The Santa Cruz mornings and evenings became packed with fitness clients. The stretch of day in between grew into a time of study and reflection. He had a friend bring in printouts of fitness articles the friend had found using his newfangled Internet connection. "I went through thousands of pages like that," says Glassman. "When I finally got a computer, there was nothing on the Web on fitness I hadn't already seen."
As a result, his company's revenue (set to double this year, to $100 million) is fueled almost completely by CrossFit's rampant proliferation. Meanwhile, a burgeoning ecosystem of other businesses has risen up to cater to these squatting, thrusting fiefdoms. There are multiple apparel companies; food and beverage companies (serious CrossFitters are often serious about the Paleo Diet); businesses that cater specifically to box owners, with iPad apps that track workouts and manage membership rolls; business consultants who show box owners how to increase their revenue. A Web design firm specializes in CrossFit box sites. There are even two print magazines, The Box and WOD Talk.
He developed wacky routines: He had clients race their way through repetitions on a weight machine, and at one facility, he had them scramble up a 30-foot column in the middle of the room. Eventually, the owner of that gym welded disks to the pole to make him stop. "They added a hazard 15 feet up," Glassman cracked to clients, before signaling them to go up anyway. He got kicked out of that gym. He got kicked out of several gyms. "I've never wanted to be told what to do," Glassman says. "I think it's genetic."
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