CrossFit History

The CrossFit training method has been around since 2001 and has rapidly become both effective and sought after as a means of physical conditioning.  CrossFit proponents see their training as a way to build whole-body functional fitness coupled with preparing a person for most physical challenges. The method employs various types of exercise and equipment:

  • calisthenics
  • dumbbells
  • gymnastic rings
  • kettlebells
  • pull-up bars
  • barbells
  • sandbags and odd objects
  • running, rowing, biking, jumping


The goal of CrossFit training is to create the “Quintessential Athlete.”

Back in the 1970’s, a former gymnast named Greg Glassman probably didn’t have a clue as to where the concept of CrossFit Training would be over 30 years later, but it was his idea, and he introduced it as a completely different, but totally thorough physical fitness training method. He started the concept in his Santa Cruz, California garage where it was the only training facility for many years. Little did he know that it would grow to over 14,500 CrossFit affiliate gyms on a worldwide scale.  Crossfit has grown quickly. When we started Rebels in 2010, there were only 1,500 affiliates worldwide!

In 2001, Glassman launched his website, crossfit.com, in order to spread the word about his program. Now when you do a web search, there are numerous sites in a variety of cities worldwide. Basically, the use of an open source and virtual community model is how Glassman grew from his Santa Cruz garage into the worldwide entity that it is today.

CrossFit’s definition of fitness is both thorough and scientifically proven over and over again.  The CrossFit Journal article What is Fitness is probably the best description of CrossFit, inclusive of how it differs from traditional, mainstream or gimmicky fitness program models.  CrossFit’s training is:

  1. balanced across it’s 10 recognized physical skills (Strength, Stamina, Cardiovascular/Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Speed, Power, Balance, Agility, Flexibility, Coordination, and Accuracy),
  2. broad and general in its training stimulus; it aims to create an athlete (all CrossFitters are athletes) that is generally good across a broad spectrum of sports, exercises, and events, and
  3. balanced with regard to the “energy pathways” in our bodies…or in layman’s terms, balanced between short sprint-like intensity, moderate duration high-intensity and long duration moderate intensity workouts.  Frankly, this, combined with the exercise selection is what keeps CrossFit fun and interesting. 

To experience CrossFit, and to DO CrossFit, is to understand CrossFit.  It’s worth looking into, as we believe it is the current and future answer to robust health, fitness, and longevity regardless of your current fitness level, age, bodyweight or health status.

Check out our Separating FACT from Fiction  page for more information.