CrossFit is one of the single best ways to get in shape. It’s amazing. The diet, the exercise and the community make it a one-stop shop for top tier fitness: those that stick with it see amazing results. Unfortunately, many people think it’s too hard for them, and that they need to prepare prior to participation with their own weightlifting and cardio routines. WRONG! CrossFit is a general physical preparedness program that builds strength, cardio, endurance, coordination and other physical skills and it does it faster and more efficiently than doing the modern split of weight training and cardio. We make you fit. It’s tough but it’s far from impossible. Doing new things, breaking out of ruts, and growing as people is what keeps us alive and vital as we age. Sticking with the same old routine day-in and day-out makes us old before our time.
Greg Glassman and his ex-wife Lauren Jenai (Glassman) opened a gym in Santa Cruz, California in 1995, the same year he was hired to train the Santa Cruz police department. Glassman founded CrossFit, Inc. in 2000. The first affiliated gym was CrossFit North in Seattle, Washington; there were 13 by 2005 and more than 3,400 today. Coaches associated with CrossFit include Louie Simmons, Bill Starr, and Mike Burgener. Another CrossFit subject matter expert is Dr. Nicholas Romanov, inventor of the Pose Method of running. CrossFit Northern Ireland was founded in 2008 by Helen Smyth and Jonny Smyth and was the sole affiliate in Northern Ireland for 4 years until a further 2 affiliates opened in 2012, CrossFit Causeway and CrossFit Derry.
The CrossFit Games have been held every summer since 2007. Participation, sponsorship, and prize money have grown rapidly. In 2007, 2008, and 2009, the prize money for first place was $500, $1,500, and $5,000, respectively. In 2010, PROGENEX sponsored a purse of $25,000 each for the male and female champions; in 2011, Reebok, the current sponsor of the CrossFit Games, increased the total purse to $1,000,000, with $250,000 each for the male and female champions. Athletes at the Games compete in workouts they learn about only hours beforehand, sometimes including surprise elements that are not part of the typical CrossFit regimen—past examples include a rough-water swim and a softball throw. The Games are styled as a venue for determining the “Fittest on Earth,” where competitors should be “ready for anything.”
In 2011, the Games adopted an online format for the sectional event, facilitating participation by athletes worldwide. During the “CrossFit Open”, a new workout is released each week. Athletes have several days to complete the workout and submit their score online, with either a video or validation by a CrossFit affiliate. The top CrossFit Open performers in each region advance to the regional events, held over the following two months. As of 2012 there are 17 regional divisions, including 12 in North America (North West, Canada West, Canada East, North Central, Central East, North East, Mid Atlantic, South East, South Central, South West, Southern California, and Northern California), and five in the rest of the world (Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Australia). The top athletes (up to 3 of each gender) from each region are eligible to compete in the CrossFit Games. The 2012 Crossfit Games will be held July 13-15 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The Games include divisions for individuals of each gender, and for a number of Masters age groups: 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60+, as well as for co-ed teams comprising 3 men and 3 women. Masters competitors qualify for the Games based on performance in the CrossFit Open–there are no Masters regional events.