Glassman attracted a little flock. "I was looking for a trainer, and a friend of my wife's went to Spa Fitness," says Ben Elizer, who today is CrossFit's chief information officer. He went to Spa Fitness and was told he had his pick of two: "one guy who is really nice and not that good, and another guy who is really good but super-opinionated and arrogant"--Glassman, of course. Glassman's crew was tight-knit. He even ended up marrying one of his clients, a hairdresser named Lauren Jenai. When the Spa Fitness owner inevitably showed the CrossFitters the door, and they leased a corner of a jujitsu studio, Lauren would manage the books and teach CrossFit classes herself. Soon they outgrew that space, and the Glassmans took their motley little group of cops, jujitsu fighters, and tech-company commuters to a 1,250-square-foot truck garage on a remote road three miles out in Soquel. In 2000, a number of clients asked if Glassman could put the WODs online so they could do them when they traveled, so he put up CrossFit.com.
The "CrossFit Games", directed by Dave Castro, have been held every summer since 2007. Athletes at the Games compete in workouts they learn about only hours beforehand, sometimes including surprise elements that are not part of the typical CrossFit regimen. Past examples include a rough-water swim, a softball throw, and a pegboard climb. The Games are styled as a venue for determining the "Fittest on Earth," where competitors should be "ready for anything."
The toe to bar requires an athlete start each set at a dead hang from a pull-up bar, with shoulders, arms, hips and legs at full extension. Each repetition consists of an athlete bringing both feet behind the perpendicular vertical plain created by the pull-up bar, and finishes with both feet simultaneously in contact with the pull-up bar, between the athlete’s hands.
In the Rulebook CrossFit, Inc. writes,“Should the winner of a Sanctionals competition qualify for or receive an invitation to the Games by another means, the second-place athlete/ team from that Sanctionals competition will receive the invitation to compete at the Games. This backfill process will continue if the second-place athlete/team has already qualified, received an invitation, and so on.”
That's a lot of tension--doing everything possible to make CrossFit a mainstream sport while legally or digitally body slamming anyone who refers to the CrossFit name to cater to its athletes or fans. Glassman has always thrived on doing the opposite of what anyone has ever figured was sensible or possible. But now Glassman's own intentions, of doing what he wants and letting others do what they want, are pressing up against each other more every day. In CrossFit, Glassman is hoisting two massive, contending ideas at once: CrossFit is an open-source workout for everyone to enjoy; CrossFit is a trademarked brand protected as viciously as a Hells Angels jacket. If it comes clattering down, it will be painful as all hell to watch. But if it succeeds? It won't be the first time a CrossFitter shocks people with how much weight he put above his head. You can bet Glassman's gonna try for another rep.
The final workout of the 2019 Open featured a descending ladder of thrusters and chest-to-bar pull-ups, totaling 105 reps of each movement, with a 20-minute time cap. Last year, 18.5 presented athletes with an ascending ladder of the same two movements, so it’s no surprise that nearly the same percentage of Open participants decided to tackle the final Open workout as prescribed in 2018 and 2019. Read on to see how the community fared with this year's rep scheme.