Greg Glassman; Comment #20


This comment, by CrossFit CEO and founder Greg Glassman originally appeared on in the comments section of 150805. I’ve removed it from its original context, but its value goes beyond rebuking the specific commenters mentioned. Anyone who believes (erroneously) that the L1 is an inferior credential, and therefore CrossFit trainers should be licensed and regulated by our competitors, should read the following carefully.

As the principal architect of the CrossFit L1 Training Certificate I’m sure I have a bias when asked to weigh in on its merits. That bias includes launching this course with the stated aims of producing the most effective and important physical training program on earth and likely asserts itself again when I tell you that we’ve knocked it out of the park wrt those aims.

The curriculum is the essence of what is needed to safely and effectively maximize the potential adaptation of the certificate holder’s prospective clients. The goal from the beginning was to translate the physiological model that is CF theory into a weekend long introduction to that material.

The L1 kernel is the most important thing a human being could learn in one weekend. It’s also the only place you can go to learn the truth about salient lifestyle choices that optimize quality of life.

This sixteen hour exposure to our world of constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement, fueled by meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar has transformed the health of participants around the world. Application of the L1 kernel has flensed nearly a hundred million pounds of fat and added a similar amount of denser bone and muscle to CrossFit training clients globally. An unprecedented 115,000 people have taken a course that will allow them to avoid obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease, autoimmune disorder, osteoporosis, end stage kidney disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and early check-in at the convalescent hospital while teaching them how to motivate, demonstrate, and achieve the same in others.

The L1 kernel produced a cohort of teenage girls at the Games this year completing workouts that no man on earth could have completed in the same time 12 years ago. The L1 kernel is the technology manifest in that advancement in human capacity. We are in sole possession of a technology of human performance. The L1 kernel is that technology. This certificate course has fueled the global explosion of 13,000 CF gyms and motivated 273,000 CF’ers to throw their hats into the ring in this years Games. In the darkening storm that has 100,000,000 Americans slated for type 2 diabetes, CF and it’s adherents, because of the L1 kernel and certificate offering, constitute the only bright spot on the horizon.

Our competitors offering provides no trainer training, just a test. It’s not even a test of training knowledge and human movement/performance, but a test of anatomy and physiology. The NSCA and ACSM tests are measure of one’s willingness to accept their sponsors view of healthy living. It’s an unconscionable deficiency that motivated our seminar’s creation. (The first L1 conducted was done so at the insistence of training agents from the US DOJ. That relationship continues to this day. The US Military is our biggest customer by far.) Our competitors are financially committed to their high-carb, low fat, machine based fare by a combination of woefully lacking science acumen coupled with complete dependence on Coca-Cola and Pepsi for money. Our competitors, the NSCA and the ACSM, and their big soda backers have created the exact mess that CF Inc., 13,000 CF Affiliates, and 115,000 CF trainers are successfully reversing. 100,000,000 Americans will get diabetes because of the ACSM’s lording over exercise science since 1954. Their commitment to hiding their sponsors’ devastating impact on the nation’s health is job number one at the ACSM. The ACSM/Gatorade essential role in the rash of exercise associated hyponatremia deaths is appalling and needs congressional investigation. All that’s wrong at the ACSM is probably worse at the NSCA. When you think NSCA – think Pepsi. When you think ACSM – think Coca-Cola. It’ll help you understand their utter betrayal of charter and how it is that these collaborations have proven to be so deadly and will continue to remain deadly. There’s no greater threat to American’s health than the ACSM’s backing Coca-Cola’s massive intrusion into the training space.

Licensure is a hail mary effort to achieve exactly what can no longer be achieved in the marketplace – keep the truth about diet and exercise hidden. The L1 kernel and certificate course are that truth.

See, Dave, brhino72, you both have it perfectly wrong. Our L1 is not only the best offering in trainer training ever, its impact makes it a standout offering in the entire history of education. I doubt whether you two have never been more wrong about anything.

Comment #20 – Posted by: Greg Glassman on August 6, 2015 9:18 AM


  1. While I agree with some of the points in this article and have certainly seen firsthand how much of an impact CrossFit coaches have had on the lives of many people, you lost me with the following:

    “100,000,000 Americans will get diabetes because of the ACSM’s lording over exercise science since 1954”
    That seems like an incredibly large number to directly attribute to a single entity. I look forward to reading the proof you guys have to back that up!


    “Our L1 is not only the best offering in trainer training ever, its impact makes it a standout offering in the entire history of education”
    Really? The entire HISTORY of education? When our ancestors look back at the classical Greeks, the Romans, the Renaissance…all standouts in the history of education…should we assume that they will throw the L1 seminar in with that bunch?

  2. It would be interesting to see how NSCA, ACSM, et al. would respond to proposed legislation requiring the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate for all personal trainers. Be kinda like throwing a demon into a tub of holy water.

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