CrossFit promotes a fitness program consisting of multiple and specific exercises. Practitioners combine these exercises in various ways to form complete routines known as “Workouts of the Day,” commonly known as WODs. Crossfit was founded in 2000 by Greg Glassman, and 6,100 gyms are currently affiliated with its program. The company also sponsors annual competitions based on the CrossFit program.


The first gym to become affiliated with CrossFit was CrossFit North in Seattle, Washington, which was followed by another 12 gyms by 2005. Many well-known individuals are also associated with CrossFit, including professional coaches Mike Burgener, Bob Harper and Louie Simmons. Dr. Nicholas Romanov is a CrossFit member who invented the Pose method of running.

World-Wide Growth

Many government organizations have also joined CrossFit in addition to the thousands of private gyms around the world. These include law enforcement agencies, fire departments and military organizations throughout the world. High schools, colleges and professional sports teams in the United States and Canada have also become CrossFit members. Many gyms and individuals use CrossFit exercises without being official CrossFit affiliates. The CrossFit website allows individuals to post their results from their CrossFit WODs.

Business Model

CrossFit licenses its name to affiliates in exchange for a fee. It also provides courses to certify CrossFit trainers, beginning with the Level 1 Trainer Course. CrossFit offers additional seminars in specific exercises, including gymnastics, kettlebells, powerlifting, running and weightlifting. Training in activities that are specific to CrossFit include CrossFit Football and CrossFit Kids. Crossfit also provides modified CrossFit programs for specific groups such as members of the military, pregnant women and seniors.

Affiliates of CrossFit may develop their own instructions, pricing structure and WODs. This independence allows many members to promote programs that are contrary to mainstream thinking in physical fitness, including unconventional diets. The CrossFit business model is also known for its Internet community, which creates a de-centralized distribution model that resembles that used for open-source software. Proponents of this business model say it will allow a variety of independent approaches to determine the best method of adding affiliates.

Crossfit Games

The first CrossFit Games were held in 2007, and they have been held in every summer since then. The prize for the male and female winners in the first CrossFit games was $500 each. The prize money for the first-place finishers has increased greatly since then and has remained at $250,000 since 2011.

The CrossFit Games has handled participation online since 2011, which allows athletes in many countries to easily enter the competition. Entrants in the CrossFit Games compete in many different physical events. Game officials inform entrants of the specific events in which they will be competing only a few hours before the event begins.

Most events are familiar to the entrants since they are part of the standard CrossFit regimen. However, some events are completely new for the CrossFit Games. Officials release a new routine each week during the Crossfit Open. Entrants perform the routine and validate their score with a video recording or a CrossFit affiliate. The top three finishers of each region, gender and age group advance to the finals. The CrossFit Games had 17 regions as of 2013, 12 for the United States and Canada, and four for the rest of the world. The CrossFit Games also allows competition between six-member teams, three from each gender.