CrossFit’s bold positions on health and fitness have brought us into conflict with the entrenched interests of the fitness, nutrition, and food and beverage industries. These entities include the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as their partners at The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo/Gatorade, The Kellen Company, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
They have launched and funded numerous efforts to restrain and regulate CrossFit Affiliates. They have engaged in repeated scientific misconduct and fraud, lobbied for legislation that would criminalize the daily practices of CrossFit Affiliates and trainers, and covered up the corporate partnerships that fund their work, at times in contravention of federal law.
CrossFit has successfully fought back, calling out their corruption of the sports, health, and nutrition sciences, suing them for their lies and misconduct, informing policymakers of their schemes, and advocating against their proposed legislation. While our adversaries’ agenda is covert, our mission in these CrossFit Battles could not be clearer: to keep fitness legal.
Here, those battles are laid out in the context of CrossFit’s exponential growth to provide a deeper understanding of the past, present and future.
CrossFit Inc. is first to disclose that inappropriate use of intensity can lead to catastrophic physical trauma known as rhabdomyolysis, introduces Uncle Rhabdo.
Oct. 1, 2005
CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman repeats rhabdo warning for 2nd consecutive month in CrossFit Journal, says exertional rhabdo can “disable, maim and even kill.”
Dec. 27, 2005
Greg Glassman notes ACSM Fellow Francis O’Connor’s casual remarks on rampant hyponatremia, injury and death in marathons: “Were CrossFit to present the same risk factor as the marathon, we’d be burying people every SINGLE week.”
July 12, 2008
ACSM spokeswoman and University of Massachusetts kinesiology professor Priscilla Clarkson supports lawsuit against CrossFit affiliate, claims CrossFit can result in rhabdo.
ACSM increases lobbying budget 250%.
ACSM reveals its vested interest in personal-trainer licensure at the state level.
Sept. 13-14, 2010
Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) hosts workshop for military doctors, fitness-industry professionals to talk about high-intensity training; e.g., CrossFit.
ACSM publishes report on rhabdo incidents in University of Iowa football program. Author cites a CrossFit Journal article on rhabdo, says team can learn from CrossFit.
CHAMP publishes consensus paper circulated throughout Pentagon. CrossFit Chief Scientist Jeff Glassman calls it ”unscientific, manufactured hit piece.”
Greg Glassman, other CrossFit representatives have tense meeting with CHAMP consensus paper authors. Glassman vows to reveal truth of their malicious intentions.
Sept. 8, 2012
CrossFit Journal publishes Jeff Glassman’s line-by-line critique of CHAMP paper.
Sept. 9, 2012
Under alias “Sports Doc,” CHAMP paper author Francis O’Connor comments on Jeff Glassman’s critique to say paper’s intent was never to be “evidence based document.”
Sept. 20, 2012
Jeff Glassman dismantles O’Connor’s remarks via now-famous Comment No. 44.
NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR) publishes ahead of print fraudulent study on CrossFit that includes falsified injury data.
Feb. 28, 2013
Washington, D.C., City Council introduces personal-trainer licensure. Nine states do the same. ACSM, NSCA and ACE—under moniker CREPS—lobby for the regulation.
April 23, 2013
CrossFit representative contacts Steven Devor to note inaccuracies with the JSCR study that claims 16% of participants dropped out because of “overuse or injury.”
May 23, 2013
CrossFit representative emails NSCA to note falsities in Devor study that was done in partnership with CrossFit 614. NSCA does not respond.
CrossFit representative calls JSCR editor and CHAMP paper author William Kraemer to explain errors in Devor study. Kraemer says peer review is “good enough.”
JSCR publishes sham Devor study. Outside Magazine, Military Times among media organizations that point to study as evidence CrossFit is dangerous.
Feb. 10, 2014
ESPN publishes “CrossFit Debate Not Going Away.” It questions methodology’s safety, citing Kevin Ogar’s paralysis at non-CrossFit event.
Feb. 14, 2014
Washington, D.C., City Council passes personal-trainer licensure legislation.
Feb. 19, 2014
Greg Glassman spotlights corruption in exercise science, calls for action: “It’s time to drive Big Soda out of fitness and by extension, the health sciences.”
March 26, 2014
CrossFit 614 owner Mitch Potterf sues Devor study authors and publisher for fraud, misrepresentation, false light invasion of privacy, defamation.
May 12, 2014
CrossFit sues NSCA for false advertising, unfair competition, declaratory relief.
Aug. 6, 2014
Greg Glassman on personal-trainer licensure: “A hail mary effort to achieve exactly what can no longer be achieved in the marketplace—keep the truth about diet and exercise hidden.”
JSCR publishes study relating “recent emergence of intensive training protocols” to increased rhabdo cases without a shred of evidence.
Feb. 20, 2015
CrossFit hosts hyponatremia conference; 16 top scientists bust long-standing hydration lies.
Feb. 24, 2015
Potterf sues Ohio State University, Devor for academic misconduct.
July 17, 2015
Greg Glassman unearths more Big Soda corruption of health sciences, points to Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN)—a collaboration between Coca-Cola and ACSM.
Aug. 9, 2015
The New York Times publishes “Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets.”
Aug. 14, 2015
The New York Times Editorial Board notes GEBN is “latest effort to put a ‘science based’ gloss on industry positions.”
Oct. 29, 2015
JSCR issues nonsensical erratum on Devor study; says injury rate should not be considered factor, change “does not affect the overall conclusion of the article.”
After mounting pressure from CrossFit and affiliates, Washington, D.C., City Council scraps personal-trainer licensure.
Nov. 30, 2015
GEBN abruptly announces immediate end to operations.
May 2, 2016
NSCA sues CrossFit, Founder Greg Glassman and two employees, alleging trade libel, defamation, use of unfair business practices.
Sept. 21, 2016
Federal judge rules CrossFit can proceed to trial with NSCA lawsuit.
Oct. 18, 2016
Ohio Court of Claims judge signs settlement between Ohio State University and Potterf, awarding him $145,000.
July 31, 2017
JSCR retracts Devor study, relenting after federal judge rules the injury data was false.
June 14, 2018
In yet another blow to the NSCA, its insurer, National Casualty Co., sues to dodge coverage in both suits.
Oct. 4, 2018
CrossFit sues U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over donations CDC, NIH foundations receive.