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.
This 2003 CrossFit Journal article captures an early conception of a universal, multi-event test of fitness that laid the foundation for CrossFit competition, including what would become the CrossFit Open and the CrossFit Games. The design requirements for such a test "included but were not limited to the following: quantifiable results; consistency with the CrossFit fitness concept; raising our commitment to improving absolute strength, relative strength, and gymnastic foundations; balancing intrinsic abilities of smaller and larger athletes; emphasizing exercises critical to and foundational to advanced training; mixing training demands within each test and, of course, over the total competition; a design that would identify an athlete’s weaknesses and possibly stand as a workout plan for improving overall fitness; and, finally, we wanted to design a competition that would be 'hard as hell.'"