I cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact—the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food. It will change your tastes. It will change your habits and your cravings. It will restore a healthy emotional relationship with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. I know this because I did it, and millions of people have done it since, and it changed my life (and their lives) in a dramatic and permanent fashion.
Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai founded CrossFit, Inc. in 2000. The company was conceived a few years earlier, in 1996, as Cross-Fit. The original CrossFit gym is in Santa Cruz, California, and the first affiliated gym was CrossFit North in Seattle, Washington; there were 13 by 2005, and today there are more than 13,000. Coaches associated with CrossFit include Louie Simmons, John Welbourn, Bob Harper, and Mike Burgener.
First of all, it’s unclear if it can really live up to its claim to improve overall health by following the diet of our ancestors. While we can all benefit from reducing our intake of processed foods and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, many dispute whether our ancestors were really all that much healthier than we are today given their significantly shorter life span. In fact, one study even demonstrated that they may have had increased rates of atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries. (5)
In fact, the health benefits of the paleo diet are unproven. "Our ancestors ate this way and didn't have many of the chronic diseases we do, but that doesn't mean the food they ate is the reason why; drawing that conclusion would be like saying we live three times longer than our Paleolithic ancestors because we eat fast food," says Christopher Ochner, MD, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals. Still, a handful of small studies have tried to determine if a paleo diet is a healthier diet. One small study published in the journal Diabetologia found that the diet improved blood sugar over 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean one that allowed grains, low-fat dairy, and oils, but it's hard to say whether researchers would come to the same results in a larger study.
The Open, introduced in 2011 and so-called because participation is open to anyone, is held over five weeks in February–March; a new workout is released on each Thursday night (Pacific Time) and competitors complete the workout and submit their scores online by Monday evening, with either a video or validation by a CrossFit affiliate. Since 2013, Open workout announcements have been broadcast live, and featured two or more past CrossFit Games athletes competing head-to-head immediately following the workout description. Beginning with the 2019 Games, the top athlete from each country and the top 20 overall Open finishers qualify directly to the Games. The Open is also used for seeding purposes at the Games even if an athlete qualified through the sanctioned events; if an athlete qualifies through a sanctioned event but does not do the Open, they will be seeded at the bottom.
ICYMI: Whole30 is an elimination-style diet that asks dieters to ban all soy, dairy, grains, alcohol, legumes, and added sugars from their diet for 30 days straight. The point is to flush your system, so when the 30 days are up, you can slowly add different food groups back and get a sense of which ones have been secretly affecting your physical and mental health. The creator, Melissa Hartwig, also says Whole30 will change your entire relationship with food.
Richard Nikoley has the blog Free The Animal. He loves meat eating. His diet is near paleo, with the addition of some gray-area foods that he likes. These days most of his posts are on food. One recent trend in the paleo community is trying to optimize the proportions of the foods eaten. If you've read my definition you'll know that I simply define the diet as foods in and out. One of Richard's posts: Optimality: A Fool's Errand? has produced a long discussion of this trend.
I wrote a book called The Paleo Solution which went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. This book incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. I am a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With my unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.
The Games include age-based divisions for younger and older competitors. Masters divisions were introduced at the 2010 Games. There are currently six divisions each for women and men: 35–39, 40–44, 45–49, 50–54, 55–59, and 60+. Divisions for teenagers were introduced in 2015: the age ranges are 14–15 and 16–17, for both boys and girls. Rather than regional events, masters and teen athletes qualify for the games by a second online competition following the Open. The top 200 athletes in each division worldwide are invited to compete in this qualifier, of which the top 20 (top 10 as of 2019) advance to the Games. Prior to the introduction of these secondary online qualifiers, masters and teens competitors qualified for the Games directly from the Open.
The top male and female from every country with a CrossFit affiliate will receive an invitation to the Games. Can you imagine how difficult it is to win the Open if you’re in a country like USA, Canada, U.K., or Australia? Don’t expect to see many of the big names competing seriously in the Open. They may participate to keep things interesting (and in order to be seeded well for the Games), but I don’t think any of them are doing it expecting to win and have that be their meal ticket.
It should be noted that U.S. News & World Report just released its annual ranking of diets, and Whole30 ranked dead last. Why? Essentially, the expert panel of over 20 registered dietitians, academics, and medical doctors found the program unsustainable and potentially unhealthy, since, among other issues, it restricts certain food groups and is high in sodium and cholesterol. But, Whole30's co-creator Melissa Hartwig stands behind the program, telling Cosmopolitan.com that its animal protein recommendations are in line with government recommendations, and that there are no nutrients in temporarily restricted foods, like grains and legumes, that you can't find in fruits and vegetables.
It was in Glassman's own divorce case, though, that the CrossFit defense arsenal launched its full firepower. Lauren and Greg's marriage hit the rocks in 2009. Lauren became pregnant with twins and could no longer travel to the seminars.Greg, wrapped up with CrossFit, became more and more distant. Rumors of infidelity swirled. Soon the two were living in separate houses. In March 2010, Lauren officially filed for divorce. But the case didn't come to a head until July 2012, when Lauren filed a motion to sell her 50 percent stake in the company to Anthos Capital, a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm, for $20 million. Glassman, and in short order CrossFit, hit the ceiling.
The Australian CrossFit Championship is a sanctioned proving ground for CrossFit athletes, with a ticket to the 2019 CrossFit Games up for grabs for first place male, female and team. The competition takes place on the 24th to 27th of January 2019 at the Gold Coast Exhibition Centre. There is also cash and product prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd male, female and teams.
Interestingly, all of these seemingly unrelated diseases share a common cause: damage to the intestinal lining which allows large, undigested food particles to make their way into the body. This is called “leaky gut and the autoimmune response”. Here is a 7-part video series by Prof. Loren Cordain describing the etiology of Multiple Sclerosis. And please watch this TED talk by Dr. Terry Wahls, MD as she describes how she reversed her Multiple Sclerosis with a paleo diet. If you have an autoimmune disease you might consider trying the autoimmune protocol of the paleo diet. If you do, please tell us about your experience.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program consisting mainly of a mix of aerobic exercise, calisthenics (body weight exercises), and Olympic weightlifting. CrossFit, Inc. describes its strength and conditioning program as "constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains," with the stated goal of improving fitness, which it defines as "work capacity across broad time and modal domains." Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or "boxes", typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity "workout of the day" (or WOD), and a period of individual or group stretching. Some gyms also often have a strength-focused movement prior to the WOD. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.