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Thread: Greg Glassman wished he hadn't salvaged Weightlifting

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    Greg Glassman wished he hadn't salvaged Weightlifting

    In response the the question of "do you have any big mistakes that you regret..."

    Follows that remark self admitting he is be flippant (disrespectful or lacking seriousness?) but this is the first thing to come out of his mouth in response to that question.

    Goto 30:30mins

    I am curious why he has such a heart ache with the WLing community? It has given the CF population something to apply their athleticism to outside of CF. Is that so bad that it is a threat to his model?

    Last edited by tangoncash007; 02-04-2017 at 11:30 AM. Reason: another remark added

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    Salvaged, not savaged

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    Member Jordan Derksen's Avatar
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    Anyone got Coles notes? I'm lacking connectivity to properly watch.

    EDIT: my response was moot after reading the actual transcript.
    Last edited by Jordan Derksen; 02-04-2017 at 02:03 PM.

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    Q: Made any big mistakes you wish you could take back over the years - either building the brand or growing the business?
    A: I've got some smart-ass answers... I've been so disappointed by the behavior of the WL community sometimes that I wish I hadn't salvaged their dying sport... but I'm being flippant there. ... Nah....

    Q: any regrets with building the brand? Boxes? anything?
    A: goes on about kipping pullups


    My opinion: he is most likely referring to the way a lot of WL act regarding CF. This was probably more true EARLY ON with CF, before they were big on ESPN and it was smaller than it is now. Early on, there was a lot of hate toward CF from WL for the high-rep C&J, high-rep snatching, lots of arms/biceps in the pulls. The typical "elitist attitude" we always hear about with WL in the USA. While that hate still exists by some from WL, I believe it has died down quite a bit. I feel personally there is a lot more respect between the two camps, especially with lots of crossover athletes.

    That's the case especially now that we see a lot more CF refining their technique with WL since it is essential to success in their sport. You may still see that kind of crap at really shitty boxes with shitty coaches, but I think there has been a big push now to get more strict with their technique. That's more anecdotal experience on my part from lifting/seeing CF in person as I've noticed a big trend in their interest in technique and fixing weak points in their WL. The same can be said for YouTube with a huge push for snatch+Clean technique on CF dedicated channels as well.
    Last edited by wordlife; 02-04-2017 at 01:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tangoncash007 View Post
    In response the the question of "do you have any big mistakes that you regret..."

    Follows that remark self admitting he is be flippant (disrespectful or lacking seriousness?) but this is the first thing to come out of his mouth in response to that question.

    Goto 30:30mins

    I am curious why he has such a heart ache with the WLing community? It has given the CF population something to apply their athleticism to outside of CF. Is that so bad that it is a threat to his model?

    To be fair he has a valid point. As somebody who has been involved in Weightlifting since before CrossFit was even a thing I remember when we all started hearing about crossfit. My first thought as a Weightlifter was " How fucking stupid, why would you do 30 clean and jerks at 135#'s as fast as you can??? SO stupid...anybody can do that. It's light, people have terrible technique, blah blah blah...they are bastardizing our sport...blah blah...fuck crossfit"...

    Instead of embracing the movement that is CrossFit I was totally against anything crossfit. Kipping pull ups were stupid, kipping anything, high rep olympic lifts so unsafe.

    Here I am a few years later. Retired from lifting and totally involved in CrossFit as a coach and an athlete. I love it. I think it's the best thing to happen to exercise and more specifically Weightlifting. Our sport has grown so much because of Crossfit.

    My biggest regret is that I didn't jump on the bandwagon sooner. I'd probably be making a shit load more money doing seminars etc if I would have gotten in on the ground level. The ones who were smart did...aka Chad Vaughn, Spencer Arnold, Jon North, Jared Enderton, Kendrick Farris, etc. All these guys are probably making 6 figure incomes now because of CrossFit. Can't really hate on that. Look how many National level lifters CrossFit has brought into our sport that probably would have never found Weightlifting.

    So yeah, I can see why he made this comment. Weightlifters in general had a very negative view of Crossfit and some of them still do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Hutchinson View Post
    My biggest regret is that I didn't jump on the bandwagon sooner. I'd probably be making a shit load more money doing seminars etc if I would have gotten in on the ground level. The ones who were smart did...aka Chad Vaughn, Spencer Arnold, Jon North, Jared Enderton, Kendrick Farris, etc. All these guys are probably making 6 figure incomes now because of CrossFit. Can't really hate on that. Look how many National level lifters CrossFit has brought into our sport that probably would have never found Weightlifting.
    Absolutely ironic that you post the above...I think for me personally, the reason why I have some disdain for CF traces back to the fickle, image-dominant, profit-crazy, marketing hype culture and cottage industry that sprung up overnight when CF started to gain some headway.

    It wasn't about the proficiency of your lifts, your relative strength, or long term progress - it was about the normalization of non-traditional functional fitness culture painting you as some caffeine-fueled monster warrior slinging your barbell over your back to combat the smarmy hordes of broscience bbr's out there...how edgy and subversive. Can't hate on the genius of a trend of empowering people to feel like an absolute savages to the point where they gladly wear those WodKilla-esque "Your Work Out is My Warm Up" tees with the rifle on em everywhere...you know what I'm talking about.

    CF was always about making a buck - the fact you cosign the people above as "successful" for essentially pandering to a community they new they could make money off does not make Glassman's comments over the years any less repugnant. The reason why some wl'rs look down their noses is because the Olympic sport had a modicum of prestige, class, and standard - CF threw that all out with the kitchen sink and replaced it with chest-thumping silliness.
    Last edited by n___p; 02-06-2017 at 02:35 PM.
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    Crossfit wasn't a thing before 2007. From about 2000 to 2007, it was really about powerlifting and strongman. "Functional" strength and conditioning was starting to get big (more gymnastics-style movements, medicine balls, sleds, ropes, etc). The popularity of weightlifting was pretty low and the community seemed burned out on bodybuilding. When Crossfit came on the scene it was like, huh? They are doing strongman, but with lighter weights. It was like the "greatest hits" of different strength and conditioning camps. I recall looking up their official business description and it was listed as a coaching certification business. The genius was, they focused their coaching methodologies around a marketable philosophy and carefully crafted medley-type workouts. The Games was created as a pathway for success, like the superbowl for football, or Worlds Strongest Man for strongman, or the Olympics for weightlifting. This is the "sport" aspect. Without that, you are basically doing functional strength and conditioning, just like the military or any other field that requires a high work capacity. Glassman talks about merging strength and cardio like it's new and he invented it. That's misleading. Strongman, for example, has always been about anaerobic endurance/lactic acid tolerance/displaying maximal strength with an elevated heart rate. HIT has also been around for years. Not to mention all of your skill-based drills found in many many sports.

    If you guys were doing this in the later part of the 90's, you'll recall Brooks Kubic's book 'Dinosaur Training'. I recall there being a write-up about it in IronMan magazine. This book created a lot of buzz at a time when bodybuilding was becoming passe'. Serious lifters interested in being strong and explosive started to gravitate to powerlifting, strongman, and functional movements again. FWIW, I think Randy Strossen from Ironmind did more for weightlifting in the U.S. (at a critical time) than he gets credit for.

    When Crossfit came on the scene, I recall them taking a lot of crap because inexperienced, but "accredited" coaches were trying to teach high-skill, multi-dimensional movements to novices (blind leading the blind), then have them execute those movements in a fatigued stated for time. Beating the clock was/is a priority over form. There was a pretty high injury rate. There were a lot of seasoned coaches and high-level athletes from other traditional disciplines around this time who were like "who are these jokers and why are they doing it so poorly"? The CF community quickly embraced the concept of bringing in outside expertise from various disciplines. You will never hear these experts say anything critical of CF these days, because CF has provided them a pathway for income.

    Once a trend/activity--what have you--reaches critical mass, the early adopters and hardcore advocates start looking for something new. With all trends (bodybuilding, Nautilus training, aerobics classes, strongman, etc, etc) there seems to be an ~8-10 year period where it gradually gains popularity, peaks, then starts to go back underground.

    With every young generation first getting exposed to whatever is hot at the moment, they think it's new and scientific as opposed to just repacked and branded concepts and information. How did all those champions of decades past manage to get by? (sarcasm)
    Last edited by RW01; 02-04-2017 at 05:49 PM.

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    Regardless of where you stand on the issue, that was a pretty punk-ass thing to say. I don't think Glassman has ever worried about making friends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RW01 View Post
    . . . whatever is hot at the moment, they think it's new and scientific as opposed to just repacked and branded concepts and information. How did all those champions of decades past manage to get by? (sarcasm)
    RW01, you put it well: the exercise version of this stuff existed before (strongman, HIT, etc.), so did the nutrition version (Balance Bars, etc.). But, ahhh, such a smooth tongued Svengali, that Mr. Greg Glassman. I was so mesmerized by this paragon of modern fitness (let's note that word) that I listened to the entire 1hr20minutes with intense focus. . . OK, back to reality (though I did listen to the ENTIRE thing. OUCH!). Is xfit "bad" or "good" for the woman/man-in-the-street box-goer? Maybe, maybe not -- maybe what they would have been doing otherwise would have been worse for them (perhaps even worse than rhabdomyolysis); maybe this wod-shooting will make their physical lives better (and their social lives as well; aren't boxes great pick-up joints? wouldn't know). Who cares, it's a fitness (fitness, not sport) fad/thing. If it brings more people to the SPORT of weightlifting and gives some top-ranked weightlifters a source of income, then all good. Also good: it brings buyer volume into and planted the seeds of a slightly more competitive barbell/plate market, giving impetus to greater selection, lower prices, and generally improved "access".

    But don't plan on that shit for the long term. This stuff is going to fall: few, if any, top-of-mind big-sport, Olympic, or other athletes use this thing as a training modality, and I really doubt that many will. "So what!??!" some may say. Well, that means the continuation of xfit -- and all the fringe benefits its economy provides to us in weightlifting -- is tied to the continued commercial success of "crossfit" as a brand. Such is tied to the continued hype around the xf games, the open, etc. It depends on the perception of those who win these events as winners in some larger sense -- i.e. not just winners of somewhat random, Castro-defined events, but truly "the fittest people on earth" and models of the righteousness of a certain sort of fitness (that word again) conduct to which we should all aspire. So, to counter, who gives a crap about "fitness", I want athletes. . . I want GREAT athletes. Note that (end of video), assman doesn't have in mind a definition of greatness. When asked for such, he states, "Greatness. . . is endpoint, but I'm a process guy. I'm not so much about achievement as I am about process. . . you stay committed to process and that's where achievement comes from." Interesting, sport is about greatness and it is about being the best (Webster's -- "quality of being distinguished or eminent"). It is about being better than all others at and/or around a specific endpoint -- in my opinion, a fairly well-defined and consistent endpoint. Xf is a process, and even the xf games/open winners are just going through the process of pursuing fitness (or some Watsonville resident's definition of it, as handed down to these best-of-the-followers the first week every August). They are just exercising, and the fact that "bro, they can snatch/C&J more than you" doesn't change this. They are not lifting the most weight, running 100 yds the fastest, swimming 400m the fastest, or doing a same-every-time combo of sprinting/throwing/jumping (decathlon) the best. . . they are just exercising. The weightlifting community, especially that community in the U.S., should take advantage of this fad of exercising and exploit it to full advantage. But remember that (I quote RWO1 again), like Nautilus, zoomba, spinning, dancercise . . . all fads end.
    Last edited by mb_here; 02-04-2017 at 07:59 PM.

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    Member deeby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n___p View Post
    It wasn't about the proficiency of your lifts, your relative strength, or long term progress - it was about the normalization of non-traditional functional fitness culture painting you as some caffeine-fueled monster warrior slinging your barbell over your back to combat the smarmy hordes of broscience bbr's out there...how edgy and subversive. Can't hate on the genius of a trend of empowering people to feel like an absolute savages to the point where they gladly wear those WodKilla-esque "Your Work Out is My Warm Up" tees with the rifle on em everywhere...you know what I'm talking about.
    Nailed it. I would have a really hard time branding myself in this way, and if I ever found myself in an Xfit class with this type of bullshit being touted I would feel just embarrassed.

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