing he did under the CrossFit banner now under his own. Rip has made great contributions to the world of fitness, and for that I'm grateful. Many of them of are presented in the CrossFit Journal and always will be.

Robb and Greg Everett and Dutch were not deaffiliated. They have not been blackballed or slandered or censored. Robb was removed from his role as the nutrition presenter. Period. We're like a sports team. We changed a player on the team. It happens. You still have Robb if you want him. He has a blog that's just as easy to find as CrossFit. I'm sure he'll do seminars, and I hear he's writing a book.

So, the bottom line is that I disagree with Jason. CrossFit HQ is about fitness and training, and the communities that treasure them. I am proud to be part of an amazing community that values hard work and the integrity of results more than image or political correctness. If it turns out that I'm naive and Jason is in fact correct, that my job as the Director of Media and Web Content is really more about spin, branding and damage control than fitness, then I'm in the wrong position.


wrote …

Amen Tony, Thanks for settling this debacle for inquired minds.

"We have created a community around the pursuit of fitness, and we remain as loyal to serving that community as we ever have been." Tony Budding



Jay Ashman wrote …

Tony, great reply. That is exactly what some people need to hear even though some may not believe it.

Most of us here understand what CF is and what we are trying to do, I love what we do and I think it will be around for a long time and only grow bigger.

Conflicts happen, personalities get in the way. I have the highest respect for Robb, et al, and I also have the highest respect for HQ and the Glassman's. Do I think Castro went too far at the BBS, yes, but emotions happen and often things done in the heat of the moment are a bad idea like that, but such is life.

By no means am I a "homer" that blindly follows, but I have met Coach and a lot of influential CrossFitters and I love this community for its willingness to accept growth, adapt to it and allow its members to share in that growth.

I had a discussion with a top strength coach in Boston and he kind of made fun of the idea that we have to pay 2000 bucks a year to use the CF name, well needless to say we did have a good discussion about that and my points were heard. What other fitness juggernaut can anyone think of that allows you to license their name, run a gym how YOU see fit with no intervention and is instantly name recognizable? I can't think of any at all... hell even Curves charges 75,000 a year for franchising fees.

The point is that we are a community, this is rare in the fitness world because we are, quite possibly, the largest tight-knit community in this industry. A Gold's Gym member can't go to a Gold's across the nation and get treated the same as I would travelling to another gym.

We all share a similar philosophy and goal, let's keep that goal going strong.

Try not to get too caught up in personality disputes and keep this growing so that we can help other people achieve what we know and love.


Re #91 Jesse:
That's pretty much it. Everyone (on all sides) should do that in any situation like this. I used to argue with one of my neighbors at an apartment complex all the time, over a stupid parking spot he claimed was "his". Finally one day we were arguing and I just said "Listen, this arguing is stupid. Hi, my name is Matt..." I let him have his spot, he stopped complaining about my "loud" RX-7 I used to have (I miss that car), and from that day everything was peachy keen.


wrote …

"There has been a trend, however, to let these debates become divisive by some members of the community. This is a mistake."

Some members like Dave Castro? Come on guys, admit your mistake and move on. That's what big boys and girls do when they screw up. Small men and politicians cover up their mistakes, pretend it's someone else's fault, and in the end they get busted anyway and it's worse for the cover-up.


wrote …

#101 Tony
You said that this answer, CrossFit, did not exist 10 years ago. I have started reading about all that has transpired, and on the comments of Robb Wolf's website, someone mentioned that this exact programming -- Crossfit -- existed and was published in 1974. I was hoping you would comment on, "Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia" by John Jesse. I haven't read it, but I was hoping you had. Thanks!


I pretty much agree Tony. HQ doesn't need to protect the name for its own business purposes (or really even for the affiliates necessarily), but one thing to keep in mind though, and hear me out on this, is: Amway.

You say "Amway" and everybody stops listening to you.

Heck, sometimes you don't even say "Amway" and they say "sounds like Amway" and stop listening to you. There is an entire valid industry out there outside the twisted conglomerate (that used to be a good company) known as Amway, but because the entire industry of network marketing is associated with them, it's nearly crippled (even though with the right folks and the right business model, it's a very viable industry).

There *is* a danger (small as it may be at this point) of "High Intensity Functional Training" being *perceived* in an Amway type of situation. We all know CrossFit is great, but if the name CrossFit someday invokees "wailing and gnashing of teeth" like the name Amway does, it's going to be VERY hard for everyone involved in CrossFit to spread the love about how well CrossFit improves human performance.

The free exchange of ideas in CrossFit benefits from incorporation by the largest number of people (just like the free market), if CrossFit has 350 million adherents in 10 years, or if it has 3.5 million, both will be exceptional products, but I contend that one will be better than the other simply because more experimentation will have been had among its members.


replied to comment from William Worley


Integrity is BIG TIME important. Fidelity is BIG TIME important. Tiger may still be a leader, but his flaws are far from miniscule.

Do not get from this that I am saying I do not have major flaws. I am not comparing myself to Tiger in any way.

However, if you find infidelity to be a miniscule flaw then I encourage you to refrain from any deep relationships, because you will only hurt yourself and others. Honestly, if you view infidelity and a lack of integrity as miniscule then your view is deeply, deeply flawed.



wrote …

Tony (#101) well put.

My concern is that CFHQ is sending an implicit message that some of their core coaching standards are no longer valid due to this personnel change over. This is what I take away from the Castro video. I don’t believe that this is the intent.

In the Army we train using the model of Task/Condition/Standard and anyone training a task is evaluated to ensure that they know what they are teaching. CF is very similar in that you use SMEs to provide the community with a consistent standard of how to learn the basic movements. These SMEs are professionals and they know the standards. Personalities will conflict and people will change over but if the standard of how to do a movement is effective and safe then it should remain the standard and any new SMEs should teach it. If that is not acceptable to the SME then don't use them. If there has been a discovery that a movement technique is more efficient and safe when conducted in a different manner then change the standard and let people know why.

Everyone, no matter what their ability level, needs a point of departure (standard) when learning the basic movements of this sport of functional fitness. I commend CF HQ for consistently provided this. Please do not allow personality conflicts to erode your core standards.


MAJ Glenn Hodges
U.S. Army


Daniel Kallen wrote …


Thanks, again, for providing a level-headed and broad view of things. Those who wish to continue with gossip should do so elsewhere. Here, let's stick to "the business of improving human performance in the real world."

So.... let's get those Games videos up so we can SEE some outstanding human performance in the real world"!


replied to comment from Tony Budding


Just a couple of quick points to clarify;

1) It's not people's feelings I believe HQ should be concerned with, but rather public opinion, specifically the public opinion of Crossfitters. There's quite the difference between the two.

2) Political Correctness has little to do with spin, brand management, or fitness. Politically Correct is a generalized "soft" term, and one I've never used, and rather detest.

3) Bear in mind, what I'm suggesting is a clarification from Coach, not an explanation into the feelings and motives behind the incident, and the decisions made by it. As a business, it's Crossfit's choice on personnel matters, but a statement announcing the personnel move, and a clarification of Crossfit's stance on the issues at hand would just be good business. Having Coach deliver it just keeps everyone happy.

4) Crossfit's primary business goal has been- and should always be- about fitness, and making people into the fittest they can be. My point regarding brand management was not to suggest that protecting and developing the brand should cause fitness to take a back seat, but rather to point out that, because of the company's rapid growth, a section in the company is needed that focuses on this aspect of the business. You have the fitness end running smoothly, but there needs to be the business end as well. This would work hand in hand with the rest of the company, advising and consulting, but never impeding the fitness process. A good brand management strategy means no one ever knows its there, because it only makes things better, and never interferes with the company's primary goal. It works behind the scenes, and helps improve the product and brand so that its long-term viability is ensured. It could come down to something as simple as reminding Crossfit Games coordinators that a sponsor's signage or booth should be placed in a high-traffic area, because they've generously donated a large amount of plate to be used at the games, or something as complex as helping to expand and re-engineer the certification process, because people are complaining its not in line with Crossfit's catch-all fundamental approach, and are confused by what is considered right and wrong in the exam.

Point being, in this case, brand management is simply a conduit between the fitness world and the business world, designed to aid and assist the company in matters perhaps more delicate than what folks with other goals (like fitness) of greater importance are able to maneuver through, not to cater to political correctness or bend to the grievances of public perception whenever it arises. It's a business tool, nothing more. If HQ already has one, it needs to be overhauled, or listened to more often, depending. If HQ doesn't have one, it needs one, and quickly.

5) I'm not suggesting that you, personally, become Spinmaster General of Crossfit HQ, or even that Director of Media is someone who should be concerned with Brand Management. My point in all of this is that Crossfit, as a company, needs to be concerned with keeping the Crossfit brand worth what it should be, and handling these sorts of unpleasant events in a tactful and professional way is just one part of that. Besides, in an optimal situation, the person concerned with brand management is never seen by- or known to- the general public. Its a consultant, not a high-profile job, and one for which someone who regularly appears in public at Crossfit events and events associated with Crossfit would be ill-suited for.

Tony, I do commend you for coming on here and writing this bit of clarification. It is, me thinx, the most Crossfit has commented on this issue yet, and I know everyone here is thankful for the clarifications and comments. If we happen to disagree on the points, so be it. That is the purpose of this section; Constructive criticism and debate.

I'm glad Crossfit has finally decided to join the conversation.


Dane Thomas wrote …

The Black Box incident may be easier to understand when the respective roles of those involved are viewed within a wider historical and psychological perspective.

There is a truth out there about human performance, and people have been trying to understand it for a long time. Coach is one of the seekers, a theologian, if you will, who has combined the wisdom of many others into a formula that has proven to be effective, attractive and generally useful. I'd like to think that Coach is secure enough in his own knowledge and experience and open-minded enough to still be interested in good ideas whatever the source.

On a practical basis, CF has long since grown beyond the point where Coach and Lauren can handle the practical aspects of running the business on their own. Dave and Tony and the others who are directly involved at HQ are keepers of the faith as defined by Coach. They are not theologians. They take the dogma according to Coach and see that it gets out to "The Faithful". That is what they do. They are not doing research. They are not hired to interpret or to bring in new ways of thinking. That is not their role. Their role is to turn what is written on the stone tablets into a set of rules that can be consistently disseminated to new believers.

The only trouble with that is that new spins and combinations and concepts and research are coming out on a regular basis, but the "official" dogma is necessarily less responsive. I'm not saying that Coach's understanding progresses more slowly, but rather the collective understanding that makes up the official CFHQ dogma cannot adapt to or interpret new information as quickly or with anywhere near the same authority as Coach does himself. That being the case, dogma defenders and evangelists such as Castro and Budding are likely to interpret certain viewpoints as "heresy" that Coach himself might be secure and flexible enough to interpret in a less adversarial manner.

Coach is busy looking for God, while Castro and Budding are defending the church. The BB seminar was run by people who are trying to be Copernicus or Galileo or Luther. They are also looking for God, and may indeed be making good progress in some ways, but the church has a hard time dealing with anything that they perceive to be a threat to their authority.

I interpret Castro's performance in this video as a response to a request from Coach to be less dogmatic, and it wouldn't surprise me if Coach himself makes certain moves within the next few months to reduce perceived discrepancies between the "official" CFHQ dogma and that being preached by Robb and Greg (and Rip). He can't make too much of a show about that today without it being interpreted as a lack of support for Dave and Tony. It's quite a tightrope for Coach to walk.


wrote …



wrote …

I really think the issue is not about Zone vs Paleo, low back squat vs high back squat, shrug in the clean vs no shrug but about the "commercialization" of a fitness movement. In order to take this message to the masses and maximize profits, inevitable compromises have been made. Disagree if you want, but training several 100 Level 1's per weekend and "sending them out" to forge elite fitness has consequences. The individualized training that human beings require can ONLY come through a broad and often evolving training knowledge and protocol and years of hands on training.

I admit that I have never been the type of Crossfitter that just "did the HQ WODs" and one particular commenter on the HQ Mainsite reinforced this lack of individualized approach to me when he said, "dude, just shut up and do the wod, don't think about it, just do it".

Most of the CrossFit folks I've met DO think about what they are doing and why, and I believe that is precisely why these issues have emerged. There is a disconnect between those interested in taking this fitness model to the masses and making massive profits with the inherent compromises, and those interested in the individualized approach and ever evolving methods, drawing from many excellent resources from inside and outside the CrossFit community.

I will continue to love and believe in this community and have the utmost respect for everyone I've met and trained with at the 4 Certs/Events I've attended; however, don't think for a second that the business aspect and inevitable consequences on profit of all of this has not impacted the events leading up to this video. The main concern I have going forward for CrossFit HQ is a question of credibility, and that is often difficult to correct.


replied to comment from Tony Budding

I have never received an explanation. The closest thing was a message, apparently from Greg Glassman, which was interestingly enough put on Lisbeth's facebook page by Lisa Lugo. That statement was, not surprisingly, the same commentary you made, some vague allusion to a sports team.

That "Forging Elite Fitness" takes priority over addressing a Director of Training who not only disrupted a seminar, and effectively assaulted one of the presenters is a bold and telling statement. Thank you for that clarification.

Best of luck in the future.


wrote …

This is a great video, and i wish that i had seen it before i heard about the BBS tornado.

What i've read of Dave Castro vs what i'm seeing in the video, highly contradictory. And i find it interesting that CFHQ is addressing the possible fallacies surrounding Robb Wolf's release, and completely side stepping anything to do with Dave's actions at the BBS.

But one of Dave's comments sums it nicely..."Dont get caught up in these micro battles."


wrote …

Will Dave Castro ever appear in CFJ or media produced from the CrossFit Games in anything other than a maudlin capacity? Where's his hefty, original intellectual contribution? I've known his name for a while and I can't answer the question of what he brings to the table. Loyalty as a footsoldier, though, might explain his longevity in CF as well as a few other things...

It's been a horribly kept secret that Castro can't contain himself enough to disguise his contempt for Rip and Robb well enough to feign professional civility. Ironically, they're two of the main reasons that the CF community seems like a valuable assemblage to someone like me, who isn't looking for a place to belong so much as I want to find a source of smart folks who might share hard won knowledge in nutrition and training.

That's why we're all here, right?


What Jason said is spot on. I believe CFHQ would do very well to listen to, and follow, this professional advice, for all the reasons stated.

Well said, Jason.


replied to comment from Patrick Griffin


Take a peek at Jason's comment (post 111, article 5). The majority of the CrossFit HQ team serve the community in almost total anonymity. Their presence is largely unknown, and their work is mostly unrecognized. Brilliant ideas are attributed to popular figureheads, and those with contrary opinions or personal disagreements latch onto other figureheads as a scapegoat.

In any good team there are roles to be played in order to perform well. Dave, Nicole, Tony, Lis, and Lynne (and others that you may happen to know by name) handle the burden of being "public faces" in a private organization. Seldom is this a responsibility for which they are appreciated. They have never asked for singular recognition, and give selflessly of themselves to advance the technology of human performance.

As a team, their contributions have allowed CrossFit to go from a warehouse in Santa Cruz to each branch of our military and every continent on earth. All the way introducing the world to a new definition of wellness, fitness and health...and improving the quality of life for those that choose to participate.

I don't care about recognizing the contributions of one person or group. I care about more people performing and feeling better. I care about our collective success, and I am grateful for CF Athletes, CF Trainers, CF Affiliates and CFHQ for what they do as a team. Some of us theorize, some experiment, some just do it.

THANK YOU to the named faces in CrossFit, and all the others who work diligently and out of the public eye, for affording me this opportunity. You help me change the world, and I appreciate you.


wrote …

It's nice to see this civil discussion (including some of the people directly involved in the BB Summit incident). However, it's unfortunate that if the same discussion occurred on the message board, it would have been locked and sent to Pukie's Bucket after post #2, or maybe #5 at the latest. I hope the board moderators read this thread and take note.


replied to comment from Tony Budding

Tony, you say that CrossFit HQ isn't concerned with managing it's image and only cares about improving human performance. But, from the outsiders perspective (reading all available postings) it appears that Robb and Greg were fired for "attacking" the image of CrossFit and not because they weren't helping to improve human performance.

Aside from the Castro's conduct, I think that a lot of us are most upset about losing a valued member of the community. Robb has helped countless people better their lives, health, and perfomance. I've heard (via the internet) many games competitors speak of increasing their performance by working closely with Robb. A large percentage of CrossFitters seem to follow a paleo diet. Without Robb's contributions, I questions how much quality paleo info will show up in the Journal going forward (as evidenced by the salvo of Zone videos lately).

It's interesting to get a different perspective from all the Barry Sears vidoes and I'm sure the diet helps a lot of people. But, from watching most of the Games competitors' videos and other videos put out by CrossFit (see Zone Cronicles), it doesn't seem like most of the firebreathers actually follow the zone. Most seem to use it mainly as a simple method of tracking how much food they eat per day with little to no focus on macro-nutrient rations.

Will there be any alternative to the zone offered going forward to replace Robb? Is it not possible for the two to co-exist? I really hope something can be worked out.


replied to comment from Tony Budding

Perhaps I should update my question about the book that was supposedly crossfit before crossfit was crossfit, "Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia" by John Jesse. Tony, are you aware of this book? Have you read it?
Does Greg Glassman read the journal? I assume he doesn't read the comments. Perhaps you could ask him for me if he has heard of the book, and if so, has he read it? I was a history major, so I find these things interesting. I would really like to hear his take on the book, if he had indeed read it. Thanks again! Also, if anyone else out there has read the book, perhaps you could give your input?


Tobias Neal wrote …

Hey Kenneth,

I just ordered it and will be reading it shortly...Seems like quite a read.


wrote …

I think one needs to reflect on what "elite" means. I have known Robb Wolf from high school, and he has always been extremely passionate on his views. Always tinkering for perfection.
Now, in the world of Formula One racing, the elite of world auto racing, they use blended Super Octane fuel.
Food is your fuel. If at an elite level, one fuel is 99.9% effective, then why mess with anything else. Sure the others can work. Just like a racing car will run on Premium gas. But it always runs at top performance with super octane.
Do you spend your time teaching people how to make all the types of gas, or focus on the one blend that is pure performance?
Paleo style eating is a paradigm shift of our culture. It will save lives, and create amazing health for your entire life.
If nutrition is 60+%, and it can be easily resolved, by eat this, only this, and not any of that. Why waste your time. You need to spend your time on skills, integrating all your joints and muscles, neuro integration for coordination, cardio vascular adaption to C02 production.
That being said, according to Robb's account, he offered to let HQ fire him, in the heat of an arguement.
Now, most of us that work in professional environments know, that you never make decisions in the heat of an arguement.
Civility would imply, that you let everyone cool down, gather for a meeting, and after all the moods are mellowed, case out the problems and come to a compromise, and map out a plan for the future.
SO, why didn't this occur?
Why are such critical descisions, involving very important members of the community handled in such a way?
And if their are problems, why is irrational behavior such as, ie profanity, yelling, shouting, and name calling, a rightful and decent way to address them?


wrote …

I think way too much is being made of the "behind the scenes" infighting or disagreements. This is a young workout "concept" that is adopting many different styles. It has to be standardized initially but Dave clearly states that to be a complete trainer you have to know the variations so there is a "why" to each that you can eloquently explain.

I don't know the backgrounds of everyone being up in arms about this whole situation but it would seem that too much emphasis is on "tell us the drama" rather than focusing on solid workout programming and using what works for you. If you have no background in various other lifting/training styles, then I can see why it may seem like the grown ups are fighting. If you have a strong background in lifting, then use CF as a launching point, let HQ have its growing pains and keep loving the essence of what CF stands for.

Dave is a good guy. I've talked to him before. Very knowledgeable and not closed minded at all so to bash him and call him a puppet of CFHQ or whatever is kind of ridiculous. I don't know what happened with Ripp or any of the Black Box stuff...because I don't care. Stay out of the drama, seek out the best information and apply it. Just because CFHQ may or may not have made a choice you agree with doesn't mean your affiliation/enjoyment of the program is gone. Every business and system has its kinks, mistakes, and blunders. Its up to us not to micro-scrutinize each move and call for a coup at every turn.


replied to comment from Nate Alexander

Nate - I don't think anyone here has called for a coup. And I don't think anyone thinks Dave is a horrible guy. The out cry here is that his ACTIONS have caused this community to lose some very loved and valuable contributors, without explanation or apology.

"It may seem like the grown ups are fighting" - It's upsetting to people because it "seems like children are fighting", grown ups don't fight like this, especially grown up professionals.

If no jobs were lost Nate I'd be right with you in not caring what happend at BB, because that would mean that, as Mark just put it, heads cooled down (everyone's heads not just Dave's), everyone handled the situation as adults, decisions were not made out of emotion, CrossFit grows and learns from the situation, we still have those great contributors at certs and events and the rest of us happily go on learning and debating human performance and fitness.

Making a mistake does NOT make you a bad person. It just makes you a person who should apologize and try to look past your own pride to see what's best for the community, the very same community you've devoted yourself to, don't try and save your own ego, having to eat crow from time to time is good for all of us, and if you're sincere about it and own it, you'll be more respected in the future for it.


wrote …

For those of you interested, Coach Glassman posted some thoughts on the evolution of the Nutrition certs in this entry of the Affiliate Blog , comment number 12.

The body of his comment is copied here for your convenience:
I’d long been concerned that our nutrition certification had increasingly become a forum for delivering nutritional homilies and was irrevocably separated from the purpose of making affiliates and their trainers more effective at molding and shaping their clients’ lives.

The battle, always one sided and started and argued solely for market distinction and financial gain by the CF nutrition cert chief over “quality of food vs. quantity” was itself a sign of a complete and total abnegation of the need or utility of an empirically based clinical nutrition.

Quality and quantity of food are vastly interdependent and adjusting both, or not, is an essential skill in the clnicians' arsenal. Taking a side in this debate proves, for me, a lack of clinical experience and scientific training. That's the view of our scientists and physicians, as well, BTW. That this debate was fabricated and then continued was a clarion call for restructuring and restaffing a nutrition program run aground.

In these muddied waters “weighing and measuring” was being heralded as a waste of time and entirely unnecessary. It was even offered that clients’ results don’t really improve until you stop trying to quantify the prescription and result. This, in total, is tantamount to an abdication of teaching affiliates and their trainers how to use food to maximize training efficacy.

The undeniable reality is that weighing and measuring clients, and teaching them to weigh, measure, and record their intake, coupled with periodic client assessment interviews where they’re re-weighed and measured is entirely indispensable to nutrition being a clinical science.

Scale, and tape measure, skin-fold calipers, or hydrostatic weighing need to be used to assess body composition. I’d recommend using them all. Sphygmomanometer competency and laboratory results on blood lipids are essential to your practice as well. We're going to teach the use of these tools and their significance.

The nutrition certification is going to be rebuilt as a two-day event that moves from the micro to the macro – from eicosanoids to macronutrients, to metabolic derangement, and on to prescription, assessment, and revision of prescription. We’re going to start with the theoretical underpinnings, quickly move to clinical practice and settings, and end with a live example of cooking quickly and simply, delicious and quantifiable fare. It is going to be taught by MD’s and PhD’s with vast clinical experience supported by staff also steeped in clinical experience and the culinary arts. This is a radical yet essential departure from past offerings.

The rationale for dismissing weighing and measuring (a perfect repudiation of quantitative methods in clinical nutrition) was publicly supported by offering that the Zone prescription lacks the accuracy to ideally meet the clients’ needs. What this view misses, shockingly, is that the chief value of the Zone prescription lies not in its accuracy, which frankly is often great, but in it’s precision. The Zone diet gives me precision in prescription of total caloric load and macronutrient breakout so that with careful weighing and measuring of the client we can nudge her to a better result. It really wouldn’t matter, ultimately, where you started, or whether you adjusted parameters, initially, in the wrong direction or not; what matters is that you know what you told them to eat, to what extent they complied, and what the results were. From that point and that point only can course correction be logically, scientifically offered. This all needs to be measured and even the subjective stuff needs to be recorded. This is a skill that needs to be taught to trainers in order for them to develop the clinical experience that will ultimately optimize their training capacity and maximize the commercial value of their craft.

Imagine the success of your training if you never knew the weight of the bar or client, didn’t count reps or sets, and never, ever, used a stopwatch. How would that have impacted the efficacy of your training? Ironically, a scientific answer to that question is not possible absent weighing, measuring, and recording what was not weighed, measured, or recorded.

I promise a better, more scientific, clinically relevant nutritional cert, a certification that leaves each attendee more capable to offer prescription and adjust that prescription to maximize results for their clients. It will be taught by professionals and as early on as possible, ANSI accredited. This certification is going to be about you and NOT about us. Thank you.


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Thanks Dave, that was a very timely message.


wrote …

So, to summarize:

Castro was rude, Everett was insensitive, Robb overreacted, CrossFit works and all of their information is still just a click away.

Now, I'm off to go do some high-bar squats and eat a paleo meal.

Thank you, CrossFit.


replied to comment from Craig Howard

Craig, best post on the "issue" yet!


wrote …

This is utter nonsense, and thoroughly insulting to everyone's intelligence. Every one of these points regarding the content of Robb's seminars, his clinical and educational background, and his "agenda" are erroneous.

Fascinating as well that Robb is now considered not qualified and his material inadequate, when some of his original material was presented at the last nutrition cert - that he did not present at - despite this being a clear violation of IP rights and plainly unethical and contradictory.

Also fascinating that there is suddenly such a push for credentials and clinical experience in the realm of nutrition, when none of these things exist in the overwhelming majority of LI and LII trainers.

This is a last-minute scramble to justify the actions of elements of HQ, who have personal and business-related quarrels with Robb Wolf himself - not with his lack of experience or education. I hope that it's not the select few who comment (or who manage to comment without censorship) who see through all of this rhetoric.

In direct contradiction to Glassman's claim that the science was not present in Robb's seminars, here is a video of Robb addressing precisely the issue Glassman used as an example - aldosterone/sodium/etc.


wrote …

"The battle, always one sided and started and argued solely for market distinction and financial gain by the CF nutrition cert chief over “quality of food vs. quantity” was itself a sign of a complete and total abnegation of the need or utility of an empirically based clinical nutrition."

So the HQ stance is that Robb has been pushing Paleo all along, as part of his diabolical plan to one day get rich off his Paleo Brands company? I guess he's probably got an under the table contract with Costco too, seeing how he's been plugging their fish oil for years.

But Dr. Sears is free to use the Zone name to advertise his books, Zone bagels and pasta, and overpriced fish oil, and that's completely fine?


wrote …

Guys, this is really getting old. How bout I just go primal blueprint, and I'll see you at the Games 2010 or 2011. Remember I said that. I've never met Robb, Castro, or Coach Glassman, so I can't speak about anyones character or motives. What I can tell you is that because of CrossFit I am in better shape at 32 than I was at 22. I've never had a "six pack" before. Got one now. Never been able to deadlift over 400lbs. I Can now. Let's not lose sight of the bigger picture here. General Physical Preparedness and creating a more functional human being. Not everyone that enters your box will want to be an elite athlete. Some just want to get up from the dinner table without help. Check the egos.


wrote …

That's the whole point! From where I'm sitting some of the egos at HQ appear to be getting in the way of the stated goal of GPP and creating a more functional human being.


wrote …

It gets really interesting a little farther down the comments in the Affiliates page: That would be when the head of a multi-million dollar, multinational fitness corporation gets into a public pissing contest with his former nutrition SME, which Crossfit HQ then helpfully linked to, just so anyone- like myself- who had no idea that the argument was going on could tune in and watch the fun unravel.

Can we sticky it on the boards next?? Please??

Still think you don't need image control, Tony?


wrote …

Md's and PhD's can be surprisingly misleading and narrow-minded when it comes to there subject of expertise. This is mostly because our academic structures teaches individuals to conform and not think out side the box(Specifically in Medicine).

I'm surprise to read HQ's direction on Nutritional Cert's... I would question these so called professionals with alphabet soup behind their names.


wrote …

I find this whole situation very unfortunate because Robb is absolutely brilliant. I always took that his main message was "Eating quality food is more important than weighing/measuring crap food." I dont know why some people took such offense to this, but what I've yet to hear anyone defend Dave Castro's actions at the BB Summit to my satisfaction. It seems Castro took a very MINOR disagreement and made it into a big philosophical clash. Shame on him!

Simply put, I think Crossfit is amazing programming! I think Robb Wolf is an amazing nutritionist. Anyone trying to discredit Crossfit's fundamental ideas or Robb Wolf's nutritional background is truly ignorant.

Thank you Crossfit for the fundamentals!
Thank you Rip for the coaching!
Thank you Robb for the nutrition!
Thank you Crossfit for making these people accessible for the rest of us!


replied to comment from Tony Budding


If you are rebuilding the nutrition course, becasue I'm assuming HG does not think its "up to the elite standard" then why are you still offering it?

Should HQ stop making people spend money to take it since its not up to standard?

Just a suggestion.


wrote …

FIRST we were told that MDs and PhDs had their heads up their asses and were leading America down the path to morbid obesity with their backward science.
NOW we're told that we need to rely on them?
FIRST we were told that CrossFit was NOT about measuring people with calipers and whatnot because performance was more important than bodyfat percentages, and anyway would lead to imrpoved body composition.
NOW we're told that every CrossFit facility should start to look like a Bally's back office with a dozen skinfold measurements and who knows what else pointless, time consuming, expensive tests for bodyfat percentage.
Strange turnaround.
Also, I agree that the Zone pimping is hypocritical.
What happened to "Fitness in 100 words or less"?


wrote …

I really love crossfit but these events has really affected my view of the organisation. I'm very surprised to see how HQ has handled the conflict. Robb Wolf has earned my trust and as a former researcher I consider his scientific arguments to be solid. I find it hard to trust you when his side of the story gets no room in the journal. If Crossfit doesn't stay open minded I will consider not renewing my CF Journal subscription or take part the certs.


Tobias Neal wrote …

I hate to state the obvious, but if you are going back prescribing a way to eat as Greg has stated you should do in the above post you can be held liable. Trainers lest you are a REGISTERED DIETICIAN you cannot prescribe a diet for anyone, you can suggest and tell about what you do and can explain the zone from your personal knowledge or Paleo but you cannot prescribe anything by law. You can explain what Macronutrients are and how to read food labels, etc, but don't ever tell them they must eat Paleo or Zone. Just a thought...

This was brought up at the affiliate gathering sometime ago and it was very quickly brushed aside, we were told that we are there to help our clients, true, but there is also liability involved. Those pesky little things called laws and all.


replied to comment from Karl Hultn

Karl and others,
If the politics of Robb Wolf make the 1000 articles in the Journal not worth the outrageous price of $25/year, then email me personally and I'll refund your money today.

You say you like Robb Wolf? Then have Robb Wolf. He's still around. We haven't pulled any of his content from the Journal and we haven't deaffiliated him. He writes in a blog and does his own seminars. There is only one thing that has changed, and that is that he's no longer paid by HQ to deliver seminars on nutrition.

Are you accusing us of attacking him? We tried to stay silent. He was fired in a private call, and then HE announced it to the world. He says he didn't get a complete explanation, but he didn't return Coach Glassman's phone call and he never called any of the other key folks in HQ to ASK. Instead, he'd rather divide this community that he supposedly "loves so much" by creating this ridiculous drama.

And still we stayed quiet about it. But the community said "You must respond!" And when we did, some say, how can you say bad things about our Robb? If we didn't have bad things to say, why would we have fired him? And those of you thinking that Greg Glassman is trying to cover the tracks of Dave Castro and whatever supposedly happened at the BBS have no idea what Glassman is like. He would never alter the course of the company because of anyone's personal issues (including his own).

You say we're not open minded? Open minded to what? This entire notion of a conflict between food quality and food quantity never existed before Robb created it. We were pushing food quality before Robb even heard of CrossFit. We stopped paying Robb because the net effect of his presence wasn't worth the outstanding money he was making. And, Robb's role in the company been discussed and debated internally for a very long time. Ironically, it is only a sign of our openness and tolerance that he was invited back in after his explosive and costly departure the first time (yes, this is not the first time we've been through this).

Shifting topics now. Most of the comments recently have completely misunderstood the main point of Coach Glassman's post. CrossFit's success comes primarily from one very small but crucial premise: you should be able to measure and observe results. We time our workouts because it gives us a data point. You didn't get fitter because you applied a stopwatch to your first workout. You got fitter because you used the data point to make yourself better. You tested yourself over and over, and each time you got better, it motivated you to push even harder.

Glassman has said thousands of times, the value of the Zone comes not in the prescription per se, but in the precision and ultimate accuracy of food delivery. Anyone who says I weighed and measured and it didn't work has completely misunderstood the value of weighing and measuring. That's like saying, I logged all my pilates and Nautilus workouts but I still didn't get fit. The weighing and measuring is SOLELY to give you data points from which to adjust the food intake to optimize results.

Sure, weighing and measuring is hard. But so are overhead squats and muscle-ups. Telling people to just eat quality foods is like telling them to just do functional movements. It's a great starting point, but none of you would have gotten the results you have if we had simply pushed that as a community.

Instead, we have taken tremendous effort over the years to give the community the tools it needs to improve the quality of movement. Thousands of videos, articles, seminars all dedicated to the subtlety of functional movement and human performance. In 2003, the world record for Fran was 3:58. We are making enormous gains individually and collectively because of our commitment to that which is harder. I love the quote, "I do today what you won't so that tomorrow I do what you can't."

The fact that precision and accuracy are substantially absent from the general conversations on nutrition in the CrossFit world is a travesty. Many are now calling it a food disorder. How can you make any effective adjustments if the dosing is inconsistent? Every bit of food and drink you put in your body affects your body. If you don't track what goes in, you are missing an enormous opportunity for improvement.

What the nutrition certs are going toward are primarily a set of tools to help trainers understand the needs and practices of determining precisely what is being ingested and how to tweak for maximum effect. This is no less subtle than helping an uncoordinated new client with tight hips and shoulders learn, over time, how to do overhead squats. We as a community accept the challenge in that, but somehow have missed it in nutrition.

The bottom line is that CrossFit is evidence based fitness, and this needs to be front and center also in our discussions and teachings of nutrition.


wrote …

A few comments from someone who is just a member of the community. Quite frankly, the politics do not concern me except when it has an effect on the community of which I am a part of. Certainly CFHQ can chose to hire and fire whomever they want and it is as Tony states, none of our business. Let's just keep it quiet.

As someone who knows that having a blood pressure cuff (Sphygmomanometer) available to the masses of boxes and hoping the trainers will use them accurately is tantamount to asking them to become trained medical personnel with just a few minutes training. Something which in the real world requires months, if not years of training (and let's not forget about licensing). I find Coach's comments interesting as well in that I have watched the earlier video's of him and his disdain for the medical profession and their prescription for fitness and diet. For him to do a 180 is very interesting indeed. Also having watched our new Dr Diet in all of the videos on the main site, the thought of spending a weekend listening to his drone has zero interest. One last comment on the whole new nutrition certification..... Let's think about who we are dealing with here, and please do not take offense. Most people who are CF trainers/affiliates are not highly educated, do not have the capacity to learn and remember the differences between micro and macro nutrients, etc. Let's figure a way out to do this simply and efficiently in the manner that CF has touted since it's beginning.

I also find it extremely interesting and am in agreement with a post from above. I have never seen the head of an organization get into a public argument as Glassman did. It is embarrassing for this to be made public. Many of us read the boards and comments daily and this quite frankly is an embarrassment for the entire community. Why also does Glassman feel the need to use such large words when most of the people to whom he is endeared, do not understand them. Speak in layman's english so that your masses can understand.

What is see is this, CFHQ has determined that if they can have a 2 day nutrition cert, they can get more money. It is really quite simple. CFHQ is about making money. that is why the costs of affiliation have gone up so quickly, why the L1 costs have gone up and we have more certs each weekend. It is ultimately about money and nothing more.

If indeed we are about raising the standards and insuring that the best possible training is available, how about doing so at the L1 certs too? I travel a lot for a living and have been to many gyms around the country. What is will share is my experience at one (which I could repeat for other boxes). I arrived at the gym 10 minutes early to run and stretch and prepare for the class as I always do. I was told to sit down and wait until 10 when class started. There was no one in the gym except the trainers and me. At 10:05 when most of the stragglers came in, we were indoctrinated into basic training. I'm almost 50 and so being yelled at by some kid in his 20's on how to stretch was not a good start. So the yelling at the class continued for about 10 minutes and then it was time to do the WOD. The WOD was 21-18-15-12-9-6-3, 1-Arm DB pwr snatch (35#/20# men/women each arm), followed by sit-ups on the odd reps and pull-ups on the even reps. I think there was about 20 people in the class. The instructor asked the class if everyone knew the DB pwr snatch and several people raised their hands needing instruction. The instructor spent about 15 seconds on those with questions and we were off. What I witnessed was atrocious. There was no scaling, people DNF, and weights were being dropped, etc. It was a dangerous enviroment to work out in. Not only for me, but for all of the other people there as well. Admittedly, some gyms are better than others in my travels, but most are like the one described above.

The video states that there is no right way, or wrong way and I disagree with this point. There are many ways to do these movements and we will all find our path to do them in the manner which is best for us. However, when the safety of the students is in question, I believe CFHQ needs to step in. Since we have publically stated that we are improving the CF Nutrition Cert, how about doing something to improve the quality of CF in the field. Of course this would mean holding the affiliates to standards. Which in turn would make them franchises and no longer affiliates. And can anyone say huge tax implications? Again, we are back to money. I'm sure CFHQ will do everything in their power to not become a franchise organzation. Doing so would more than likely kill the company, and would definately disallow the average person wanting to start a box to do so, do to huge costs associated with franchising. In my opinion, CFHQ must do something to enforce standards in the field.

A suggestion since we are so open now according to this video in which we are all discussing. Could we please remove the censors from the blogs? If indeed we are a community that is about sharing ideas, why are some of my posts never shown (and this is true for many others)? I do not use vulgar language. I only speak my mind. The censorship of open forums is nothing less than what China or the USSR has done (or is still doing). Let us hear from all who care to participate.

And one last comment before I go back to my training. I am new to CF and have been here almost 10 months. I don't need to be weighed or measured or blood pressure checked at my gym, I have a physician for that. It is very easy for me to see the effectivness of my training and eating by just looking in the mirror or putting on my new smaller pants or seeing how my shirts are now tighter. I need no more than that.


wrote …


"Glassman has said thousands of times, the value of the Zone comes not in the prescription per se, but in the precision and ultimate accuracy of food delivery."

"What the nutrition certs are going toward are primarily a set of tools to help trainers understand the needs and practices of determining precisely what is being ingested and how to tweak for maximum effect."

This is EXACTLY what was covered at my Nutrition cert, when Robb presented. His notes even state "Accuracy and precision are critical for knowing what to do next." in regard to the zone, which we covered for a solid 3 hours if not longer. NOBODY has tweaked the zone to fit anyones needs better than Robb himself.


wrote …

I have to agree with Lee, the ugly side always comes from any organizations HQ and the quest for money. Not just money running the organization, but maximizing every dollar. Every organization I've belonged too, whether it be gaming, martial arts, or fitness, could be described as "Love the ______ (fill in the blank with the activity), hate the company." You always think when you get in on the ground floor of something that it will be different, but eventually it ends up being the same. I agree that Crossfit is losing the charm of its "Crossfit in 100 words" days. This also smells alot like catering to the Crossfit games athlete. The Zone may be great and all, but you can't tell me that a soldier out in the field will be able to adhere to it. And aren't LEO's/Soldiers the guys who need the "be ready for anything" that Crossfit offers the most? Anyway, as stated multiple times above, as entertaining as this soap opera is, it really is detracting from the focus on fitness. Off to the gym I go!


Bryan Morse wrote …


I’m disheartened by all the rhetoric around this issue. I believe Crossfit is the perfect storm of fitness. Unfortunately, for most people, perception IS reality.

Tony: For a business to remain credible, and therefore successful, image control is a necessary evil.

My good name is all I own in this world. – Thomas Jefferson.

And in the end… Go Crossfit!


wrote …

CrossFit HQ:

If we start measuring our work capacity across broad time and modal domains, and we start measuring our food intake, when are we going to start measuring our sleep and our stress.

Is it better to sleep for 9 hours, but get up every 45 minutes? Focus on quantity.
Or is it better to sleep for 6 hours in deep REM state? Focus on quality.

When you say we need to start "measuring" nutrition, don't we measure things by their quantity AND quality. If so, it seems like a focus on quality training and quality nutrition would be beneficial. Get the point? Quality control.


wrote …

There are two issues that I think should be brought back up besides the actions of Dave Castro and Rob Wolff's idea of what a sound athletic performance and health based diet consists of. The timing of Rob's dismissal happened after the BB summit, but we are supposed to believe that it had nothing to do with it? Maybe it was a terrible coincidence but people react to their perception of events and it is definitely perceived by many people in this community that he was fired because of the events of the summit.

The second issue is that if HQ truly and dearly wants everyone to know all the different ways to do something (the shoulders in-front, over, and behind-the-bar deadlift example in the above video) why wouldn't you put Rob Wolff (or some other "pseudo-science" SME) as a presenter on one day and someone that advocates a WAM, "scientific" based diet (or someone that supports what you thought was missing from the cert) on another day so we get the whole scope of what nutrition is. There is plenty of evidence to support both sides of the story and you can charge what you would for a 2-day cert anyways. By manipulating what you believe should be in a nutrition certification you aren't taking our blinders off, you are swapping them out with a different pair.

Kindest Regards,
Andy W.


wrote …

This has become insane. Please please listen.

I have been a constant fixture in our local box for over a year now and I can't possibly say how this community and way of life has changed me for the better. This current bout of drama however is like watching your parents fight.

Frankly, you're all significantly raising my cortisol. It's hampering recovery, and having a negative impact on my work capacity. Is that the goal? I think not.

For the love of a common goal, can we please forget all of our egos and just work together to get better?

Why can't there be a paleo cert AND a zone cert?
Because this is no longer about the information being presented. It's about the people presenting them, and that's childish.

Once we all realize this, calm down, and focus on what makes this community a great thing we'll all be better off, and my vitals will return to a state that facilitates proper recovery.


replied to comment from Tony Budding

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will continue to follow both the CF Journal and Robb Wolf’s blog. Personally I would like to see Robb back at the certifications and the nutritional guidelines focus on quality first and bring up quantity as a second step. I also think it’s great that HQ listens and keeps an open dialogue here at the forum.

Best regards,


wrote …


As painful as this has been to watch, hopefully there will be some good that evolves from it. As many have noted, and I believe the reason for the BBS was to address the quality of our training and fitness. The science of fitness is ever evolving and to be dogmatic on any of this is really quite myopic.
I am happy to see HQ post this video, I think it is way overdue and it addresses some issues that have come up here in the real world of CrossFit. What you have to understand is that whether intentional or not, you, meaning HQ, has sent a mixed message to us. For one, there has for some time been a very condescending view of all things "not CrossFit" and on the boards there is much disdane for any questions or comments about the rationale for the methods we use and anyone who did question the validity has been "thrown under the bus".
I believe that you at HQ are getting the message that "we" the community at large expects more civil and open discussions from varying parties and that this community has some intelligent and thoughtful people who deserve more than the profane rantings that we've seen from both sides of this issue.

Lastly, as a physician, entrepreneur, and longtime CrossFitter, I would say clean it up or you stand to lose an incredible momentum in the fitness world. You guys have done a great service to the world, but the ego's, condescension, and personal vendetta's must go to have any credibility with reasonable people.


wrote …

I've been in the Army now for 18 years. I have studied, practiced, and experienced different organizational dynamics the entire time, whether I realized it or not.

Every organization goes through growth. The Yankees trade and release players. Many of those players go and contribute to other teams, but they still are not on the New York Yankees. They play for the Rangers, Indians, or some other team.

What we are seeing here is growth. With growth, there is friction. So Coach Glassman has decided to grow in a certain direction with various certs. A confluence of circumstances has lead to an unfortunate situation. It is unfortunate. Take a step back and take a look: the Level 2 and various specialty certs are experiencing some changes. I have attended 3 Level 1 certs....the third was markedly different than the first. It was MUCH better.

If Castro acted like a knucklehead, I am certain he was talked to about it. That discussion is no one's business. Coach decided to "release" Robb and grow in a certain direction. Rip has decided to move on. One day Coach Tucker and the others will do the same. Does it mean that they didn't contribute to the team success while they were on it? No. When it is time to move on, its time. Like Tony B. said above, divorces are messy. From personal experience, no one wins in a divorce. Folks need to get over it and move on, though, and not stew in the past. Once the vase breaks, it is broken. That's it.

I have attended 3 Level 1s, attended and earned my Level 2, and attended 5 specialty certs. Of the 5 specialty certs, only Robb Wolf's "changed" my life. What he says about QUALITY of food is important. But, keep in mind, "observable, recordable, repeatable" is a very essential part of CrossFit and it is central to the entire program. Once thing with every single cert - every SME, at some point, said something to the like of, "I know what they told you are the Level 1 cert, but....." A specialty cert specializes, a Level 1 provides a general understanding. Both are important and essential.

CFHQ still has an organization to run. Yes, they are concerned about many things, from Forging Elite Fitness to making money, and everything in between. Any HQ is concerned with a number of things.

Coach Glassman is a great person. I have met Coach on three separate occassions and spent a number of days with him. He cares about our service members. He has done much to help our pursuit of fitness. He cares about his product.

From the humble beginnings of a single box, a giant affiliation of over 1600 boxes, a journal providing endless information at virtually no cost, an annual community competition now consisting of two qualification gates, a series of specialty certs, and a tiered certification program that has never stopped evolving currently exists. What will tomorrow bring? ANSI certifications? A CF Chief of Quality Control? Who knows.

One thing is for certain - the growth continues.


replied to comment from Tobias Neal

Just wanted to back up Tobias here - According to Coach, the certs will now be (among other things) "...on to prescription, assessment, and revision of prescription" .....ok, to help trainers know how to write a diet "prescription" for their clients and to adjust that "prescription" for each of their clients, right? HQ, do you realize that this is ILLEGAL? You can give seminars about diet, offer that to clients, talk about general diet changes and the effect on some people, have Robb or Dr. Sears speak on nutrition to the masses or groups, but you CANNOT write a specific diet for a person unless you are a REGISTERED DIETITION.

I realize in the real world this will happen at boxes, and for some trainers who have spent many years studying and watching clients perform on different diets and have worked many hours on helping their clients eat better, I don't personally think thats a bad thing, but you cannot be that naive to openly teach a law breaking corporate philosophy at your certs to tell affiliate owners to break the law by writing diet precriptions for clients? Crossfit is just way to big to just be shooting from the hip like it seems you guys are doing sometimes now. You're in the public eye enough now that you should have a disclamer at your certs telling affiliates that they cannot actually specifically write diet prescriptions for clients (than whether they do or not at least it's not on your heads)

Just an idea to affiliate owners if you want to be able to provide actual "diet prescriptions" to your clients without breaking the law or costing yourself and the Crossfit community credibility, partner with a local Dietition, there are many Dietitions who Crossfit and/or understand Crossfit. If you can't find one who Crossfits, look for one you can recruit to Crossfit, or at least trust to do their research into the community to understand it, also they usually have clients of their own who are not Crossfitting, you will get in a position where you can share clients, boost your own client base from referals from the Dietition, and be able to offer your current client base a REGISTERED DIETITION to write prescriptions. I think its a great way to spread Crossfit and it's credibility to people who don't know about it.


wrote …

Sorry - meant DIETITIAN, not DietitiOn, no offense Dietitians out there (my wife included)


wrote …

One last comment on this that my wife pointed out to me, is not just the legal dangers (even though HQ is on a direct path to a major law suite should they actually promote "prescription writing" to affiliate owners) but also the health dangers in having trainers who are not Dietitians or Medical Doctors (most Medical Doctors will refer a patient to a Dietitian) writing SPECIFIC DIET PLANS for clients.

There are many factors that need to be considered when writing actual diet prescriptions (known or unknown to the client), to mention a few: diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, thyroid or renal imbalances or diseases, cultural differences in reaction to certain foods, gastrointestinal or many other posible variables that a "2 day nutrition cert" could not begin to posibly cover.

Offering general nutrition knowledge and information to clients and writing diet prescriptions are two very different things.

So it's not just a law liability thing but also a client health liability thing. Something to consider.


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This just gets better and better.

Straight from D&B (Dun & Bradstreet, the world's leading source of
commercial information and insight on business) who does company analysis of all major companies both in the US and abroad. For those of you who don't know, D&B is a company that major companies depend on for financial information for doing business with other companies. Below is a direct quote from D&B (in quotes)

So, the fitness juggernaut Crossfit, Inc "is a private company categorized under Publishers and located in Prescott, AZ. Our records show it was established in 1982 and incorporated in California. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $5,500,000 and employs a staff of approximately 10." And guess who the President of this private organization is? Yep, Mr. Greg Glassman. Crossfit, Inc owns all rights and trademarks of Crossfit.

I am struggling with the fact that a publishing company has labled itself as a Fitness and Nutrition company. To the points above, not only is our organization dangerously close to lawsuits for allowing affiliates to begin prescribing dietary and nutrition needs for its clients (which is not legal) based on the coaches comments, but to previous points, they continue to push out L1 trainers who do not understand scaling (perhaps they were taught this in the cert, I do not know), as I have seen up close and personal, and are in danger of really hurting people

As an organization, Crossfit, Inc. needs standards which all affiliates are held accountable. So a question to HQ, how can an affiliate of a publishing company be in the business of personal training, fitness and diet? It's a rhetorical question.

Someone please help me understand this....

Just so I am not accused of just complaining, I welcome anyone from HQ to email me or give me a call. I will be more than happy to offer solutions on how to solve this lack of standardization and will also be more than happy to share my credentials to show I truly am capable of offering this advice


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Why is Crossfit registered as a publishing company??

Can someone explain the reasoning behind this??

I'm more curious than anything- It DOES publish the journal, after all, but that's not its primary revenue or product, so far as I know. Are fitness certs considered publications in the US??


wrote …

My intention here is NOT to try and tear down Crossfit, I want to make that clear, it's the exact opposite.

I just re-read the last part of Coaches statement about the nutrition certs posted by Tony above, because I wanted to make sure I wasn't mis-reading it. Forgive me because I'm having a hard time believing I read what I read. Here's the last part of it:

"...a certification that leaves each attendee more capable to offer prescription and adjust that prescription to maximize results for their clients...."

Coach, please do not do this, the American Diatetic Association will own Crossfit within the year, do you know that they have entire leagal teams that do nothing but look for this kind of stuff to prosecute. Like many organizations, the American Dietetic Assoc is VERY proactive and passionate about protecting it's own profession.

How can you guys not know this?

This is litterally begging for a lawsuit. One that Crossfit will lose if Coach's above quote actually happens at a cert.

I agree with those who believe that just because you have some credential by your name that it doesn't mean you're automatically credible. Just like any profession there are "good" and "bad" dietitians and dietitians with creds in different areas. I also agree that there are those without credentials that are more knowledgable than some with them. You may disagree with the fact that you have to be a RD to write a diet prescription for an individual, I dissagree with the fact that I HAVE to have car insurance, but I will lose my license if I'm caught without it.

I agree with the above post's about image control and PR, those things will drastically affect Crossfit's growth and cred. But this nutrition cert stuff could actually land Crossfit in court.

This is not an opinion thing, or an image thing, this could legally take apart Crossfit. And as someone who loves Crossfit, and who has a number of very close friends who are affiliate owners that are staking their career's on the credibility and stability of Crossfit, please do some legal research before you proceed any further with your "new" certs or release anymore statements about it.

Tony, you seem to be the only person from HQ willing to participate in these posts, (I do respect the fact that you do) will you please speak to the rest of HQ and Coach himself about this.

"....that leaves each attendee more capable to offer prescription and adjust that prescription to maximize results for their clients...."



wrote …

Lee and Jason,

I'm going to give you what I think is the case here. I have some experience with D&B, but I'm certainly not an expert.

CrossFit may be "categorized" by D&B as a publishing company. This does not mean they are "registered" as a publishing company or anything like that.

D&B picks up what information it can from public filings (I'm guessing mostly tax filings) and "categorizes" a company based on this information. In the case of small, privately held companies the information can be very limited - D&B does the best they can. Larger, publicly traded companies get more accurate treatment because they disclose more information. Smaller, privately held companies can get more accurate treatment if they elect to send additional information and probably pay some additional fees to D&B.

As another example, the NSCA (as best I can determine) is categorized as an association - I suppose somewhat accurate but hardly telling.


replied to comment from Jesse Gilge


I think you make a good point. You sound more familiar with then ADA than I am, but I think the use of the word prescription is the underlying issue. In the context of an RD setting, a prescription would mean specific meal planning and food choices as they relate to a specific medical diagnosis and/or a drug-food interaction.

This, to my mind, is very different than "dialing in" food intake to improve work capacity in an otherwise healthy individual. Absent a specific medical diagnosis, you are not medically prescribing anything and not in conflict with ADA.

Indeed, I would bet there are a lot of RDs out there that would be happy to be presented with a patient who has months of thorough and precise data regarding their diet. It would give a much welcome platform for making specific medically related recommendations (like: cut out the grapefruit now that you're on this med and stay away from nightshade vegetables completely. Forever. Otherwise good to go! Rather than: umm, ok, let's start with the Twinkies. Yeah, they're not good for you. And a 12-pack a day of soda? You're going to have cut back on that--yes even if half of it is diet. So, you don't eat grapefruit, that's good! It interacts with a few of your several medications. Says here that you think vegetables are for sissies...and so on)

I'm not an RD or a lawyer, but I am a HCP in a profession in which nutrition is within my scope of practice (in my state and most others) and I think the case of a nutrition "prescription" to improve performance/promote wellness as opposed to one that addresses or works around a health problem is an important distinction.

I'm not a part of HQ, but I'm guessing this stuff has been hashed-out with doctors and lawyers and such before implementing. Since, we don't know the full curriculum yet, its all just speculation. I'm excited to see what's being offered.


replied to comment from Kevin B Sandberg

Kevin - thanks for replying. The problem is it is a very thin line to walk. You're right in that the key here is "prescription". "Prescription" referes to directly telling a person to eat "this" or "that". So while that can mean meal planning for someone with a medical diagnosis of some kind, or someone on specific medications, it also means meal planning for ANY individual. So by law there is no distintion between planning meals for an athlete dialing in their diet or meal planning for someone with a medical condition.

I know my wife would very much enjoy a client who has kept detailed records of their diet over time, absolutely. And that's where from an HQ stand point they can offer great advice to tell affiliates to have clients to track their own diets, to educate a full class on different eating philosopies and what they do personally, be able to point clients in the right direction to see research, they just cannot by law sit down with an individual regardless of who they are and write or adjust a meal plan as Coach clearly stated they will be teaching.

I think we all know that in the real world this is gonna happen. I guess one of my main points is that you just simply cannot from a very visable corporate standpoint tell affiliate owners that they can do this, I gaurentee there will be a lawsuit if that happens. Even to sort of dance around the topic of writing meal plans without a clear disclaimer is dangerous, but to come right out and say "prescription" not once but a number of times is not good.

This is what amazes me, this is very well known in the fitness community, ask any certified trainer working for any other fitness company/gym, and they will tell you that at some point they were told specifically that they could not individually tell anyone what and what not to eat specifically.

If they had hashed this out with any lawyers who have knowledge in this area, Coach would never have made those comments. No way.

Plus that is not looking out for your affiliate owners, a hypothetical, you tell your affiliate owners they can write meals plans for their athletes, they go and do just that, and some strange food reaction happens for some strange reason even unknown to the athlete, they wind up in the hospital, the athlete mentions to anyone there that he doesn't know what happend, he planned out his diet with his trainer (thinking this is perfectly fine) and from that, that trainer affiliate owner just stepped onto the long road of litigation from the ADA and a possible lawsuit from that athlete when he finds out the trainer broke the law by prescribing a meal plan. Crossfit is getting big enough that something like that is no longer at long shot odds of happening.

It's just not smart, from a corporate standpint you may know trainers will be giving specific meal advice, but for Gosh sake don't proclaim it from the mountain top and then openly teach it at "certs". That's fish in a barrel to the ADA.

You're right, its a fine line, and suggesting that meats, fruits, and veggies will give them better energy than ding dongs, does not cross that line. Writing a meal plan does however, for anyone, top performing athlete, or an obese diabetic, by law there's no difference and you can be held liable.

I just hope they don't keep moving forward without doing their research, HQ will be in hot water and none of us want that.

Thanks again for commenting Kevin.


replied to comment from Jonathan Levy




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I really truly don't care what people have to say about Dave Castro. People make mistakes. I make mistakes. Whatever.

The stuff in this video is some of the most brilliant things I've ever heard in a physical training environment.

Only thing missing maybe is adding that the various "Boot Camp" programs and stuff like P90X and Gym Jones and whoever, even bodybuilding and marathon-running - is tons better than that couch & the food pyramid.


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Who is this Dave Castro? I've Googled him but can't find a bio. What are his credentials? I would hope that anyone providing exercise and nutrition advice for CF would have a formal background in science, medicine, phsysiology or competitive sport. Glassman is an autodidact with an impressive understanding of exercise physiology and has a background as a gymnastics coach, but what about this Castro?

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