Creating a Culture of Excellence

No matter what your opinion is on CrossFit, it’s hard to disagree with the approach to equitable opportunities it has created for the world. Any organization, whether it is a school or a corporation, should be striving to provide everyone involved intentional opportunities to grow at their current capacity. Notice two points made:

  1. Everyone involved means those who work within the organization AND those who are consumers, are influenced by, and who benefit from the organization.

  2. One’s current capacity is not stagnant, as it is current. Therefore, making differentiation and modified applications available to everyone involved- regardless of the level they are currently at- should boast positive results depending on the organization’s intent.

The Rise of CrossFit

In 2000, the interval training fitness regimen Crossfit was established. Over the course of seventeen years, the Crossfit net worth has grown to generate more than four billion dollars annually. More than 13,000 Crossfit-affiliated gyms can be found internationally, a far contrast to the 13 Crossfit-affiliated gyms that were available in 2005. Crossfit’s immense success in such a short period of time can be attributed to its founder, Greg Glassman, and the culture he has built within the Crossfit community. This author will be analyzing the culture of Crossfit and how, with this culture, the organization attained substantial exposure and success in such a short amount of time.

The Equitable Creation

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From the beginning, Crossfit founder Greg Glassman’s focus was about the opportunities he could create for people. “I believe that business is the art and science of providing uniquely attractive opportunities for other people. That’s what we’ve done. That’s it. Nothing else” (Glassman, 2006). The focal point of Crossfit has always been about generating equitable opportunities for any willing human being, which is the main contributor to its success. Glassman goes on to say, “Money is essential to run a business, but it’s not why you run a business. It is not what makes business grow. Businesses grow on dreams. Trying to make money is no way to run a business” (2006). Glassman has always focused on creating any opportunity for any human being anywhere in the world. His intentions were, and still are, to empathize with the diverse abilities of people and give everyone the possibility to achieve.

An Equitable Fitness Regimen

All workouts have the ability to be modified to ensure all athletes have the opportunity to perform and train at their current capacity.

All workouts have the ability to be modified to ensure all athletes have the opportunity to perform and train at their current capacity.

Before founding Crossfit, Greg Glassman began his career as a personal trainer. He took an unconventional approach to exercise during a time period when interval training was not popular. Crossfit’s eclectic workouts range from high-intensity interval training to Olympic weightlifting to gymnastics movements and more. For every movement and workout, there is a modification available. Glassman’s focus for Crossfit was to have the ability to differentiate all workouts per each individual, allowing all clients to have successes in the same movements at their own ability level. This method to fitness has grown Glassman’s Crossfit regimen into a highly sought-after program from athletes of all backgrounds. Furthermore, Glassman’s reasons behind Crossfit’s approach of creating opportunities for achievement through equitability has cultivated a philosophy that achievement is attainable by any and all. As a result, this has also made Crossfit a tremendously diverse fitness regimen that requires an abundance of education and training.

Due to the amount of knowledge needed to keep athletes unharmed and appropriately trained within the multitude of workouts, Crossfit holds seminars for Crossfit gym owners and trainers to become certified in Crossfit. Though these seminars train gym owners and trainers in the fundamental movements required in the fitness regimen and educate how to design Crossfit workouts, the aim of these seminars is to indoctrinate the gym owners and trainers in the Crossfit philosophy and belief that achievement is attainable for all levels of athletes. Attendees learning how to differentiate workouts to meet all athletes needs is a way to nurture an empathetic and equitable culture. Furthermore, there are four levels available in Crossfit certification, and all require a three-to-five year renewal and consistent continuing education in the Crossfit sport. These legal expectations promote Crossfit gyms to cultivate a place of growth and betterment.

Crossfit certification seminars bring in a large portion of Crossfit’s annual revenue. The other portion of its revenue comes from gyms being deemed a Crossfit affiliate.

An Equitable Brand

A gym that is an official Crossfit affiliate allows them to legally use the Crossfit brand, teach Crossfit classes, and verifies that the gym has trainers that are Crossfit certified in the sport and the philosophy. These affiliate fees are annual and are a large contributor to the yearly revenue brought into Crossfit. Moreover, gyms that are Crossfit affiliated are well sought after and promote the Crossfit brand due to the culture within the community. Since the conception and success of the Crossfit brand, a multitude of companies have partnered with Crossfit. In 2012, Reebok started selling Crossfit-branded gear, which has created more exposure and credibility for the fitness empire. The Crossfit brand has evolved the fitness regimen into a competitive sport, evolving into what is known as the Crossfit Games.

The Crossfit Games’ annual existence began in 2007 with 70 athletes competing in a series of Crossfit workouts for points, contending to be named the Fittest on Earth. Since then, Crossfit has expanded the opportunity to compete in an efficient, equitable approach. The Crossfit Open is a preliminary five-week tryout for anyone willing to participate globally and compete for a spot in the Crossfit Games. Regardless of their background, these tryouts determine athletes from every region worldwide that performed well enough to move onto the Crossfit Regionals, a platform that would further filter and determine the top athletes that would make it to the Crossfit Games. This approach has given equitable opportunities to any person competing anywhere in the world.

Jason Khalipa performing an Overhead Walking Lunge with 135lbs while competing at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games on July 23, 2014 in Carson, California. Patrick.Loera

Jason Khalipa performing an Overhead Walking Lunge with 135lbs while competing at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games on July 23, 2014 in Carson, California.Patrick.Loera

The culture of excellence in the sport and brand of Crossfit begins at the core of its existence: equitable opportunities. The belief of ability Crossfit maintains throughout its culture continues to increase its number of followers, making it increasingly successful every year. The approach Greg Glassman has taken of nurturing a philosophy of equitable opportunities, along with expectations of continuing Crossfit education from gym owners and trainers, has promoted a culture of consistent renewal. These elements altogether have preserved the culture of excellence ingrained in the community of Crossfit, and continue to be adopted by athletes worldwide.