When it comes to humans, we’re all just victims of our own biochemistry. Our brains are controlled and ruled by chemicals - from what we eat; to how and when we sleep; even to who we choose as a life partner. Biochemistry - or ‘biological chemistry’ - is concerned with all of the biochemical reactions which take place within our bodies and brains. This means that the simple act of eating a meal is actually composed of thousands of tiny...
But the truth is--and this is apparent to anyone watching Glassman wile away an afternoon at El Borracho--that CrossFit's success doesn't derive from any conventional business strategy. Glassman doesn't behave the way he's supposed to. Sometimes he rebels out of cunning, other times for the sheer petulant fun of it. Often, it's hard to tell which. As a result, CrossFit is a workout and a company no conventional trainer or M.B.A. would ever have built. Glassman is sitting atop a firecracker of a company. And the relevant question is, as always, What's he going to do now?
Glassman grew up in Woodland Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. In the Glassman household, education trumped everything. Glassman's father was a rocket scientist at Hughes Aircraft and an all-around hard-ass who lorded math and the scientific method over Glassman, his younger sister, and their stay-at-home mom. Arguments with the old man inevitably required data sets, says Glassman--"Any point you made had to be measurable, repeatable"--and Glassman clashed with his dad frequently.
All involve eating whole foods (as opposed to packaged and processed) and filling your plate with quality sources of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin-, mineral-, and fiber-rich vegetables. (Again, we’re talking about the ones that fall somewhere on the healthy spectrum, not unhealthy fad diets like, ahem, the Grapefruit Diet.)
When you open the can, the cream will have risen to the top and become solid, while the coconut water remains at the bottom of the can. Just scoop out the thick stuff at the top and use it in recipes that call for coconut cream. You can also find prepared coconut cream or “culinary coconut milk” at some health food stores, but why would you pay extra when the only thing required to make your own is opening your refrigerator?
On that spring day across America, the CrossFit faithful gathered--and toiled. There were hundreds of thousands of them, certainly. Maybe a million, maybe two. In an old industrial facility in New Orleans, they hoisted themselves on gymnastic rings and did dips up there. In a strip mall in Santa Cruz, California, they threw 20-pound medicine balls against a wall over and over again. In a business park near the Dulles airport in Virginia, they pushed weighted barbells above their heads, first once a minute, and then as fast as they could for three minutes straight--or until they couldn't lift their arms.
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."
The WHO trial (so named because the international team of principal investigators contained World Health Organization members) tested the potential of clofibrate, a “pre-statin” cholesterol-lowering agent, to reduce heart attack morbidity and mortality. The investigators ultimately concluded that clofibrate "cannot be recommended as a lipid-lowering drug for community-wide primary prevention of ischaemic heart disease.” Nevertheless, clofibrate remained in use until 2002, when it was pulled for increasing cancer rates. In their review of studies such as the WHO trial, Uffe Ravnskov and David Diamond observe, “Despite the largely disappointing findings from 50 years of cholesterol lower[ing] trials, the indictment and conviction of cholesterol as the causal agent in CVD [cardiovascular disease] has stood the test of time. … [Yet] the grand effort to reduce cholesterol as a strategy to improve health has failed.”