CrossFit is making headlines this week, as the workout program is holding its annual competition (known as the CrossFit Games) from July 22 through the 28th. On Sunday, we profiled Rich Froning, current champion who was given the title “Fittest Man on Earth” in both 2011 and 2012. While his story was certainly fascinating — especially on the faith front — (Froning is a committed Christian), CrossFit founder Greg Glassman’s political views are also taking center stage this week.
“I’m a rabid libertarian,” Glassman proclaimed in an interview with Reason. “You know, you make me do something — if I’m already doing it, I’ll stop doing it. Even if I thought it was a good idea and it’s something that I wanted to do.”
The famed founder of one of the nation’s most popular workout regimes added, “I’m not going to be told what to do.” While certainly not the first time he has expressed his views, the fervency with which he did so in this particular interview is noteworthy.
In addition to describing his worldview, he also noted that he started reading Milton Friedman when he was a high school student. Over the years, he has also read F.A. Hayek’s “The Fatal Conceit” and “The Road to Serfdom” — books that he has enjoyed over and over again (coincidentally, both warn of too much government control).
“These are works that I don’t see refutations to so much as reactions to,” he added.
In the interview, Glassman also spoke about CrossFit’s central components in-depth. As TheBlaze previously explained, the workout is a mixture of aerobic exercise, gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting that involves constantly varied, high-intensity movements that are functional for all of life.
The company explains the program, which is used by many firefighters, paramedics, military and law enforcement officials, as follows:
CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.
Glassman noted that there are now 6,000 gyms and counting across the U.S., which represents major growth since the company first opened in 2000. Despite its popularity, CrossFit isn’t for those looking for an easy and painless workout. In fact, people are known to push themselves so hard that they vomit.
The devotion, obviously, is strong.
“We’re asked all the time, ‘Is this a cult?’ And we just get pissed off and say, ‘No, it’s not a cult,” Glassman quipped. “But we’ve heard it so many times and it was asked sincerely enough that early it became important to ask the question ourselves — ‘What if we are a cult?’”
In the end, though, CrossFit is really just comprised of a devoted pool of individuals who are looking to challenge themselves at a level not really seen or offered in other programs.
Below, watch Glassman discuss both his ideological perspective — and the fascinating program he’s created:
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