Greg Glassman isn’t your average genius.
Greg shares the mannerisms of the virtuoso: he moves while he talks, fidgeting with coasters on the table. He leans in, then back, tipping his chair from one side to the next. His answers are so quick, most of the time, that you’d think they were rehearsed. But they’re not.
And Greg isn’t just a big thinker. He’s also a big doer: he acts. He travels extensively. He has frequent speaking engagements. Old-time CrossFit fans will remember his monthly manifesto, emailed as a PDF to be printed with “CrossFit Journal” on the top. In 2001, he put the workouts from his private training gym online for free, and hasn’t missed a day since.
Greg has spawned a worldwide health initiative. He’s also given over 25,000 people the opportunity to be entrepreneurs and change lives. This is my passion. But that’s not his true genius.
Last week on this podcast, I introduced some of Greg’s Media team–Tyson Oldroyd, Mike Warkentin and Matt Bischel. They’re part of “CrossFit HQ” — an army of professionals dedicated to helping Greg’s affiliates. They’re all loyal to the point of fanaticism; many have been with the company a decade already. Very few people quit CrossFit HQ: they love the opportunity to serve in a meaningful way. And they love Greg.
I flew across the country to sit with Greg at his kitchen table for 90 minutes. It took days of travel and three years of conversation to reach this point. My questions weren’t pre-approved or censored afterward. Greg greeted me at his front door with a hug; when we parted a few hours later, he said “Love ya, man. Keep doing what you’re doing.”
THAT is Greg’s true genius: the ability to spread his care; to inspire everyone around him to beat their plowshares into swords and follow him.
“CrossFit is not an exercise program. It’s a fitness program.” What did Greg mean by that? Listen in…
Chris: 00:00:00 Have you ever met Greg Glassman? If you have, I’m going to bet you remember everything about the encounter. You probably remember where you were, maybe what he was wearing. You definitely remember what he said to you to the outside world. Greg has a very iconic appearance. He’s one of the most renowned people in fitness and health today, but to the inside world, to those of his affiliates, he has a much closer connection. I first met Greg and person in 2012 at a regional event where I was the media director in 2013 I flew out to Seattle to accept this job offer in the parking garage at the four seasons to work and right for crossfit journal for a year. Last month when HQ invited me out to do their podcast, I responded to their invitation with a request to get Greg on this show so that he could speak directly to affiliates.
Chris: 00:00:48 Finally we worked out that I’d fly out to Portland, sit at Greg’s kitchen table with them for an hour and a half and just ask them anything that was on my mind. And so I asked him about the origins for which some affiliates are still unclear. I asked him about how things should be in his affiliates today and I asked him what the future held at the table where Jimmy Latchford and Nicole Carroll, you can hear them chime in a little bit through this interview. This is an unscripted, unedited, free flow discussion with Greg of the kind that he no longer really does very often anymore. And so I feel incredibly privileged and proud to done this interview from Greg’s house and be bringing it to you. Without any further ado, the man who needs no introduction: coach
Greg: 00:01:33 Training people? OK. It’s working with the bst people in your community during what is for them. And due to no, no short coming of their own, it’s just how cool it is. But what might be the best part of their day and the start of their day. And uh, that is a perk. What you’re doing is you’re having the strongest and most positive impact on their lives at any professional service is likely to have. And that even includes for services like psychiatry medicine right now, see if you, if you’re hurt in a car accident, I know there’s some people believe that, that you, you live because your doctor was very, very good at what they do. And, and all of that happens, um, you likely that you live because you weren’t critically injured and that health care he got was a routine. It was to the standards of the profession.
Greg: 00:02:41 Um, and so I have to see how different would it have been if you’d been in the care of a different physician. Um, and often it doesn’t, it won’t make much difference. But in the case of what we do, the people that didn’t train with me, they didn’t, they didn’t get to do crossfit. What did is they found themselves doing lateral raises and curls are working out, standing in line with William Kramer at the Smith machine. And so at the end of the day, what we have is, is an unprecedented impact on, uh, on, on the best subset of your community that you can imagine a relationship that transcends the professional and becomes out once personal. I don’t know why that is. You know, we got to somehow the, you can have a relationship with your clients that you wouldn’t have as a lawyer or a physician who’s, you know, how many people have married their clients in our boxes, you know, hundreds.
Greg: 00:03:41 It’s hundreds. It’s a cliche. Um, yeah, I can’t imagine a better way to make a living. I really can’t, you know, and I don’t see what I do for a living is being different really. Um, it’s not quite like opening the door every morning, but I’m closer to those people then, then anyone else or anything else that happens in a workplace, anywhere. I know, and I may even understand them and what they do better than I do. My own staff and what they do for me often specialized, often not. But, uh, I remember in the last days of riding my bike in and unlocking the door that things were changing for me, that my responsibilities were making that less and less like what each day was going to be. And I boldly and bravely went in all of this new direction or, but it also wasn’t lost on me that like, look, I got my, I got my dog following me town, uh, uh, uh, east cliff on my way to the gym with the waves breaking on it.
Greg: 00:04:53 You know, I was like, this is great. This is correct. And it was, it was like, and it still is. Um, so at some point you realized in the agenda that you kinda had your kind of call to another level maybe. What was that transition like? Very difficult, very difficult. And the growing pains that are the growing pains that a business in doors come as the, where business grows is that, um, the, the, all those things you’d metric is business grow, but the network that is the relationship of the principles is, is also a thing that grows. And what happens is that everyone in the process has to iteratively, um, uh, trade focus for scope. So you go from, from there in the details, doing something to backing up far enough to what, watch someone else do it. Several people do it and it, and you in, you don’t see it right away.
Greg: 00:06:03 But what’s happening is that you’re getting up a better and better scope with less and less focus. Okay? And pretty soon you see all the moving parts and don’t have clear vision to any of it. And you can use the analogy of, of, of, of take half and a rocket ship. You know, there’s, there’s a level at which which you can see the trees and to the point where you can make out the leaves. Okay? Say something about the individual health of a tree with, with not much altitude at all. You can see the tree, but no longer the leaves. And then pretty soon you’re able to finally see the forest. But you can see no tree, right? Just the forest. And that’s it. And you’ve sacrificed focus for scope. Now that growing pain in the individuals involved creates a psychological dilemma of the first door, and some of those people get left behind.
Greg: 00:06:59 And it’s tragic. It’s the difference can be as simple as being a great brick layer and a lousy instructor of bricklayers and an even shittier instructor of bricklaying instructors. Right? And it’s just getting worse for you, really what you had, you had been a singular skill and was brick lane. Right. And you know, I consider and give you names, but boy, we’ve, we’re, we’re littered the wrong word because we have most of us that were here at the beginning still are, but many that, uh, that, uh, that aren’t too was it was that kind of pressure. I may use the good example of, of my brother David Castro. He is one of the few people that I have ever seen, um, reinvent themselves. How so? He’s just a different, better, newer version of, of what he used to be. It’s just a, just a beautiful thing.
Greg: 00:08:02 You know, he’s, uh, it’s, it’s not easy to do. It’s not easy to do, but he’s, that is that strong. He’s that strong a person. I don’t want to get into any more specifics. It’s not, it’s not fair to Dave, but, uh, I was going to point to somebody and Miss Nicole too. I’ve watched her go from someone who doodled pictures of us at the first search he went to, to, to running the most successful, important training organization on Earth. I’ve watched her go from a little girl to a, to a widely respected business leader of the first order, you know, and uh, that not everyone can do that now. Very few. So how do you maintain that focus on quality as you increase in scope?
Greg: 00:08:51 Well, by the exacting standards of, I don’t have a expectation and you know, I’ve told you before, I many have heard me say I’m not an endpoint guy. I’m a process guy. And so without end point, there’s never, there’s never perfect. There’s only better. Um, you don’t have to worry about being done because we’re not going to be right. You know, uh, it’s a, it’s a, an inducement to, uh, being indefatiguable. People ask me, when are we going to kick sodas ass? And I said, I had no idea. I know this, that we will win. And what’s that look like? I’m going to drive them out of the health sciences. That’s what it means. I’m not trying to get people to not drink. I have the world’s most effective, uh, uh, uh, uh, avoidance program, or what would you call it? A try to consumptive reduction plan.
Greg: 00:09:52 And it sounds like this meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar there. That was it. We were done with it. It wasn’t, it wasn’t, it wasn’t an issue in our community or our lives. But then we’ve, then there were intrusion into the fitness space. So let’s talk about Pepsi and Gatorade. Um, with the help of the American College of Sports Medicine, um, killing athletes with a exercise associated, hoping to streaming and several other, the, um, the people that were behind that hideous scandal. Deadly scandal. Uh, we’re involved in the chimp piece, which was one of the first, uh, uh, and what would have been tortious assaults on CrossFit. We’re not, uh, we’re the plot not hatched on DOD property. Um, at the uniform services university, they would almost certainly been sued for that crap. Um, but they, but they knew what they were doing and they, and they did it.
Greg: 00:10:48 They’re kind of on a rant here, but yeah, I’d bring it back home. This is all just training for me. I’m protecting the training space. I’m protecting the, the best work of their affiliates and promoting the best work that affiliates. And what that is, is is, is the health component of the soda thing, you know, no issues or consumptive reduction. I want him out of the fitness space and I want them out of the health space and that’s what the victory looks like. And um, will it take five years, 10 or 50? I don’t know. I have no sense of that at all at all. For me though, those things that I just tell you what we’re going to, we’re going to keep at it and we’re not going to stop. They tend to happen faster than you would have thought. You know, we’ve got to a place on the hydration battle in a fraction of the time. I was thinking it might take her. I was prepared to say, and I think that’s the thing too, Jason, when you, when you, when you’re not an endpoint guy, but a process guy, you and then the job ends up completed. You’ve always swell cause I was ready to do this forever. And so it’s always a kind of a pleasant surprise.
Greg: 00:12:00 So when you’re as crossfit increases at scope, you know, your name is still written on every individual affiliate, how do you know that the affiliates are, are helping in this, you know, battle for the health of the, of the country in the world? Well, you know, I told you I know what the affiliates do and I understand that better than anything. And so I can tell you, if you’ve got, uh, uh, hundreds of members that you’ve seen a hundred pound weight loss, you know damn well like who’s coming up and tell me it’s not about the games. It’s not about the gangs. It’s the guy with 300 clients. But when you have your first 50 clients are all year, really fit friends that love you and support you. If you’re new to the gate, right? Yeah. And uh, then the next 50 aren’t so fit. And then when you get out there like client number 200, you’ve got someone with diabetes and you’ve seen the overweight to, and then you stay in this game long enough.
Greg: 00:12:49 And, and I think for the best of us, that’s the part we enjoy most. And it dawned on me that I had become that guy where I realized that I got more out of a salary getting her first pull up at 65 and bawling like a baby. That was, that was more enjoyable to me. Then Garth winning the world championships of Brazilian Jujitsu and telling me you couldn’t have done it without me. Right. I think most of us are wired for that. I don’t think so. So that’s certainly one of the, one of the biggest rewards of owning a crossfit affiliate is that opportunity. And that opportunity was certainly never provided to me through the NSCA. Yeah. Um, so you know, with that in mind, you have the cscs a sir. Yeah. When I hold onto that, oh, I used it. Yeah. No, I mean, but, uh, I keep it, keep a picture of and keep it framed, you know, that’s, uh, that’s not gonna, that’s not always going to be around. Well actually I racked it because when I was writing a story on Gatorade for the Journal, I, I poured Gatorade and cornstarch on top of it and we didn’t use a fixture. So now it’s gone. But, you know, along with that opportunity comes the responsibility to actively promote health obviously. And so, you know, if your mark is on every individual affiliate, the leaf in your forest, what should we be doing in this crusade? At the affiliate level?
Greg: 00:14:23 I’ve been speaking with staff about, and this came up at the, at the trainer summit about the need to reiterate that we are a high fat, low carb, uh, concern and to do crossfit, um, on a high carb diet is crossfit with glycation, inflammation and oxidative, even if you’re burning it to stay skinny and you’re going to induce a, uh, a maybe visually attractive, uh, uh, uh, metabolically deranged, uh, outcome. And if it is possible to win the games on a high carb diet, I would suggest that you’re putting yourself right where, um, Sammy inkin put himself when he won the world championships. So the professional triathlon holy to be diagnosed as a type two diabetic. And so that kind of thing concerns me. Um, I like to share something. I think you’ll like this. I learned how to make world class athletes by applying to
Greg: 00:15:53 very talented people. All of the lessons I learned with very normal people. Okay. Okay. Um, the sallies taught me how to make Greg Amundsens from the Greg Amundsens. I have learned nothing and I have to pick on Greg. I love him. He’s a friend. But I mean from that I the uh, you know, look at what the crossfit games best do and try and develop some sense of how you might train. You would’ve found five years ago that you really didn’t have much chance in the games without compression fabric. Right. The following year, no one believed that, but that year they were pretty sure that if you weren’t putting on the hard to get odd shit, you weren’t going to be here in the games because they were all doing it. And then, and then we learned that if you don’t soak yourself in ice between the heats, and maybe that’s what it makes the heaters or is the ice.
Greg: 00:16:51 Maybe it was one of those things. Do you know the opposite of a heat is an ice? And so I’m going to, after my heat, I got in the, and that’s why I’m winning. And then it was the ridiculous fucking tape all over your ass. Everyone’s got the tape on themselves and that’s the goal. That’s what you need to win. And then I could pay worked where it’s, where’s the tape going? It’s not going to be around for awhile and they’re going to do this with lucky socks and with nutritionists and herbalists and steroids. These are all things that are, that are rearing their heads. We had, we had, uh, uh, you know, and we’re using, we’re using worldclass standards. We’re testing with, with, with, we’ve cut no corners here. You know, we may not be as big as the Olympics, but they’re testing is no more rigorous than ours and the protocol is no different. We’re had farming this out just like they do.
Greg: 00:17:44 the athletes are what they are. God bless them. You know, look, I’ve had, I’ve had professional athlete clients and if you’re in the NFL and you’re asking me should I quit steroids, I’m not going to answer that because it’s you. I’m not going to be the one to tell you here that I think you got to pull the plug on your career right now. It’s not stop my decision to me ask me. But I think it’s enhancing the quality of your life by giving. She’s I the paycheck. Yeah. Health probably not so much. Is it the affiliates responsibility to have those conversations with their clients who are yes. If you’re my affiliate, yes,
Greg: 00:18:29 he’d let them. Bud, how you doing? How the kids two daughter take the SAT. Did your husband have his collarbone repaired? Yeah. And what’d you have for dinner last night? You know, I mean it’s, it’s part of every conversation unless I know you’re like Greg Amundsen, you know, he, he brought Tupperware in the one give me a magic marker and he wanted me to show him where to put the cottage cheese up to you and you wrote on that the cottage cheese and it was connected. I feel to that line every day and I go, you know, you can try other things and put, use the by. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, whoa. He’s, it’s really, it’s easier for me if I just like I, it’s the second. Oh, awesome. Awesome. Yeah. You have to have that discussion. You have to care. You have to care. And when I don’t, when I don’t see results, um, to my liking at the pace that I’m accustomed to, we’re going to talk more and more.
Greg: 00:19:19 And I was always jealous of Skip Chase in his home intervention. I just love that because he knows me. I did. I haven’t heard a lot of times where like, man, I wish I’d thought of that in the training space, but I did on that. And he basically, without much verbal harangue, if he wasn’t seeing what he needed and at the pace that made him happy, he shows up at your fucking house with a cardboard box and he wants to see the fridge lends himself and he goes to the fridge and he loads up the bad shit and he’s taken it with him. And I think that’s brilliant. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know if that’s, that might just require a personality to dovetail with that. I don’t know, but I, I was jealous of it. I think it’s a skill you can practice. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good on him though. Good on. So, so does it. Cross fit is not an exercise program as a fitness program. I mean with the thing that differentiated, is it for me, the fitness program involves the food part. It’s huge. How much actual Pflueger thinks it’s a, you know, 40% I mean, I, I think it’s, I think it’s more like 60 weight we could put, we can argue about that. What I can’t do is, but with a few few narrow exceptions, I can’t point to an eating adaptation. It isn’t also an exercise adaptation,
Greg: 00:20:48 increased bone density. I do it with diet alone. If you don’t exercise and you eat Shitty, I can increase your bone density. With that exercise. I can decrease your insulin resistance. They can increase your muscle mass. I learned that before. I had the wonderful experience of in 1995 I wasn’t training for the first time in a forever, but I was traveling with Barry Sears and we were zoning people. And so for the first time ever, I got to have impact on nutrition where I wasn’t providing one physically and I’d never seen that before. I knew what it looked like if you exercise and ate the way I told you. And I knew what it looked like. If you exercise in, in and eat the way the American College of Sports Medicine wants you to, you know, the way that causes the chronic disease. Um, but I’d never seen anyone eat right and not exercise. Never seen that. And so to come back and revisit locales and find that there was an increase in muscle mass and bone density and you know, it’s like, wow, you look like you’ve been exercising. Nope,
Greg: 00:21:52 what happens if you do both together? Ah, it’s a jet stream of, of positive results.
Chris: 00:22:01 Okay.
Chris: 00:22:03 I think we affiliates could maybe use some help in knowing how to broach that conversation and just some of the things that you’ve mentioned already were, um, here’s the, here’s what I would talk about with, with my clients. That doesn’t always happen in, in my box. What kind of conversations should we be having and how do you introduce nutrition into that conversation?
Greg: 00:22:25 Well we were promoting the hell out of the zone diet since 1995. And what that meant is that when you came into my box, I would give you a prescription and tell you about the zone. And we had purchased hundreds of copies of the book just handing that out. It was everywhere. And uh, we were doing that is it? And we charged for that. Like we did training. So ever since they’ve known me, there was, there were people around that were happening that were, um, introductory sessions and nutrition clients. I learned that trick from Gold’s gym or I did that for them. And so you’d get, I don’t remember what it was, six weeks of training in it and a meal plan that you expected to follow. And if you didn’t have some reduction in your percent body fat, by the end of that, I don’t remember now if it was six or 12 weeks, whatever it was, and um, you’d get your money back.
Greg: 00:23:28 I think it was 12 weeks in a s a drop of six percentage points. I may have been where it was. Wow. But she couldn’t, you had to be, you couldn’t miss it pay and you had this book and you couldn’t miss any time. And we, we did Lauren and I did exactly that in Santa Cruz and uh, it was, uh, it’s great. It’s great. I wouldn’t train people without some sense of a, without having in place, some constant pressure on inefficient. Some boxes have just culturally it just happens. He’s been just doing Paleo challenge as all I’d challenge, you know, there was a lot of that going on. Um, it’s an indispensable part of what they do. I’ll make a shameless plug for my friend Sammy and cannon. My superstar triathlete was a diabetic. Now as the CEO and founder of Verda life for the Health Corporation, um, they do, uh, uh, handholding off the metabolic precipice.
Greg: 00:24:30 They do diabetes type two diabetes reversal for just, just hundreds of dollars a month, you know, like 400 a month. Um, I can do that work to cost you a whole lot more than that. And so if I were training today, someone came through the door that I didn’t think, uh, for whom I thought their nutrition had served them poorly, it’s, it’d be almost everybody. I would encourage him to spend the 400 a month with the verdict corp how long you have to do that, four or five months. Right, right. Yeah. You know, I think Tom gets 70% of his cohort from a Purdue off of meds in, uh, in, in six months. I think it was 70%. And for the 400 people were off off meds in six months. Well, you know at the point you’re off meds and you’ve been eating well for six months. I don’t think you need any more vert or anything else.
Greg: 00:25:23 You know, it’s not possible to eat in a manner that brings your a one c down to five and then when the instruction stops, not know how you did it. Right? Yeah. It’s not possible. It’s not possible. You’ve become an expert or world class authority because it’s not an easy thing to do. You’ve had a display, so much willpower that you, you’ve learned, you can spin up. It’s been a journey, very personal journey for you. Forget to get our diabetes meds. I’m taking everything in your life. You’ve, you’ve, you’re better at because you’ve the denial this required with that, you know, I just, it’s an amazing thing. It says fire tougher to change your nutrition, then just start exercising. Right?
Greg: 00:26:08 Yeah. So it may best tool for getting people to eat right once they’d been working out with me and they, you not have a lot of tools for those that don’t want to play. But my, one of my best tools was to mark plot the progress of the person that was doing well. And I remember him, you know, people come around and thought, well I’m just never going to be Greg Amundson. So, but when Mike Weaver started running past people that had been working out longer than we’ve had been around and they were like, all right, what’s he doing? And I go, one thing different than you. What’s that? You know, listening to what I’m saying about the nutrition, I’ve also used that to get bike riders that I wanted a big name bike rider and I’m taking someone that was not a threat and just had them over their shoulder all of a sudden.
Greg: 00:27:06 And uh, you know, you got two or three of these guys I may ask where they didn’t use to be and ad that has brought in some, some big names, cyclist and the door to me. For me going way back that can a decent Tom Rogers and goes on down. There’s no one right into there. Then remembers those names. But, well I actually, I don’t want to go down too many rabbit holes, but um, I love cycling and just buy it 10 bikes from my gym. And when I was at HQ, like I know cycling has always been a part of what you did. Was there ever a point where you were introducing cycling into the gym itself? We had a fleet of base. And what would you deal with them? Well, um, go up a dog 2000 feet into the woods with a pickup truck full of dumbbells and hate him in the redwoods. Come down and tell her when you get on a bike and go to the top of the hill at Rodeo Gulch and I’ll be there. You’ll see me and uh, I’ll have dumb bells and a hand. You got to do 50 thrusters and then down the hill and a hundred pull ups and we’ll stop the clock or something like that. Maybe it was a hundred thrusters and 50 pull, I dunno, but w on the regular. Oh, that’s great. Oh, it was wonderful. One of the heated those bikes.
Greg: 00:28:26 Yeah. Then let me tell you where the bikes came from. Yeah, I was at that crossroad, you know, do I need a bigger space? Well, I’m getting complaints. I don’t have the money for an expansion. I’m not just sitting around in any way at any rate. And I do. You just don’t know if that’s the right thing to do or not. And so they went down this, this angle, will it provide a better programmer surface and as like, well hang some cargo nets. I’d get mountain bakes and had a list of things they do. And then you ask, okay, you know, and this was due to two more room.
Greg: 00:29:12 I couldn’t when we were at 12 1,250 square feet. What kind of Moron is gonna put eight bakes in there at 2,500 square feet. I’m the more on they, we do that. Right. Got It. And we ride the hell out. Reform rolled the hell out. That’s good to hear. Um, and you know something too, man. Yeah. Anyone that like, so you’re a baker. Yeah, I love, I really did that depend on the glute ham developer. No. You know what, I’m gonna make you a better bike rider, right? Almost instantly the report it any from any, any level of output, the recording all you cyclists out there, you think you are as good as you can get. No, you know, probably are with your current methods, but if you don’t dead lift in your ride bikes, you’re not as good as you could be. And that, and I can add other things to that, but, uh, the report you always get back is, um, there’s that hill that you would tend to, uh, uh, uh, shift up and stand, you know, now with it is staying seated and spinning it out and grabbing up, grabbing a harder gear and grinding on it.
Chris: 00:30:17 You know what I mean? Just stuff like that. You know, that hill, you know what your typical climb pattern is and it’s clearly been altered in the path of a grip, more power. Is there anything else in that same thing that maybe, you know, we affiliates aren’t seeing that we should be thinking about when we’re out fitting a gym or growling?
Greg: 00:30:42 Oh,
Greg: 00:30:44 I’ve, I’ve, I’ve mentioned this other places and so I don’t know, he’s probably tired of hearing it or not, but, uh, the dumbbell thing, I can’t get past that. The difference between a ring man and a parallel wire man in terms of strength is due to that independent axes of the rings and the, and the dumbbell. A barbell analogy is perfect. Perfect. There is no comparing the strength of, and this is, you know, I was in the era of specialists, so there were guys that did the rantings and only most competitors were that way. The small percentage of gymnasts where all around guys, when I was a kid, small percentage and uh, the sport, it hasn’t been improved because of it. I don’t think. I don’t think it’s been good for it, but whatever, you know, it’d be like, imagine going out into track and field and everyone go home except the decathletes, you know, it’s kind of kind of interesting.
Greg: 00:31:34 Um, but there was never, there was never any doubt as to how much stronger the ring men were within the parallel bar and grace and a dumbbells would, would do something similar to, okay. So that, those were self indulgent questions cause I just like that stuff. But yeah, I though it was good. It was to stay with the list presses to handstand. There’s not enough done with it. Okay. And there’s a progression of per process from a bent leg, bent arm, bent hip to straightening arm, hip and leg and then greed out nicely and they’re all learning the same way in the negative and the strength that you get out of that. You know, I would, if people would spend more time with dumbbells, uh, commit to a, uh, to a long term path to the power presses, the plants press as a straight arm, straight body press, you’d probably get shot for sure.
Greg: 00:32:34 Be able to do on parallel bars before the floor. Um, and a straight body been arm press and then straight arms, straight, straight leg press, bent hip, uh, anyone can, anyone can learn those. Okay. But it takes years. But it takes a little bit of playing with it all the time. A bigger deadlift, more dumbbell work, and those presses. The handstand can be a shortcut to better Olympic lifts at our level of expertise in, in exposure then. Then a lot of the training that we’re currently doing, I believe I’ve pretty cocky, confident of that to Dan Bailey claims to have tested this theory and it paid off. I don’t know how or what, but he, he had let me know that it was working for him because he’s a good dude. I think he wanted me to feel good, but uh, uh, that all games athletes can’t get in a position, uh, a, uh, uh, a pushup position and then slide those hands down and arch the back and drive that up to a handstand is, is a, is a mistake for, for them it’s a mistake.
Greg: 00:33:56 Okay. Um, what happens in these presses to handstand whaling is it’s, um, the likelihood of you falling out of a handstand again, cause plumbers, because if you can get that low and then you’ll, and you’ll learn it in the negative. So the way to learn a straight body, um, uh, a straight leg, you know, of no bend at the hip, no end. So just straight body and bent arm press is to get into a handstand and lower into that ever with Edwin bit more and more slowly, more and more slowly, more, more slowly. And then one day you can finally reverse it. But when you get practice that is your body being three inches off the ground and you drive it back to a handstand is the, is the practice. You kidding? Wow. And so, um, you might stumble just like you would on your feet, but it, the likelihood of having to put your hands on the ground or that escapes your feet on the ground goes real low, real low.
Greg: 00:34:52 Then there’s the strength component and the balance component. It’s wonderful. And there’s another piece to, um, these presses require, uh, like the straight arm, straight leg bent hip presto Hanson, and he’s got the stiff, stiff sorts of straight on straight leg press. Do. A handstand requires that you be pretty flexible and pretty damn strong. And I’m talking about gymnasts standards. Okay. It’s, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s a good, but not a great, you know, it’s a, it’s a B move. It’s a big move. Um, but if you’re not flexible, then you have to be very strong. And if you’re extremely flexible, you don’t have to be as strong. But in the, he requires significant flexibility and strength and it’s just a great tool. That’s another one. Every one that’s been doing crossfit for two or three years should be able to do that.
Greg: 00:35:47 That’s interesting. And if we’re not, it’s, you know, that’s, that’s my, my shortcoming. How was it your shortcoming? Well, it would have been nice. There’s another journal. article that can be written out on these progressions. I’ve done it for in house staff. I’ve got a, you know, I’ve made that material. You just never throw my name on it. Do another stuff. Yeah. Busy. You can’t do everything. And the big dead lifts. So this is my things. I wouldn’t, there’s presses the handstand and I’ll outline these. I’ll send that to you. I’ll give it to you. I’ll show you the progression. It’s fun to play with. Um, uh, press to handstand more dumbo work, and a, bigger deadlift, a bigger deadlift. There’s that point in your clean where you, you don’t to it. Uh, two 25, I slipped right on her at two 30. I like, I’m stuck. I don’t, I can’t go. What was it? What happened? Was the weight got too heavy? And if you have a, if you have a, uh, a 325 pound deadlift, you’d be happy with your two 25 points because that’s all you, that’s all.
Greg: 00:36:56 Any weight you clean with good technique comes off the floor in a very unintimidating manner.
Greg: 00:37:12 And so these monster cleans belonged to people with loss or deadlifts. And we had the best time, um, Strawson dire minds guy used to make a weightlifting videotape training tape that cut out all the nonsense. It was just lift the proof, cut, lift the fruit. So in an hour tape, you could watch hundreds and hundreds of lifts. And I’ve watched these things with Tony Budding for hours. We’d just sit down and we’ll loop this thing. And then I started noticing things like it was really significant to notice the change in countenance, the expression of the athlete and to watch, uh, hair, what it was doing. If your hair all of a sudden stand straight up, what’s that mean? Moving fast. You’re fucking going down, man. I’m only one direction that is down in fast. Right. And where you marked against the lettering, is it a poster on the wall? You know, just started doing some looking at vectors and watching this stuff and you came away with a, with a, with a world class understanding of what’s going on on these, on these lifts. That was, that was really fun.
Greg: 00:38:30 The successful clean, the load comes off the floor with relative ease and as soon as that torso rotates to perpendicular, which is the cause of the, of the, of the scoop or the or the double knee bend. Right, okay. The bar is still rising, but you’ve rotated the torso forward. And at that exact instance, there is a significant change in the countenance of the athlete. And the next thing you see is the hair go up. And, and what has happened is that these people have have pulled the trap door on a moderate weight that they were accelerating handsomely and then as they exploded on it at the moment of, of, of full after burner, the knees get sucked up and they’re shot underneath the bar bow and Arrow style. Imagine if we could put, you know, find the Max weight you can possibly shrug. Then add 10 more pounds and tell you to shrug it as hard as you can and then I pulled the trap door. Right. Okay. You’re going to beat the, you’re going to beat the weight down and his j there’s Boeing Airlines and that’s it. That’s exactly what’s happening in that lift. That’s exactly what’s happening to lift. Get me a bigger dead lift and all I’m going to in the balance of the press to handstand is going to translate to bar control imager promised, promised, and we’re going to get some other things along the way that we might not have gotten committing all that time under the barbell and the barbell alone. Hmm. Very interesting.
Greg: 00:40:18 This is fun. It’s a, it’s an old school. Yeah, it is. I can have these, you know, there are people I can have these conversations with. I’ll tell you one that I just saw the other day. Um, Romanov
Greg: 00:40:36 Why? Romanov I don’t know. I always think of what am I safe? You don’t make myself sound good here. Um, I just, I really like targeted Nikolai or he’s, he’s, he’s a good dude. He’s, he’s sharp. He’s a, he’s thought about a lot of things. He’s a kind of a hard science guy too.
Chris: 00:40:54 I just met him at the Games, but you know, the hard science guys like Mel siff haven’t always been kind of open to everything you’ve said, right?
Greg: 00:41:02 Yeah. Mel thought everything was bullshit. And since 99.9% of shit is, he was right on a lot. So that’s, you know, that’s okay. And I, and I really enjoyed him. I enjoyed his spirit. Yeah.
Greg: 00:41:21 Don’t want benefited from Mel not being here. Right. And it broke. I don’t know Jim Fixx I think I have it right. I looked this up. The nutrition, the guy that wrote the nutrition, the cyclists Bible for nutrition. My problem with exercise is medicine. It’s not that I don’t think it works. That is that you can exercise a way fat by problem is, is that if that allows me to them to consume more product and I’m talking about coke or Pepsi or any of them, anything like that. And that is the excuse to do more exercise to burn off more product. Um, I now I don’t like what’s happening now. What I’m doing is I’m, um, I’m running more product through the system, doing what? Glycating inflammation and creating oxidative stress, exercising or not. It’s doing that and we don’t want that. So if you ever make me pick between, um, uh, the, the eating and exercise, I would, I would, I would rather you eat right and don’t exercise then exercise and eat like shit.
Greg: 00:42:34 And at what point is it the bikes owner’s responsibility to say to a client, uh, a, I’ve got a problem with how your training I did all the time. I mean, I would never, I would never, I would never fire a client for that. And it’s the language I use and the clients had been fired but not for that. Okay, you can, you can eat anywhere you want. And I had a guy who come to me wouldn’t never took any of my nutrition advice. George and uh, George worked out one day a week and that was his hour with me. Sure. That’s it. That’s all he’d do. All we clump and the son of a bitch. I was disappointed in the fact that he was getting results anyways. Any he had for years and, and I, there’s part of me that wished he wouldn’t come, but I wanted them to come more as what I wanted.
Greg: 00:43:19 I always ask, did you do any of this week? No. It’s the last thing you did. I think we did last Friday. And so, you know what ages we just kicked it ever loving shit out of George. She has beat him bad. Why are you doing this to me? To treat me like me. Hate me. They train like you’re not going to do anything for a week. That’s what I’m trying to like. I go, come one more time. I won’t charge you. I can’t do it. I don’t have time. I don’t have the time. And I’m like, it’s yours. It’s yours please mic and deals. I’m looking for you. If you come twice, we’ll go a third is hard. Okay. Yeah, no deal. No deal. Son of a bitch. And he was, it was fat and getting skinnier on one hour of exercise a week. Everything else. I have to believe it was held constant. He’s certainly wasn’t a undoing it with food. He was, he was, he was making progress. It was a food.
Greg: 00:44:09 I don’t think he changed anything except that hour. I think he was shooting me straight. I’m good size. You’re going to get, I’m giving you an hour a week, you know? And he’s still alive. So I would say I’ve looked him up when something wondering, wondering about that, you know, age orange. Did you call him? You know, I think I left a message. I think I left message in a law office. Yeah. Did call. So a client wants to come into my gym. They want to come in one time a week. You know, your response to that client is absolutely. Yeah. Cause I think I’m going to get you into more involvement than that. But saying no is not going to get you. No, no, didn’t tell me it’s just a start. Okay. Okay. Look, I bring them in. I just want him to come in once, right.
Greg: 00:45:03 I’ve got it. I want you to come a second time. I hide that behind my back until we’re done. And I’m not going to mention it during the suffering. I don’t want you to make a rash decision while you were at Max heart rate. Right? Yeah. Right. Yeah. And afterwards, after I’ve told you how that was fucking amazing. I mean for the beginning, look what you did in that with some of the best PVC work I’ve seen this week. You know, and, and, okay. So I’ll see you Wednesday and when I tricky me, I’ll lead with that assumption that you’re coming back, right? I didn’t even give you a chance to say no. Let’s see. Wednesday, Wednesday, same time, high five. And I’m going to, and I might call, um, uh, uh, Monday night. Now my third call you Tuesday cause it might be your chance to say, hey, I got something so I’m coming up, I’m really sorry. You know? Yeah. And so I’ll just call you Monday’s tell you how good that was, that and that you’re going to be really, really sore, but don’t listen to it. Is there a nutrition talk in that first of all always. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Greg: 00:46:03 It was always there. Always there. Hook. We, Barry Sears was a, was a part of my, and, and early crossfitters live. I mean, we, he came around to the gym, you know, we traveled with them. Huh? There were a bunch of us had involvement.
Greg: 00:46:25 I know he and his brother very well. And uh, he’s, he’s a friend, he’s a friend and we were working with them prior to them writing the book.
Greg: 00:46:36 And the book did wonderfully well.
Greg: 00:46:45 yeah, it’s, uh, it’s been a, it’s been a big, big piece of, of this whole movement.
Chris: 00:46:52 Okay.
Greg: 00:46:54 You know, and I am and I to get even like, listen, I’m right. You get it. Don’t accept that. You know, I, I think maybe we’ve not made a big enough point of it and they’ll just sit right here and except that, um, but we have, we are in discussions about dusting off a nutrition. Sir, I had a problem with, with some of our nutrition friends, it was this, what we posted on the website was a workout, not a hyper discussion of exercise stimulus and response. There was no Krebs citric acid cycle because that has no fucking relevancy. Um, it’s important to biochemistry but not to exercise science. Okay. Um, and, and it’s full for William Kraemer to make sure that the Krebs cycle is in his book where he squats it. A Smith machine is insanity. It’s to be not in the field of exercise science.
Greg: 00:47:59 You’re pretending to be doing science while you exercise. That’s, that’s not, that’s not exercise science. Um, what was I talking about? So we were talking about that bathroom for a second. Whole nutrition. Oh. And so, and so what I didn’t want was, was theoretical nutrition. And so what’s the equivalent do this workout? It’s, this is a meal plan. And so when we’re talking about this recently, it caused young a leaf to say, well then what we want is cooking classes. And I said, yeah, that’s exactly right. You know, we need to show that we’ve done, we’ve done exactly that. You remember we did that in San Diego where we cooked a w we barbecued zone meals. Do you remember doing it at the Lucas, Jim? I think it was. No, it wasn’t there. It was that day. Yes.
Greg: 00:48:58 so we’re gonna, we’re gonna revamp, do some experimenting, but I really don’t want to run down the rabbit hole of, here’s what I, here’s what homeroom void. There used to be a thing that was done by Amway, I believe in. It was as a weight loss pill and the little bottle had to do an hour of cardio and then take one. Okay. And the guy promised to worked. He can’t have does. What’s working is, is the, you’ve been full. It was working. But the only thing that’s happening here is the cardio, an hour of cardio and the pills. Just, just you getting ripped off. Well, you can do that with crossfit too. I can hear if you do crossfit while holding miss lucky poster, right. And when I’m looking at the low like he coaster you go or have you were rock tape or do ice pads or there’s all kinds of shit. And so people are wanting to differentiate themselves by adding their third element to the mix and uh, uh, or their unique something or rather and, uh, when they have
Greg: 00:50:17 Nothing to offer in that regard. And I’ve, I listened to someone recently on a podcast that, you know of that, uh, uh, if it was me, you can say that it was all PT on my podcast. Okay, yeah. Here we go, man. You know, and he’s been that for a long time, but I get it, it’s hard to differentiate yourself, um, when the, the, the essence of the whole thing has been given to everyone and we all sit in possession of roughly the same skillset. You know, I know something magical about training that can, Nicole doesn’t know. Do I think there’s some magic extra factor? Well, you know why? I think not if chromium or fish oil or ice baths or rock tape were were important, I would expect to have seen people that did what I wanted and didn’t get results. But for lack of rock tape, right?
Greg: 00:51:27 Or something, there should be like, you know, what’s with the non responders and then it might turn out they don’t eat right for their type or, but when I get a nonresponder I got a noncompliance and there’s only a couple of, I have to look for a compliance are you hearing or a tribe? And the rest is food. I got really, really fucking good at seeing what people read it. And the best way to do it is have him write it down and no one can for long, um, fake race shit down minivan, Avery tribe. But you get caught, you get caught.
Greg: 00:52:05 So how much of your time or how much of a crossfit coach his time in a given week is supposed to be spent going through nutrition plans because you haven’t convinced me that you’re eating right and moving in the right direction. And when I know shortly after starting your meal plan, if I see any kind of a failure to thrive, but more importantly, I see changes in physiology. Me Either, either moving in the right direction and that next to never happen or we don’t keep getting leaner and leaner at some point. And once you’re there, like I don’t got no, I’m not, I’m not going to talk to Nicole about food so much. Right, right. You know, um, Jimmy a little more me a little more, you know, until I get what I want till I get what I want. You look your, you know, as a trainer, I’m always out there on the floor looking for anything that you’d do with this.
Greg: 00:52:57 Not Perfect. I asked him once, you know, it’s so much better to teach, have you point out the positives? And I was like, okay, let me think about that for me. You know what I’m saying? Fuck you. Like I’m gonna tell you, it’s not like that. It’s not like that. Um, perfect technique means you’re not doing anything stupid. You know, it’s, it’s all the things I don’t want it. I can’t help it, you know, come to full extension. You’re not, it’s a negative thing. Stop it. You’re pulling with your arms. Quit that, you know, look straight ahead, not up. You teach gymnastics this way. I teach you to do tricks by, by getting you to pick up some behaviors and then we grew quickly get into those. Stop this shit. The thing I asked you to do may not even be capable. You know, I want you to, I want you to, with your left hand, reach earned your your right armpit and I want you to touch yourself in the center of your spine, okay?
Greg: 00:53:49 Okay. As soon as you pull back on those rings, I want you to look at anything with that head. I want you to drive this fingers and touch your spine. And I’m like, I’m trying to initiate a spin, right? Cause what you’re doing isn’t, isn’t getting it there. And then it comes to the point where you go, okay, listen, next time up, here’s where you’re going to do Jason. Something fucking different. Okay? Just you get up there. I don’t care what it is, but I want to see something different. You spend so much time like that. So much time like that no train people to do things is taking out the non-perfect parts until what you’re left with something and Brown, which you have nothing to say. And Nicole knows this from the training, uh, sorts where you know, you get out there in the middle and when, when we were first doing level one is oh my God, did you have to work? You would have, there’d be 15 things I have to tell you 20 things. If they tell you what I’m doing wrong and then you roll the clock forward 10 years and man you, there are people who get groups here like, okay look, you know, I’m not widen your stance slightly. I think, let me see now put it back worldwide so you can only make up to here. I mean there’s some great movement coming through the door, which is really neat thing to see. It’s pretty amazing. It is.
Greg: 00:54:58 So if a client or if a, if a coaches responsibility is to spend as much time on nutrition as it is on exercise, then we’ll look, cause listen, listen, there’s a couple things going. I’ve got an hour with you and I’ve got the formalities of, of, you know, did your daughter take the sats? Is it your dad’s still visiting? And I was making your notes. Okay, lets you know now they know where I would really act. That’s how I’ll just, that’s the, that’s the prelude to let’s get started. Okay. I’m going to talk to you about what we’re going to do today. I’m going to let you know kind of what my standards are, but I think what I expect, what I think you could do one way or two, we might go at it and then, and then immediately, you know, how are things, how’s the eating goal and you know, uh, but I, but I’ve got an hour and I’ve only got a couple of things I can do that can explain the exercise to you.
Greg: 00:55:46 I’m not going to lecture you on exercise physiology. I never did the hot pepper. Um, and I, and I, and I, and I got the small talk out of the way. The very next action item frankly is, is, is the eating, because that’s the part I’m not seeing. And I, and I can, I can, I can ask you in between sets or reps are all during the warmup. Certainly during the cool down. I brought in handouts more often than not. And they were almost always on nutrition. Almost always. I was a hyper insulin ism morning zealot and it was a big part of what was happening in the box all the time. Why wouldn’t a trainer want to use that tool to leverage every rep of every exercise? This is be stupid not to. So how do you do that? You know, a lot of affiliates now are running classes with 20, 25 people. How do you do that in such a big group environment? That’s a, that’s a lot of people. Um, I’ve done it and can do it, but it’s hard. Um, they better be of of uh, an, I don’t mean if similar capacity, they better be of, of uh, um, all well initiative initiated. I can’t have five of those people there. They’ve been here a couple of weeks now. Right. Or I’m not going to be able to do a panel it
Chris: 00:57:23 yeah.
Greg: 00:57:25 On the nutrition side and the exercise side. Okay. Everyone in my groups had been one on one with me.
Chris: 00:57:36 Right.
Greg: 00:57:38 Isn’t that true Nicole?
Chris: 00:57:42 Okay.
Greg: 00:57:43 And how did that progression look from one on one into a group? Oh, I was, I was uh, you know,
Greg: 00:57:51 I was doing group classes for my Jujitsu friends. Okay. Um, cause I had just come in and you know, I have limited time and they got 30 students. So I’d set up stations and we’d do stuff in my, uh, in my one on one training. I’m working, uh, you know, 50 hours a week, 50 hours and 50 clients. I always tried to keep a Sunday free and, and rather than losing a new client I would, some would going to Sundays and the quality of my life, then it turned to shit. And I was coming off a period where I had gotten back where my Sundays were free and then they had some high profile clients that I was very interested in. And so I started the double up and uh, it was, it was a take a deep breath. We’re going to try and Tuck the sender that this person into this.
Greg: 00:58:49 But I remember saying that, hey, you’re paying me 75, you know, I can make it 50 and I think you’re gonna like her and let’s just start please. I need it. And if you don’t like it, we’ll go back. And it took me up on it. And so now I’m making $100 an hour to 75 and I found at once I could do is get a job and I could do that three, four, especially if I expand on that kernel. But, uh, I can give 10 people all the one on one instruction they would care for from the space of an hour. Yeah. And it very quickly gets to those that you don’t say much to. It’s because they’re not doing as much wrong. And so there was no one, it would come out of the class and go, I wish she said more to me. That’s huge. Right.
Chris: 00:59:45 Hmm.
Greg: 00:59:48 Do you remember, because you know, if we’re in a group and I’m all of a sudden now here with you. Okay, come on. Yeah. Well it’s, you know, well, you know, like the wrestler. Yeah. Yeah. I think it was that green PE. You hear the whistle and your name yell. Do you know it was like, oh fuck.
Greg: 01:00:08 I don’t think I was, I don’t think I was a, I made it fun though, right? We did. We have fun. Yeah. I talked like I wasn’t fun, but you know, maybe it wasn’t like there was a lot of laughter and maybe that’s what I’m calling fun is the fact that we were laughing. Often when there’s laughter, there’s not, not everyone’s having the same farm. Yeah. Is that one of the Tom or I saw the great affiliate then as you walk in the door and you hear laughter. Oh yeah, yeah. I used, I used the levity is my, uh, is my
Greg: 01:00:53 is my most levity or the lack thereof, um, is my favorite preclinical harbinger of overtraining. So when I come in in the morning and hi and then other ones like, or two people don’t even bother to turn around and say hi. It normally would very nice positive, what would it be do last? And then my real tight and then I, I’ve had this done this like, here’s what I want to do today. I just want to stretch. And someone turns around and like I’ve seen him cry, right? Like, oh you could’ve said something. Um, when the, the enthusiasm for the effort diminishes, the intensities likely exceeded the psychological tolerance of your crew. So Jason Heiberger used to watch, uh, classes for us when we would travel together. And pretty soon nobody wanted chase him cause he’d thin your class for you. And, and he had one of his columns was whether you puked or not, I finally found on the board and that would happen is he erase it but it ghosted.
Greg: 01:01:57 And so I was like, dude, look at this. This is what you did with my fucking people, you know, and I actually thought he was trying to reduce the numbers to make it easy for himself. But I was gone for two weeks of a three day a week class and it went from like 21 to 1512 like one of my workouts, you know, it was going to be nine six three and died. And he had this fucking ops, the where the puked or not. So he’s brought that value into the system and he’s going to eat. We have a puking cloud as a mascot. Cause someone told me you could never have a successful business with that mascot. I mean that’s, that was, you know, that was her big part of it made me laugh. And that’s make or break a business. Right. That’s ridiculous.
Greg: 01:02:42 So you know, crossfit, to circle back to the beginning here, presents this unique entrepreneurial opportunity. It’s, it’s created 14,000 and you know, 20,000 new entrepreneurs, 14,000 small businesses, whatever. What is our responsibility back to HQ? I don’t know that there is one. I shouldn’t speak to that. I would, I would, I would probably let my affiliate Sansa and they’d probably be moved to tears that what they perceive to be their responsibility. But look, I’ve got an organization of the willing, I’ve built an affiliation and alliance that it would be important for me to be a part of and I would make damn sure that I’d taken $3,000 of my money and I probably converted that into how many clients that would be. And I asked myself would they pay it? And the answers a fucking wouldn’t. I’d be proud to. Um, someone asked me recently about the value of affiliation.
Greg: 01:03:36 I said, if it’s in doubt, you’re the wrong affiliate. If you really, if you each each year you’re like, I don’t know. I mean, what do we get for this? Please? It’s not in. I have, there’s no, no hard feelings, but it isn’t right for you. If you, if you wonder, contrast that with, ah, let’s compare. Let’s talk about a couple of sales. Let’s talk about mark Twight who was, uh, uh, in, in everything he did. It was, it was the antithesis of crossfit. Now, everything he does is, it’s changed again and he’s found someone else to poach from. It’s became crossfit and claims. Uh, no, no loyalty. It, he had his surgery was another seal named Duffy Gaver and Duffy had, uh, had, uh, uh, uh, uh, training celebrities in a, and it certainly in a more crossfit manner than anything Mark Twain had done. And He’d, it was very, very successful primary, the most successful celebrity trainer ever.
Greg: 01:04:42 And I know there are some that promote themselves as celebrity trainers for they don’t want to have a list like, like his list of clients and he won’t talk about it, which is amazing, but we all know who he has trained in. It’s everybody. Um, Duffy Gaver and went and took the seminar, thanked us for the material and then went out on his own. Seven or eight years later, he, uh, he, uh, affiliated and as essay was that, um, he’s been using this method for a long time and his, he doesn’t fly flag and his customers keep asking, isn’t this crossfit? And it’d be 10. They asked, he says he feels like a thieving bag. And so he says, I guess I get it, just pay some money so I don’t have to feel like, like a thief, you know? And I was like, that’s like, I’ll, there’s a translation of that that makes me proud to stand alongside. What he’s telling me is that, is that the, the methods are, are something that he’s profoundly committed to and that he doesn’t feel right standing apart from the people that brought that tool, that the alliances means something to them. Now I can, it would be nice to, for someone to maybe feel a little better about that, but, but I get it. It works for me. And I would be, I would be like that too. Um, I’m not going to scrape anyone’s name off of anything in pretend like it came from me.
Greg: 01:06:15 No, I don’t, I don’t understand that. You know, when the Marines do crossfit and call it something else and then say they can’t, uh, uh, endorse a brand, their boots have a brand on it. Their weapons have a brand name on it. There’s sunglasses, have a brand name on it. Their helmet carries a brand name, but they got a scrape the crossfit name off the off of of something and put something else on. You know, I want to be careful with that. Right, right. Yeah, yeah. Things are, we actually have a very good relationship with the marine corps, but there was a, there’s been a faction of the core that was wanting to scrape the name off and call it something else due to a corrupt civilian influence that, that happened in Canada. Right. Um, it happened in, uh, well the discussions with the same thing it did. Discussion’s been, had been hanging everywhere. Okay. Uh, you know, the, my problem was, is that too, to have adopted this methodology so completely for it to be so crazy different than what you were doing and to not feel, ah, compelled to tell whose material it is, lacks integrity. Well, there’s a lot of that out there, right? Tens of thousands dollars, of course, you know, cause a bunch of things that are, to me, Oh, if I tell a joke, I’d like to tell who told it to me.
Greg: 01:07:53 Sure. I love it. Attribution whenever I can do that, I will. Um, if you and I were to open up a taco place, well one of the things we might do is call it Jason and Greg Thomas. But the very first time, and it was fucking check Google. And if there’s adjacent Greg’s Taco anywhere in the world, we need another name. Right. I can’t imagine wanting to use someone else’s name is Jason Dot Com. Yeah, yeah. I was just registered it. Do you remember the guy that, that it was a, there was the, the name even had this wonderful touch of irony. Forge fit. Yes. What? Forge fit. Yeah. It was a, it was uh, it was a, I’m not gonna mention his name again, but I’m gonna write it. Yeah. Is I don’t want them, I don’t want to return how I was good. Cause he actually told me that if the story’s life, but this is the guy’s name.
Greg: 01:08:57 Well this guy puts up a website, forge fit, crossfit, crossfit, forge, fourth fit and fortunate. And he’s got pictures of Sakamoto and even my dog does need to get, it’s all fucking dog. And what was he? An illegal affiliate was a deal. Right. And told us basically to, to fuck off. And this is prior to having, um, uh, Dell was everyone we lawyer and I don’t, maybe we hadn’t even met him what the deal was, but yeah, it was very early. And so we just put upon Google shorter one, look at this guy, used his name and go, look what’s happened. Look what he’s doing. We took 15 or 20 minutes and when you put his name into Google, that came up first and after a while the thing was east. Like, I can’t even get a job.
Greg: 01:09:56 Like, and I felt bad for him, but I didn’t know what to do now. Right. Like I wish you hadn’t been stolen from us and then told us to fuck off when we talked to you about it. Okay.
Greg: 01:10:18 we’re brilliant. Bunch of really nice people. The whole crew. There’s no one mean spirited on my staff.
Greg: 01:10:26 Not a one.
Chris: 01:10:39 so why isn’t the affiliate fee 10,000 by now? I didn’t, I wasn’t looking for it to be a,
Greg: 01:10:47 I w it was my least friend. Smaller. I mean that’s the, that’s the easy answer. I wanted to, I wanted a pop people as possible to have this opportunity and uh, and that isn’t consistent with how much can I get for it. Right. Okay. So, um, why, why or what’s the definition of a thriving box? I’m not going to take too much more of your time here. I have a group of, uh, you know, this is, this is Nicole helped me with this and that same you got to come back. But she did, we were going to, with some quants Scic we were going to, uh, quantify the work of our affiliates. Okay. And we’re going to be able to identify best practices and a lot of this, there were a lot we could do and these guys were technologically very, very savvy. But what we couldn’t do was produce an algorithm that, that didn’t just on a cursory inspection, uh, create some decision making, some ranking that we just weren’t wet really to accept. And let me give you item speaks very specifically here.
Chris: 01:12:22 Okay.
Greg: 01:12:24 It’s hard to, what about a box that is, that is just looking for sick people and the most reluctant to train and follow your advice.
Chris: 01:12:39 Yeah.
Greg: 01:12:40 Compared to a gym of, you know, uh, uh, uh, a bunch of younger people. Um, how do you, how do you compare to, uh, training, uh, a hundred people with a good results, even impressive results to training five that were in a horrible fix it now art, you know, I just didn’t, I just didn’t know what, I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to, I don’t know how to rank. So is your GM unsuccessful if there’s no sick people in it and there’s hundreds of people well, there and it’s, everyone’s having smile and Clem. Sure, sure. How about if you only work with children? Yeah. Women on way only the sick. Uh, a mixed bag.
Chris: 01:13:33 Yeah.
Greg: 01:13:37 I, I’d like I always ask is, are you growing? Because I like growth. I like growth. Not a lot, but some couple of new people every month. That’s more than enough. More than enough. Um, I want to know if people, if people are having fun, that’s really important. It’s a, it’s a,
Greg: 01:14:00 You’re not going to be successful without it.
Chris: 01:14:07 Any other metrics or are keys that you could point at and a successful affiliate would have in common with other successful affiliates?
Greg: 01:14:16 Well, yeah, I mean, the, the successful affiliates earn more than they spend profitable. Yeah. Yeah. And uh, uh, you know, that’s, that’s important. I always did, but you know, I mean, the way to do that is to not spend more than you earn and keep working hard. Right. There’s not a lot of mystery to that Algebra.
Chris: 01:14:41 Okay.
Greg: 01:14:43 I had never, I’ve never done any kind of marketing or advertising or promotion or deal making, nothing. I’m not, you don’t get a discount with more sessions. You, nothing happens good to you by paying up front. Cause I don’t want to pay up. I don’t want you to pay up front, you know.
Chris: 01:14:58 Okay.
Greg: 01:14:59 I found the business of this to be exceedingly easy, but I also left it, uh, largely to Lauren. And, uh, with the simplest of tools and excel spreadsheet. She, she did a marvelous job, know a marvelous job.
Chris: 01:15:23 Okay.
Greg: 01:15:24 How many clients? You’re going to have a couple of hundred that could be done with it, with a number two pencil on a brown paper bag, um, every evening. And you could use your iPhone for a digital backup in case the bad catches on fire. You know, is that ideal? Probably not. But will that make or break you? I don’t think so, but I think your attitude could.
Chris: 01:15:50 Okay.
Greg: 01:15:51 I like to ask people that come up to me all sunny phase it happy, um, affiliates younger. The more fun it is to ask how’s business? And they’re generally astonished at the question. What do you mean? Like I go, I know you’re cute. I’d work out with you. I’m just asking unique person, you know, I mean, this is you. You can, you can, you can, um, you can be incompetent and fun and, and, and do very well in this business. I’ve met those and you can be a competent and an asshole and struggle. I’ve seen that and fail. Um, if you’re an asshole, I didn’t competent, you’ll never get off the ground. You won’t even get your a training job in a gym. But, uh, to be competent and to be pleasant, to be a source of, of inspiration, not just for this next rep, but in general, uh, those people, those people thrive, those people thrive. And I like to tell the story about, you know, being it, I met, I met Sonia Cons, 50th Birthday Party and, you know, the lawyers aren’t there, the tampons aren’t there. Just a few of the sailing team is there. All the people that work with, they’re not there, but I am, I’m there. I went everywhere I was, I was part of that family.
Greg: 01:17:28 Insulated. You don’t, yeah, I’m there. And then Nicole had that job and you were, you were a family member. Travel with them, you know, like, no, like no one else, no one else. And at the end of the night, when all the, all the professional people went home there for dinner if you want.
Greg: 01:17:50 There’s an intimacy in the, in the, uh, uh, client relationship. Um, that is unusual and that’s, that’s the mark of a successful affiliate. Is that strong relationship, you know, or is it, or is it just, is that just one of the perks of the job? Yeah. I don’t know. Do you, are you close to your clients? Yeah, absolutely. Socialize with them. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Are they your bags with them? Right. That’s who I play with.
Greg: 01:18:25 Yeah, and I understand, you know here, yeah, there was, we marry those people and we fall in love with those people there. There, that’s who you know.
Chris: 01:18:36 No, I’ve had been hoarding this episode for a couple of weeks. I’ve listened to it five times already and taking notes every time I thought about editing it to highlight key points, but I wanted you to hear it in a free flow state. There are a few things though that I really want you to take away from this episode. First that we’re not selling an exercise program. We’re selling a fitness program. That means nutrition needs to be a huge part, maybe 50% of your curriculum. We spent a lot of time on that because it’s so important. Second is that although it’s included in your curriculum, it’s not included in the price. Greg talk during this interview about how he would charge people for nutrition consultation, how he would encourage people to get on the nutrition bandwagon and the different types of plants that he would have for people.
Chris: 01:19:20 That’s worth listening to. Again, second, Greg referred to kind of an onboarding or like an incubation stage where a client spends time one on one before they get into a group class and different people who were part of those days, you know, pre 2001 when they were training with Greg have told me stories about going from one on one into being paired up with a partner into a group of three, maybe four they weren’t brought into a crossfit gym or you know what Greg was calling it back then and just thrown into a group of 10 or 12 they weren’t even onboarded with that intent. They were onboarded as a one on one clients and gradually introduced to a partner or a triple. I think that’s worth covering more than once. Third, what’s really important here is the way that Greg, about people who have criticized him in the past.
Chris: 01:20:10 There are people and I’ve been witnessed to this who have loudly criticized Greg’s methods, who have done everything they could to like discredit him. I brought up Mel Siff, uh, but also, you know, William Kramer’s in that category. The exercise is medicine crew. The way that Greg talks about these people is that he doesn’t hold anything back, but he also doesn’t criticize them as people. He criticizes their methods. Any questions or methods because he’s doing so in that for the greater good. He’s trying to help everybody else in the world actually see results instead of just following along this path that doesn’t work. Greg is a genius in a lot of different ways, but as biggest genius is the ability to surround himself and rally support from very powerful people. Nicole Carroll, Jimmy Ledge for both sitting at the table with me, the people who are closest to Greg had been there since the early days.
Chris: 01:21:03 They came up with Greg, they were exercising at his gym and now they’re massive leaders in the fitness industry. This is not a mistake. This is not just luck. Greg is extremely adept at surrounding himself with the best possible people at the top, and that is what makes crossfit go. Last week, I expose you to the leaders of the media team except for seven because I want you to know that crossfit HQ is built by powerful people trying to do their best to change the world and create a meaningful career for you, the affiliate. I hope you enjoy the episode. I hope you listen to it three or four times. I will be sharing with your friends and I hope it helps you get a clear understanding of what it means to be a successful crossfit affiliate. Have a great week.
Thanks for Listening!
To share your thoughts:
- Leave a note in the comment section below.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
To help out the show: