Grab a snack and some espresso, this may take a while.
Black Box Summit
Several months ago I was contacted, along with Michael “Rutman” Rutherford, James “OPT” Ftizgerald and the non-pseudonym fitness luminaries, Nicki Violetti plus Greg and Aimee Everett (formerly Anaya) to participate in The Black Box Summit: For Affiliates By Affiliates. The purpose of this summit was to provide a forum for CrossFit affiliates and trainers to learn a variety of best practices in business, training and related topics, from the most respected and successful people in the CrossFit Community. The stratospheric growth of CrossFit has created equal parts challenge and opportunity. The Summit’s purpose was to begin a trend of professionalism and education that would, in theory, address the needs of the CrossFit community from every conceivable angle.
Quality Control & The brand of CrossFit
Jeremy Theil, CrossFit Games competitor and founder of the successful affiliate, CrossFit Central, opened the day and focused on the issues of quality control in CF and what role CrossFit HQ would play in this process. In short CF HQ will play “no” role in the quality control of affiliates. The most public explanation of this position is an open market “cream rises to the top” philosophy, however the legal/business anchor for this position is that any attempts on HQ’s part to police or institute best practices would put the organization into a franchise scenario. These are some interesting topics, which will need some exploration later, but this should suffice for now simply to paint a picture of the opening of the Summit. Jeremy concluded the opening session with a brief analysis of the controversial GreySkull blog post which created quite a stir several months ago. Jeremy made the point that if you love the community you would stay in and fight for it. A sentiment shared by many of the commentators to the Greyskull thread. This would however be prophetic for me, as my love for the community and desire to see it improve would lead to my sacking in a little over 48 hrs.
Better Business Practices
The first section of the business practices was fantastic. Attendees saw several different ways of structuring a business with the Examples coming from CrossFit Central, Optimum Performance Training (OPT) and NorCal Strength & Conditioning/CrossFit NorCal. Nicki spoke on several topics in this early session but one was on branding. She made the argument that one of the best ways to distinguish oneself as an affiliate was with a distinctive name + superior training, business systems and culture. The CrossFit community has seen monumental growth. In many cities there are 4-8 affiliates within literally eyesight of one another. Disparities in training, business systems and culture have raised significant anxieties for affiliate owners. What if all the prospective clients in an area are “turned off” to CrossFit by poor training or injury? What if something happened in a gym with a similar name and you are confused with that affiliate? CrossFit HQ’s stance on this topic has been an analogy of Starbuck’s and the fact there are “multiple Starbucks on some city corners”. Indeed there are, but this is a ridiculous comparison. Starbucks is a centrally owned business with solid, consistent business practices. CrossFit affiliates are unregulated and highly variable from location to location. Anxiety about the quality of a neighbor that essentially SHARES your name is valid on the part of the affiliate owner. The HQ position: “quality will win out” provides remarkably little solace for those affiliates who have neighbors who have driven down prices and possibly alienated clients with poor training. Perhaps someone should inform HQ that Starbucks has seen massive cutbacks? Would HQ be friendly to competitive strength & conditioning entities providing certifications? Whatever the case, Nicki couched all of this in terms that were positive and helpful: Pick a name that is unique. Distinguish yourself by quality actions such as training and business systems. This suggestion resonated with many of the attendees as evidenced by the questions Nicki received throughout the weekend. At least one attendee did not appreciate the suggestion, Director of Training, Dave Castro. I’d soon get an earful of what Dave thought about Nicki’s recommendation to co-brand oneself. Initially, I could not make sense of Dave’s animosity until I thought things through: If you have two names you not only distinguish yourself from your neighbors who may or may not have good business practices, you liberate yourself from the control of HQ. You have little recourse if you are dissatisfied with the parent organization when your only name is “CrossFit Anytown” and your only url is www.crossfitanytown.com.
Day 2 progressed with excellent content that appeared to both inspire and inform the audience. Mostly. In addition to Dave Castro, HQ sent Media Czar Tony Budding and Media Lackey, Russell Berger. Russell, you might recall penned the “balanced” review of the Gym Jones seminar. Greg Glassman claims Mark Twight stole his technology and has generally whined about this situation for years. My position has been and continues to be: If Twight stole from you, SUE HIM. It seems an airtight case, so why the lack of action? Anyway, Russell asked many questions throughout the weekend, always after either Tony (on day 1) or Dave (on days 2 & 3) leaned over and whispered in his ear. Russell, I believe DOES own an affiliate (experience neither Dave nor Tony have) but the emissaries from HQ are interesting:
- None have extensive training experience.
- None have ANY strength and conditioning education outside CrossFit and are largely incapable of articulating any of the nuanced methodology in strength and conditioning.
- None have a background in anatomy, physiology or exercise science. Greg Glassman never had a formal education in this material but has a formidable self taught knowledge. For the most part, the HQ staff does not reflect this knowledge base, and this in not only a “fitness” company but a “fitness juggernaut”.
I gave my talk on effective strategies for implementing nutrition in a gym. I detailed the systems such as integration with On Ramps and how to customize your approach for divergent populations such as fat loss vs. performance. My main focus for the talk was a food quality approach using “Paleo” concepts. I shared some case histories and then opened the floor for questions. Russell asked “when would I introduce the Zone in my practice?” and I said I tend not to. We have produced top tier athletes without the hassle of weighing and measuring. This did not satisfy him and he probed for how I would know what ratio athletes need for their best running and would it not be better to emulate a Zone approach. I gave him 2 concrete examples of top tier athletes who WERE eating the Zone, switched to un-weighed, unmeasured Paleo (a significant shift in food quality which decreases inflammation in many ways) who IMPROVED performance significantly by dropping the Zone. I said IF an athlete ceases to make progress I will weigh and measure food to see where to go next, but if a simple, intuitive approach is working, why mess with it? Russell and Dave are visibly agitated by this point. Russell was marshalling for another salvo when James Fitzgerald (the only other person in attendance besides myself who has logged thousands of hours working with people on their food) offered support for my position. Dutch Lowy (who was facilitating the questions) said we were out of time. Dave Castro stood up and loudly said: “That was Robb Wolf’s lecture on why the Zone Sucks”. Dave then walked outside and began texting on his phone.
After my talk at the Summit Dave Castro eventually grabbed me and said “You need to calm down on the Zone bashing”. I told him I was NOT bashing the Zone but you CANNOT weigh and measure shit food and get the same results.
Things Get Jerry Springer
After lunch, Greg Everett was up and he would tackle the topic of why the Olympic lifts are valuable for the CrossFit athlete. Greg’s presentation was fantastic. Clear, concise and it opened with an example of a top level CrossFitter improving her performance dramatically with just a few weeks of instruction in the O-lifts. Greg had numerous photos in his power point presentation, one was of Annie Sakamoto doing a barbell clean. This was a photo HQ had used on crossfit.com as an example of “good” form and Greg pointed out the shortcomings of the technique displayed in the photo. A bit later Greg showed a photo of Nicole Carroll doing a medball clean with a form error Greg would later explore in depth. When this photo came up, Greg said “I’m not going to get into this right now” Dave Castro yelled out “No, GET INTO IT!”
Greg thought this was Michael Rutherford and said “Not now sweetie”. Either way Dave thought he had been “Disrespected” and yelled out, in the middle of a lecture, attended by over 70 people from around the world, at an event that was NOT HQ sponsored or endorsed “FUCK YOU, YOU FAT FUCK!” This is all on film. If it sees the light of day you will be able to see the whole thing yourselves, and from two different camera angles.
Greg continues his lecture remarkably unfazed while Castro seethes and wiggles, texting on his phone. When Greg’s talk finishes Dave rushes forward and starts yelling at Greg. Dutch is trying to calm Dave down because Dave Castro, Director of Training for CrossFit HQ is yelling at one of the best and brightest coaches in the community because Greg said CrossFitters will benefit from technical proficiency in the O-lifts. Having a cooler head than Dave, and actually giving a shit about the attendees experience, Greg asks Dave to go outside so they can talk.
At this point I’m shocked but reticent to get much more involved. I did not want my presence to provoke matters further and frankly, I did not, in my wildest imaginings, think Dave Castro, Director of Training for CrossFit HQ, the fitness juggernaut built on Empiricism and facts and OPEN SOURCE CONCEPTS, would conduct himself as he was doing. I could see Dave yelling at Greg outside. Dutch Lowy and Michael Rutherford were trying to quiet things down. Mind you, this is in the middle of a SEMINAR with 70+ people in attendance. I could see Greg’s head getting redder and redder so I went outside and Dutch is pushing a motormouthed Castro away from Greg. Greg is repeating “ I have noting to say to you Dave” while Dave is obviously working to provoke Greg. Every time Michael Rutherford or Dutch would get between, Dave would push his way around, all the while yelling a stream of obscenities at Greg. Dave was saying things like “you just hate HQ, you are just waiting for this thing to fail so you can swoop in and benefit. You are a parasite on the community…you should de-affiliate, we should de-affiliate you!!” I get between Dave and Greg and said “HQ cannot hear an ounce of criticism, you are above reproach and it is ruining the organization.” He said I was no better than Greg.
I told him to take my high-paying CrossFit nutrition gig and stick it up his ass.
At this Dave becomes dead quite and just looks back and forth at Greg and I. Then he starts repeating “you guys are done…you guys are done, you drew your line, you are done…” Imagine an all-powerful despotic leader of an authoritarian regime ranting over two subjects he is about to execute. That’s the flavor of this professional exchange.
Dutch Lowy finally tells Dave he needs to leave. That the cops would be called if need be. Jeremy is trying to keep things as mellow as possible but the whole of the 70 people are taking in the spectacle of the Director of Training trying to provoke a fight with Greg Everett over an OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING LECTURE. I have received 2 emails from people who said they filmed parts of the outside yelling match. I’ll post that video when I get it.
As an aside, imagine a similar scenario playing out at a Level 1 CrossFit cert. What could so enrage an attendee that the individual would rush the stage and start spewing threats and obscenities like Dave did? Who knows, but the individual would obviously need to be very insecure with the material that was presented to react this way.
Dave would not make eye contact with me all day on Sunday. The seminars were amazing, particularly some of OPT’s material. Inspiring and some very high order thinking. All of the presenters were brought up front for a Q&A. This went pretty well till Russell Berger asked “If the Main site WOD would optimally prepare an athlete for the Crossfit games. He gave some numbers which had the appearance of being vague, but it was pretty obvious he had a specific person and situation in mind. Of the panel, NOT ONE PERSON thought the crossfit.com WOD would get a person to optimal strength/conditioning levels the fastest. The weekend had been comprised of discussions of the Max Effort Black Box which was developed by Michael Rutherford. The reason he developed it was because crossfit.com was inadequate to the task of producing top tier strength. I’M SURE I will look like a huge A-hole when Russel’s CFJ piece is finished.
At about 8pm Sunday night I received a phone call from Eric Black, one of the understaffed members of CrossFit Legal. Black informed me that Greg Glassman decided I would no longer be doing the CrossFit nutrition certs and that someone else would fill the coaching for the several sold out certs on the books. I asked Eric if HQ had an “official” position on the topic. He said he did not know anything else. I said “You do know I will make a public statement about this. I have hundreds of people signed up for and looking to sign up for a cert in which I am the instructor. I will post this publicly. Attendees need to know it will not be me instructing the course. Are you prepared for this and are you sure you want to go through with it?” To this black said he was not 100% sure the situation was final…that there might be some discussion, that I should consider if I had a message for Glassman. I said I was stunned they did not have a written, formal reason for dismissing me, that it was appallingly unprofessional that Glassman, whom I’ve known for nearly 10 years now, did not have the Stones to do this himself. And That I was DONE. I was not interested in a kiss-and make up session.
I shot an email to CrossFit Legal and the Glassman’s that I wanted a written explanation of why I was being replaced within 24 hrs.
John Welbourn called me and said Dave Castro wanted to know if John was going to leave. If he was going to continue programming CrossFit Football. John said he would, for he foreseeable future. John said to Dave: “I was not there but I hear you did some remarkably unprofessional things.” To this Dave Castro, Director of Training for CrossFit HQ said “ Greg Everett was running down CrossFit and he was running down Mark Rippetoe. I was not going to let Greg Destroy Rips legacy….”
A few things are funny about this, beyond the fact it’s a complete lie intended to manipulate Welbourn. The first is that Dave Castro HATES Mark Rippetoe. He sent an email to Rip one time that was, the most unprofessional thing I’ve seen…up to that date. THAT will make some interesting reading at some point. The other funny thing is that Greg said of the squat in his lecture “there is a high bar squat and a low bar squat. We just call it “The Squat”. Yes Dave, this is certainly grounds for your behavior.
Thoughts and What Next?
Generally, I’m just shocked the emissary from HQ conducted himself in this way. Dave acts with an impunity that is frightening in it’s severity.
In the phone call Eric Black said HQ had a replacement for my upcoming nutrition certs. I want attendees to know it will NOT be me there. I do not want people rolling into the cert expecting to see me.
As of this writing I have not received any communication from HQ other than a voicemail from Glassman saying “Robbie! I hear you started another fire..call me kid!” Classic lack of professionalism on HQ’s part and Glassman’s preferred method for dealing with unsavory situations: Make it look like it was not his decision.
I’m REALLY interested to see the HQ response to this if any. they NEVER take responsibility for actions. We will see some kind of 90* take on this. My guess is that I’m using this as a media stunt.
I’ll continue to serve the community I’ve been a part of for so long via my blog. I’m going to take this time and finish my book. On my writing breaks I will ponder the same thing on most CrossFitters minds: Where IS my RRG money?
Tony Budding says
I’ll be surprised if Robb allows this post to stay, but I just want to say that Robb’s view of what happened is quite different from mine. I can assure you all that Robb’s being fired from representing CrossFit HQ has been a long time coming. What happened this weekend was simply the final straw. And, it has absolutely nothing to do holding and expressing “contrary” opinions.
Robb Wolf says
Free and open exchange Tony. That YOUR interpretation of the events differs from mine is not the least bit surprising, really it can be no other way. And Tony, if this has been a “long time coming” it is even more shocking you guys could not have something in writing and anything that indicates something like incompetence. No tony, this was 100% about a dissident voice speaking out.
Nice return on the serve BTW, the ball was barely over the net!
Oh yea-Great way to avoid Dave’s behavior. If my actions were sufficient to get me fired they must have been amazingly egregious considering what Dave did and the fact he most assuredly will NOT be fired. VERY professional.
Sorry Tony, thought of something else: Anything YOU post on here will both be approved and will remain. This is in stark contrast to the numerous posts of mine you have deleted from the CrossFit Journal site. Considering your background in education and your current penchant for censorship is an interesting thought exercise for me.
Sean R says
Wow. Sorry to hear things went sour. Its not really all that surprising when you look at the responses to the Greyskull Barbell Club post, which wasn’t ever meant to be an argument to get people to leave in the first place…
Either way, your contributions are appreciated. Although, selfish as it may be, I’m glad that I was able to get to the Nutrition Cert while it was still yours.
Amy Kubal says
Robb – This really SUCKS! I will definitely NOT be getting the cert if you aren’t doing it and I will make sure that no one else I know does either! I wasn’t there and don’t know what happened for sure – but I know one thing, you know your $h!t, and if the folks at HQ know what’s good for them you will be back on staff by the end of the day! I have bachelors and masters degrees in nutrition and am a registered dietitian, but I consider you the expert – your blogs and info have taught me more than six years of school did. I’m behind you 110%!
Robb Wolf says
I had my window of opportunity to get back in but I absolutely CANNOT. Mat gave his resignation…anyone who believes in openness and free speech is not very happy with the organization right now. I will be back on the road after the book is finished. I really appreciate the help and friendship…all I want to do is help people. I do without the drama and the megalomania.
Ryan Darling says
I have to totally agree with Amy, I am in my PhD in muscle/exercise physiology and have been a personal trainer and weightlifting coach for a few years. I can not believe that individuals with absolutely zero background education in nutrition or biology would even attempt to argue … Not to mention individuals with the education background all respect and aknowledge your information as not even correct, but simply holistic. You don’t take biases, you examine the evidence and display the results, nothing more or less. And Castro trying to say he has an open mind, well then why hate on paleo? He just wines and I’m guessing he only got his job from being buddies or someone’s son as it’s clear he does not demonstrate a fit individual in any interpretation of the word.
Keep fighting the good fight Robb, I look forward to hopefully meeting you someday!
Robb Wolf says
Thanks Ryan, it’s a complex story.
Dave Dailey says
Wow Robb this is the first I’ve ever seen or heard anything you’ve said but hang in there buddy because it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. -Dave (not Castro 😂)
I’m sorry to hear that you have had to suffer through all this drama, Robb. Do you intend to continue doing seminars? I missed you l last time you were her in the Portland, Oregon area and I’d be interested in having you back up in the future.
I’m sure Robb Wolf, the brand, will prosper. I take nutrition quite a bit farther than most affiliates and I often hear your name outside the CrossFit community. I’d say, “good luck to you” but for me, you’re not going anywhere.
Robb Wolf says
Really appreciate that. I will be back on the road once the book is done. I have been making some good headway on that and just want to wrap that thing up. This is actually all an amazing relief.
Post this one Robb, the first had some grammar errors
As a participant of Robb’s first official nutrition cert, I can only say that this is a travesty.
The most egregious part of this whole thing is that the CEO of the company/ and or someone with the proper level of authority did not call Robb to tell him he was fired shows a company that is unstable and has disjointed management. Company’s like that don’t survive very long. On top of that the fact that Tony Budding, #2 or #3 within crossfit would counter here in a public forum is also ridiculous.
As an employee that has not been given due or proper notice, Robb had no choice but to post his opinions here. As management (or whatever the hell you want to call it) Tony and all of HQ is showing their complete lack of disrespect for all of their current and future employees.
Robb – I look forward to attending your next Nutrition cert that is not a part of crossfit.
Robb Wolf says
Technically I’m an independent contractor, but a 10 year relationship should have produced a more professional response than this. Oh, like a REASON.
This is bullshit. I just spent good money for my girlfriend and myself to see you in Vancouver in January. I’ll be getting my money back for sure.
First off, thanks Robb for posting this information. I believe all of us in the CrossFit community have a right to know about the behavior and actions of those we consider to be leaders. I for one, have had the opportunity to take the nutrition cert with Robb, and it was worth every penny. I have also thought a long time about opening my own CrossFit affiliate, unfortunately the only affiliate in my small town conducts itself in a shockingly similar manner to those emissaries at HQ. When the GreySkull article appeared, it was reassuring to see that finally, someone had the galls to bring to light the very topic that so many of us in the community had been considering. I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a CrossFit 101 seminar with Coach G himself, and witness first-hand his response to the probing about the Grey Skull article. As more information comes to light, as I see the way the affiliate in my community conducts business, as I watch the “leaders” acting like children bickering back and forth, I am becoming more an advocate of general strength and conditioning and way less fond of the term CrossFit. As a community, we should be welcoming to new ideas, constantly trying to better ourselves and each other, open to questions and different ways of thinking. We should not be tearing each other down, imposing a superiority complex on others, making threats, and pushing people out. I think the video(s), in their entirety, should be posted. Let the community make their own decisions based on what we see. After all, we are all adults here, right?
Clay Jones says
Guess I’m not surprised, as CF has shown a talent for burning bridges in the past (Dan John comes to mind). Anyway, Rob, I have always found your writings both informative and entertaining, and wish you continued success.
Insert obligatory apology
…however, way to go dude!
Crossfit is too big to be owned. It’s all of our natural rights to explore fitness/nutrition/and health as we see fit. Crossfit helped thousands of us re-engage in that, but that’s not to say they are the key holders.
Like any community, actions speak louder than words (or money). Anyone that’s ever spent five minutes in a room with you comprehends your worth as a human being.
I have been experimenting with all that is crossfit for the last 2 years. I love the variety, the intensity, and the community. I also found some limitations, so I played around with Gant Grimes hybrid system, JW’s football, and finally settled on MEBB for my current programming. I did zone for a while until I came across your blog and after EXTENSIVE research on pubmed (I’m an MD) I really bought into it and now exclusively do paleo and MEBB. A great combo. In short, having spent a lot of time in globo gyms and now the crossfit spinoffs, I have found your approach the most reasonable. The operative word is reasonable. Very similar tone you get from Greg’s Oly seminar and from OPT on his site and in person.
This is very different from crossfit. There is very little reasoned acceptance to other ideas. Just a dogged clinging on to a good model that could use some tweaking. It is unfortunate really, as there is tremendous potential there, but actions like Castro’s really expose an insecurity in the crossfit model and approach. They are obviously feeling the heat and are very worried — that anger and behavior (the systematic pushing of an agenda like russels/castros zone comments without consideration of other ideas) doesn’t come up from having a bad day.
What I found most interesting is the similarities to a professional medical conference. As a surgeon, you would be amazed at the vigor that people hold onto their ideas when evidence to the contrary is presented. They like their surgical approach and feel PERSONALLY attacked if it is questioned. There are people that are constantly experimenting, trying new things, studying their results. They are the true master surgeons. Then there are others who cling on to old ways until it is finally accepted that their approach has worse outcomes.
The difference is the first group is interested in outcomes and helping people, while the second group is really focused on themselves. Their self-worth is wrapped up in their technique, and any confrontation of it is interpreted as an attack on themselves. Its the same with Castro and crossfit. This didn’t come from castro having a bad day. They are scared of something, and get very agitated when anyone points out anything that could be improved.
Keep doing what you are doing. You are a wonderful resource to a lot of people, and that is what is most important. Everything happens for a reason, and you will likely be more effective now that you don’t have to be hamstrung by crossfit!
Dave L says
Will full refunds be given to everyone who chooses to opt out? Seeing as the seminar will no longer be what was signed up for.
Do L1 certs still reference eating Big Macs in zone proportions as a viable way of existing?
Robb Wolf says
No ideea on the money situation. I doubt they will budge on this as it;s the money that is the root of the problem. If they have any integrity they will allow affiliate booked to host and the attendees to opt out if they so choose.
Renee Lee says
Robb, we only met briefly out in Aromas this year…but I’ve been a long time blog lurker of yours. Very sorry that you have to deal with this, and I’m also sorry I missed the opportunity to go to your cert in Boston a few months ago. Get the book done and get back here! 😀
Nick L says
Robb–Just wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done for the nutrition community. Your info and suggestions have massively improved my health and that of my family. I’m sorry to hear about this CrossFit mess but please keep doing what you’re doing, we’re all behind you. And I can’t wait for the book!
Daniel Lyell says
If it’d do any good I’ll email Glassman himself and tell him how much less likely it is that I will ever attend a crossfit nutrition cert with you not teaching them. I’m behind the idea of crossfit 100% – and consequently I believe that we need the very best out there as instructors. I’m praying this gets amended.
Unfortunate. Just really unfortunate.
matt beaudreau says
Robb- I have interacted with you and your wife via email, this blog, and in person at a seminar. Let me say, that you were ALWAYS the consumate professional, even in instances when people disagree with you on any given topic. I obviously do not know the “ins and outs” of this conflict, but I tend to believe that you are standing on solid ground. You will always have support in the health and fitness community, and I have no doubt that this will only propel you further towards your goals.
Steve Shafley says
Of course it is Tony! You are the officially appointed spin doctor for Crossfit. If you don’t say it happened, it didn’t happen, right?
We need only drop back a few years and look at your actions to spin the Dan John and Mark Twight fallings-out in an attempt to make Gregg look good, despite the direct quotation of his own text denigrating both men.
You are a known liar. I can point you to where you deliberately lied and attempted to mislead the Crossfit community if you wish. Those written words, now excised from the WOD blog, still reside in specific places.
Those few people, like myself, who are interested in how you and the HQ “kids” conduct Crossfit business while Daddy’s away are well aware of your role. It’s been detrimental to the growth and evolution of Crossfit.
You aren’t going to be able to spin this one away. Excellent job earning your six figure salary.
Bob Guere says
Aiy Ca-rumba. Sad turn of events for everyone Robb. I’m sure you know that trainers and affiliates out in the community still support you…. and HQ. Growing pains are tough, I would hope things would be different from such a tight community. Plenty of zoners out here that cleaned up the quality because of your work Robb, don’t stop.
Tony, you were there only on Friday. You didn’t witness Dave’s behavior.
Robb Wolf says
Will Nicki, in the OPEN SOURCE world of CrossFit HQ facts are but trifling things.
Sounds like quite the drama. As CrossFit gets more mainstream and continues to grow we’re going to have more disagreements. I think overall, these sorts of things need to be handled in a professional manner. I’m sad to hear that Robb isn’t involved anymore, but having public altercations doesn’t further CrossFit overall or make it appear in the right eye to the general public.
The quality control issue and unlimited potential number of affiliates is a problem for athletes and affiliate owners (like myself). I know they stated they won’t do anything, but from a business perspective I think that limits them down the road from the “elite fitness” tag.
Finally, considering we’re in the process of planning a Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Think Tank (Robb, you should come), I’m now a little concerned about us speaking bluntly about training methods, movements and all the other stuff that isn’t 100% in praise of CrossFit. Isn’t that how we get better? We critique, listen humbly and try to better ourselves?
Robb Wolf says
I appreciate the offer…you are a brave man!
Craig Brown says
That’s all shitty, but not suprising. Keep kicking ass.
Robb: Eeck, such drama. Yeah, being a business professional, they dirtied ya – regardless of anything they may have had in the works or not.
Your brand will definitely live on. Keep it out there for us! I’m new to your blog, but I love your open mind and willingness to share the Truth. It’s changed my life.
What are we to do when some of the brightest and accomplished trainers and programmers in CrossFit are publicly ridiculed for holding different opinions, than HQ, that are aimed to improve the community? I remember when the point of all of this was to take the best of what worked and apply it. It seems we have gotten away from this, our programs and protocols should not be set in stone with any question of their efficacy seen as dissension and accused as such. I would like to thank Greg Everett, Robb Wolf and Mark Rippetoe for your years of service to this community. You all have dedicated your time to making us better trainers and athletes…and we all owe you for it. As for HQ, I don’t know if you see whats going on or even care for that matter but the standards that made this community what it is are degrading… you are alienating the people who have made it great and we all see it. Robb, thank you for your Time.
Brian PCF says
Robb, I was at the Black Box Summit and learned a lot from you and the other presenters. I’d love to host a Robb Wolf Nutrition Seminar at Potomac Crossfit whenever you’d like to come.
Mark Lanza says
Oh Robb — I feared this kinda stuff would happen to CF someday. The sensitivity, politics and personal affronts were bound to happen. The silver lining for you? Maybe it’s better to have happened now, as opposed to several years from now.
Either way, I’m sorry you had to experience this, and I thank you for clearing the air. Rip’s departure was never really publicized, and it still bothers me to this day.
Robb, just want to say that I attended your cert in Atlanta recently and it was INCREDIBLE. I respect your openness within the community and I think that alone should make people begin to question our so called “leaders” at HQ.
CrossFit has several outlets to share news within the community, yet somehow I imagine that this little debaucle will be left unannounced. It’s a shame too because I feel like more and more people are beginning to lose faith in CF HQ.
How ironic that the one thing that could destroy CF is the very thing that made it what it is today. Regardless, you got a fan/student for life here.
Dominic Sirianni says
This is really unfortunate on so many levels.
Wes Kimball CFAustin says
Quite frankly I am crushed to hear this. I was at the Black Box Summit, and the what Robb described in the post, is exactly the way the weekend played out. The Black Box Summit was far and away the best money I’ve ever spent on something CrossFit, or Training related. There was intelligent discussion on several different modes of training. Robb and Nicki gave invaluable information on business practices, and training protocols. Not a single thing I heard this week, could I construed as an “attack” on CrossFit. The presentations were simply people who are out in our field, in the trenches, giving us their years of experience and the practices that worked best for them, NOT an attack on CrossFit.
Quite frankly I see no one else in this community with the knowledge, experience, and intelligence that rivals James Fitzgerald and Robb Wolf. To simply brush aside one of these people is very disconcerting to me.
Robb like I told you after the seminar the intelligent rationale and reasoning you provide for your information is refreshing, and inspiring for someone who sees himself as a rookie in this coaching game. I truly wish you the best of luck. You are going to be successful with or without CrossFit it, but as a member of the affiliate community I am deeply saddened to lose one of our most valuable commodities. If you are ever in Austin, TX again you have a home with us.
Owner CrossFit Austin
Wes Kimball CFAustin says
I did not see Tony Budding one time at the summit after Friday.
Truly unfortunate, Robb. CrossFit may not want to be a “franchise” but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that we’re starting to operate as an oligarchy. If there really is a party line (and swift and harsh consequences for not toeing it) I just wish they would’ve let us know. I know Karen, one of my trainers, had an awesome time learning from you at your cert in VA, and all of my trainers and I will be headed to Rip’s new SS cert in NJ. Just remember that “cream rises to the top” is a rule of life, not just CrossFIt, and intelligent people will recognize and reward quality no matter what brand name is slapped in front of it. You and Nicki have had a huge influence on how we operate as a fledgling affiliate, and as long as you keep putting it out there, we’ll keep scarfing it up. SBCF is behind you 100%, for what it’s worth.
Danny John says
Robb, as you know, I have always thought that you are one of my mentors. I still have hard copies of our original (1999???) emails. I’m glad you pointed out that awful review of Mark Twight’s seminar and how inappropriate the review was and how inaccurate, too. It’s a sad affair when someone shows up simply to undercut a speaker, but, trust me, whenever I give a crossfit workshop, I always warn the owner/contact person that it is my belief that it is a deliberate thing.
Robb, please know that you are well respected in the Strength and Conditioning community and some of the “secrets” that you have given me about nutrition have made me a better coach and athlete. One of my best memories is simply the lunches in Colorado Springs where you just broke down all of this information into three (literally!!!) bite sized pieces.
I’m just a telephone call away and I continue to support you and your fine work any way I can.
Garrett Smith says
Welcome to the misfits. We should chat. Shoot me an email when things settle.
Ron Fielder says
I am sorry to hear about this. It is very disappointing to me as an affiliate.
I am a huge fan of Robb, Rip and have had nothing but positive encounters with Jim at Dynamax.
Robb, I hope you find a way to put a nutrition cert together, I have been wanting to attend one that you taught and have kicked myself in the pants for not making it to the one you did in Austin.
Your time and effort for those of us in the Community are greatly appreciated and I have always enjoyed the fact that you are so approachable.
Justin Huskamp says
Very sorry to hear. I’ve followed your site ever since my girlfriend attended your nutrition cert in Vegas last January. I think your reputation and also Dave Castro’s reputation speak for themselves… I know who I am going to believe.
Keep up the good work – can’t wait for your book.
Unfortunately from what I hear from yourself and others within the community, professionalism from HQ is not exactly considered to be something of importance.
Robb, As ALWAYS, you were the absolute professional this weekend. My wife and I witnessed the entire thing. We were outright DISGUSTED by Dave’s actions.
You and Nicki also have our 100% support! Keep up the incredible work that you are doing. You are CHANGING LIVES for the better. It was our pleasure to meet and talk to you both this weekend. I can’t express just how grateful we are!
I support Robb Wolf.
I look forward to the book tour and getting to come out to NORCAL one day to check out your on the ground operation. I attended a nutrition Cert Back in April and, no joke, it changed my outlook, my coaching, and my own training. I am glad I got to attend when you were around, and I know you will find away to stay on the road and spread the good word.
Nice work having the integrity to stand your ground even when it’s clearly going to cost you in terms of nutrition cert income. I’ll tell everyone I know to buy your book when it comes out…and I must know at least 15 or 20 people, so that’ll help defray some of those costs right?
What does this mean as far as your affiliate goes? Will your affiliation be involuntarily “revoked”? Or are you planning on letting it expire anyways? I’m guessing your aside about company naming and co-branding had something to do with the fact that NorCal S&C doesn’t HAVE to include the word CrossFit…
Robb Wolf says
We plan on remaining an affiliate so our folks can compete in the games (although how fair of treatment they will get at the CASTRO FAMILY RANCH will be interesting to see). I also STILL believe in the community. I need have no interaction with HQ to be of service and with the fetters of being a Company Guy lifted I’ll be able to do this in a much more direct, effect way. I would not be surprised if they did kick us out however. In their mind we would have less credibility if we are no longer an affiliate.
Gant Grimes says
I am only sorry for the drama, but I am happy that you’re moving on. And I apologize on behalf of my state that you had to endure this triumverate of incompetency.
I met some good people in CF but am amazed that the “community” continues to endorse behavior like this. The quality of people that have left–and will continue to leave–far exceeds that of the people calling the shots.
miss spinach says
Whoa. I am so sorry about that. How embarrassing for the people who acted like assholes.
Not to make light of it, but…My mom would tell you “they’re just jealous.”
This will continue to be the first place I check for my sports nutrition info….
Kevin O'Malley says
It’s Kevin O’Malley from Vagabond CrossFit… I have talked you numerous times through email and also through the nutrition cert… You have been a complete professional and have always helped me in my journey through nutrition and crossfit… I do not really see it as a a sad thing, that you are leaving the crossfit ranks, but look at it as liberating and now being able to do what you want and say what you want… Your the Best Man and one of my true inspirations.. When you think the book will be done?? Just wondering…. Paleo Paleo Paleo…
As a Biology PhD I was skeptical of your dietary advice about a year ago (coming from a zone world view), however after throughly reading everything in Pubmed and consulting my biochem texts I am convinced your methods and science are sound (and my constant PRs support this). I attribute my success to your advice, and I was looking forward to an entire Wolf lecture/discussion at a CF Nutrition Seminar. It looks like I’ll be waiting for a Wolf Nutrition Seminar after the book comes out. Too bad thing went down this way.
Robb Wolf says
this si all I ask of folks. Read the material, try the protocols. check your results. I do not see many people say it does not work better than anything else they have done. Honestly it surprises me sometime how well it works but the results speak for themselves.
Wow Robb. That was some serious crap that went on there. I assume that all the CrossFit labels on your site will start disappearing soon? Although there are things I don’t agree with CrossFit (specifically the mentality of some of the folks when it comes to the willingness to seek out what works and always improve since S&C is as much of an art as it is science), dropping you from their nutrition cert is foolish. How many CF’ers are former scientists with a large understanding in biology? Your experience and ability to figure out S&C along with nutrition from a scientific perspective and as an athlete/coach is extremely valuable. Man, what a huge mistake to make on the part of HQ.
This seems to have been brewing for a long time. Sounds like Dave went there with a pre determined outcome. Tony Budding is so transparent. Before I lost interest in journal article comments I used to always see him respond to disenting questions with a tone of arrogance that was just mind blowing. Add that to the fact that he always came back to the same broad time blah blah empirical blah blah measurable observable blah blah he really comes across as nothing more than a cultist spokesmouth. O’h yeah that is exactly what he is. I hope he keeps posting here for nothing more than comedy relief. O’h and one last thing. His opening comment about his post being censored is so telling. For those guys being so Libertarian and all they sure do have the Communist Dictator thing down pretty damn good.
Robb Wolf says
Robb, the cream rises to the top! unless you skim it off and make 2%.
I cant comment about what happened @ the cert because I am sure that both sides are putting a little spin on it, however even if what actually happened is half way between both sides it was some pretty screwed up and unnecessary drama, at an event that people were paying good money to attend. I think what crossfit HQ does not seem to understand is that not everyone is MAKING money off of crossfit, the majority of us plebs are supporting it both functionally and financially. The least we can have in return is a little professionalism.
Let me know when you are having YOUR next nutrition seminar. I will make sure to attend. If the HQ line is that the zone will solve all my problems I will skip their seminar and buy Spears’ book, much cheaper.
I read a lot of posts and threads and barely ever comment, but I’m very glad to have been able to go to one of your certs before this transpired. I feel bad for whoever has to go to the replacement and listen to a full day of the zone. looking forward to your book Robb!
Sorry to hear about this weekend’s drama.
But mostly I’m sorry that so many people might not get the chance to learn what you have to teach about nutrition because they will blindly follow what the Crossfit directors tell them.
Going to your nutrition cert back in Feb 2009 started my journey towards Paleo, and I’ve never been happier or felt so ‘right.’ My husband and I are trying to live by example for our family and friends, and your teachings at the cert (and in this blog) help us explain the science behind it. Your humor and explanations for us lay people are invaluable.
Can’t wait for your book!
Well, there goes my plans to go out to Ramona for the Nutrition cert and Kids cert duo. The main point of going West was to attend a cert run by you, the Kids cert was the cherry on the sundae.
I look forward to hearing about your future endeavors.
As an attendee of the BBS, I didn’t witness the details of the exchanges, but your description is exactly as I saw the initial confrontations. I found Castro’s behavior killed the energy and excitement of the day and it was disappointing to say the least. I will never understand why HQ-who in early CFJ articles promised to continue to evolve and absorb new, better ideas-is destroying relationships with anyone trying to better the community. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend a nutrition cert, so I’m very grateful I got to hear your presentation over the weekend. It was exceptional.
Sorry to hear this, I guess I was lucky I got in on the cert you did at BTB Atlanta on 15 Nov.
Good luck with the book, and I will continue lurking about your blog.
Thomi CFVB says
I am sure Robb will have some more nutrition lectures listed over at paleobrands.com after the dust settles. 🙂 Sorry to hear about this Robb.
What open source license does CrossFit use? As a software engineer who produces open source code, this does not feel like open source to me. Open discourse is fine, but name calling is petty and usually doesn’t move the initiative forward in any meaningful way unless this results in the bifurcation of the movement with new management and new ideas.
BTW, I’d pay to see Greg and Dave go at it.
Robb, all I can say is that I look forward to the book. And once you’re back on the circuit, we look forward to seeing you in AZ.
Steve Seapker says
Wow! The drama never ends. Sorry( but not suprised) to hear it got out of hand Robb. Don’t sweat it. Keep doing what you are doing.
Robb Wolf says
Steve-Thansk dude! Good to hear from you.
I also support:
JP at Greyskull
Poliquin, et. al.
I do not support:
fauxhawks/walletchains, et. al.
Scott Jones says
After reading this, I’m far more naive than I previously thought.
Too much success too fast for CrossFit? Do we lack the maturity to handle it all? Just think of all the haters who will be chuckling to themselves all the way through Thanksgiving over this. Truly, we have seen the enemy, and it is ourselves.
I think an analogy wholly apropos for this situation might be something akin to our CF community suddenly experiencing an autoimmune disease.
Ego, then, would be like some really crappy CHO. We like to feed on it ’cause it feels good at the time. But eventually it catches up to you and everything begins going south.
This sucks. There’s way too much good happening for this situation to be allowed to stand.
Everyone: only a fool refuses to change his/her mind.
Robb Wolf says
Scott- Crossfit Norcal De-affiliated several years ago in protest of heavy handed antics like this. this hope was to affect change, I got involved again hoping to do the same. I feel like I succeeded in that I’ve directly hep lots of people, HQ unfortunately was beyond my ability to influence or improve.
We took a pretty heavy toll both socially and financially when we left before. I never said anything about it on the greater scale as there are people struggling to make their livings in this field. I’d hopped our silent protest would affect that change but it did not and I’ll not be silent this time.
Wow! I feel very fortunate to have attended the cert while you were still teaching it. You will continue to prosper with your book, Paleo Brands and Norcal S&C!
As much as it is a HUGE mistake by HQ and loss to the crossfit community, its probablly a blessing in disguise to finally free up time to get that book done!
I would bet money that through your blog, seminars and work at Norcal that you have changed more lives than all staff of crossfit headquarters put together. The seminars were a great way to get the word out, but you have done enough now that old participants can start spreading the word for you. Especially with the podcasts that you have been posting lately, people who need the information now have an avenue to access it. And finishing the book, your knoweledge and teachings will be able to reach just that much more people!
Ron Nelson says
Oh, Wolfy, you bad boy! I’ve been in your corner all along, even when you went back to the CF fold. I wish you the best and continued success. You are on the side of the angels here.
As for Mr. Budding’s criticism, we all consider the source.
George Noble says
I like that Tony Budding has enough time on his hands to say he had a different view of what happened right after the blog was posted, but not quite enough time to actually post any specifics (even though he is essentially claiming that Robb’s post is libellous).
I hope HQ delays the release of the official version of events until after Saturday. That’s when I squat, and when I read the CFJ article on the Gym Jones Seminar I laughed so much my abs were sore for a week.
HQ probably won’t respect my wishes though because as everyone knows only an idiot would plan his workouts as far ahead as Saturday 🙁
Robb Wolf says
Periodization is pseudo-science. As is paleo. Elite performance in life can ONLY be achieved via a random approach. Markets are random…therefore life must be random.
I am very disappointed to hear this. Yours was the first CF Cert I had attended (at Agoge Gym, in WA), & I was very impressed with your class! I am so glad that I was able to take the class when I did!
You are always welcome here in the NW…& if you need more white coffee, just say the word! 🙂
Danny John says
I’m glad someone mentioned Jim at Dynamax. He is a genius and a good soul who gives a ton to the community and his treatment by certain parties is shocking.
Wow! I just got done watching all the videos on sicfit.com and I do have to commend the speakers for not acting like there was a problem. Even after you and Nicki held an extreme amount of professionalism and continued to help the affiliates of an organization who moments ago just told you you would no longer be a part of it. Hopefully this doesnt get out of hand, hopefully things are mended…..i dont see it really happening though honestly. Its not like you were all drunk at a social function, things are not probably going to be “taken back.” I think HQ may have jumped the gun and have not fully looked at their scales and seen how this will affect them with robb and probably others leaving. we are suppose to be “forging elite athletes” and changing people for the better through more adaptable training methods, programs and nutrition but recently I find myself defending my training more than training. Watching top people, who a lot look up to for knowledge and coaching/business smarts fight like this is upsetting in multiple ways. i think a video should come out so its not “he said, he said.” I know glassman has said “im just a trainer” kind of washing his hands of responsibility for how CF is run but his “baby” is growing up and becoming a wild/bratty teenager and I think he should, because he is more than smart enough, step in and intervene. Hopefully 10yrs between the both of you means something. It doesnt in the corporate world, ive seen that 1st hand and if CF HQ separates themselves from franchises and co. ideology then hopefully it will help its family rather than exile one/some of its members for not following. They say we are cultish, like a church and Glassman is our pastor and if going against the clergy gets you banished then all of us are at risk.
Robb you know where you stand with the community and these people as far as the help, knowledge and power youve given us. sorry this happened so close to the holidays and at all but I dont see this weighing you down.
I also sent you an email that might have arrived at “perfect timing” concerning future endeavors. Please read. Take care
FYI, Crossfit appears to be deleting comments on the main site referencing this post. Someone mentioned that you had written something about the summit (nothing more) and within minutes it was gone. Ironic, considering Tony’s comment above.
Robb Wolf says
Yes, this is typical of HQ. No open discussion, not a lick of admission of guilt or culpability. Just spin and hyperbole. Oh, and massive suppression. Not even a counter point to this and you know why? Normally, HQ is able to spin things and try various techniques such as Straw Man but this time we have VIDEO. Castro is caught red-handed doing all this, attendees of the summit corroborate all this and it is just another piece of a larger picture of thugish intimidation and heavy handedness. so they cannot deny this happened like they usually do, so they rely on suppression and they are likely a beehive of activity trying to figure out what spin will put this on an HQ favorable course.
Yael Grauer says
I am sorry to hear about the latest turn of events, especially since I never made it to your Nutrition cert. Can’t say I’m surprised though… something always felt off but I figured if CF could muster up all of their integrity they would certainly do it for you. The lack of professionalism and lack of free exchange of thought (and lack of periodization) leads a lot of people (myself included) from CF and towards other programs, which is a shame because there are a lot of great people.
This is the epitomy of jealousy from my perspective simply from reading your post! We all know that you are the most squared away person in these areas! Don’t stoop to their level and compromise the truth & facts about CF nutrition or form! Enjoy the time off and get your book finished. I am sure HQ will have to retract their poorly thought out decision when they see how attendance numbers are affected from it!
Chris Forbis says
Keep up the good work. Your board posts, blog posts, and all the other content you have put out have been excellent. I’m looking forward to the book.
This right after the Greyskull thing really has me worried. When did CrossFit become more about “the powers at be” and less about developing a system of functional fitness that is effective for every person? My thoughts of opening an affiliate have ended. First, I read the Greyskull post and was in agreement. Then, I went to an affiliate and got rhabdo from a programed WOD from a “trainer”. Yes, it was part my fault, but any affiliate to Rx 300 GHD situps should be de-affiliated. Now, I read this story. It is very dissapointing. What happened to the open minded CrossFit community that I first found?!?!?!
Steve M. says
Unfortunately, many of us have seen this coming a mile away. The movement to regulate content and opinion about crossfit within the community itself reeks of low self esteem, poor business practices and dishonesty.
Where IS that RRG money anyway?
Brandon Henry says
I am saddened by the events of this past weekend and hope that as the dust settles and the fall out stops, everyone will be able to objectively step back and reflect on what happened.
NO ONE deserves to be yelled at, humiliated or disrespected in a public forum, much less one like the Black Box, and you only did what you felt best. Best of luck to you…I never had the pleasure of attending your certs, but rest assured I will buy your book and attend a seminar with you even if it is not CFHQ “approved.” I am not sure I could say the same about official CF Nutrition Certs. How do you remove one of the best thinkers, researchers, communicators and coaches in the world and expect the quality to remain high?
Tony, I do not know you and I was not at the Black Box, but as a member of HQ staff and a representative of the brand, you owe it to yourself, to the Glassmans, to the affiliate owners and to everyone who LOVES CrossFit to conduct yourself with the utmost dignity and respect. I have never seen you do anything less than that until this drama (though others might disagree) and urge you to reconsider your choice to engage in “name calling, etc.” If Robb’s account of the events is wrong, prove it. Release the tapes. If it is not, then you owe Robb an apology for calling him out on HIS blog. After all, isn’t it all about the demonstrability of evidence. As you have challenged other: put up or shut up.
The sad thing in all of this is that the CF community has been weakened and it is my sincerest hope that others (Everett, OPT, Dutch, Rutherford, Welbourn) do not leave the community due to the events and opinions of the few.
Kevin Hughes says
CrossFit has a way of letting the cream rise to the top and then skimming it off and discarding it. Sorry this had to happen.
Dallas Hartwig says
You know that you have our complete respect and support. I’m working on a great Oveja Negra T-shirt design. You wear a large? 😉
Robb Wolf says
Large, or extra, extra medium!
Sorry HQ made that choice. We’ve had amazing results using your advice in our gym. Regardless of your relationship with HQ, you’ll still be our go-to nutrition expert. Thanks, man. Keep up the good work.
Mike OD - Fitness Spotlight says
My friend you are the reason people want to listen. Sorry things didn’t work out in this manner, but perhaps it is a necessary step in your journey (as god knows I have had plenty of setbacks as well). Maybe this is the motivation to just finish your book (and gives you the time and focus to do so) and do what you do best. Be true to yourself, walk away from anything that takes you down that negative path in life and the people will follow because of who you are and your message.
Be true to yourself and keep the faith!
Robb Wolf says
Always good to hear from you old friend. thanks.
I saw the way Dave Castro acted in “Every Second Counts” and I can only imagine how it was to see him act so unprofessionally. Thanks for all you do for the community. Keep up the great work!
A little about me before I begin, I was an outstanding amateur boxer for 5 years. I have also trained amateur and professional boxers for a few years, even working with a world champion. Needless to say, I have been involved with boxing at a very high level. I was accustomed to the diet that all all major promotions assign to their fighters through a nutritionist, the five meals a day, breakfast consisting of oatmeal for breakfast with toast, and so on and so forth. I always prescribed to giving %150 in the gym, and eating whatever you want. It took a nine hour seminar to change my entire viewpoint on food.
I found Crossfit approximately 6 months ago, and never looked back. It filled the void that not fighting as a boxer had caused in my life. I feel like an athlete once again. I have spent the last 6 months learning all that I can about Crossfit, and am happy to say that I am surrounded by great coaches and athletes in the affiliate that I go to. I do not know any other Crossfit’s, but I recognize good training when I encounter it. About one month ago I had the pleasure of attending a Crossfit Nutrition Seminar taught by Matt Lalonde and Bobbi. It was the most influential experience I have ever had as an athlete. Learning all that taught about Paleo and the Zone, was simply eye-opening. Simply put, It changed my life. And even through this, they, as well as my affiliate owner, spoke of Robb Wolf, the MAN when it comes to nutrition.
I feel robbed that I will never hear you lecture through a Crossfit certification. I feel that the Crossfit community has certainly lost a great and highly influential figure. Of course I speak with limited knowledge of the others that are out there, but I know the influence that you, Matt and Bobbi have had on my life, I currently adhere to the Paleo diet, and life has never been better.
I hope that one day our paths will cross, because although I have not had the pleasure of shaking your hand personally, your legacy precedes you everywhere you go. Keep you head held high, for you have done nothing wrong. I am sure many people in that seminar were thankful at the time that you went out there to attempt to mediate the situation, and it is a downright disgrace that your well-guided intentions and actions resulted in being so detrimental to not just you, but the Crossfit community as a whole.
I am really sorry to hear about this. Keep on truckin Robb. You have provided a wealth of information that benefits everyone. This is bullshit. How’s this for “free market” and the “cream rises to the top”: I want my fucking money back for the nutrition cert I was going to attend.
Again I am sorry to hear you got canned.
I met you last spring when you did a x-fit nutrition seminar in Portland. Going to that was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Being plagued with eating disorders and multiple autoimmune diseases can be the most self destructing obstacle to face, especially when you are working out all the time busting your ass doing cross fit workouts and making yourself crazy counting out nine almonds and two cups of spinach and not getting the results you want or deserve. Going paleo has drastically changed my body, mind and soul in more ways than one. thank you so much for freeing me from the curse of having to count, measure or make the “perfect proportions” type of thinking. I’m so glad I made it to your cert. It never ceases to amaze me how people can turn on you so fast. I can’t stand close minded people who are afraid to accept new concepts. I think its all about balance and taking the “best” from each approach out there in the fitness/nutrition industry. X-fit has so many good things to offer BUT so do a lot of other programs. To not be open to other ideas is childish and goes against their philosophy of variety and constant change. Thanks again for everything. For the first time in my life I actually feel good about myself. I look forward to seeing more of your nutrition seminars. Please come back to Portland!
First off it was great to see you and Nicky this last weekend. You guys have been a good part of my recent growth.
That being said:
I was present when Dave and Greg threw comments during the seminar. I couldn’t believe that what I was hearing was anything but joking around. But then right after the presentation, when we were to take a break, Dave moved right to Greg to lecture him on what he shouldn’t be doing. In some way I understood, because Greg was being jokingly disrespectful of the form in the CrossFit HQ pictures he had shown. But I did not believe it warranted that level of reaction from Dave. (But I don’t really know the history either.) When they went outside I didn’t catch any loud yelling, but you could tell Dave was not happy and really giving it to Greg. I was just surprised that this was happening. These are things that should be done behind closed doors or discussed in a productive manner.
As for what was said by Nicki about how you run and market NorCal. It really resonated with me and made sense. I didn’t find anything she said as disrespecting CrossFit or the brand of CrossFit.
I really appreciated hearing unbiased opinions on nutrition, CrossFit Programming and how each presenter runs their affiliate. CrossFit has always extended the montra that if someone finds something better they would be willing to adopt it. Now I understand that they have been teaching that Zone is the way…and maybe it is. But to stifle the opinions of the person they had previously counted on for their expertise does not seem valid either.
I do want you to realize that most of the attendees only saw a small amount of what must have been happening behind the scenes. And I know that I appreciated the fact that the presenters were willing to give their honest opinions and views.
I enjoy the fact that most of the Crossfit affiliates can put their own spin on what I feel is a great program. It is in these small differences that can make affiliates so great and individual to those that run them.
You and Nicki are a great value and inspiration to those of us that are working to make our Affiliates the best they can be. I hope that you remain and help grow CrossFit in the right direction.
I hope this does not take away from what I feel was a great event.
I am sorry to hear about what is happening with you and HQ.
Olde English says
Robb, as someone who has attended your cert, applied the knowledge, and achieved fantastic results (mirror and blood work) I was truly bummed to read this. You were such a huge asset to the Crossfit community, it is too bad that this happened.
I always thought that Dave Castro was a snarky, little man, but I just went along with it because he was the mouthpiece of Crossfit. I can’t believe that someone would act so irrationally and rudely in what was attempting to be a learning environment. Unbelievable.
Keep fighting the good fight. You are rational, extremely intelligent, and respectful of others — you will be successful in your life, with or without these kind of people.
This is sad, even if a little bit of this is true. You, Nicki, Greg, Aimee, Rut, Dutch, OPT, and Jeremy have been nothing but helpful to countless trainees, both to those at your gyms and to those via the ‘net.
I guess I’m having a hard time understanding the logic of the HQ personnel in attendance. If CF is an open source model, and their stance is one that is laissez-faire in regards to how each affiliate is run, then why the animosity toward a group of well-educated, experienced trainers whose goal is to promote best practices in training? Shouldn’t they want trainers and affiliates to promote them? Shouldn’t trainees, who are paying good money for coaching, be allowed to benefit from these practices?
Kyle S. says
In the three years I’ve followed crossfit, I’ve seen it slipping. Its a shame the organization is pushing away top quality people. Robb, You’ve done more than Castro or Budding has done for the community. Castro acts like a pompous jerk in any video I’ve seen, and Budding has done little more than videotape shit. Its people like you, Greg, Nicki, Dutch, Rut and the similar that are making a difference. Keep it up!!
We’ve chatted a few time via phone over the years, I’ve been following your blog since it went up. Your articles on diet have been forwarded to many of my friends. I have a diabetic friend that follows your eating suggestions and feels that it improves the quality of his life.
Stay the course.
Its too bad that you won’t be doing the cert anymore Rob. i just attended your cert in Huntington and you’ve made a believer out of me regarding Paleo. I’ve had stomic issues all my life and now it seems to be gone so thank you for the education.
As for the politics, there’s probably not a single business or a corporation that has gone through the success and the growth as CF has had and not experienced this type of personnel and political issues. It’s normal that some will not agree, some will depart, some will rebel, etc. The critical part of all this for the CF community and especially for the affiliates is how Coach and HQ will handle and “LEAD” us through this rough period. If they do it successfully, we (affiliate owners) will all be awarded. If they do not, we better all have our own distinctive branding as suggested in this post.
The truth shall set you free. Looks like you just removed the CF shackles. Go, prosper. CF HQ has shot themselves in the face. Thanks for all you do and for the good of so many, please continue to do it.
Oh, and fear is always the source of anger.
man…robb opt and greg are all people i get most of my fitness/nutrition related knowledge from…and i learned about all of them through crossfit so pretty ironic…good luck with everything robb…big fan of your work
Steve W Ireland says
Really sorry to hear all of this. We’ve a lot of respect for your work over this side of the atlantic, i’ll continue to follow your site just as closely as ever. Im travelling from Ireland to attend your cert and kelly starretts cert in your box in january, will it still be on as its on in crossfit norcal?
Robb Wolf says
We will NOT host a nutrition cert with a presenter other than myself in my own gym. HQ could have thought all this through and handled it in a way that did not impact literally hundreds of people. They did not have the professionalism to do that. Steve, what I may do for that event is open it to the attendees who are scheduled to come to chico. I will present a FREE seminar at NorCal Strength & Conditioning. I doubt if HQ will be scrupulous enough to refund the money, but if people want to skip wherever they are going to hold that event, I’ll do something for free in chico. I will need people to send me confirmation of their CF cert and I need to see how many folks would be interested in this VS getting the piee of paper from whomever they will have teach the CFNC
Nathan Magniez says
I knew I should’ve taken the nutrition Cert when I lived in San Francisco. Damn it!
I was waiting for the link to go live for the Nutrition Cert in Calgary in April 2010 to learn from your expertise.
Looks like I will not be taking the cert after all.
Best of luck Robb, your education and wisdom will serve you well with or without CrossFit
Wow, that’s shocking and sad. I discovered crossfit sometime around late 2004, and following the community closely (from a distance) for a while. I learned a tremendous amount, for which I’ll always be grateful. But I stopped following it regularly around the time of the Dan John blowup–it wasn’t just that incident, but that plus similar other events that convinced me the community just had too many strong egos in charge, trying to control the community in ways that made it, for me, less interesting (as well as morally repulsive, quite frankly–some good people were treated like shit.)
I’m not sure I’ve even logged on to the main crossfit website in the last few years. I do love your blog, though–I hope you’ll keep it up.
Nathan Magniez says
I knew I should’ve taken the nutrition Cert when I lived in San Francisco. Damn it! Sorry to hear what happened. Keep on truckin’, Robb!
Robb Wolf says
I will have a gig when the book is done. And it was NEVER a “cert”. I hated that and argued against calling it that. There was no test, no measurable criteria for it. I have a ton of material I could never do in the CFNC because of politics, all that will come out now.
Thanks for all of the volumes of information that you have posted over the years. I appreciate the fact that you follow the science and are willing to change your perspective if the data warrants. Stay strong.
I posted on the main site to visit your blog. As of yet it has not been posted. I also saw where Freddy C has resigned his HQ training spot to focus on OneWorld. One of the things that drew me to CF was that it sought out experts in all of the various disciplines. Now they are running them off. First Rip, now you and Greg.
Anyway, thanks for contributing so much.
I am staggered. “Open source” generally means that more than one source is accepted. What ever happened to ‘if juggling toasters while wallowing on a stability ball works…’ I am most interested to see a more comprehensive reply from HQ on the events of the weekend. From those I know that attended the information was what this community needs to add to the menu and I was greatly looking forward to the Black Box Road Show coming to the Mid-Atlantic. Should you ever need a venue, you need but ask.
What happened at the seminar is truly shocking. I think I speak for most athletes when I say that if you offer an independent nutrition seminar apart from CrossFit, countless people will still sign up and learn valuable information. I think that this community would not have seen the growth it has without you.
It looks like Crossfit HQ has treated people with disrespect in the past and now they are doing it to you. I am glad you posted this article in your blog and you are letting people know what’s happening.
The more talk about it, the more pressure it will be on HQ to refund peoples money if your not there. People have the right to a refund!!!
Don’t take this the wrong way, I am happy they treated you disrespectful and fired you the way they did, they are letting the public know exactly what kind of jerks they are.
It is now time to move on and start doing your own seminars independent of crossfit. Crossfit may have done you a big favor by firing you the way they did.
As you might remember I eat a plant based diet,and have strong objections to coffee. I have been eating this way for a long time, but if I knew some who wasn’t interested in my diet, I would always point them in your direction. Paleo is the only direction to go.
I know lot’s of Crossfit members and some instructors that eat the zone diet, but when I see them they are always on their CHEAT days, eating junk food, it’s comical. Everyday becomes a cheat day. It becomes way to much work counting blocks and measuring foods, to me the zone diet is ridicules. They need to hear your[Robbs] voice. [DO YOU HEAR ME Crossfit HQ you made a big mistake!!!!!!]
Once you realize you don’t need Crossfit HQ, you will be much better off and free,
Dave Kitchen says
I am sorry to hear what went down. Especially at a conference that was looking to better CrossFit and it’s community. I booked my Nutrition Cert with you in Vancouver last week. I will definitely be trying to get a refund. Probably won’t happen. Mark Sisson and Yourself have changed my life. Thank you for all you have done and all you will be doing in the future.
Julie C says
Not to worry Robb..CF is gonna fall on its face soon enough! You are probably well out of it anyway!
Good luck with your future. I met Dave Castro at the 2008 CF Games and my first impression of him was that he was very rude!
Shana Alverson says
I guess it’s only cool to be an “Infidel” if it’s conventional wisdom you question. Didn’t we all get into CrossFit in the first place because we are community who DARES to question convention for a better way of doing things?? I know I did. As an affiliate owner this is disturbing news. CrossFit is touted as being an open-source model that grows and thrives on experimentation and constant tweaking to create an even better program than the original. I certainly hope that development is allowed to continue by CF HQ.
Robb, congrats on standing your ground. You’ve improved the program and the lives of many people with your hard work and research. You certainly have created a community of people likely to support you, in return. I know we will. Thank you.
So in retrospect if CF HQ ‘reps’ had just stayed away it would have resulted in an improved community. Short sighted. But it has happened before.
Robb Wolf says
It was honestly one of the best weekends I’ve seen. amazing material and I do not think you could find one attendee who did not feel like the presenters over delivered, that they were not floored with material that would improve their practices. It was different from any other HQ event in that you felt at ease discussing different approach and methods. Well, until Dave lost his mind. then it felt pretty normal.
You win any arm wrestling matches yet?
So Crossfit HQ touts this hands-off affiliation approach as a means of demonstrating their political leanings. They claim that through these methods the cream will rise to the top and the successes will speak for themselves. However, they squash any dissent, censor their trainers, and refuse to listen to anyone with a better way of doing things even when you’re one of their own experts? That is some bullshit and speaks volumes about the character flaws up there and how well their political philosophy is working for them.
I’d also like to add that someone posted a link to your article on the CF Message Boards… how quickly that thread was locked was unbelievable!
Robb Wolf says
Yes, it’s an OPEN SOURCE approach. Popular in both China and Cuba.
Jim Ryan says
I found crossfit about three years ago and love it. I go to a great affiliate, run by great professionals. In personal sessions, I have adopted more of a black box approach, as I find that the olympic lifting has fit me better, and given me better benefits. Additionally, in diet, I have gone towards paleo food, and don’t weigh a thing. I can’t zone it, and I don’t buy into zone. I know that a lot do, and that’s great, but it’s not for me. The bottom line is that black box and non-zone paleo has yielded great results for me, and I am thrilled.
I don’t think that any of this is mutually exclusive to crossfit, which seems to be what you were saying.
While you have done a lot through crossfit, I have always thought of you as your own brand. I get your RSS feeds, so I never miss a thing that you post. You are the ONLY nutrition source for crossfittes, as far as I am concerned. Please keep the faith!
What the hell? I was going to sign up for the Cert in January. Not anymore until you do your own thing. Do they really think they’ll get attendees without you as the instructor?
Playoff Beard says
This sucks brother, I’m sorry.
Your writings and lectures on the benefits of eating Paleo have changed my life forever. Thank you for that.
Best of luck in the future, I can’t wait to read your book.
Jerry jackson says
thanks for the write up. You have integrity Robb. Something very few people have.
Tyler Minton says
I am a Head Trainer at a CrossFit gym that will remain undefined because Heaven forbid a CrossFit trainer have an opinion outside of HQ. I attended Robbs Nutrition Cert recently and I cannot say how amazing it was. I have a hard time believing anyone could learn more helpful things in the Level 1 “Seminar”… I have also been in regulart contact with John of Greyskull and I can honestly say I cant imagine anyone at CF HQ has any more knowledge than these two gentlemen. CrossFit has gotten out of control. I already hear negative comments about CrossFit within my community regarding the “elite” attitude of the system. CrossFit has adopted the “were better than you, and we know it” attitude and that will lead to the downfall of this wonderful system if something doesnt change.
I’m sorry to hear about the course of events over the weekend, however I see this as an opportunity to rid yourself of the incompetence and the insecurities that permeate throughout HQ. Why be associated with people who have no integrity, knowledge or sense of professionalism??
TO TONY BUDDING…as far as I’m concerned you have no purpose in the fitness community whatsoever. Moreover, I believe you were only at the seminar for 1 of the 3 days. Let me guess… your information was from the great Dave? Get some balls – oh wait, you’re too busy swinging from Dave and Glassman’s!!
“Will full refunds be given to everyone who chooses to opt out? Seeing as the seminar will no longer be what was signed up for.”
If they are not reasonable, take it up with your bank or card issuer.
Steven Low says
Ahhh, this is pretty disappointing even though it was probably only a matter of time given how things were continuously brewing for the past couple years.
Good luck Robb.
Hopefully you can come out to the East Coast sometime again soon, so I can finally get to meet you. 🙂
Jim Ryan says
Robb my grammar was a little unclear…what I was saying is that I AGREE with you, in an open source environment one should be able to tweak and make adjustments, with the goal being betterment of the community, in search of one thing, the truth.
Keep it up!
Artie Lange says
This is GREAT…the beginning of the end of crossfit…
Ashley Tudor says
I am continually impressed by your integrity and unwillingness to sell out for filthy lucre. The fact that you care more about truth and right then money and prestige has and continues to impress me to the core. In a world where knowledge is used to take advantage of folks, there are many of us who appreciate the stand you have taken for what is best, not what can make the most money. And we will support you on where ever your journey takes you.
Robb Wolf says
I appreciate that but I have honestly had misgivings about working for CF for the better part of a year. I feel like every seminar I did affected significant change, but it was a significant moral question almost every day. Especially when the frequent behind the scenes shenanigans like this happened. Free of that now however!!
Robb: Great post.
P.S.Team Zarsky !
I have YET to be defeated in arm wrestling. Serious matches have yet to arise though 😉
Yes I see your point. The community was strengthened by the quality of the event despite the “castro craziness” – but at the same time it has been hurt by your departure from nutrition certs (and in general it has been hurt by the lack of regard to your input over the last couple of years). I personally won’t be impacted – I will still follow you. But I am disheartened about those that may miss out. So the rest of us need to be more vocal.
Very sorry to hear that for you, but even more sorry to hear that for Crossfit.
I think the different approaches of top coaches and affiliates help to further vary the “constantly varied” and promote ideas we can all learn and benefit from even if there is disagreement in what is best. After all, is it not these different ideas along with superior coaching that should seperate the top affiliates from the lesser ones and let the cream rise to the top? Heck, aren’t the different ideas and interpretations all part of the superior coaching? Isn’t that why you were all there to begin with? I’m asking somewhat rhetorically, but I’m very suprised and sorry to hear how that went down.
One begins to wonder if the recent growth in the number of affiliates has begun approaching a Dunbar’s number type of scenario where the upper size limits of the community in its current state are being tested…
Either way, I know you will continue sharing great information and knowledge with us, and that you will continue changing lives in the process.
I’m fortunate to have recently attended a cert with Matt & Bobbi, and they did an awesome job! I was looking forward to attending again the next time you were giving one somewhere local, but I guess that will have to wait a bit. For the record both paleo and zone got about equal time and emphasis in the cert I attended, as well as discussion about combining paleo and zone, finding the most appropriate solution for individual athletes and that athlete’s goal, and always with an emphasis on food quality first. (I know you know this since you put the cert together, but wanted to put it out there)
Anyway, I’m looking forward to the book and hopefully seeing some more Paleo Brands seminars come to the east coast in the near future.
Thanks and keep up the great work!
I feel bad for you. Your website is one that I follow and look to for nutritional information that benefits athletes, so I could personally care less who you’re affiliated with. Just keep on writing and tossing good info on your blog and you’ll be fine.
Someone has to say it, so it might as well be me. You did benefit from CrossFit, so you can’t be too ticked off at how things have gone down. It’s no different than quitting a job or getting fired because of something stupid. You’re a smart guy that will be successful because you know what you’re talking about. CrossFit wasn’t your ticket and you know that.
Robb Wolf says
totally true. I owe much to CF and to Glassman. the sad thing is I could owe them much more if the organization was not pathological to a point of spinning out it’s talent.
This is all pretty crappy. But as one of the above comments articulated, if nothing happens to restore your position, then at least you aren’t hamstrung by crossfit.
We can’t be so sensitive to new information, or even an alternate way of looking at something that we explode at the people attempting to offer the alternate viewpoint. As someone has pointed out earlier, there seems to be a reason that HQ is so sensitive, probably not, but it sure looks like it.
Good luck and keep doing what you’re doing!
I can’t say that I haven’t seen this coming. There were stories around Rip’s leaving CF. Now they’ve kicked you out.
Add to that this new requirement to be CF Kids certified to train a minor. WTF mate?
I think HQ has been taking for granted the fact that so many blindly follow them. Now it may have backfired.
One of my favorite quotes is prophetic here I believe, “Rome wasn’t built in a day. It didn’t fall in one either.”
Robb, Very sorry to hear about your weekend. Ironically, this whole mess could have been avoided by… distinctive name(s) + superior training, business systems and culture on the part of HQ.
I will support you anyway I can. If you want to pre-sell copies of your book, to fund writing time, I am in.
Thank you and Nicki for everything you have done for me and my athletes.
Shit! I was so looking forward to April’s cert. Now I can honestly say that I won’t be attending. I have chosen, because it is MY choice, Paleo over Zone. Agreeing that weighing shit food is just that! Paleo has given me the added performance edge I was looking for and I feel great. Not to mention I have gluten and lactose intolerance, both issues that Paleo addresses head on. Unlike Zone, which seemed to react reluctantly to such health issues but, ‘ho hum’ it had to.
I have never met Castro, but have heard that he is extremely abrasive and his first impressions have been downright lousy for those who have had, dare I say it, the ‘(dis)pleasure’ of meeting him.
Although I can only speak for myself, I know that Crossfit training has changed my life. Coupled with Paleo nutrition, I feel better at 40 than I did at 25. This household will continue to follow both plans and hope for the best as far as HQ is concerned.
I truly would hate to see it implode because of an elitist one track mind set. Sad to hear that it seems to be getting away from the foundation it was originally built upon and that is, bringing everything to the table, experimenting with open minds and seeing what worked.
Anyway, thank you for the Paleo approach. I know that it works for me.And I guess that if we are going to see you, we will have to make a trip to NorCal. I think that can be arranged.
Wendy C. Butler
Crossfit Las Vegas
so very unfortunate…i see this biting them in the ass at some point. thank you for continuing to share your knowledge with us.
By the way, I was at the seminar on Sunday in Atlanta. 1 week of gluten, dairy, alcohol free paleo and I’m down ~12 pounds. Feeling great, performing better, and my members keep asking me what I’m doing! They’re genuinely interested. Thanks buddy!
Robb Wolf says
That is amazing! it’s like this stuff works!!
I would definitely pay to participate in any sort of seminar you give, even if it’s not Crossfit sanctioned. It’s a shame that a few people are limiting the spread of important, effective, nutrition guidlines. If a bad relationship is holding things bad, then that relationship needs to be severed. CFHQ should realize there’s no room for selfishness in a fitness community and what they do effects us all. Thanks Robb, for having the integrity and drive to continue doing what you do, its very much appreciated.
Holidays seem to bring out the frustration in people, however it is no excuse to use foul and hurtful language.
I don’t know the details about the frustration among your colleagues, but even if it was a long time coming, the lack of professionalism for delivering your pink slip is just beyond rude. That kind hostility doesn’t need to be there at all. It just creates anxiety among everyone else. IT’S VERY UNPROFESSIONAL HQ!!! Even if Robb acted out in any sort of manner, it was because some dip shit was opening his mouth without his opinion being solicited. Who wants to hear someone’s rude opinion anyways? Here’s a lesson to learn HQ, if you’re advice isn’t solicited, keep your god damn mouth shut!!! There’s nothing more annoying to me than rude people who offer NOTHING except creating a bad environment for everyone else. I’d seriously rather get sucker punched in the face. At least that heals faster than hurt words.
And as for Mr. Castro’s stunt, well, not to side with him (because I’m not), there is one thing to take into consideration…yeah, he may have some issues with other affiliates, but have you ever noticed that people who have issues with others tend to have “jealousy” as the root of their problem? It’s something to think about. Perhaps Mr. Castro should take some courses in Personal Relations, perhaps you can lead the seminar on that, Robb.
So did you being relieved of duty for nutrition certs have anything to do with Mr. Castro’s emotional breakdown? You know they do have medication for that type of stuff because obviously, paleo….er excuse me….ZONE diet isn’t working for him.
Here’s my opinion final opinion…I’m more open to listen to someone who has a biochemistry background specializing in lipid metabolism than some Joe Schmoe off who got his degree from San Diego State in Nutrition. And honestly, all the skeptics out there I’ve been communicating with believe the same thing.
So I say good riddens then. I’m sure there are a lot of people who are really disappointed, and that’s the sad part, but there are bigger and better opportunities out there for you with more loyalty. You’ve won the hearts of the smaller people.
NOTE TO THE PUBLIC: I’m just a person who works out at Crossfit NorCal. I don’t have some fancy degree nor any financial interest in Crossfit. I’ve had the opportunity to attend Robb’s lectures and every time I’ve been more than impressed. Not everyone is going to agree with him, but some bit of respect should be given to someone who takes time out of his busy schedule to educated the public and community for free. I highly respect Robb and Nikki for having done this because it shows how much they do care about helping out the community. And although I may not understand how upper management works, I do understand when someone is being fucked over and I can’t stand injustice. Period!
This makes bad long-term business sense (setting aside the behavior).
If you aren’t willing to monitor affiliate quality, then you’re leaving yourself open to a different brand that uses similar fitness principles doing just that – and producing a better product for the user.
Why pretend that a generic WOD which does a good job of getting regular folks in good shape is THE way to prepare elite athletes for a specific event? Someone else will come along and develop better programming.
Why not try to keep a diversity of approaches under your brand and keep making money off all of them while taking the best from each and continually improving your “generic” product?
Robb Wolf says
this is exactly WHY HQ is terrified of all this. They have taken a position that they are infallible, that they are the arbiters of all the knowledge. They have painted themselves into a corner in that they cannot/will not modify the WOD. so, no one follows it now if they really want top level performance.
they have gotten in bed with Barry Sears in an attempt to counter the “paleo” message Welbourn and I have been sending. Ironically, when you get past Sears’ newest schtick, Molecularly Baked Crap, you have…the paleo diet. Only in a form that is sub-par to other approaches. An all this proven by people simply trying one method, then another. You really cannot control the truth but HQ tries in the same way a totalitarian regime does and things just speed through their fingers all the faster.
Jeff A says
I had been waiting for some type of hammer to drop drom HQ but never expected it like this.
I was appalled at the LVL1 when they talked about zone and eating fast food. I have followed Greg and Robb for a while now and love the paleo, high intensity workouts. I am just sad Castro acted the way he did. Nothing about him has ever been professional.
keep it up Robb. As i say, real recognize real.
Can’t wait for your book
That’s some crazy shit. I’m not terribly surprised, but it’s a shame. Guess we’ll all see what happens.
I’m a programmer, and judging by other Open Source projects that have tried to go back to proprietary/overly controlling models, they’ll either return to their open roots, or someone will ‘fork’ the project and build their own using the same, or better, tools, or both. Either way, we (the fitness community) win in the end.
I’m looking forward to the book. Finish it dammit, so I can buy copies of it for my friends and family!
Louis Salin says
The crossfit message board thread that has been closed is here:
Chuck O says
Sorry to here what went down, i was waiting to hear what Coach Rut had to say about he summit. Well, CF really has lost another valuable asset, to bad!
Oh well, Keep up the good work on paleo, by the response on the blog you still have a VERY loyal following! Can’t wait for the book!
Brian Soriano says
Robb, I just attended the seminar at CFmarina… and I agree that to be certifiable, we should have been tested on the material presented.
I literally had to reread your title three or four times to make sure I was reading it correctly. I recently signed up for a nutrition cert at Brand X specifically to hear you speak. I will definitely be asking for my money back. I would be willing to travel to Chico to hear you speak if that’s what it takes. Sorry to hear that both you and Greg have been so blatantly disrespected.
Ben Faber says
Thank you very much for sharing this information. In January 2009, I attended a CrossFit Level 1, then in October 2009 I attended MEBB at Catalyst, and last weekend I attended Rip’s Barbell. All of these seminars have contributed immensely to my current training. The information I learned looks more like CF HQ from the early days (Glassman in Santa Cruz, Eva T, Greg A, Jolie, Barber, Dutch, OPT, Starrett, Boz, YOU), and less like HQ today. I still read the CF Journal, and I believe there are some great athletes, coaches, and human beings in the community. Finally, the methodology of CF has been around for years. Elite strength and conditioning programs at the high school, collegiate, and professional level do short, intense workouts, they lift heavy, they run sprints (kind of like CF Football). CF has been able to translate this to the general population. Like most things in life, let’s develop a personal, individualized training approach using all the good resources we have. By the way, Rip’s “the man.” Rip is a real, personable, human being and he taught me to squat this weekend. I never saw Glassman at one of those seminars and he never taught me how to squat like Rip.
So glad I hauled butt down to Bozeman to catch your seminar when I did! My previously metabolically deranged self is leaner, stronger and healthier for it. *sigh* Guess once your book is done and you start gallivanting around doing your own thang, I’ll have to sign up for that seminar too!
And, hey, while you may be off Dave Castro’s Christmas card list, you can at least console yourself with the knowledge that you’ve radically changed lives and improved the health outcomes of many, many people. 😀
Read your post. Got text’d midway through “Wow Read robbwolf.com”. Replied, “”was reading when u sent was going to txt u. Blown away. Holy Sh…but honestly not surprised…” rely text from friend “yeah, same here”
Not surprised because this is repeated behavior from CFHQ. Example idiotic video rant about Outside magazine, Gym Jones article BS, on and on. Just hate that all the incredible things that CF does like Operation Phoenix and has done for so many people are sullied by such poor behavior and decisions.
Peace be with you Robb.
Tommy C. says
Robb…just wanted to send a quick message of support. You have been a great influence on the community as evidenced by the response you have received thus far. I attended your seminar in Jacksonville back in May and truly enjoyed getting the meet and talk with you and Nikki. I will certainly continue to follow your blog and I look forward to reading your book when published. I’ll admit prior to reading this post I was not too satisfied with the CF HQ staff and was becoming skeptical of their operations. Now that I have read this post I’m even more infuriated. I look forward to some kind of public response from the HQ staff in the near future as their quick and irrational behavior needs to be addressed rather than swept under the rug.
Nathan Magniez says
Good to hear you will continue your nutrition lectures with additional info. We need a shirt for a show of support for you. I would buy one. I’m thinking “Robb is my Homeboy!”
I’m sure you don’t remember me, but we briefly met at the Games this summer. I just wanted to write and say that if HQ is willing to let you go, it’s their loss. You are an excellent coach, and I hope to attend one of your lectures in the future, regardless of whether HQ attempts to mend fences or not. The time and effort you have spent in educating the CF community has made a world of difference, and I for one will continue to look to you for guidance and critique in the future.
Robb Wolf says
Joe- I remember you and thank you for the support.
Scott Kustes - Fitness Spotlight says
You taught me more than anyone else in the community. You’ll have no problems moving on and kicking ass. It’s unfortunate egos have to get in the way of people learning from incredibly knowledgeable people like you. Now you can move on unrestrained.
I’m a 53 year old former fattie. I discovered CF a year and a half ago. I’m in the best shape of my life and getting better all the time. I have learned a lot from all the CF articles, affiliate blogs and videos. I also have linked to a lot of other sites, but CF pointed me to them. I can see why the CF model isn’t for everyone, but I hope that this does not become a good guy bad guy thing. I mostly CF, and play around with Zone, Paleo, CFSB, Black Box, trying to find a program that works for me. CF took it all online, and introduced us to a new model of fitness. It seems like something is getting out of hand, and I don’t pretend to know what is happening at HQ. I understand why Robb, Rip or others might leave CF, having outgrown the organization, but the trash talk seems petty. Many people like me will still benefit from CF. I don’t think the baby should be tossed out, even if the bathwater is a little poopie.
John Velandra says
More to follow, but about to work with someone…
MAJOR QUESTION TO HQ… I am hosting the Robb Wolf Nutrition Cert on December 5th. Who is doing it? If it isn’t Robb Wolf, what will it cover? Will THEY be presenting information on paleo eating, intermittent fasting, hormonal responses, and the rest of information that people are wanting to hear?
If I have athletes wishing to opt out, do they get refunded the money?
Again, more to follow…
Robb Wolf says
It’s a great question and HQ has already been told they are NOT to use my copyrighted material in any subsequent cert. It took me MONTHS to prepare the material for the first cert, yours is in 2 weeks. I hope they have a hell of an expert on hand. They have contacted Cordain and he told them to pound sand.
It makes me sad.
Looking forward to the book!
Jay Ashman says
I sent an e-mail to you Robb regarding this and it is a shame that this happened.
As a guy who is staring Strong Island CrossFit Strength and Conditioning (after years of working up to it) it sucks that you are no longer a part of the HQ plans.
Needless to say, I hope it works out for all parties concerned and our main focus is creating better athletes and a better way of life first and foremost, free of drama and egos.
CrossFit prides itself on leaving the ego at the door, some people forget that…
Tony Young says
“What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?”
Damn, Robb! Sounds like the last scene from Blazing Saddles!
I wish I was smarter than you, Nicki, OPT, Dutch, Welbourn, Rut, Aimee and Greg combined. That’d really be something. What the hell is going on with HQ? They used to be OK…
I see only good things in your bright, fantastic future. We’d like to bring you out here for the Robb Wolf Nutrition Seminar in the spring.
Not sure if anyone else mentioned this already: Robb, have you considered providing a nutrition cert in a live/online forum? Maybe even a online nutrition/paleo education course? I would imagine that you could cast a pretty large net and catch all of us that find it difficult/expensive to travel to seminar destination.
Robb Wolf says
We have had in the works something along this line with Paleo Brands. this will be quite different from what we will do in a day long or multi-day seminar.
I thought you did an excellent job at your recent nutrition cert in Woodinville, where I’ll vouch that you did NOT bash the Zone but merely stated your preference for Paleo. In 2005 at my second Crossfit cert a rousing nutrition talk from Nicole convinced my girlfriend and I to go all gung-ho on trying weigh-and-measure Zone. We had undesirable results. Since then I’ve had better results with unmeasured Paleo approach that kept some Zone principles in mind. That said, I still believe the Zone is a superior diet over all others EXCEPT Paleo.
I’ve also had concerns for some time now about the implementation of the Crossfit certs (now called the Level I & II certs) and how they have changed since Glassman was the main speaker, specifically the introduction of the Nine Foundational Movements. The Nine needs serious review by the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) but as things are today it probably won’t get it. Some of the Nine need to be dropped, different movementes should be added, others need to taught differently. I know several highly respected Crossfit coaches and SMEs who don’t particularly like some of the Nine movements and yet won’t express their reservations to HQ because of fear of backlash exactly like this.
To even REVIEW the Nine and the way nutrition is taught will mean that whoever set up the current system will need to check their ego at the door. Could that person be the head of training?
I will continue to support folks like you, Greg E, Dan John, AND Crossfit principles to the best of my abilities despite the conflicts. I wish for success for all my friends in the high-level training community.
Wow, when I told my sister, shortly after your last Nutrition cert., that you were going to out grow CF, I never dreamed it would happen this fast.
We can thank Dave for opening that door.
We look forward to your book and were ready to host a “Robb Wolf Nutrition Seminar”. Let us know when you’re ready to head South again.
Thank you for the excellent instruction, entertainment and abundance of knowledge you share during the cert. You have a great gift and will have continued success. It is unfortunate HQ is losing such a valuable person.
– If we didn’t attend the Summit is there a way to hear Nicki’s portion on branding?
Katie C says
I have been CrossFitting for about a year, and I was going to sign up for one of the nutrition certs next year, but will no longer do so now that I know you won’t be there. I saw that BrianPCF invited you to my box, Potomac CrossFit, to give one of your talks. I would sign up in a heartbeat, and know a LOT of other people who would, too. Keep doing the excellent work that you do, and everything else will work itself out.
Edward Stedman says
Regarding this statement you made, “In their mind we would have less credibility if we are no longer an affiliate.”
This is where CrossFit HQ sort of has people by the balls who are affiliates and enjoy the community. I think the CF community as a whole is awesome. The problem to me is exactly what you mentioned as to why you probably won’t de-affiliate, and that’s because people want to participate in community events (i.e. The CrossFit Games), and because CrossFit has made itself synonymous with elite fitness, while making everything else seem sub-standard…which of course is not true.
The problem is that because HQ owns the CrossFit name it essentially owns the community and can somewhat bend it to its will. And I want to make things clear, I don’t think HQ is evil or anything, but a reasonable person who thinks for his/herself cannot continue to hear these sorts of stories about HQ representatives and the founder of CrossFit and think that they are never in the wrong (even though they always claim to never be in the wrong).
It just kind of sucks right now because the community is sort of owned by HQ, since HQ owns the CrossFit name, and that is the name that the community is united under. However the reality is that so many people in the community are not even doing a “CrossFit” program anymore (i.e. MEBB, Catalyst Athletics, OPT, etc). The community has grown. It is truly more than CrossFit now. It is not right that HQ and CrossFit try to claim everything that evolves out of their program. I think recognition and proper credit should be given to what CrossFit has done, which is a lot, but it seems that HQ has sort of stopped caring about improving and evolving the program for the time being.
I want the community to stay as it is, and continue to grown, evolve, learn and adapt…because that is what it has always been doing. That’s why there was a Black Box Summit and other think-tanks like it. But the community needs to be under a truly “open-source” entity, not an affiliate system that requires monetary involvement to be a part of (even though CrossFit HQ has every right license itself as it has done, and I have no problem with that business approach).
Robb Wolf says
As I think about it more…and the moral implications of being associated with these people I will really need to think about continued affiliation. And participation in the games. We may need to put on our own gig in chico or a nearby location. I have a lot to think about but continued affiliate with a morally bankrupt organization may not be possible, regardless of what my athletes desires might be.
Clay Jones says
SD_Mikey, to my knowledge CF follows no license, but just calls itself open source. I think Greg Glassman’s definition of what constitutes Open Source is a bit different from the rest of the World’s, as I recall him saying a few years back (on the now defunct CrossFit Radio) that programming would always be done his way. So I’m unsurprised in the least that posts have been deleted on the mainsite and the one thread pertaining to this topic has been locked on the message board.
I was looking for an excuse to stop posting on the CF board (which has begun to resemble a sort of Facebook for Fitness in the past few years), now I have it.
I’ll be renewing my sub to the PM, and look forward to the new book, Robb.
Please post this one…. I didn’t proof the last one before posting. Sorry!!
I value CrossFit, for what it has done to show that no matter what fitness level you start at, you can start on the road to fitness and achieve it. And for what it has done to change and revilalize the fitness industry. I highly hold the basic premise of CF dear, and love it. Every workout will be better than you, you will be humbled by it, and you are competing against yourself to better yourself.
We’ve been following CF for over 5 years now, as a family. One of the things I love the most is the community Most of the people I come into contact with either in person, via reading other blogs, etc have been nothing but professional, encouraging, and open to at least consider ideas different from their own, and respectfully dissagree if they do.
I would really hate it if a few people, leaders or not, acting in this way would make people think negatively of CrossFit. I really hope that CF HQ and the people on staff there would remember that they were once the ones with the differing ideas, and their ideas have worked for a certain niche of the fitness population, but not for everyone.
As affiliate owners, Robb and Nicki, it is your duty to share what worked for your clients, even if it is a little different from HQ philosophy or official stance. Just like the workouts, nutrition needs to be modified for each and every person.
That being said.
I am tired of watching videos or listening to the radio podcasts with cursing in them (Sorry I’ve got kids, we homeshool, and they are within earshot most of the time). I am sick and of tired of the bickering I see on the comments. I am tired of the arrogant attitudes I see with some of the leaders when asked a question, I am tired of the unprofessional-ism exhibited by some of the newer HQ trainers and affiliates.
And if this is behaviour I am to expect from HQ trainers and leadership, then we are most likely not going to attend another cert and most unlikely to affiliate when we too open a box.
I am saying this merely a wife of a level 1 trainer.
We are here to get stronger and healthier, help others do the same, but not to be cute or popular.
Jeremy G says
Robb, this is terrible! I was going to be signing up for a Nutrition Cert but no longer. I hope you can either get this resolved or do a cert on your own! I’ve heard many good things about you and your certs and it just wouldn’t feel right going to anybody but the best!
Good luck to you and keep us all posted
Rich Q says
Having just recently attended a Nutrition cert with Mat and Bobbi, I have to say thank you for the knowledge and perspective you bring to the community at large.
On the subject at hand, being a relatively intelligent, independent thinker, I have a hard time subscribing to any single principle, especially one that is crammed down my throat. More and more, I’ve seen CF adopting practices and behaviors that might be likened to organized religion (or a cult, if you will). Let me just say that we’re fortunate that this cult practices expulsion of those that oppose the position(s) of it’s idols, rather than execution. Robb, be thankful you got away with your life (and soul) intact! Keep up the good work!
PS: Caveman didn’t count his almonds and weigh his mastodon! I suppose the anti-paleo position by ‘zoners’ is much like that of the church dismissing evolution!
I am sorry to hear that Dave and company could not conduct themselves in a professional manner. But I am not surprised. It has been my view for sometime now that they are running Crossfit into the ground, which is sad because Crossfit had a lot to offer.
I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
P.S. For Dave, Tony and other from Crossfit HQ that may read this post, Robb does not know me, and I do not know Robb. But I have watched and read Robb for sometime now and have tremendous respect for him, as do most in the CrossFit community who care about fitness and nutrition. I no longer bother longing onto Crossfit.com, but have and will continue to follow the cream of the crop that you have chosen to distance yourselves from.
Robb! This is complete Crap! My boyfriend and I are flying from Denver to NC to take your class next weekend, we are writing a letter to HQ that we want our money back and that we are very disappointed in this decision. We paid to see you! A friend and coach at CC told me there is a free seminar in Chico being offered if we paid for a cert? where do we find this info?
I don’t post, but follow your blog, certainly saw this coming and am saddened by it. I am L1 certified (would never ever train another human) and was motivated by the RRG talk. I asked several questions on the affiliate blog and did not receive very many answers and finally it was posted that my and other peoples questions did not need answered because we were not affiliate owners. (giggle) That’s just funny to me, btw I still bought into it, but wonder where the money is too?
Robb I will continue to support and follow your blog and buy your book. Good luck in all you are doing and thanks for the open and honest dialog about this.
Ben Wheeler says
They contacted Cordain to take over the seminar????????? WHAT! This isn’t even making sense considering their stance on the “bullshit” science around our pseudo diet. I can only imagine what kind of entertaining day your having Robb. Traffic on your site is nuts…loading it is like having dial-up again minus the annoying sounds. It will be very entertaining watching the next 48hrs unfold!
Sometimes there can be only one king. Anyone else involved who’s stature in the community rises high enough threatens the brilliance of the leader. Others, whether Gym Jones working with celebrities, Rip actually answering all the questions in his own forum (!), or you, Robb, effecting at least a little positive change in everyone exposed to your work, and tremendous change in more & more every day, start to share the stage and must be either contained or expelled. Classic leadership insecurity. I always liked CF because I believed that it was constantly evolving and receptive to change. The answer in the Forums even used to be “black box it and let us know what happens!” Now, its usually just “shut up, Coach knows best”. Unfortunate.
As for your athletes competing in the games… surely a competition for the “World’s Fittest Man & Woman” couldn’t admit to limiting entrants to affiliated athletes, could it? That would mean the games were really only to find the “World’s Fittest Crossfitters”. 😉
Al Towers says
While I am sad that your relationship with crossfit had to end this way, I think it may be for the best. While I am still young, only 19, I started crossfitting in early 2003 with my dad. I did that for a while, but soon turned to olympic lifting full time, and now follow many things(SS/CFFB) with O-lifting as my main goal.
I first became annoyed with crossfit, and there way of handling things, when the Dan John and Mark Twight cases surfaced, and soon stopped reading almost anything to do with crossfit, as I just was not interested in how they operated. It was truly sad to see Rip start to have problems with management, and that was when I lost all hope in crossfit.
I have been following your blog and ideas for a long time, and just LOVE everything you have to say. I think you and many of the other crossfit castaways are WAY smarter/experienced than those guys back at HQ, and are actually willing to evolve your ideas if the evidence is presented. In fact, your blog and all your articles have turned me into a young aspiring Biology major/chem minor, and I some day hope to have as prolific a career as yours, in the same nutrition/performance realm.
I know this was a long post, and some of the ideas may not have come off as well as I had hoped, but I just want to end by saying keep doing what your doing, your extremely intelligent and really trying to help people. Thank you
There is lots of support for Robb on this blog and with the Crossfit community. Beside making comments here everyone should also let Crossfit HQ. hear you voice. If enough people complain they will have to do something about. People have to stick together, tell your friends, and let Crossfit hq know how you all feel. Don’t complain on this board and keep happily spending yours dollars at Crossfit seminars, boycott them.
One of the things that impressed me about you has been how your nutrition info and view has changed with new data. I know you espoused IF for a while and were the IF guru and I believe you were originally thinking about an IF book. You were well-positioned to be the nation’s expert when it came to IF relating to performance and health. Then when the data started to be more muddled and to show that IF on its own wasn’t consistently positive, you were candid about the results and you changed your focus to be more on paleo. You could have ignored the evidence and tried to shout down those who questioned it. Instead you updated your message and focused on what works.
The stuff with HQ and the zone and randomized programming reminds me of a quote:
“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
Diego Centeno says
Robb, upset to hear about what they have done. Sounds like a great opportunity for the entrepreneur. You, John and Cordain can branch off on your own and deal directly with the affiliates and athletes. Sadly it always comes down to money, but the affiliates and athletes are the financial base under HQ. If I know anything about the crossfit athlete is that they won’t put up with crap. I am very curious to see how the plan on run the Nutrition Cert next week in NC which I signed up specifically to come to your lecture.
Wow! Nutz! Come to NYC and let’s grab a coffee. That’s crazy.
Trish Davis says
Robb – I hate that it came down to this. You are an amazing resource and inspiration to the community. Keep on doing what you do, we all appreciate it!
As a longtime CF’er I would like to say I’m surprised. But I’m not. I’ve seen this coming some day. The HQ antics always bothered me, and now with all the money involved, people start showing their true faces.
Its getting to be quite a list of people on the wrong side of the fence now…
When are you coming to Sweden? House, food, beer, on me.
Robb Wolf says
Sweden in the Summer. Still coming!
one question, do you know if HQ reserves the right to change instructors or not? The terms and conditions under which we paid? I seriously want my money back, but am also intrigued to see what they come up with for next weekend. If I figure this out I will let you know. As far as I am concerned, the CF nutrition cert wasn’t a CF branded cert, it was Yours. People go to be taught by you and they associate the “certs” with you. I am seeing more and more ” I was gonna do it but now I am nots” all over twitter.
Robb Wolf says
they have NO provisions for this in their terms and conditions. As far as I an tell this looks like not only a remarkably unprofessional act, it might be a massive breach of contract between the attendees and CF.com
The moral implications of being associated with these people is the reason why I stopped attending the affilate I used to train at. Part of my (extremely high) monthly fee went to CFHQ in the form of the affiliate’s franchise fee, and I couldn’t stand it any longer. If the affiliate would disaffilate, I’d go back.
My, Brother… You are loved!
Robb Wolf says
thanks dude. Mucho appreciated.
So sorry and shocked to hear about all of this. I’m glad I got to see you at a cert (Bozeman) while I could. I wouldn’t be attending if it were somebody else teaching. I’d be pissed I spent $195 and then got a substitute teacher.
You have changed many lives, and since attending your cert, we have changed many lives of the people at our gym. It’s unbelievable. Thank you so much for your commitment to the community.
Clearly a large gap has developed between the practices of the thinking CrossFitters and what HQ prescribes and certain dogmatists find this threatening. Paleo has largely taken over and strength-biased versions are widely recognised as the way to go. This is despite the fact that HQ is extremely reluctant to even discuss these approaches. The rare time they do, there is an appeal to “data” although it is never provided. Minor league stuff.
The thing is, I personally don’t even know anyone who “Zones” any more (I assume Castro does but it doesn’t seem to be doing much for his “hormonal balance”). A quick glance at the CF message board (nutrition section) shows that the “P-word” is dominant. The PM forum has separate sections for Paleo and Zone – Paleo: 3,355 posts; Zone 458 posts (that’s data, HQ). And look how many threads there are on SS and similar on the CF board (fitness section). They are overwhelming.
It’s also true of top level athletes. Basically every competitor at the Games that revealed their training was doing some kind of strength-biased program (or they came from that kind of background), as did the best performers in the affiliate cup. And none of them zoned. Of course, whenever a competitor mentioned doing the mainpage this was celebrated – even after it came apparent that they did extra (strength) work and only used the mainpage for the metcons.
Clearly HQ has a hearing problem. The experience of the CF luminaries who try to improve CF is that HQ doesn’t listen – won’t even discuss it, beyond “this is how do it” and “we have data”. This is apparently a major reason why Rip left. Official CrossFit is barely different from five years ago. Are we supposed to believe that CrossFit just nailed it straight away and no improvements can be made? Clearly a lot of independent people – I mean, “haters” – think otherwise.
I don’t think HQ understands the level of dissent. This is due to their delusion no doubt but also in the way they ensure that criticism can’t be heard. The heavy censorship and rampant spin-doctoring is near-Stalinist. The message board is the worst – interesting discussion is largely prohibited. It is always on the grounds that “it won’t be civil”. Yeah right. Even threads that display minor dissent are locked, nuked before you can say “Lynne Pitts has heavier hands than Andre the Giant”.
Even Greg Glassman has said as much, although naturally he doesn’t intervene or get rid of her. Stalin did the same, sat back and fake-protested the authoritarian methods of the Soviet State but did nothing to prevent it. Glassman talks a big game about openness, debate etc, but he is a bit too clever to hire mediocrites and bureaucrats by coincidence. News flash “Coach”: you’re in charge, if you don’t like it it’s your responsibility to change it. I mean really, Budding is the media guy (I think), Pitts is “moderator” and Castro is training director. Can anyone think of three more inappropriate people?
There is little motivation to offer criticism in official places. Why bother – it will just get deleted, and you will be made persona non grata. There is much to benefit from by being part of CrossFit so many have decided it’s best to keep their heads down. This just serves to reinforce the idea in the minds of HQ that all is swell and the few that do dissent are “haters”. And the kool-aid drinkers agree.
That CrossFit shares characteristics with totalitarian regimes is all too apparent. But totalitarian regimes always stagnate and decay. CrossFit is stuck in 2004 while the rest of us are in 2009. You cannot compete with the free exchange of ideas and you cannot police the whole internet (sorry Lynne). The truth tends to win out in the end.
Lastly, Robb, I’m sure you’ve had to deal with a lot of stress but I think you have every reason to feel good about yourself. And as you can see, everyone is on your side. Apart from Tony Budding (hilarious comment by the way) that is, but I’m sure you’ll get over it.
Robb Wolf says
LOL! amazing post. I’m very happy Tony was one of the first people to post on this and the content is classic considering what he does daily. Interestingly, no other comments from HQ. I’ll OK anything that comes across my board.
Robb, you’ve always be very gracious with information and have given so much of your time to explain your take on a variety of topics from nutrition to performance to business sense. I support you 100% and this entire saga is definitely CrossFit’s loss, not yours.
You have my utmost respect and I appreciate the immense amount of helpful knowledge you have disseminated. I have benefitted greatly from your blog and posts. I look forward to attending your seminars and reading your books, with or without Crossfit association. I am truly disappointed to learn of the arrogance and condescension with which Crossfit would treat its “experts.” It is truly a loss for CF, I hope Glassman can recognize he has the wrong people running his organization. Keep up the good work!
Ben Wheeler says
WOW…they not alone sacked Robb..they jacked the cert price to $249? Whats going on in the world of HQ?
Great article and great presentation in ATL. I support your stance and appreciate man’n up. I am glad that I got into your presentation when I did, it was outstanding and has changed my life. I am already leaner, more energized and of course, a little lighter in the pocketbook. Damn, this food is expensive, but the price to pay for health.
I am going to maintain my affiliation and continue to gain knowledge from all types of sources. With that being said, if you go out on your own I (SPC CrossFit) would like to be one of the first stops on your presentation circuit. I am on the CF wait list, but we would really like to have you present. If you come to our area (Cleveland) it would sell out immediately, guaranteed. Anyways, best of luck and keep changing lives.
Lou Mars says
Here’s what I know: Robb Wolf is a genius and what he says works. I have listened and completed “everything” Robb has asked me to do, both nutritionally and physically. As a result I have dropped from 217lbs to a muscled up 195; from a 38″ waist to a 34″ within less than a 60 day period in-addition to reducing my BMI from 34% to 22%. I can easily run over a mile each morning where before I could barely walk to my mailbox without losing my breath. Now I am poised to take on a World Record.
When Robb talks, I listen; you should too.
–Lou Mars Professional Drummer
Holy SH** Rob!!!! What a load of CRAP. I was at your first nutrition cert in Chico. You are a gift to the community. I have no doubts you’ll land on your feet, but what a grave mistake for HQ.
As a member at Norcal Strength and Conditioning this is really a win/win for me. Not only will you be finishing your book sooner, but now instead of gallivanting all over the country we will hopefully see you and Nicki around the gym more. Not only is Robb’s nutrition knowledge outstanding, but both he and Nicki are outstanding coaches, and the entire membership will benefit from their increased presence=)
On a more serious note I think that it is tragic that this occurred. The summit was a chance for highly respected coaches, athletes and affiliate owners to share their knowledge and experience with other affiliate owners on how to increase their level of success. With such little support coming down from on high about how to successfully operate a business or an affiliate, here was an opportunity affiliates to get better by learning from their peers that have experienced the ups and downs of running a business and the challenge of making it into a success. It is an opportunity for those that have “been there” to help others build successful affiliates and increase the level of excellence throughout the entire Crossfit community. This is something that should have been celebrated by HQ, as it could only have a positive effect on the brand overall as affiliates enacted what they learned and become more successful because if it. But instead it was drug through the mud. All because a few people couldn’t check their egos at the door. So instead of the advancement of excellence, we get cock-blocked by a few knuckleheads, and ultimately the entire community suffers because of it. Hopefully you will continue with the summits, and hopefully you will still receive the support you deserve from those affiliates that want to improve their athletes, regardless of if you are CFHQ backed or not.
Either way you will still be getting my wife and I’s money (really my wifes=( ), regardless of whether you have Crossfit in the name or not.
dave does own a affilate crossfitranch and you guys will be treated with respect by the castro family have a great day
Robb Wolf says
Good to know Kenny, thanks.
Tom Ellison says
Sorry to hear about this, it’s unfortunate. I love the blog, keep it up. I love Crossfit for the ideas it has brought to the table as well as what it has done for me personally. Stuff like this (what little I’ve been exposed to) has bothered me for a while. But this is unacceptable and does a disservice to the incredible potential value Crossfit can and should provide. Jeez, can’t we all just act like adults?
I dropped my affiliation in 2007 over allot of the BS going on. I trully love the bulk of the community, but I can not stand to be in the same room as Castro and Butting. You, Coach B., Rip, John welbourne, Dan John, OPT, Thiel, Lowery are all such monsters in the field that I stayed around and went to some specialty certs because the info was so solid. Booked NC nutrition 100% because I do not have a good grasp on IF and Paleo. I want a refund. If you are ever doing anything on the East please post as I would love to host, or attend. I honesthy think the group at the Black Box is some of the best in all of fitness. I would pay $1000 to get schooled from any of you alone. Rutt stays in Kansas too much and allot of West Coast dudes. I think that this was the direction that CF needed to go in, to follow true leaders with freat data, not mindlesly quote old CFJ info. Rob you are IT in the nutrition field!
This is really shameful behavior. As far as the whole of the crossfit community, there is no one I respect more than Rip and, of course, you Robb. I hope you can perhaps get a lecture/seminar going for this – I really wanted to attend a future cert. Any way, best of luck and I look forward to purchasing your book.
Your blog, affiliate and certification seminar are truly a shining example of what fitness and nutrition coaches should strive to become. Thank you for all you have done for the multitudes of people you teach, both in person and via your internet writings. Loved your Cert (Brooklyn 2008) and looking forward to your book.
I married at 36 and had a daughter at 39. I anticipate living a more active, longer life, God willing, thanks to your teaching. I will have a longer time with my wife and daughter because of your work.
If that’s not making a difference…
Barry Cooper says
I have no inside information outside of what you have provided, and it certainly sounds like Dave indulged himself in a first rate public tantrum. I won’t defend him, without more knowledge.
Nor will I dispute that you are knowledgable, experienced, and a great athlete. You are all of those things, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
At the same time, I suspect there is a larger context. There always has been, where I have been in the loop. For example, in my understanding Mark Twight was going around certifying people in CrossFit, by name, without getting permission. Coach Glassman found out when Mark called him and asked for official certificates. That from Coach’s mouth, and I don’t think he’ll mind me sharing that in this context.
Mark’s a great athlete, but that isn’t kosher. That he got his CrossFittish ideas from Coach Glassman is, as you know, really beyond debate. Prior to his introduction to CrossFit he was doing pretty standard endurance training. That Greg would choose not to endure a lengthy litigation for a paltry sum of money is understandable. Twight isn’t using the CrossFit name, and intellectual property lawsuits are notoriously slippery. He does his thing, and we do our thing.
Since we are clearing the air, I have to ask: why did you leave the first time? I’ve never seen it discussed.
Robb Wolf says
If Mark did something wrong, they should sue him. Period. As an affiliate owner we had to almost threaten HQ with a trademark infringement in our own town. It was a guy who was a former trainer of the glassmans who, get this HAD AN ENORMOUS FALLING OUT WITH THE GLASSMANS! This guy was offering an open to the public certification in “Maximum Output CrossFit”. We were appalled and it took enormous effort to get them to do ANYTHING despite the fact this situation constituted a clear case of abandoned trademark on the part of CrossFit Inc. If you want I will forward you all the emails we had with CF legal to get this through. CrossFit Legal claims it is understaffed and has no resources. Yet Glassman brags about how much his Director of Training, Dave Castro makes. HQ does fuck-all to defend the brand and this started with not pursuing the issue with Twight. So that leaves one of two things (and i have heard some not great stuff myself…like the certs) but it boils down to either:
1-Twight did not steal anything
2-HQ is incompetent in defending the brand and setting a precedence in dissuading people from stealing. As an affiliate owner or prospective affiliate owner if there is inadequate brand protection there is nothing.
That’s that issue. The next issue you need to REALLY consider. Barry, i always liked you but I am still a little pissed at you and feel thrown under the bus when I left crossfit before. You thought it looked shady. What I was trying to do was exit with as little noise as possible so no one else in the community would be affected because if I had dumped what went down I feared what it would do to everyone. Barry, I left in protest for how Greg Glassman treated several people. I left in silent protest hoping to affect change at HQ. Glassman told people I left to join Mark Twight (I have people who would testify to this). And I kept my mouth shut because I knew THIS…this whole fracas would be the result and very possibly the destruction of crossfit. Now Barry, you need but to ask and I’ll do the full Hard-drive dump. All the dirty laundry will come out and at this point it is taking remarkable self control to not just do it. So, this is your call. Would you like to see all that content?
Nick Barbosa says
In the US Navy, I served in two deployments overseas as well as a joint task force with the USCG. During that time I both saw and did things I was both very proud of and extremly disappointed with. After getting into CrossFit I was told that if I had any, ANY, nutritional and sleep questions to check out your blog and attend a cert as soon as I could get to it. I spent $1k on my Level 1 and felt I walked away with a pretty decent amount of knowledge. I spent about half for your cert and not only did you make the material easy for any military man to follow but you personally took time to answer a sleep question related to my PTSD which after implementing it I indeed had and still have many many nights of undisturbed rest. Both myself and the woman that sleeps beside me hoping I don’t wake up in screaming fit thank you. You are a true professional and I will continue learning from you and if ever there is a seminar/cert/presentation where you are a presenter I would gladly fly to(if needed) and happily pay for. Thanks for everything, stick to your guns and you are the F&&%# MAN!!
Wow, sorry to hear this is happening.
I totally support your work Robb. Zone + Paleo has transformed my health. For me both work as a brilliant combination. I am a small female who only works out 2 or 3 times a week, I need the the zone balance and portion control to keep my weight where I want it (slightly lower carb though), and blood sugar probs under control. I need the paleo for my auto-immune issues. As a nutritionist for CrossFit clients I would never knock either, but each person is individual and needs to find what works best for them – and I also need to be open to new ideas. Nutrition is an evolving science. The Zone diet was completely knocked by the nutrition establishment when Sears first introduced it.
Now mainstream dietitians that I heard rubbishing it 12 years ago write articles about how important glycemic load is and that you should have protein at each meal. Joslin diabetes Institute recommends Zone balance.
To keep clinging to any nutrition programme as the absolute truth does not move science forward.
In my practice as a Zone instructor – I saw early on that I did not have the impact on every client’s health as I would have wished. Gut issues were typical, for example. Autistic kids, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, auto-immune issues. So I kept learning and moving forward to try and solve more health problems.
A few years ago I went to a biomedical seminar about treatment for autistic spectrum kids- this started me off on the whole area of gluten and diary issues amongst other things, and I highly recommend these two books as an adjunct to Zone and Paleo:
“Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies” by Kenneth Bock MD
and “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride MD.
My introduction to Paleo through CrossFit when I started working there earlier this year has provided the tools I need to help so many more people. Plus the added benefit of helping my self, gave me a renewed passion for nutrition and it’s effect on health. And the results especially where health is concerned are outstanding. I now use Zone principals, plus Paleo plus selected supplements (always omega 3 and vitamin D).
To have clients tell me the feel so much more energy, sleep way more soundly, have health issues reduce or disappear, and fat fall off is just magic.
I have written to Dave Shrek at Barry Sears office and told him of my success with adding Paleo to the Zone diet. A couple of weeks later he posted this on his website.
Hidden in it “We are not genetically designed to consume grains.”
To me he said – “we’ll keep it in mind”. I do wish they would take it further.
I appreciate your thirst for nutrition knowledge and practice. I have learnt so much off your site, even after years of my own reading and a nutiriton and nursing degree.
When faced with clients your knowledge has really added to me being able to make a difference.
Hopefully you will make it out to New Zealand – I’d love you to do a Robb Wolf Nutrition Seminar here.
Looking forward to learning heaps more off you and reading your book!
Robb Wolf says
More amazing info, thanks girl! I have been invited to NZ. Will get that scheduled when the book is finished.
Sean Jones says
I just received an email from HQ saying the are moving the nutrition cert from your facility to Crossfit Redding. I replied asking for my money back, I will forward you their response.
Good luck in your new endeavors (whatever they may be), you are truely changing the lives of 1000’s of people.
Sean Jones says
One more thing, if you still decide to do the seminar I am in. I would much rather give the $250 directly to you.
Robb Wolf says
We will see how many people are game for skipping the Redding gig and coming to chico. If it’s just you we can see if we can drink $250 of tequila while discussing nutrition.
What I don’t understand how ex-navy seal Castro ever got the position of “Director of Programming” in the first place?
If he programmed the 2009 games, that says a lot of what he knows about programming. It didn’t seem to me to be a “test of fitness” – it was just a brutal physical assault on the body (no, not the same thing). Not to mention it was scored RETARDEDLY and appeared to cut the field needlessly early.
From most of the videos I’ve seen of this guy, he does come across as quite aggressive and well, kind of stupid. As in not very intelligent.
What exactly is his relationship to the Glassmans? I guess they like his ranch.
Robb Wolf says
this has been a long standing head-scratcher. Neither Dave nor Nicole Carrol had ANY experience training people, no education in anatomy or physiology…yet they were the standard-guards for the program? One cert someone asked Nicole if one should emphasize or de-emphasize the eccentric portion of the DL for hypertrophy. She had no idea what the guy was talking about. I’ll bet still does not. I was once more or less the 2nd in command behind the glassmans. I was moved out of that position and other folks into it because I asked too many questions.
CJ Martin of CF Invictus reminded me of a glassmanism: Never have a number 2 who is very bright. Otherwise you will not be able to steer their ambition and eventually they will turn on you. In Dave Castro, I believe Glass man succeeded.
Man, I keep expecting this to hit the Drudge Report any second.
Seriously, Robb, you contributions changed my, and my family’s, lives in amazing and unexpected ways. We love you so much. See you around, out there.
Karen Osburn says
“Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.”
Many people are threatened by change and new ideas. What I find so ironic, is that Crossfit, to me, was totally outside of the box (no pun intended) thinking as far as fitness and health. And check you ego outside the door? I guess this doesn’t apply to everyone….
I have attended a Level 1, Running, and recently Nutrition Cert in Edmonton this year, but will not attend any others after what you have written, Robb. After attending your cert, my health and life (and my husband’s) is so much better, and would LOVE to attend any seminar taught by you in the future. Kudos to you for doing what’s right, we will continue to follow your blog and support your work. Looking forward to the book!
I affiliated earlier this year and will not renew. I requested my link be removed from the affiliate page only a few months after I affiliated because I was alarmed by how business was conducted in forming the RRG. I realized I didn’t want to be associated with a company that used tactics, peer pressure, fear, etc., like those being used to promote the RRG. (All my comments are in the RRG thread in the Affiliate section of the CrossFit message board – the private affiliate board, not the blog.) At the time I didn’t have the money to participate, and frankly, I’m glad I didn’t. I have watched in amazement at the lack of accountability by the RRG staff in giving updates to those who contributed. This is highly unprofessional in my opinion. The unspoken message is when we have something to say, we will say it, otherwise, back the fuck off and leave us alone. When you take people’s money you should regularly provide updates. Of course a venture like the RRG takes time to establish and people should have patience with the process, but people also deserve accountability, frequent updates, and an explanation of what is happening with their money.
I am naive as hell. I’d wanted to believe that I found in CrossFit a group of people that embodied certain values that I shared. I’m a loner in general; I’d prefer not to be, but I don’t have much tolerance for a lot of BS so I’d much rather be alone than pretend to fit in or be someone I’m not. I was hopeful I found a community I could connect with; people who cared about learning, personal growth, and helping other people better their lives. I jumped in quickly (too quickly) because I was eager to form my own business doing something I believed in (I already was ACSM certified, and CrossFit, I thought, was a great way for me to grow a business). I wanted to learn as much as I could about different ways of training people; I had an open mind to all methods. I had the money at the time and figured I should take a chance while I could. I was interested in what worked even if it went against popular opinion and prevailing wisdom because I saw much wrong/questionable in that opinion/wisdom. My first introduction to CrossFit was through early Journal articles. I loved that CrossFit seemed scalable and for people of all ages, fitness levels and abilities. Then I joined the Message board and a whole different view of CrossFit began to emerge. That banner at the games cinched it for me. If that is solely where CrossFit’s value lies, CrossFit is not what I am seeking and is not what I value. I do think CrossFit gets some undeserved criticism. Frankly I don’t see what all the hoopla is over Pukie the clown. Who in the hell in their right mind would seriously have as a goal puking while or after working out? I never took that seriously and I don’t know if I am more amused or horrified that there are those that do. But then again I’ve got a twisted sense of humor, so not much offends me. I do find all that glorifying cut hands silly as hell.
To those who say affiliates should stay and try to improve things, I disagree. Affiliates may be in the business of CrossFit, but CrossFit is not the affiliates business. At the end of the day affiliates do not have control over their business. In the short time I have been involved with CrossFit two things happened that made me realize just how little control I’d have over my future affiliate. One, the fees were suddenly increased without prior warning, two, affiliates were suddenly limited to one box. I am sure there were a lot of affiliates budgeting for their affiliate fees and had in their business model future multiple boxes. Whether there are good/justifiable reasons or not for these sudden changes is irrelevant, the point is that these types of changes can be made without notice or affiliate input. As an affiliate you are subject to decisions completely outside your control. That is concerning to me and the ultimate potential risks are not worth the benefits.
There are a lot of good people involved in CrossFit, but there is a pervasive elitist bullying tone to the main site, affiliate site, journal, and RRG that I think could only persist if condoned by HQ. Reading the boards and responses to questions, seeing how dissent is handled, the way the RRG thing went down, this present situation, etc., helped reinforce my decision that being an affiliate is not for me. I did debate whether I should just stay affiliated and do my own thing like many affiliates do; it was pointed out to me that HQ doesn’t control how affiliates operate (in fact, can’t control it). But this felt disingenuous to me. Perhaps I am a bad business person as well as naive, but if I were to pour my heart and soul into a business I want to genuinely believe in what I am selling and the brand I am selling it under. There are many aspects of CrossFit that resonated deeply with me, but there were others that I could not accept or reconcile without feeling like I was selling out in some way. I also realized that if I did my own programming that there was no need to join the RRG since I would not be doing CrossFit; I concluded the best way to protect myself from a lawsuit as a CrossFit affiliate was to not be a CrossFit affiliate and avoid incurring the added risk. Kinda like the best way to protect against unintended pregnancy is to remain abstinent.
As for the community aspect, I don’t see it. I see much more infighting and snubbing than support. I was reached out to by two affiliates after my comments on the private affiliate section of the board concerning my dislike over the RRG money raising efforts, and I was grateful that they reached out to me. But that is not as common as one would think given all the community talk. A company that truly has the back of affiliates would not promote a business venture that is supposed to protect those affiliates by using language such as “sacrificial lamb.” That was such a turn off to me and completely unnecessary. That is divisive language and revealed a lot that I am unwilling to ignore.
When I affiliated I did so under a DBA since I wanted to protect myself and form a separate business identity in case CrossFit didn’t work out for some reason; I see that was recommended at the Summit and think that is excellent advise. I can see where that advice would be threatening, but it makes perfect sense from an affiliate perspective. Those who have hung their shingle soley on the CrossFit name have no choice but to tow the party line or lose all they have invested and/or be forced to reinvent their brand name. It becomes much harder to dissent the longer you are in and the more you have invested. That’s part of why I decided to admit to myself early I fucked up by affiliating and pull out before I had more to lose and before I invested more time and money. Someone recently on the private affiliate board was asking about why some affiliates fail and not renew. I considered sharing the reasons I won’t renew, but frankly, I’m done and don’t want to invest any more energy into stating my position on the CrossFit affiliate board. I do so here because I do want to share my view (perhaps vent a bit) and I think under the circumstances this is a better venue.
So I am out $2,000.00 ($1,000 for L1 and $1,000 affiliation fee), but I look at it as a hard business lesson in what not to do. It has also helped me clarify for myself the type of business associations I want and what I am willing to compromise on and what I’m not. It’s been a good exercise in discerning double standards/duplicity/denial and in watching various aspects of human nature in action. Live and learn.
Leeny Hoffmann says
Like everyone else, I am shocked and saddened by the news of a fallout. My question is: Where has civility gone? Why does it have to turn into an obscene shouting match? If there’s something to debate, then debate it! But let’s be respectful toward each other in the name of a healthy debate. That’s what bothers me the most about the way Dave Castro behaved in this situation. You will always be a huge influence on many of us in this fitness community and the contributions you’ve made are huge. You da man!
Mark Riebel says
I just wanted to offer my thanks and support for you. It was priceless spending time with you at the BBS this past weekend picking your brain on all of the technical nuances of nutrition. Your blog and the info you put out regularly has been an incredible help to all of us who value our health and the health of our clients. It’s truly HQ’s loss with your dismissal, but I know that you and Nicki will do nothing but thrive in the time to come. Keep up the great content, and if you ever wander down to San Antonio, you’re welcome to come throw around some weights anytime.
Robb Wolf says
Fantastic hanging out with you. When you get done with school you need to come hang in chico for a bit.
Tyler from FFT says
You did the right thing Robb. I know I don’t know you or haven’t posted before, but I follow your stuff and believe you and I are on the same page. Rock on brother.
Rob Silver says
More comments on this post then the current mainsite wod. Should show you something about the people behind you Robb. Thanks for all the information you have given on everything!
For anyone who is signed up for a nutrition cert in the future: Crossfit HQ seems to be refunding anyone who is upset that Robb will no longer be in charge of the nutrition certs. I just got a full refund. : )
Robb Wolf says
good to know, thanks for the information.
Greg Halmi says
this is all very unfortunate. i thought dave castro was a navspecwar guy and i had a lot of respect for him for that. i have learned a lot from your blog and harp on my fellow cadets to eat quality food and not be psychotic about weighing and measuring. i hope coach comes out and personally addresses this situation, there is so much good that can come out of crossfit. perhaps it is time for crossfit to have its own “protestant revolution” so to speak. I look forward to reading your book.
Robb, I hope you will consider staying on as an affiliate.
You have made huge contributions to this community and you will be surely missed.
I also think you can still be part of the solution.
Reading your’s & Nicki’s blogs are some of the things that helped drive me to affiliation. When I first did your cert a year ago I had no plans to affiliate. Seeing all the great changes you have made in others lives is inspiring.
Please stay on and continue to help us to help others.
Well hell, I am signed up for a cert next weekend! I’ve e-mailed HQ about getting a refund because I signed up for this specifically because it was going to be you. I will be anxiously awaiting your book and looking forward to attending a nutrition seminar actually taught by YOU when you get back online with that.
dan thacker says
This is all concerning to say the least. How on earth could any organization tolerate the actions and words of Dave Castro? There is no excuse. Tony, you should have come up with something better. In fact, why comment if you obvioulsy weren’t there to witness the events? As a trainer I have been taught to never stop learning and to be open minded to new ideas. HQ seeks professionals in every aspect of what we do yet will not let them teach outside of “the Master Plan?” HQ is becoming one huge letdown.
Hey Rob —
I’ve been reading your blog from day 1 and greatly respect the work you’re doing. I wish you every success and will be buying your book.
However, you knew full well what Glassman was like when the Twight/Dan John debacle went down. You and Greg went back into the fold to get on the Cert gravy train, and only left when you were publicly humiliated by Goering-lite. I understand why you did what you did, but you should have spoken out and taken a stand years ago.
Robb Wolf says
I have to agree. I honestly do feel like I affected a TON of positives being in CF. Nearly every cert I did people would tell me about infertility issues resolving, reversing autoimmunity…all the folks chiming in here, so in fairness my efforts have helped a lot of people. It does not excuse me from associating with these people though. Not when I know all I know. In this you are right and I am guilty as charged. Speaking out would have resulted in my ejection from the program, but that was an inevitable thing anyway.
I appreciate the comment and take the kick to the chops.
CF HQ had better heed their own warning of Survival of the Fittest; it doesn’t just apply to affiliates…
I have seen video of Castro’s temper tantrums (any relative in Cuba?), have experienced the overly officious affiliate scrutiny of Lisbeth, and watched as prices have climbed for affiliation fees, certs, etc ($46 T-shirts? $30 water bottles? Prada and Gucci it is not, it is supposed to be functional workout wear and gear, not fashion accessories for Pete’s sake). And now we have the burden of CF Kids and a mandatory certification. Great business plan.
One would think the popularity of CF would have kept the prices in check (but apparently not the egos), but just the opposite has happened. Not a good trend at all.
Sadly, most affiliate coaches, me included, will not publicly take this issue on, as we would be treated as shabbily as you were, and become outcasts in our own community.
So props to you, brother, for standing tall. You’re a better man because of it.
Rob Silver says
haha, my post on the mainsite: “i love these, we need more MEBB like this” was censured out. seems that they dont even like a slight mention of a strength bias on their comments now
That is terrible behavior. I too find it funny that Tony Budding’s first reaction is “i wonder how long until it gets deleted.” If that isn’t indicative of a certain mindset.. I posted some questions a few weeks ago on crossfit.com and was censored. The “open source” claims are a joke. I’m so mad that I paid $1,000 for a level 1 cert. Honestly, I really didn’t learn much, but I was banking on the community evolving and growing and my being a part of it (thats where the multilevel marketing suspicions began to sneak in). That doesn’t look like it will happen now. I can say that everyone who has attended your cert, and I know many, has spoken very highly of it and you. Perhaps your site may evolve into a place which will be truly “open source” and not as fascist, i.e. not just nutrition but the whole of exercise. Like a wikipedia for exercise. Also, if anyone remembers my posts, and has any answers, that would be great too. Keep up the great work Robb, i will be buying your book. I’m going with Robb, to quote Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Herm Blancaflor says
Robb, I have the same sentiment as your supporters. I’m not sad to see you leave the CF Certification staff, but rather I’m sad to see such problems at CFHQ.
I’m the owner/blogger of the FRAT Paleo Challenge, and not only do we try to eat and perform better through Paleo and CrossFit.com WODs, but I also tend to use my own programming when it makes sense. What I do there is what was known as CrossFit. Now, I’m not so sure anymore. Not because I question my own lines of thinking, but rather I question my interpretation of what CrossFit (as an organization and what CF stands for) is.
Unfortunately, this ordeal has me thinking twice about being directly tied to the CrossFit name. I feel a bit betrayed by CFHQ.
First of all, this sucks. There’s a huge community of people that love your work and will continue to love it, regardless of what CFHQ says or does. If anything, when it comes to nutrition, CFHQ has it backwards — ’twas YOU who gave THEM credibility — not the other way around.
Also, anyone who has watched “Every Second Counts” (which I enjoyed) has seen Dave Castro’s rude temper and lack of professionalism on film. It was so obvious in ESC that I went out of my way to explain to my wife, who has only been CrossFitting the past few months, that his behavior and attitude aren’t typical of most CF athletes and trainers.
Chris Brown says
I shot you an email too. You’ve been so hopefully and open with your nutrition info and how you run NorCal. You have my utmost respect and I look forward to our continued relationship.
Chris Dunkin says
Just wrapping up our second “Paleo Challenge” tomorrow. The first one resulted in the winner (Ryan Clark) shedding 7% body fat in 30 days. Ryan went on to set a huge PR on Fran at his Level 1 cert a few weeks ago (4:43).
Looking forward to the result tomorrow. Thanks for the information and help you have provided me, my family, and your growing local community.
Strong Lil Pony! says
Robb- I’m sorry that you’re going through this- but I imagine on some level you must feel relief.
Thank you for all that you’ve done, you’ve touched countless people- far more than you’ll ever know. You inspired the main site’s subculture FRAT to begin a Paleo Challenge that has changed the lives of all involved. Goat and I will continue to mine your site for info and gladly attend any seminars you put together. You have a real gift- thank you again.
PS- post rhabdo I’m now 100% better- renal tubules finally clear 🙂
Greg Battaglia says
Things will work out in your favor due to your continual honesty and generosity to the CF community. I’m glad more people are seeing how ridiculous HQ actually is. I’ve always likened HQ’s authoritative attitude to the attitude I experience with the American Dietetic Association and it’s committed cronies: They’ve decided their stance on certain things, and REFUSE to budge regardless of valid evidence that opposes their position. Hang in there!
Wow, pathetic display from HQ. What can one say, Robb, you will be successful as you have a proven track record regardless of what the dorks at HQ say.
Why the hell is that asshole Castro in charge of anything? He doesn’t have a clue and has a HUGE ego. Same with Budding, his coaching videos in the CFJ are hilariously awful.
I definitely feel for you. I think that from where you sit, things are extremely unfair. And I’m totally taken aback by how Dave acted. However, I’m not sure about the whole “moral implications” thing. The question I have is this: if you are conflicted about the morality of a continued affiliation to CF, is this because you think there are “bad” people running it, or that the people running it are doing something morally blameworthy.
Because if it is the former reason, that there are some shitty people in HQ, but the program is a good one, I don’t see the moral trouble with that. There are shitty people doing lots of things, but that doesn’t necessarily corrupt those endeavors. However, if you think Crossfit itself has become a lost cause, I’m wondering what in particular has gotten worse about it.
Robb Wolf says
It’s the people, but that has also built into the programming. No evolution, no self analysis. But I’m mainly talking people.
Alex S. says
I had the opportunity to have dinner with you and Mat when you were here during the back to back cert’s in Boston, MA. I found you two to be wonderfully spoken, well read, and thoughtful individuals. Your certification seminar was by far one of the best one’s I’ve attended (your’s and Mr. Starrett’s seminar). Since your certification in June I have gone completely Paleo and have never felt better in my life.
Of anyone in the CF community, your knowledge and insight have made the biggest and most positive impact on my life. I have never felt better since doing what you preach on a consistent regular basis.
Thank you for what you do. Your success is a testament to how much you love what you do and how great at it you are. This is very upsetting and I hope that you come out of this a better coach and human being. Thanks again brother!
JIm P. says
Robb, this story is unbelievable. You are truly one of the best trainers that I’ve ever met. I’ve personally benefitted enormously from your cert and your blog.
You are an extraordinary asset to the Crossfit community. If Crossfit HQ doesn’t change its position, it will be a huge loss for everyone.
When Coach Glassman spoke to over a thousand U.S. military officers at Ft. Leavenworth this year, he said that your cert was, in his opinion, the most important specialty cert a Crossfit athlete could attend. I agree with this and would add that your website and your submissions to the journal are further proof of your dedication and value to Crossfit.
You deserve much better treatment than this. Your contributions to the community can’t be measured. I’m sure I’m one of many that can say that my life has been changed for the better because of your efforts.
For what its worth, I’ll continue to support you and your excellent work, with our without Crossfit. I’m embarrassed and angry that Crossfit HQ would treat its best in this way.
Robb, If it works better, than why not do it that way. You are loved by many. Keep up all the good work brother.
I attended your cert in Woodinville, WA back in the summer, and have followed the blog ever since. Thank you for all that you do.
Hey Robb you don’t have to post the comment I’m about to make, but it made me chuckle.
Robb Wolf says
It was good. I posted it for a minute clay.
Please start your own Nutrition Curcuit! I’ll be in attendance at the first one!
Well, Robb. I know from experiencing the very start of your Crossfit Career in Chico, that you were going to be gold. After reading that, I am almost in awe that they would allow someone who conducts themselves in such a manner to even work at any-sort of company. Your a great guy, who has taught me many things that have made my life better. Don’t let this get you down, you are and always will be an icon in my eyes in the world of true fitness.
I remember you once said to me “We put the fit back in fitness”, the idea stuck with me.
You’re a great guy, don’t let this get you down.
Good to see you back in the reality-based community.
Too bad it had to go down like this.
I’ve told you before, that Tony is a serious piece of work. I’ve never experienced a person be so sociopathic in their business dealings, so quickly… most loonies can keep a lid on it for at least two or three emails, but this guy was flat out bananas.
I’ve never had the chance to personally interact with Castro, but I will never forget a conversation that I overheard between him and Glassman, when I took my Level 1…. many moons ago. It had to do with Iraqi insurgents, and comparing them to cockroaches… It was so disturbing that I thought for sure I had heard wrong. A few years of paying attention to Glassman’s whacked-out ramblings on politics and foreign affairs confirmed it, though.
I am SOOOO glad I had to give up my CrossFit gym… Being out of the cult has been really good for me, and I’m sure it will be good for you.
Welcome back to the dark side!
ken c says
hate to see the family fights get so public (not your blog post. the seminar drama). i’m a fan of yours. good luck in whatever you decide to do next. you’re too bright not to do well.
Robb, I was shocked to read your recent blog, not just from the sheer lack of professionalism that you encountered, but also for the economic fallacies within what was discussed at the Black Box Summit. While I am not an expert in gym management, I have worked in sales and marketing for 8 years and have a MBA in Finance. The sole purpose of creating a brand is to build brand equity. Brand equity does not occur overnight; established brands such as Nike, Starbucks, and Mercedes were cultivated over years of consistent, solid business practices that were highly managed and cultivated. Take the Starbucks example, CEO Howard Schultz has been quoted as saying that he wants every customer to have the same customer experience whether you are at Starbucks in Seattle, WA or Dubai. The sole purpose of franchising from the franchisor standpoint is that they can grow rapidly, while keeping their brand integrity and equity, but not have to manage the day to day operations of each location. From the Franchisee standpoint, they get to automatically link with established brand equity. Think of the lines you saw outside Starbucks everywhere as they grew rapidly earlier this decade. The reason they beat the store next door was the consistency and the quality of their product. You knew what you were getting for $4 at Starbucks, whereas trying Local Joe’s did not have the same appeal. As Starbucks has announced wide store closures and has begun to reduce their operating costs, the same CEO Howard Shultz, admitted that they had lost their Starbucks customer experience. As they grew rapidly, they were unable to maintain the consistent standards that produced their brand quality. (There is Harvard Business Review Case Study on this and several articles about their brand equity).
My Crossfit experience has been good and I am truly blessed to have been coached by you, Greg Everitt, Mark Rippitoe, Rob McBee, Craig Parcells, and Scott Hagnas. You have independently established your brand equity, but have also benefited from the ties to Crossfit and its popularity. If Crossfit wants to survive in the fitness community, it will have to regulate quality both of its affiliates and its trainers. For example, all other fitness accreditation systems require recertification (while this alone won’t make them a better trainer as least there is check in place to regulate knowledge). As new information floods the marketplace, you can’t rely on trainers and affiliates are absorbing that knowledge and incorporating it appropriately into each facility. One valid business concern of all affiliates should be this lack of regulation. If anyone can start an affiliate and train athletes and it is not up to par, then it dilutes the overall brand equity of Crossfit. It may also turn someone off that could potential incorporate this type of training towards making meaningful fitness and diet changes in their life. As part of being an ‘open source’ community, we should value differences in opinion and challenge the status quo. This is how the brand gets better, maintains its integrity and equity, and ultimately, how the brand could thrive. One might say, well 24 Hour Fitness maintains some level of consistency from franchise to franchise and they are not growing at the same rate as Crossfit. For one, 24 Hour Fitness attracts a different client base than Crossfit and number two it is hard to argue with the membership these gyms have achieved; however their demise is more due to their inability to evolve and not hold high standards. In addition, to their high operating costs with the inability to charge more than a mere $25/month. The trainers at 24 Hour Fitness are more concerned with how many sessions you sign up for as opposed to the sincerity of getting people fit that I see in most Crossfit gyms. My point in all of this is that Crossfit has to regulate their business to maintain high standards or the overall brand suffers. This is a disservice to the men and women like yourself that help build value in the brand, only to have it torn down by someone who cannot hold the same training standard. There should be flexibility in how each facility brands itself, this helps encourage building your own brand equity; however, you suffer any time any affiliate does not maintain the same quality that a gym like NORCAL Strength and Conditioning does.
The other argument that there are many Starbucks in the same location is a poor comparison. For example, the classic franchise system gives business owner protection against competing against itself. This also allows the franchisor to charge a premium for this business protection. Since Crossfit is not a business of this same scale, it is difficult to even make an analogy. I do know in my personal experience having multiple affiliates in one location doesn’t necessarily help the athletes or the affiliate owners. Often it is someone that gets a little capital, slaps the Crossfit brand on their gym, and starts/continues training clients. The quality of their Crossfit and training knowledge is highly variable and inconsistent. If I had experienced Crossfit in a gym without a good trainer and system, then I could have very well tried out, never to walk into a facility again. This is the key potential danger with not regulating the gyms and having some geographic control. The brand suffers in the local market due to the potential variability and inconsistency.
If Crossfit wants to avoid the fate of Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, and a host of other failed franchises, then it will have to have better business practices that focus on keeping the brand equity. Instead the current business model looks more like a Ponzi scheme; we will take your money no matter the level of quality…just send the checks! More affiliates = more dollars…Short term gain, but poor long term strategy.
Robb Wolf says
Hell of an analysis dude. and I cannot agree more.
Paul Kirk says
Just wanted to add one more voice of support. My wife and I were lucky enough to have you as a level 1 instructor in Baltimore and attend your nutrition cert at Cherry Point AFB. You sat and talked with us for 35 minutes about the business side of fitness. We were on the cusp of joining the rush to affiliation and your advice was to take our time and experience everything. We have held off but, were planning on affiliating for the satrt of the new year. HQ’s response to this situation will play a big role in that decision. Thanks for all that you have done and continue to do.
Paul & Dawn
The nutrition cert will not be the same with out you. Danny and I support you and the information you give. We appreciate all that you have done and are sad that things have turned out this way. We send you nothing but blessings and peace for your future.
Jordan and Danny
I’m a spectator and really have not contributed anything to the community as a whole. I’m not a smart guy and have basically leached from the main site forums since 2006 (and later, your blog). When I first started out, I was looking for an answer to my high cholesterol “problem.” I found CrossFit through the nutrition side of the house. I was eating vegan at the time because animal foods were causing my “problem.” Anyhow, for weeks I read your posts in the forum at the main site and decided to jump full Paleo soon after. I also started with the WODs.
In the years since, I’ve applied the information that I soaked from you and other “old school” forum members. All I can say is that it’s worked. As grandma used to say, “The results praise the man.” My results are largely a direct result of your knowledgeable and generous contributions. After almost four years of following the Paleo diet, I think I am “senior” enough to offer you praise.
Concerning the main site, I’ve been trying to talk my coworkers (cops) into making the switch. Slowly but surely, several friends started the main site WOD’s or some variation. While I am happy to see their fitness develop, I’ve been embarrassed by some of the developments in the forums, which I think are just shite at this point. The topics used to be interesting and full of information. I can’t say the same anymore. I saw the decline, your exit, and the exodus of the “old school” contributors. Very sad. Steven is still there swinging the bat and so is Jay C., but it’s gotten rough. I can’t get enough of those guys, but the general trend is crap. I think the trend is bleeding over into the business side of the house. Getting rid of Ripp and you is an example of extremely poor management.
One thing you pointed out years ago was the importance of having a strength base before taking on the main site WODs. I took into consideration your comments and used your “black box” idea for increasing strength last winter. The results were immediate (I used strength, metcon, strength, off). My benchmark WODs shot through the roof once I completed a six week cycle. Keeping with that idea, I’ve recently switched to CFFB and couldn’t be happier with the programming. Particularly the results of the workouts plus the Paleo diet. I’m CFFB + Paleo for good. F portions. I eat clean and chow like a horse. Results are praising the man again and the numbers are coming on strong.
Keep at it, Robb. My hopes are that HQ sees their error, admits, corrects, and moves forward. If not, you have a buttload of support from other leaches like me. We’ll keep supporting you no matter your affiliation.
CF sucks. I have been against it for a long time. ignorant yet believe its all knowing. At onetime it was good, but CF is DEAD! CF Corporate lives!!!
I am a cross-training instructor, kettle bell cert. trainer (not CF certified), cert. Personal Trainer, Krav Maga instructor.
I do O-lifting, some basic gymnastics, parkour, KB, MMA, KM, CKM, Blauer, Wagner, run, climb, jump, hip hop dance, and I’m sick of people saying oh you do CrossFit just cause I push myself more then the people in the average gym setting. CF does me!
People, follow good nutrition! Follow good, hard, fast workouts! focus on technique and form! Do every kind of training you can, but you don’t have to be a “part of a bigger community”, seriously, you need friends? Family don’t like you? I have eaten clean since I was 19, gone in fitness comps, played sports, competed against others, myself and clocks! I don’t need to feel a part of the CF community or any other one. I like being a lone wolf in the fitness world, some come for the ride with me, others stare.
Robb, be happy. I don’t know you, don’t know much about you. Why did it take this long to see the shit that is CF for you? You seem to be a smart guy. Now that you’re not in CF, maybe one day I’ll have you come to my place and give a seminar.
Joel B. says
I seek excellence, and want to be around/surrounded by excellence. That is one of the reasons I love following the information you put out. I am glad I got to attend your seminar last summer in Woodinville. However, I feel like the new Robb Wolf seminar will be better and I wish I had waited for it! I should have known…
I don’t personally know any of the parties involved. But as a guy that is not an affiliate, just by reading main site and some of the involved affiliate sites and resources for some time, it seems pretty clear to me who I would cast my lot with.
You da man, Robb! Keep up the good work.
The videos of you and Greg Everett have been chopped off to only be 4 minutes long, so everything that happened wasn’t shown. Bets on who helped edit those? *cough*Tony Budding*cough*
I keep hearing the word community in these posts and to us outside of CFHQ it is a community, but to CFHQ it is highly profitable business. Maybe CFHQ doesn’t want to franchise their business because it will make CFHQ have legal obligations to their affiliates?
By only offering affiliation, CFHQ gets it affiliates to feed the HQs cash w/o being obligated to help the affiliate. Sweet set up if you ask me and people wonder CFHQs crushes all dissent?
In other words, I think this business model is set up to make tons of money for the HQ at the expense of the affiliates.
Anyway, I can’t wait to buy your book and look forward any seminar you may hold outside of the so called CF Community .
Robb, sorry to hear about what had happened and at a summitt of all places. I read one of Gregg’s articles that ruffled some feathers, but I did agree with him on a couple of things. But, it is very unfortunate that everybody had to witness everything. I hope that your replacement is as good as you, but for now, I need to head over to the journal site and download all of your vids. Take care and the best of luck to you in your endeavors.
Wow, too bad Dave C is manifesting like this. I knew something dark was going on when Rip & Coach B. were not reviewing DQs with the judges at the 2009 Games … subject matter experts should be active advisors. Good Wisdom can take criticism, actually welcomes it.
We can be our best coach, or our worst enemy … our choice. (me)
“Ruin and recovering are both from within.” – Epictetus
“Every dictatorship has ultimately strangled in the web of repression it wove for its people, making mistakes that could not be corrected because criticism was prohibited.” – Robert F. Kennedy, 1925 – 1968
I can’t wait to see these videos.
I don’t see how any of this is surprising to anyone who paid any attention to CrossFit HQ in the past. I removed myself from the community over a year ago due to this type of hypocrisy and close-mindedness. Robb, you have the ability to do your thing without CrossFit’s “certs”. For that matter, I’m shocked anyone continues to affiliate with HQ as there is no benefit in doing so. A good trainer and facility can stand on their own and it makes no sense when you consider there is this “open market” garbage they continue to spew, and the fact that there is no continuity to most affiliates anyway.
I’m sure there will be many more people associated with CrossFit stepping down in the future and most of them will be better off because of it.
Two additional things: 1. I have e-mailed Greg Everett in the past and he was nothing but professional, friendly and helpful in every way. The guy’s a badass and the way he handled himself speaks volumes about him.
2. CrossFit didn’t invent this type of training, they just branded it. People have been doing most of this stuff forever…and the things they didn’t do was because they were ineffective and ridiculous in the first place.
Good for your Robb, let’s hope more follow your example.
Britney Spears says
Robb Wolf says
Thanks Britney. You have always been HAWT!
Hate to hear about this but honestly not amazingly surprised. Met you in Atlanta, and it was great to pick up some of the science behind nutrition that makes sense when you look at it from any perspective. There is much to be said for being able to say what you want without censorship, especially when when the information is put out there to help people help themselves. Be well!
Bad news is Robb is not doing the certs any more. Good news is Robb will have more free time to provide us with comprehensive literature on his thoughts and more OPEN SOURCE thoughts on his blog.
P.S. Are Pringles 10 or 12 chips per block?
Guess what is the Number One Thread on the Nutrition CF forum?
Well it is “paleo change your life in 30 days” with 874 replies and 59,478 views and counting.
And the top zone thread, well I gave up after checking the top one hundred threads. Maybe the cream does rise to the top!!!
Robb Wolf says
Steve- Everyone knows paleo is pseudo science. How can that be a top thread on the message board.
Grady and Carla Mac says
You guys are the greatest. With you all the way.
Robb Wolf says
Love you guys. Miss you guys.
Cash Reynolds says
awwww shit I hope a political schism doesn’t result in most of us having to make painful, sub-optimal choices between excellent sources.
Also, I now fear I’m going to have to pay more to attend YOUR nutrition cert. Like maybe I failed to get while the gettin’ was good. I hope that all your endeavors succeed so that you can continue to provide your nutrition certs, and life will keep just getting better and better for all of us!
Where is your RRG money? Indeed.
I don’t care about all of the other stuff, but I take this as a personal attack on my integrity. Your welcome for the hours I spent running down the rogue person in Chico who you wanted to stop advertising CrossFit. Shall I just invoice you for the hours or was that okay for CF HQ to do on your behalf?
I have met with the Beazley Syndicate re-insurers from London last week to ensure we have authority to conduct our claims administration as we see fit for the RRG. We are waiting for Montana’s Department of Insurance to clear us to start issuing policies. Many of the other 50 states will drop within weeks of Montana’s license being issued. CF HQ paid for all of this upfront, despite the RRG being affiliate owned, with HQ providing its own fair sure of the funding for the RRG, as well.
Robb, whatever happened with you, Dave, and Greg – hey, I wasn’t there. You all have a history that precedes me, but my question is this – how much did you make as a result of CF providing you the nutrition gigs? Are you telling me you would have had such an audience but for CF? If you’re so above CF, then why don’t you give back every red cent you ever made on your nutrition certs and walk away? Do your own thing.
What I hear is a guy who wants to reap the benefits of the CF brand, but throw rocks at it from behind some wall of being “above it all”. You know exactly how to contact me because you had no problem doing so when you needed HQ’s legal help.
Robb Wolf says
I appreciate the update. More an attempt at humor, so sorry if that felt like a personal attack.
I made great money doing the CrossFit Nutrition Certs. I also made HQ a ton of money providing content and some of the best coaching they had in their whole organization. In the first couple of years I frequently answered upwards of 90% of the questions on the message boards and front page (easy to take a gander at and verify). Dozens of Level 1 certs I was introduced as “integral to the brand and a co-developer”. I feel I’ve added sufficient sweat-equity to the brand to justify the returns I’ve seen.
And Dale, this is a key thing to keep in mind here: I’ve NEVER been above CrossFit. I’ve helped thousands of people. On the day Dave was making an ass of himself I was researching how to help a girl who is prominent in the community…who has advanced melanoma. Yea, Dale, I’m above it all. What has happened is a running battle with HQ over standards and quality. They want NO input and repress attempts at change. So, if you can show me some example of how I’ve been above this community I served I’d love to see that. Just one example would be illustrative. Now if by profiting you mean that I have done other things besides crossfit it’s ironic that this is a problem but the Garage Gym and other entrepreneurial endeavors are not.
if the RRG thing was a pot-shot I honestly apologize. And I AM grateful for the help with the ass-hat in chico. When all that was going down I was at it with Greg about him saying my work was psuedo science…I was so frustrated by that the trademark deal was just infuriating. If I mischaracterized that I’m sorry.
Robb, First off as i had previously talked to you today, we at Crossfit 4800 in Bozeman MT are 100% behind you. You have provided an invaluable service to the community and have been chucked under a bus by HQ beacause you had the balls to give your scientifically backed message. Dave Castro has done nothing but show his ass in this whole episode. (hey Dave have another rockstar and tell everyone how bad you are!.) I would expect more from someone that has served at his level. Also i am saddened to see people scared to reveal their affiliation. HQ are not gods, who cares they cannot take your birthday away folks!. We have dedcided to not renew our affiliation and will continue to train people as before and strive to be better without crossfit. It will work and we will excel. We will seek out advice and guidance from those that push the envelope and give unbiased information in the pursuit of exellence! We have chosen our side of the fence and will stand by it. I urge others to do so also.
Andy Petranek says
Hey Robb – well, I have always maintained that our primary function as coaches is to be excellent communicators – regardless of the subject or the message… that you are. Your nutrition cert and paleo message you deliver to our community is tremendously valuable and I’m sure you’ll find a way to continue to deliver it (can’t keep the good shit held down or under). I look forward to seeing what comes out of you in this next chapter… and am truly sorry that things had to do down the way they did in Austin. My hope is that it will lead to some sort of communication breakthrough at CFHQ – for the sake of the entire CF community. In any case, you will land on both feet (you already have in my book)… keep on doin’ what you do – looking forward to great stuff from you in the months and years to come!
Robb Wolf says
thanks. It would be a miracle to get anywhere with HQ but I can always maintain a little hope. You guys run a kick-ass operation, always look to you for experience and guidance.
O’h man. Even though your counter point was excellent, what are you doing arguing with Barry Cooper. Your intelligence is light years beyond his. He isn’t worth your effort on typing. We all know the “left” made you do this…well at least Barry knows this. Like I said earlier… For a bunch of Libertarians they sure do have the Communist Dictator thing down pretty good. Thanks for all the life enriching info Robb!
WTF? Well I promise this you will have much more long term success then the “Money Hungry” folks at HQ! I see this whole thing being the best thing that could of happened for you and your future. Keep doing what your doing we are all behind you. Thanks for all your help and knowledge!
Bill Strahan says
Well crap! My wife, the owner of the Crossfit gym I workout in, and myself were all excited to be coming to your cert in Chico in January. Then my wife shows me an email that says you won’t be giving it, and it’s moved to Redding.
I was also registered for the mobility cert same weekend, but they haven’t mentioned if that’s moved to Redding or not. Who knows?
Regardless, if you’ll offer your own cert the same weekend, count me in. CF has a lot to offer, but I have no interest in having the Zone preached to me, and certainly not paying for same. Sure, it was fun when I did 16 blocks of nothing but egg whites and ice cream for several days and lost weight, but thanks in large part to you I’ve moved on to a paleo apprach.
Please please please offer your own cert the same weekend. Even if the mobility cert is in Redding, we’ll find a way to your location on the other day that weekend!
Emily Maisannes says
I consider myself fortunate to have attended your cert at CF Fairfax back in May. The cert is all about taking this tangled mess of science and emotion (yep, food has a very strong emotional component) and making sense of it so coaches can impart a workable daily plan on their athletes. Sure, there are other experts out there on this or that aspect of nutrition, but you have a unique solution that is adaptable to Average Joe to turn him from a couch potato to a formidable athlete.
Part of what makes CF such a powerful methodology is two things: it takes the best of everything and it coaches the entire person. Part of finding the best is to hear dissident voices rise above the chatter telling about new successes with a sound foundation in science and application. We don’t know everything there is to know about the human body. New discoveries are made every day. The second part about coaching the entire person is that CF isn’t just about coaching while the athlete has a barbell in his hands. Most other plans out there give a weight routine and a two week computer generated meal plan with a $500 grocery list. How is that going to work in the long term?
I know you will always be part of the CF community, even if your seminars are no longer deemed “certifications”. Do you have a timeline for your book yet? I can’t wait to read it!
I’m fairly new to your blog, but I’ve admired your perspective. Your honesty, openness, experience, and education make your opinions on nutrition valid. I was looking forward to a Crossfit Nutrition cert because I wanted to learn from people of your caliber. I won’t be attending any cert from people that think craptacular food quality weighed and measured is more ideal for an athlete than food quality. I most certainly will not be giving my money to people that cannot be open-minded enough to hear and accept that other opinions exist. I hope you offer your own cert.
The thing I don’t think HQ gets about crossfit is that it’s bigger then them. It’s bigger than all of us. I will always respect Coach Glassman as the inventor of crossfit just as I’ll always be grateful to the inventors of football and basketball, but one of the most amazing things about sports is their transcendent quality.
With or without HQ we will all still head out to our garages and our neighborhood gyms and play this sport of fitness. And as each of us tries to push ourselves and one another toward excellence – the game too will excel… it will evolve. To think that any one person or group has power or control over this is an illusion. The goal of an illusion is to trick people into believing that what they’re seeing is real. All it takes for the illusion to be broken is for one person to see it for what it really is and to spread that message. The illusion lasts because we’ve allowed it to last.
I believe there are many of us starting to see it for what it is now. I also believe that most of us have been so grateful for the gift of crossfit, that we’ve been more then willing to jump through the hoops put into play by HQ. But now people have stopped jumping and have started looking around and noticing the illusion – and one by one they’re getting ridiculed, muted, shoved out, pushed aside. One person isn’t a danger, but if that person has the chance to show others what’s happening then the illusion dies… power dies… control dies… the money dies… Crossfit™ dies… and all of that, of course, is to be resisted at all costs.
HQ… and ultimately… Coach… You have given us something that all of us are beyond grateful for, but show us that you’re in this for our good as much as yours. Show us that you have our best interests at heart. Show us that truth and excellence matter more then deals and big names and money. Show us courage and leadership and integrity. Show us something that we can be proud to stand behind and call our own. Show us that you’re better then what’s being presented right now. Show us that Crossfit™ is better then what’s being presented right now. Show us the heart that was present so many years ago… when crossfit was just a blue screen and a pure means towards elite fitness.
Emily Maisannes says
Oh, and on a much more personal note, I was fortunate enough to have been Amanda’s roommate before she moved to CA. I love that girl fiercely and am truly grateful for your personal interest in her case.
Robb Wolf says
Thanks Emily. We have all of our heads together on that. We will figure it out.
Damn now Dale Saran is trying to kick your nuts. They have sent out the heavy hitters. Dale , where is my RRG money? When is the $200 I spent several months ago going to show me a ROI?
Thanks for everyone’s support Mr & Mrs MAC we miss you! Hope all is well, and thank you so much for your support.
Always love me some Britney 😉
the youtube video posted above is priceless. Keep up the great work Robb! can’t wait for the book!
Robb, I am very sorry to hear about this situation eventhough I am not surprised. It seems to be HQ’s way, or the highway. My wife and I will be following you and your blog as we have been since we found it. I am glad I got to meet you at my level one and perhaps you will continue to hold seminars which we can attend. I have lost another chunk of respect for Crossfit.
Good luck and keep up the good work.
Keep up the good work. Crossfit is not keeping up with their stated ideals. Paleo vs Zone is a no brainer and because of you my health has improved. Because CF is so Zone dependent , I have stopped listening to them. I trained at Mikes gym with Greg and Aimee and that open my eyes as well. As long as HQ now refuses to change to what works, we will all follow you or what works best.
Just let us all know when the book is ready to purchase and the certs begin……
Kevin Hughes says
Hey Robb, you’ve been at this all day, and it must be rough on you. I hope you can chill for the night so you can feel better tomorrow.
This is very sad to read…
Although, it is not surprising. Crossfit HQ will either continue to evolve or it will be split up by those that have evolved. The glue in Crossfit is primarily the community (The family at your gym), and this is not the Crossfit HQ office. If my gym left Crossfit I would go with them. If they had there own competitions (and they do) I would compete (and I do).
They need to also recognize that there is Crossfit for health, and there is Crossfit for Sport. Crossfit for Sport is not going to settle for the main site WOD and the Zone diet. Guess why? NO ONE IS THE SAME. Because I like Crossfit the Sport I have to do more than the main site WOD. Why? Because they have 8 events in two days. I have to ensure that I’m covering all disciplines and strengthening weaknesses. The site doesn’t cater to this.
Neither does The Zone…
Quality of food is more important than measured quantities. I also believe in listening to your body. If your running out of gas you need to take stock. Why would Crossfit HQ be unwilling to examine other ideas about diet?
Imagine if all of us that have made Crossfit what it is today were also not willing to listen to a new idea about fitness.
Dave Castro has never impressed me. He’s arrogant and I have no idea why? He hasn’t trained anyone, and he couldn’t qualify in his wildest dreams.
Mark Twight says
I knew I’d be dragged into this shit sooner or later.
Barry Cooper wrote:
“For example, in my understanding Mark Twight was going around certifying people in CrossFit, by name, without getting permission. Coach Glassman found out when Mark called him and asked for official certificates. That from Coach’s mouth, and I don’t think he’ll mind me sharing that in this context.”
Greg Glassman lied to you Barry. I could ask one or two of the operators who attended the seminar in question, which was sanctioned by Greg and Lauren, to support my statement if I cared about whether you know the truth or not. However, in lieu of wasting any more time on you, and for the sake of this public meltdown, perhaps the following email sent to me on 3/28/05 – prior to the seminar – will shed some light on that particular situation.
It was great talking to you last night. I wish I could inspire you the way you inspire me, but that is a ‘coach’s burden’ perhaps.”
… irrelevant text redacted
“Lauren will send you disc of CFJ’s. We spiral bind them a la Kinko’s. Whatever help you need with curriculum – reach out. On their completion we’ll mail cert’s to attendees or give to you for same.
Greg likes to talk on the phone, that way there’s no record of what he says or agrees to unless one is either paranoid or sharp enough to record the conversation. I wasn’t. At the time Greg and CF were not plugged into the unit receiving the instruction, I was. Greg granted me permission to run a cert for an organization with whom he had no standing or credibility. I was, after all, a CF-certified Coach. In that capacity I taught three 10-hour days, administered a test, failed one of the four students, asked CF to print the names on the Level 1 certificates and mailed them out. End of story.
Robb, you had to know it would come to this sooner or later. You’re a better man than I for having tried to improve the project. For that I respect you.
Robb Wolf says
Thanks Mark, much appreciated.
Bryan Schenone says
First I must say this entire ordeal is absolutely ridiculous. It reminds me of opening day of duck season. Point and shoot at the ducks… I wasn’t there, I’m not on a side, and honestly I don’t really give a shit. CF HQ asked if I would hold a nutrition cert and I said yes. My box sits in the Northern California isolated from the other California gyms. We train, we sweat, and at the end of the day we drink a beer and laugh about it. If the powers that be ask me to hold a Cert. I will because I’m part of the community as are all of you.
Robb, Nicki and NorCal you’ve been great to my CFR crew, my girlfriend, and myself… Don’t change that!!!
As far as everyone else, this gives you the moment to speak out about how much you hate this or dislike him or her. Ask yourselves this: In July when we all make our pilgrimage to Aromas are you going to be the hypocrites that are nuzzling up to HQ’er’s spewing about how great everything was and how much you love CrossFit?… It’s been one day and I’m absolutely bored and disgusted with the entire thing. Now excuse me while I go eat my non blocked gluten enriched piece of pumpkin pie.
~Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives
Soap Opera Shit!
Jerry jackson says
I politely asked you for your side of the story on the crossfit WOD blog. My post was deleted and my IP address is now banned from posting to that blog. Actions speak louder than words and I’ll accept the ban and nuked post as your side of the story.
Matt F says
Robb the cert will now fail. Gear up for the Zone pep rally
I am down with PALEO
Devin Ford says
Honestly this is usually where i would say you were the better man, dont listen to them and continue on doing what you are doing because frankly, your right. But in light of the responses you got from them, simply put…
What fears me now is where will this lead ? Have they got their heads so far up each others political ass that they dont even know what crossfit is anymore? unbelievable.. keep on doing what you do and whatever you decide im right behind you..
I have net met you and quite frankily never bought in to the whole paleo diet. However, my current performance has gone to shit. I am a strict zone guy and have been for about 7 months. I was actually interested in attending a nutrition cert to find out about more about the paleo. I recently attended a level 1 Cf cert and never heard more than one word about the paleo. I was bugged out because I feel like the Crossfit community needs more than one option. So here I am all 5ft 7inches at 160lbs. What is the best source for Paleo for a beginner like me?
Robb Wolf says
For now it looks like this blog, the blog roll, Crossfit football.
Júlíus Magnússon says
Just wanted to chime in and wish you good luck, Robb. HQ would be stupid not to come crawling back to you. You’ve been an enormous asset to the community and it’s truly pathetic that they don’t realize that.
I don’t know enough about Crossfit HQ to comment on either side of the argument. However, I’ve been around Crossfit enough to learn that this is more than a 24hr. Fitness club; were a fucking TEAM in the sport of fitness. And regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong, its a shame to see the team in affliction. Robb, I’ve read your research and watched your videos on youtube and I’m bummed to see that you are no longer teaching the nutrition cert in Chico (now in Redding), as I’ve been signed up for the event for months. Hopefully everyone can make amends and join forces for the greater good, the Crossfit Community, despite the differences of opinion. To me, its the community itself that makes Crossfit so great; a collaboration of athletes that all share the common passion for fitness. We all have different perspectives on the sport; the diversity itself enables growth. Again, I don’t know who’s right – really, no one is… But I know the loss of Robb and others is a crippling blow to the Crossfit TEAM.
Can’t we all just get along?
I met you at the Nutrition Cert at Team CrossFit Academy. All I can say echoes what has been said earlier.
Ever since I attended your cert, my PRs and well being have skyrocketed. I have never felt better. You opened my eyes to ways of thinking about food I had never heard of. You are one of the most educated, intellectual and knowledgeable speakers I’ve ever heard, and on such an important topic.
CF HQ definitely screwed up losing you. Everyone knows the Zone is old hat.
Keep up the good work, and I can’t wait to read your new book!
I support your fight. If u ever hold a nutrition seminar then count on my attendance.
BUNK – I was looking SO forward to you coming to Vancouver in January! I have asked for a refund and await a response.
If I could make it happen I would love to travel to NorCal for a non-CF nutrition seminar – I was in it for the info not the “cert”. Keep us posted on any opportunities in that vain – OR any independent seminars coming to Vancouver or the NW in the near future.
Keep up the great work – love the site and looking forward to the book.
Disappointed w/ CFHQ says
Robb, I entered the CrossFit community in 2006 and soon learnt of you. You were to me THE nutrition authority in CrossFit because you were knowledgeable, shared your knowledge, had much experience helping your clients, and helped many strangers for free including me with regards to our individual circumstances. Greg Everett was the person to go to in relation to olympic lifting. Mark Rippetoe was the expert in relation to the basic lifts and getting stronger. I learnt heaps more from the three of you than I ever did from the mainsite, the CFJ and CF Radio.
I have read discussions about Dan John, Mark Twight, Tucker, the arrogance and ludicrous standard of many affiliates, and the reasons ex-affiliates chose not to affiliate. I grew more and more disappointed with what CF was turning into. But the way you and Greg E have been treated is the ultimate disappointment. I do not know you and Greg E to exaggerate or embellish, to be malicious, or to make ad hominem attacks. Therefore I do not see any basis for construing Greg E’s articles and presentations and your articles and presentations as CF-bashing or Zone-bashing. What happened was absolutely ridiculous. The manner and extent to which yours and Greg E’s articles and presentations have been misconstrued is absolutely ridiculous.
I look forward to learning more from you, Greg E and Mark Rippetoe. I look forward to the intelligent and helpful discussions on the Performance Menu forums which the CF forums rarely have nowadays because there are no authorities available to offer help and guidance. I look forward to your podcasts and your book. I will continue recommending and speaking well of you, Greg E and Mark Rippetoe – please say hi to them for me if you see them. I am sad to say that I am no longer comfortable with recommending or speaking well of CrossFit to anyone.
Deanne Ashford says
That is a shame Robb. Was quite looking forward to you making it Down Under. We are still enjoying ‘splendid isolation’ and the absolutely wonderful honeymoon period of CrossFit in Australia. Just wish Vegemite was paleo. Disappointing turn of events that is for sure.
Nick W says
The “Think Tank” video that was posted on the main site on Friday (the same day as the BBS started) – a video about the merits of a group of affiliate owners getting together to help their businesses by holding an open and frank discussion on all sorts of topics – opens with Glassman saying the following:
“It’s a simple story, the more, maybe most intelligent affiliates spontaneously organised for their better, and it’s at the heart of this open-source concept. We knew they would and hoped they would, and waited and watched, and it happened this weekend. And we didn’t have to do a thing.”
How ironic to see Glassman publically endorse this kind of free-thinking, affiliate-organised event, and on exactly the same weekend we see Castro & Co. trying to undermine such an event. It speaks volumes.
Robb, I’ll just add my small voice to the hundreds of others in singing your praises and wishing you well. You’ve always had integrity by the bucket load, you’ve been an amazing help to countless people out there including myself, and you’ve added immesurable value to CF. Thankfully CF Inc’s loss doesn’t have to mean that we all lose out as individuals, and I look forward to reading the book, hearing the podcasts, attending some web seminars and who knows – maybe meeting you in person if you ever do get out to the UK for a Robb Wolf Seminar (I’ll still shout all the beers as well…)
I’ll also congratulate you for having the balls to stand by your convictions and morals; it’s how we act when faced with these hard situations that really define the kind of people that we are, and in my humble opinion you’re doing yourself proud.
All the best,
I will echo the previous comments thanking you for your expertise and training. Regarding CHQ, it appears they have a strong bias against MEBB programming yet espouse the open source format. I think Glassman and his team need a refresher on what defines open source. Also, based on the over-sensitivity to the Zone, CHQ must have entered a financial relationship with Sears they haven’t disclosed and are working hard to protect that investment despite the obvious benefits of Paleo.
Keep up the good work and I can’t wait for the book.
murtle turtle says
Sorry to hear about all of this…sort of…CFHQ has always made me a bit uneasy, more so lately. I’m sure things will turn out for you – looking forward to the book!
And, if you ever need a statistician to work with all that data you’ve been collecting (you have been collecting data, right?) drop me a line… (I’m still a postdoc, so I work for publications 🙂
Barry Cooper says
Quite obviously I have many detractors since I take strong positions, but I”m no hypocrite: yes, I want details. We serve no one by hiding things. If there are real, structural problems, step one is to acknowledge them. They will only get worse otherwise. I regularly expose myself to criticism, and have always viewed that as a useful practice.
Robb Wolf says
Alright Barry, I hope you know what you are asking for. I’m going to take a few days and dig everything off stored servers and elsewhere and walk it all out from the beginning.
Funny. One of the people I respect most in the entire CF community is Robb. I’m not kissing your butt cause we’ve never met. Instead, I just read your blog and you put out quality information. Nuff said.
Dave on the other hand, is someone I’ve watched through the videos and to me he comes off like an arrogant spoiled little brat. This solidifies that.
I donated to the RRG from Canada. I GET/GOT nothing out of it. This was done at a time when I truly believed in what CF was doing. As I began to screw my head on tighter I began to see the shortcomings. I would like to know where those funds are as well and how I can get mine back.
Sorry to hear this Robb but I think you’re better off leaving the CERTS behind. You could do them on your own and sell out faster, make more money etc etc. You don’t need the brand power of CF behind you.
I fear that CFHQ’s strict 100% no-refund policy on certs will be a bit of a bummer for those already registered and paid for your certs.
Robb, you have my support. You are a man of passion and principles. I thank you for your dedication to the community and all that you do to effect positive change in people’s lives. As a new trainer, I am understanding how amazing it is to be a part of this community. I get the sense that you understand the impact you’ve been able to make and don’t do so out of greed or pride but because you know nutrition is literally killing people. Offering a free nutrition cert to those folks coming to Chico shows you are a true class act. I look forward to the opportunity for our affilliate to host a future Robb Wolf nutrition seminar.
Larry Lowe says
Be careful with your bashing of Russell. He preaches a Paleo-Zone approach to diet. I have been training at Crossfit Huntsville for 15 months and have learned a tremendous amount about fitness and the importance of diet. The core to what Russell preaches about diet is Paleo – eat only what’s on the perimeter of the grocery store. The Zone element is great for newbies to figure out proper food portions (since most Americans have no concept of healthy portions). Once you have gone through a Paleo-zone challenge, you understand portions, LBM, fat jacket, and other diet related topics.
The books Russell has suggested on diet include – Lights Out, The Zone, and all of your books, Mr. Wolf. Russell presents a very balanced approach to diet.
Robb Wolf says
Glad to hear it. Sounds like a very well run program.
Coach Sommer says
“… Since we are clearing the air, I have to ask: why did you leave the first time? I’ve never seen it discussed …”
Robb has given his permission for me to respond to this. The reason that Robb left the first time is really quite simple; he left because of an episode where Glassman engaged in a personal attack upon me.
This occurred very much behind the scenes. Robb and Greg Everett are however consumate professionals, as well as gentlemen, and chose not to air this unfortunate incident in public. Out of consideration for them, I have never mentioned this publically – until Robb agreed to do so today.
While there were also telephone conversations involved, the bulk of the incident occurred via email. I hesitate to post the whole sordid mess in it’s entirety as the combined emails are actually quite long, but will do so if requested.
Yours in Fitness,
Robb Wolf says
So Barry, if you want the Emails and all that to go up let me know. it is not going to go well for the community.
This was brutal, clearly some egos need to be deflated.
When things go bad you have to consciously make a choice to either accept the failure, distance yourself from it or attempt to correct the short comings.
Unfortunately some have chosen to run away instead of fix the problems. But the CF community is a great resource, something we haven’t had in access to before, I for one don’t want to see that go away.
So it’s time to make a choice, either CFHQ starts leading, correcting, and performing random audits on it’s affiliates or it sees them deliver watered down kool-aid.
People should remember where they came from, and despite Greg Everett’s knowledge base, it seems that he deserved to be called out. The 9 fundamentals have launched legions of CrossFitters into wellness, and Glassman et al have demystified elite fitness for the masses. There are those that want to mystify it, and have a problem with anyman or anywoman intruding on their perceived thought territory.
Bravo to Dave Castro for calling it for what it was.
Robb, you lost a huge base.
The Black Box Summit, by even addressing the ridiculous GreySkull article, helped fuel this debacle. The Keplers must be in angst.
I’ve never had the pleasure to meet you Robb, but I just wanted to speak up and show support as part of this community. The Paleo vs. Zone is a no brainer, and I believe CFHQ has really shot themselves in the foot on this one. Do people have success on the Zone? Some do . . . but most have better success doing Paleo.
A little anecdote: I finally convinced my mother to start doing Paleo in September, and since then she has lost over 25 lbs while eating more (in volume of food). This is weight that she’s been trying to lose for 20 years! I’m still trying to get her to do some sort of exercise, but if all she ever does is eat paleo, I’ll consider it a triumph.
Who do I have to thank for this? Well . . . you.
Through your blog and posts, it was you who introduced The Paleo Diet to me (as I’m sure much of this community), and for that I’m ever grateful.
Stay strong, and keep it coming. You’re making a huge difference in our lives!
Mitchell Rosser says
Oops, Sorry Robb sent you an email before I realized I should just post a comment.
According to the emails I just exchanged with Crossfit customer service
1. They do not know who they will replace Robb with or what material will be covered
2. They are offering refunds to any who request them
Post them Robb, there is so much behind the scenes bunk. The public face and the private are two very different things. Perhaps by sharing it finally Coach G will listen.
George Mounce got pushed off the message boards for integrity violations because he gained access to the mod boards and the b.s that they spew behind the scenes and posted it for all to see, for someone who is libertarian there sure is a good amount of censorship going on.
I am getting tired of all this Coach is awesome thing. He has does some great things but it is the affiliates that make him not the other way around and I can provide simple figures to show it. Yet, the love and interaction that affiliates “get” I have never seen.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, imperialistic not open source
robb i think the point has been made. you don’t really need to nuke anymore bridges by posting emails and stuff. that’s just petty. it SEEMS that you were and right dave was wrong. but to continue further is gonna make you look like dave castro. at a certain point you gotta step back and do what is right for the greater good of both the community and yourself.
Robb Wolf says
This is totally my thought as well. The reason why I left CrossFit several years ago is not going to stabilize this situation.
Barry Cooper says
Robb, Coach Sommer,
Like seemingly 90% of Americans, I grew up in a dysfunctional home which developed in me a passion for telling the unvarnished truth, whatever it may be. You can’t fix problems you won’t acknowledge.
I believe in both creative destruction, and spontaneous self organizing systems. It is not necessary for me to view Coach Glassman as a saint to respect him as a person and fitness professional; nor will negatives necessarily lead me to view the totality of the CrossFit community in a negative light. In fact, I know far too many good people in the community to believe that possible.
My vote is to bring it on. It may spark a wave of change, but at the end of it, we will be stronger. I try to be consistent in my views and how I reach them, and this position best reflects everything I hold sacred.
Robb Wolf says
I’m not going to post that material at this time. I think Coach Sommer’s post is sufficient for the broader audience. I’ll discuss it with you in private if you like.
I am through trying to improve or change CF HQ. It’s broken, I cannot fix it. I can serve the community it has started and to do that I need to start moving on with my life. I did this original post so a public record was in place because HQ and glassman will disparage and lie about me from now till the end of time. Some people will believe the lies, others will not. Part of the Glassman spin is that I planned and am using this event to my benefit. Very self serving that. If I speak out I am grand-standing and seeking attention. Instead they would prefer I slink away, making no waves, just allowing them to run me down at their leisure. Not this time. That said though, I see when enough is enough. If you want to try to fix those broken souls, you do it. Not my concern or problem any longer.
So, If you want to discuss it we can. Then if YOU want to make this public, if you think it’s of significant enough importance to the community and HQ’s health…you post all that material over on the CF.com site.
There would be a certain poetry to your post, directed at changing things, getting deleted.
I am the kid that pressed the red button growing up and was known as one that creates ripples. This event was a catalyst to a bunch of screwed up stuff and perhaps stablizing the situation is not what is needed.
Change needs to happen and sometimes its ugly but necessary.
Several years ago you left and yet here several years later the ugliness that lies underneath is stll going on and now to the point where it is manifesting itself.
Perhaps by exposing it you are doing a greater service than just sweeping it under the rug so that it continues…
Danny John says
Post them, Robb. When you CC’ed me those horrific emails from that place and person, it just really explained so much to me. These people that think that they are joining a loving community, just don’t get it.
“People should remember where they came from, and despite Greg Everett’s knowledge base, it seems that he deserved to be called out. The 9 fundamentals have launched legions of CrossFitters into wellness, and Glassman et al have demystified elite fitness for the masses. There are those that want to mystify it, and have a problem with anyman or anywoman intruding on their perceived thought territory.”
has to be a joke.
Robb Wolf says
I can’t do it. IF Barry wants to he can post that material over at cf.com
Renee Lee says
To be fair, Joey…
I haven’t been in this community long enough to know the other “incidents” everybody is speaking of (Twight, etc)…but it seems as though that staying quiet has never done much good. I don’t know if posting emails is really the best solution, and really…I don’t have a dog in the fight…but the alternative has proven many times that it doesn’t work.
Ben Chapman says
That’s really interesting about Mounce, I always wondered what happened to him. Do you still keep in touch with him? I’d like more of his side about that stuff.
I’ve stopped posting much on the forums on the main site because of all the modding that happens to pretty harmless posts that bring up constructive, yet possibly dissenting views of CF methodology.
I am glad this happened, I’ve never cared much for Castro and have always wondered what his credentials were, aside from having the ranch. Budding is showing his true colors these days too, but you could always sort of see the good ol’ boys club shine through in most of the videos he puts out too.
Don’t push the aristocracy, even if you have a good point 😉
Dan, not a joke: true. Who heard of you before CrossFit, other than by way of Twight, who heard of Twight other than by way of CrossFit, who heard of Greg Everett other than by way of CrossFit by way of of Mike’s Gym by way of CrossFit.
Go back to T nation and teaching high school boys.
I think that anything posted on CF.com would be gone very shortly. Wish there was a forum of truth subjective as it might be, no Ben I called George when it all went down and searched the internet and found the posts.
I appreciate Robbs view but it just means everything will move as usual after a week or so of this blowing over…
Rick CF gave an avenue and I don’t think anyone desputes that but that doesn’t make them above reproach. Do you think that they shouldn’t be criticized ever?
Renee Lee says
Ben, Mounce is on the PMenu forums still
Danny John says
Rick, just rent the “Bigger Faster STronger” videos, especially the Power Clean. That’s about 1991 or so. Before that, well, if you want my athletic vita, I will send it to you.
Rick, my email is [email protected]
If you honestly think what you wrote is true and you are not trolling, at least let’s talk. Use a real name, I will give you my telephone number, too. To EVER think that crossfit had an impact, save negative, on my career is inaccurate.
Rick, please tell me you were a world famous climber or nationally ranked discus thrower/coach and writer.
You don’t know what you’re talking about… That’s cool, though. It happens to the best of us.
For reference, I heard about CrossFit from Mark Twight, and I was the 87th affiliate. There was actually a time when CrossFit was unknown, and Greg Glassman was a nobody. Loooonnng before that Mark Twight was known as the greatest American alpinist of his time and a trainer well deserving of a lofty reputation. He will be remembered for decades to come for his phenomenal athletic accomplishments.
As for Dan John; he is highly respected in the broader strength and conditioning community, where Greg Glassman is perceived as an annoyance.
There’s a big world outside of CrossFit, dude…
Ben Wheeler says
I heard of Crossfit by way of Twight/John. By way of “300”…like literally thousands other Crossfitters. It is a popular theme actually. Much more than the other way around.
Everett points out in his article (if you read it) that HQ has done NOTHING to advertise him and minimal profit has come from them directly! Yes people from the community have found him from Crossfit..but not by way of HQ! Word of mouth, seeking better training/knowledge. Nice try though.
just to clarify renee, i’m not in favor of sweeping everything under the rug either. i just know that sometimes a purge can go to far and become more destructive than positive. from the information presented here and other places about what happened its apparent who’s right and who’s wrong. bringing other people into it and especially posting emails is in my opinion a little unnecessary at this point. now if dave and hq want to go around bashing robb and greg and trying to destroy their credibility then by all means rob nuke em. but as of now i would let things settle down awhile.
Robb Wolf says
That’s the problem. They will. they do. With Impunity. This is why I’ve SAVED all this stuff. In multiple locations. Because this is how they operate. I think what you are saying is right, the reason I do not post it is because I think HQ is a lost cause. The complete lack of ANY action on Dave Castro is testament to this. This is damage control, hoping to keep the wheels on the wagon for a while longer.
While having little credibility to speak to any of this (and not that anyone really cares what I would say anyway) since I don’t personally know anyone who was involved, I am quite disturbed by how all of this went down.
Without having actually been there and witnessed it first hand, and since everyone’s story is inherently slanted with their own biases, it sounds like there was no shortage of extremely unprofessional behavior. This is disappointing as CF always struck me as an organization that embraced openness and excellence. It was somewhat disconcerting to hear of HQ behaving in this way as they are, even if only in a small way, the face of CF.
As men in their 20’s and 30’s, I would expect a greater degree of maturity, humility, and general appreciation for other’s perspectives. It’s ironic that those who should arguably be acting with the greatest degree of professionalism and excellence (HQ reps), were the ones acting most like 12 year olds who’ve been playing too much XBox (see: incessant cursing about nothing with no intelligent reason).
Robb, I’ve never met you, however based on what I’ve read, you seem like a quality guy who has put in the hours to know what he’s talking about, and it’s a shame that you (and Greg) were treated this way. Hope all this works out somehow for the benefit of the CF community and the maturing of HQ staff.
I’m guessing that you haven’t been around for long, kid. Dan John was well-known in the strength community long before Crossfit. In fact, many people only heard about Crossfit because of Dan John — myself included.
Um, there are a lot of people who heard about Dan John in other ways than Crossfit, hard as that may be to understand in your koolaid haze, Rick. Crossfit is not the center of the fitness universe; Dan was getting people strong long before Glassman fell off his rings.
tony young says
Whoa, there big fella, let’s just cool off a little. Climbers knew Mark Twight well before CF and Dan John was a thrower, lifter and coach with a rep or he wouldn’t have been invited in. They both deserve more respect than you’re giving them. Greg would be the same coach he is now with or without CF. Back off.
The Oracle says
Lol @ some of the comments on here…It’s like some of you are realizing that the matrix you thought you woke up from was only really another matrix. I know it’s difficult, but just accept it, learn from it and move on. Glassman is not “Neo”.
The appearance of Mark Twight, Dan John, Zach Evan-Esh, Steve Shaf in support of Robb and the involvement of Greg Everett and Mike Rutherford in this whole fiasco is making this comment thread a halfway house for gifted, intelligent coaches who have all woken up and moved away from your false prophet and on to really helping people without all of the Glassman/Crossfit/Cult baggage.
Mark Twight’s appearance and trouncing of Barry Cooper was an epic win.
And don’t worry about the vase.
Clay Jones says
Rick, not sure if you are joking or not, my Internet meaning decoder is broken. I knew of Dan John way before Crossfit, by way of a few message boards (Old School Strength Training, I believe) and thought the the CF community would stand to benefit with his association. How he was treated by the Glassmans over ( a silly comment made by another writer) was simply inexcusable.
CF is great, but it is not the end-all and be-all that some think it is.
Well Barry if Robb does give you the information you have requested it will be very interesting to see what you do with it. If it denigrates your leader will you still publish it? Will you hold as strongly to your ideal of outing the truth when you personally will face the negative consequences, or will that ideal suddenly fall to a much weaker appeal of “benefiting the community” or “moving forward instead of rehashing the past”. Words are easy and heaven knows you’re quick to offer them up in large supply, but actions are much harder.
Please don’t bother with a list of examples of you being a man of your word in the past–I don’t know you at all so I am perfectly willing to accept either premise: that you have been a staunch man of your word or just a big talker. Time will tell which of those holds true in this case.
Rick, not a joke: Nobody really cares about your opinion. Your assumption about Dan John’s audience simply underscores your utter cluelessness.
Go back to your shack under the bridge.
In response to
Posted November 25, 2009 at 9:02 am
I believe you missed the point!! The issue at hand is NOT “who made who”, because as an observer I see Robb and Greg offering much credit to CrossFit for its accomplishments in the field of health and fitness. But to be clear, the actions of HQ representatives are and were indefensible. I have noted the arrogance and intolerance for alternative opinions for 3 years in this movement and quite frankly, until you and others realize that advancement in technique and science are ALWAYS produced by healthy discussions and differing views, all of the great attributes of Crossfit will be eclipsed by the aforementioned personality shortcomings. That’s too bad, may I recommend an awesome read to the “leaders” in CrossFit, “How to Win Friends, and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
We’re talking about working out, here–gang. When I read Greg Everett’s little tirades, from Cozy little Cathletics or Robb’s “I’m so cool with my slanted jabs at Barry Sears” in my ridiculously wordy Performance Menu Quasi Journal, I think of the kids that talked big shit at the playground but got dusted when it came down to the real fight. Guess who belongs in this same camp: The T-Nation, GreySkulls, Dan Johns, etc. who really have bought into the idea that they are revolutionaries…
So Paper Tigers Greg Everett and Rob Wolff who talk big from the glow of their computer screens, get called out–and we essentially are seeing the equivalent here of “crying to mommy”, mommy being the legions of interested listeners in what Robb Wolff has brought to Nutrition.
Dissociate the Fans from the Information, and you still have a snivelling, slighted clique that is now starting to meld into the following camp:
The expatriate Mark Twight, Johnny Pain, Dutch Lowy, Greg Everett, (hopefully not Welbourn and Rippetoe) Robb Wolff Camp that will preach to the already converted…and I’m not sure how what forum they’ll use to convert, perhaps DragonDoor and T-Nation?
The fastest growing movement in fitness, now reaching far into Australia and Europe.
Tell me who is going to be marginalized?
Bravo, HQ, for disregarding the forum, and choosing the right moment to blow the lid off of those that bite the hand that feeds. Bravo.
Robb Wolf says
Keep it coming Rick. You might get something substantive here at some point, even if by accident. There is a statistical chance of a monkey at a keyboard producing the complete works of Shakespeare…I’ll hold out hope for you.
Robb Wolf says
Rick…they are choosing the RIGHT MOMENT? How would YOU know this? Interesting….
“The best of men are but men at best.” General John Lambert (1619-83)
With that said, every single one of us has made public statements that did not represent us well, or in fact, made us look unprofessional. This is not to excuse poor judgment, but merely to bring to light that we all fail from time to time, in speech, and in deed.
The real test put before us is not how well we can defend our positions, but how well we can see past our positions into the heart of those who attack us personally. We are all created equal, and we all have the same ability to fail, though some have learned to be self controlled, others have yet more learning to do.
Bringing to light the deeds of the past does not liberate a relationship, but destroys it. We see our nations leaders promote themselves through negative ads of those they compete against, and we are disgusted. We do ourselves no justice by seeking the worst in others. I believe there is a time and place for discussing disagreements, and dealing with difficult people. But it is never right to discipline another in front of his peers. This is a basic military concept I learned long ago in my years spent as a Navy diver in San Diego. Dave Castro is a Navy SEAL (or was), and I am sure he has much to offer in the area of physical training, and what works when it counts the most. One must take into consideration the personality that motivates a man to succeed in the SPECWAR community. His actions did not represent CFHQ or the Navy well at all, and I am sire he does not feel good about his choice of words.
Rob Wolf, I appreciate what you have offered to the CF community in the way of your nutritional certifications. I attend one of your certs on July 20, 2008, in San Francisco. What I learned from you in the way of nutrition has helped me in my fitness goals greatly. Thank you! I eat mostly Paleo in zone proportions. I have measured what I eat, but not so much any more. I now have a good idea on what I need to eat to perform at the level I desire to perform at.
CrossFit is growing, and it has become a family for many of us. A family with many type-A personalities, myself included. 🙂 With that said, we all need to proceed from here with a measure of love. For those who do not respect us, we show self respect. I am reminded of the greatest love that ever existed; the love God showed us all on the cross at Calvary. If the Creator of the universe can humble himself for us, when we truly did not deserve it, then surely we can do the same for one another.
My prayers will be for us all: -that we can learn to forgive one another in a spirit of love. He who loves is perfected, and he who does not love, needs our love the most!
Rick, about three years ago I met Dan John. We talked about the wars between CF and the ex-CF cognoscenti. We both agreed right away that ‘it’s just working out!’ for gosh sakes.
Yes, we get that. We exercise, too. We don’t crash someone else’s party to tell that that they shoot tequila the wrong way and start a fight about it. That’s basically what Castro et all did.
The argument, it’s just working out (and running a PRIVATELY held business) is entirely the point. Well said, sir! Please follow your advice.
Keep writing, there are other sites eager to laugh at you, not with you.
Robb, you are class.
Steve M. says
It sure didn’t take long for you to leap to the defense of your hate-filled, alcoholic mentor – birds of a feather I suppose.
When and if Robb shows you the email/correspondence trail that shows your friend glassman to be a lying, conniving user, I will, for one — and, notice, I’m using, lots of, commas — expect you to crawl back into that “arid place” you live and STFU.
After a complete apology of course. Heck, SOME people liked Stalin.
You’re clearly an HQ plant and your stement is not valid. Why is it relevant that Crossfit is the vehicle that exposed us to Robb’s background in diet?
This has no bearing on his field of expertise nor does it negate his position on the topic of evolving with HQ.
No theory should be ineligible for discussion. Robb believes there are alternatives to the Zone, and guess what?
SO DO A LOT OF US IN THE COMMUNITY.
What you don’t realize is that there are a number (and growing) of people that don’t believe the Zone is the complete answer. As a matter of fact, it’s Robb that has kept me involved with the comunity because I find the blind support of the Zone on Crossfit.com to be a bad indication of their unwillingness to continue to question.
It makes me believe they are in some way profiting from a relationship with Dr. Sears and his product pitches with a sprinkle of data.
If it is not acceptable to ask questions for debate than Crossfit is another fitness fad. With every year that passes we gain new insight into the body and it’s capabilities.
This is the Glassman speech about collecting data….
You have to ask questions. When you do this through trial and error you will either prove the new theory right or wrong. This is the Scientific Method..
If we can’t have someone say, “I don’t believe the shrug is correct…” without Dave Castro calling him a “Fat Fuck.” than we are at the end of the road for Crossfit.
I’m sorry to do this….but look at Mikko.
When he wasn’t being filmed 24/7 by Crossfit he was honest about his workout each day: 5K-7k Intense Mountain Trail Run in the Morning, WOD at 4PM followed by intense O-Lifting workout 5-6 days a week.
That would explain his performance in Aromas.
Recently he is very careful to say his Affiliate believes in the Main Site WOD.
WHY???? Why can’t he say the Main Site WOD doesn’t do it for someone that is going after Crossfit as a sport?
I know why? Dave Castro and HQ can apparently DE-AFFILIATE you, slander your name, and call you “Fat Fuck” in front of your peers and colleagues with impunity.
This SUCKS!!! Because now we won’t know the truths about the programs are top atheletes are doing. We won’t get to evolve an implement similar strategies in our programs and diets to see what results we get.
Without true open discussion we won’t progress…
Hmmmm…. Could Radical Rick actually be Davey boy? I’m gonna guess he’s a none-too-subtle troll… Nobody’s that dense… Well, okay… Not many people
Steve M. says
Of course you have a dog in the fight – you are one of the worst apologists on the Forums (i.e., Fit Facebook).
Steve M. says
To Greg/M2 –
Steve M. says
To Greg/M2 –
You know, it’s a pity that you aren’t allowed to share those views on a cf website.
talk about no love.
This is pretty entertaining…..which is sad when you think of the back story to it all…..
I am grateful to Crossfit showing ‘the masses’ a way of working out; that was totally different to the usual routines found in Magazines and Chain Gyms….but this isn’t really anything ‘new’.
I trained with intensity when I joined the forces back in the 80/90s. Mark Twight showed examples from Wrestling Texts from the 60/70s that would not look out of place as a ‘WOD’.
Robb, never met you, in all likelihood I never will, but what I have read and seen you come across as a man of integrity, and of course your qualification speaks for itself…..hold yourself high bud…you do your thing, they do their thing and allow people to make up their own minds.
I always remember being told by an old mentor of mine when setting up a business, make your own market stall, don’t care about other stalls, you set yours up to be the best, learn from others, be respectful, and above all, be the best stall around….no matter what happens in the market place, if you hold yours to a high standard and be the best it can be, you will succeed.
Train Hard, Live Easy
Barry Cooper: Please post those emails in their entirety. If you don’t post them on crossfit.com, post them somewhere else. I DID join CF because I thought I was joining something special, and for that reason I got my level 1. If that is not the case, then at least post those emails. I think you owe it to the CF community, that its the decent thing to do. I don’t really care about hold fast to political ideals or anything like that. What is in those that is so explosive? They can’t be that bad, or can they? Let me decide.
Whether it’s substantive or not is relative, Robb–depending on the audience. You know that, Robb.
What are you trying to accomplish, Robb–that couldn’t have been accomplished by way of an email to Greg Glassman? Do you really think there is going to be this mass exodus away from a proven method of eliciting performance and wellness among legions of surbananites, MIL/LEO, and athletes? In hindsight, don’t you think there could have been a “tactful” approach taken by you and Greg Everett in your forums and in your lectures? Do you really think it was in good “taste” to have Annie Sakamoto, and Nicole Carroll’s pictures highlighted as “examples”, knowing that they are icons in the CrossFit Community?
Unfortunately, many operators (I am one) are now going to be saddled because of this exchange taken public, outside of the confines of Crossfit Central, with the spector of what “stand” we take with regard to the information that we bring to our affiliates. Are we Paleo? Are we Oly Lifters, or are we CrossFit “Oly” Lifters? Do we teach the fundamental 9? Or do we disregard the MedBall Clean?
Unfortunately, by taking this public, you have become part of the problem, not the solution.
We can wax analytic philosophy all you want, and talk about “ontological committment,” and the like. “Monkeys on a keyboard…” be for real.
By the way, I’ll buy your book–because you are a conduit of good information. But the taking of this public will ultimately not bode well for you, especially as you were primed to be an effective “worldwide” voice on subjects of nutrition.
Right now, your well endorsed understudy, and very capable Melissa Byers is poised to visit our men in uniform in Afghanistan, on behalf of Crossfit. These are Spec Ops people, these are the people that make up CrossFit. These are Dave Castro’s, Eddie Lugo’s, Andy Stumpf’s people. These are the proven that are on the “side,” if you will–of CrossFit.
You stood a better chance of delivering a more impactful presentation of your position on CrossFit by simply remaining silent.
We know that you must align yourself with Greg Everett, he was your trainer, and you co-publish The Performance Menu.
What was cool, up until a couple of months ago, by my estimate, was the fact that Catalyst Athletics, was a necessary adjunct for those interested in buttressing their training. If one took the time to sieve through the Performance Menu, there were interesting articles.
Then the “A guide to teaching the Olympic Lifts in the CrossFit Setting” came out, which was really nothing but a “purists” diatribe against perceived slights on the Oly Lifts as conducted at the CrossFit Games. Then the comments about the Med Ball Clean. Then, the shirts about “The only balls I squat on are these…”
In these moments, the rift was grown. And for Greg and you to use a forum, hosted honorably by CrossFit greats the Keplers, that was “for CrossFitters, by CrossFitters” to further this “perceived” dichtomy, was in bad taste.
And Kudos to Dave for picking up on it in real time, and Kudos to Dave Castro for NOT awaiting for the right moment…
In this moment, Dave Castro, on behalf of CrossFit, took a stand.
Sure, you and others can say that this is furtherance of a long standing chain of reactions by Glassman and HQ….blah blah blah, but the reality is that if you’re just the average joe that’s coming to the box to get programming, and you’re realizing results, it doesn’t even matter to you, let alone reach you…Your touchstone is the Crossfit Journal, you come to the WOD’s, you get excited about the Games, and you get fitter.
What’s sad is that you got caught up between CrossFit and Greg Everett, really. You should have maintained your reticence in those moments when Greg Everett got dressed down by a NAVY SEAL, and the Director of Training, for making a passive aggressive slight against the “purity of the Oly lifts…”
Robb Wolf says
Dave Castro took a STAND? I’m part of the problem?
Do you really think it was in good “taste” to have Annie Sakamoto, and Nicole Carroll’s pictures highlighted as “examples”, knowing that they are icons in the CrossFit Community?
Yea rick, I do. Because if our “icons” are doing it wrong, we might should fix that, Tiger! This is the very heart of the issue. HQ and it’s attendant cronies are above reproach, hyper-sensitive and unwilling to change. At the Golden Colorado Level 1 trainer meeting someone asked Dave Castro why CF push presses and push jerks with knees straight forward, whereas OL’s (like our SME Mike Burgner…the guy whose kid WENT to the olympics. Oh, and his kids wife went too…) do those movements with the knees pushing out…because IT WORKS BETTER THAT WAY. When Dave was questioned about this discrepancy he screamed “WE ARE NOT FUCKING WEIGHTLIFTERS!!!” Indeed, the level 1 curriculum does not produce weightlifters.
What’s sad is that you got caught up between CrossFit and Greg Everett, really. You should have maintained your reticence in those moments when Greg Everett got dressed down by a NAVY SEAL, and the Director of Training, for making a passive aggressive slight against the “purity of the Oly lifts…”
No Rick, it’s called honor. And friendship. And even, LOVE.
I defended not only Greg, I defended this whole community from a thug whose sole means of persuasion is scare tactics and intimidation. People from the teams HATE Dave and articulate it clearly. I did the same thing as when Glassman attacked Coach Sommer. I took a stand and I’ll take my fucking lumps for my friends. When I left before Glassman could not tell enough people how I would fail and be gone without his support. That, like many other things, he was wrong.
Peter M. says
Here are a couple of my favorite quotes by you that seem to contraindicate your stance on Glassman. Seems to my memory that yuo’ve gone out on many limbs to belittle, degrade, and dismiss any that questioned the great and powerful Oz?
“Surely the question of business is mooted if the size of an organization is doubling annually?”
“Coach–you know, the guy whose judgement we are implicitly debating here–has said that one of the best ways…”
“I’ll ask again: why are you here? What are you trying to accomplish? You are certainly not raising the caliber of the dialogue. ”
“Quality circulates; mediocrity hoards.”
“No, you do not question the man [Glassman] that has given so much to so many for so little.”
“I fear that CFHQ’s strict 100% no-refund policy on certs will be a bit of a bummer for those already registered and paid for your certs.”
I can assure you that they do not adhere to this policy. Not for the specialty “certs” where they are not invested and have contributed nothing in terms of material, personnel or costs.
“Rick”- Been reading and using Dan John’s stuff for 12 years. Found CrossFit via Mark Twight.
Step one is realizing you have a problem.
Good for you Craig >>Bravo.
No problem here
Well said, without open discussion CF is no longer an open source, community-driven program.
I understand the desire to adopt exercise and nutrition regimes that are supported by empirical data and results, but the hostile reaction from HQ towards those promoting Paleo (and Greg’s opinion about the shrug in the oly lift) is truly bizarre.
While these actions are alienating for those involved, not to mention people like myself who are far removed, I like to think these events are simply the result of growing pains of a rapidly expanding company without a well-defined business model. That’s the view through my rose-colored glasses anyway. I’m trying to keep a positive outlook through this – in fact, in a way I wish I was blissfully unaware of any of this shit.
If I was more negative I’d say HQ should fire the douchebags at the helm and do a better job trying to anticipate what’s coming down the pipe. What happened to excellence and virtuosity?
JC Carter says
Is this really surprising?
Take a bunch of goof-offs that don’t know anything about training, put them in charge, and then you wonder what happened when they turn into screaming psychos?
Note: creating a cult that discourages critical thinking and makes everyone into an expert because they have the best Fran time doesn’t work out too well
I hear that giving screaming idiots control of a fitness organization leads to laughs?
PS popularity means CF is good? turns out lots of stupid people like stupid things, news at 11
Dude, you’re soooo melodramatic. I like Greg’s Backpedal BTW.
This is great stuff. Very entertaining.
Here’s an idea:
Partner with Gym Jones, and call it “Jones Fit”. Have Greg E play the role of Burgener, you be the nutrition guy, Dan John can do the barbell program, and have the “Norcal Games”.
I’m simply being absurd because that’s what’s going on at this point!
Smiles and sayonara,
Robb Wolf says
What gym do you own?
An alternate Level 1 cert is genius BTW. It would involve these wacky things called “Barbells” and “DumbBells” It would focus on the core movements like squat, DL, press and push press. It would encompass sound programming with a periodized model, bioenergetics and science based nutrition, not numerology. It would involve staff who have trained people for years and have extensive educational backgrounds…let’s see here, Greg everett as the OL guy, Rip as the barbell guy, tucker or Coach sommer as the gymnastics guy, and I’ll cover the geek stuff. Now…is that a better or worse product than the current offerings? What would the “MARKET” discern as providing better value for the dollar?
And in the spirit of Free Markets and Competition what exactly would be wrong with it? HQ is fine with certifying so many peopel that the market is getting saturated in in some areas destroyed. Why NOT several Level 1’s? HQ likes dictating the terms, they do not like living by those same terms. Unfortunately for you and the rest of the crew that will just remain a fearful fantasy, or the newest speculation you amoral tards use to defame me. Last time it was “Robb Wolf left to Join Mark Twight!!!” Now it’s “Robb Wolf and Greg Everett orchestrated the Black Box Summit to try to take over CrossFit!!!”
Sorry Greg, you will not get that adrenaline fix from me. You will have to get your high elsewhere.
just another voice of support – not that you need this by the numbers of comments. Suddenly Australia is not a bad place to apply this whole phenomenon that is Xfit…down under, out of the way…sad day for all. Greg/M2 – I’m with you on that prayer!
Its gone too far with Rick, whom I’m convinced is a HQ embed. As such, I think you should post the emails and “nuke ’em” as joeyboots put it.
Wow, Dave’s a douche. Doesn’t really seem to be a well kept secret either… I had my own Castro episode at my level 1 cert (I won’t go into detail but for the record, he owes me one month’s salary for a bet he lost, still waiting for that check to arrive). Anyways, Robb, you are a great source of info and I’m sure this won’t set you back in any way. HQ seems to be almost pitiable at this point, they’ve created a monster, they are desperately trying to control it and have no idea what to do. I do feel for them, their heart may be in the right place, just totally misguided. Que sera sera I suppose. So, I have two questions (if you don’t have time to answer, I get it, this is a busy day!) one, if you end up doing your own nutrition cert the same day would you allow people who weren’t signed up before to register with you/pay at the door? I live pretty close (Davis) and had planned on going but it sold out before I had the opportunity so this would be a cool way for me to get back in (and I’ll totally bring some good tequila!) and two, this is a little random but I was thinking it might be nice if you had a column or page that really outlined the fundamentals of the Paleo diet, how to get started, etc. Kind of like a paleo for dummies. There is a ton of info here and I search through it all the time but there’s so much that it can be tricky sorting out the info I need.
Thanks again and keep up the good work!
An Opinion about the BBS drama from a non-invested outsider……
Of course I wasn’t there and don’t know who said what and what context it was said ….(if they would release the videos then a lot of this nonsense could be resolved).
I’ll speak from my experience in the medical field and from the perspective on my own business model on difference of opinion and leadership.
On differing opinions and science—Part A –unfortunately a lot of the bickering between CF and the people that have quit or have been sacked is opion based and what seems to be ego driven. In the medical field studies are published, results are scrutinized, papers are written, peer reviewed, and then debated. If findings are clinically significant then it is accepted as effective and implemented as a treatment option. Medicine progresses and evolves.
Part B – what seems to have developed is a chasm within crossfit. Those that want to achieve being fit and those that want to compete CF style at a competitive and “elite” level.
Part A/B – my argument is that CF mainsite is extremely effective for the majority striving to achieve fitness but may not or is not the “be all, end all” of training for CF type competitions. If OPT, Khalipa, and Mikko all say that their only training was main site programming and nothing else then I will stand corrected for being the “be all / end all” of training for competitions. But for CFHQ to say that our method is THE most effective and others are not is erroneous because of A,B, and C then they need to provide peer reviewed conclusive evidence to support their claims….until then it is just an opinion. Nothing more.
The claim of “open source” should be refined by HQ to clear any confusion. When I hear open source I think of Linux or Mozilla. These companies released a foundation code for others to manipulate and work with to make a better product which easily noted with the evolution of a better, faster, and more stream lined product. CF’s def of open source appears to be better defined as open to suggestion but any “unstamped” implementation of the CF product appears to be met with great resistance and persecution. (the recent fall-out and leavings of other former CF instructors).
Case in point. Diet. Obviously CF touts that Zone is the best and paleo is not. OK. If this is a science based product then let us read the peer reviewed papers comparing the two diets head to head……or at least review / study what the “top tier” athletes eat. I’m willing to bet an emphasis is placed more on quality than quantity but with proper ratios in mind. (hopefully no elite athlete at that level thinks a bag of spinach alone is a full meal)….what I’m eluding to is that is still opinion until a study is produced and published from a peer reviewed journal. To say one is better or more important than the other…I say show me the evidence.
If CF as a corporate entity wants to adopt zone as their recommended diet then great. That is what they choose but it is not exactly open source as they tout but more of opinion based on non-scientifically derived conclusions and to say differing ideas are not equal without any scientific merit to prove so is remiss and elitist.
If the trend of disregarding people and ideas with differing opinions continues within the CFHQ then I fear for the survival of the CF trademark. CF needs to accept that their predominant demographic is intelligent, objective, and motivated to find out what is best. Most people will not accept “It is the best b/c HQ said so”. Show us why…show us the comparisons of methodology. It is the information age. iInformation is out there and easy to get. People will make their own choices regardless of a HQ stamp or not. If the trend of people getting fired or leaving b/c they do not completely agree with HQ continues people will call “bullshit” about the projected open-sourced model and future claims will be and should be met with great skepticism.
The genie is out of the bottle about the effectiveness of mixed and varied training. If CFHQ does not evolve then I see no major advantage to paying the fees for the brand name.
I personally have benefited greatly from CF and remain appreciative for all the doors it has opened in my life….but I give most of the credit to great local coaching and ongoing discussion of what “may” work best within our gym.
I really hope that HQ understands the power of being open minded and respecting others opinions even if they do differ. If not and the trend of dictatorship continues then I fear greatly for the brand.
The “quality control” and “free market model” of the brand is a whole new discussion for a different day. In short….Can I really trust a person with no athletic background or training to properly teach me the snatch after a weekend seminar? If I’m taught incorrectly and dislocate my shoulder do to error in form or the inability of my instructor to limit my motion….then whose fault is it? Mine? The instructor? or HQ for “certifying” this person with no proof of understanding and ability to properly teach the concept?
Like I said…another note.
Robb Wolf says
Hell of a post, thanks.
I don’t understand why you condemn Robb Wolf and Greg Everett, who seemed to show remarkable restraint, while applauding Dave Castro. How is disrupting a presentation and “dressing down” a SME tactful or appropriate?
Just because someone is an operator, or a Navy Seal, or whatever does not mean their shit dosn’t stink. Showing the capacity to make it through a suck-fest like BUDs or any other selection process does not mean you are infallible, or even that you have good character. Many people have made it through selection processes and later turn out to have terrible character. For example, numerous men who went through elite military training programs only later to take part in domestic terrorist groups. In fact, the FBI has specifically had concerns with SEAL team members who have had significant contacts with white supremacist groups. I can dig up the articles on this if necessary.
I am in no way suggesting that this holds true for Dave Castro or the majority of operators, SEALS, special ops, and what have you. I am merely saying that the argument “Dave Castro is and Ex-Navy SEAL so he must be right” does not make sense.
John Velandra says
I just wanted to touch base with the community and give them an update from CrossFit Cape Fear as we are slated to host the Robb Wolf nutrition Certification in Fayetteville NC on December 5th.
As everyone knows, Robb will not be teaching the certs anymore and to the best of my knowledge, neither will any of his crew. To say that I am extremely disappointed is an understatement, but, my personal thoughts and beliefs aside, I am having to think about the 70-plus students slated to arrive and hear about nutrition. CrossFit has issued a statement to all participants that they can get a refund on this certification if they so desire.
We will host the cert on Dec 5th in light of all this that has happened. Why? Two reasons… First, we made a commitment to host it and secondly, there are numerous folks coming from out of state that will lose their travel costs if we cancel and that just isn’t right.
So, if you are registered and wondering how all this is affecting the cert, we will be ready for you. At the moment, that’s all I know. I’ve not heard of who will be leading it, OR what their education and experience is, but as soon as I know more, I’ll post it.
All I can say is having met Robb at the 7th SFG cert a few years ago, his nutrition cert in Cherry Point, and personal conversations with him, whoever is presenting has got to be on their A-game. This is a pivotal moment for a lot of athletes and coaches.
CrossFit Cape Fear
Robb Wolf says
thanks for the update John, much appreciated.
Castro is a warrior, and frankly, I am thankful that we have guys like this on the front lines.
Running a business on the other hand is a completely separate matter, and in all honestly probably not the best thing for a warrior to be engaging in, literally walking into right off of the killing fields. I don’t see how he could separate the two worlds so easily.
You’re always welcome down under mate. You’ve got the respect of many here. Drop me an email and we’ll set up a Nutrition gig for next year. I’m sure there will be opportunities around the country at many of the other affiliates too.
About this whole affair. (By the way, I wasn’t there and as an affiliate didn’t even know about it. I have read various different accounts though and would be interested to see the vid)
Anyway, I’m sure Dave Castro nor anyone else gives a shit about my views, but as an affiliate owner, I’m disgusted by the behaviour of some of CF Inc’s staff.
I have had dealings with Dave Castro, in person and via email. In short, I wasn’t impressed. He and CF Inc managed to offend many operators from arguably one of the best and most respected Special Forces units in the world on their visit down under last year. Not cool. That’s all I’ll say.
Fortunately, the CF methodology and CF Inc are two entirely different beasts. I love the methodology but have reservations about CF Inc. And yep, I’m an affiliate and have been for some time.
Never met you, but was registered to go to your cert on the 31st at your gym. Its really sad to see how things have transpired. I was looking forward for the cert, but since you’re no longer running them, I asked for my money back. I’ll be looking forward to your book and your seminar when they become available.
Let’s put this whole spat in perspective folks. In 2004 Tiger Woods got pissed off at his swing coach, Butch Harmon, for calling him out publicly for saying that Tiger was in denial that he was in denial of the problems in his game and that he needed to fix his swing yet again. This pissed Tiger off so much that he fired Harmon, who had worked as Tiger’s coach since 1993.
Later that year Tiger hires Hank Haney to coach him. Guess what good ol’ Hank tells Tiger? “You need to fix your swing”. Tiger was upset with the publicity that Harmon drew to himself by talking about his swing to the media. He was also in denial about the break down in his mechanics. Think about it, we are talking about a guy that is getting paid 100 million dollars a year. He is the absolute best there has ever been in his sport and his coach is telling him that his mechanics are wrong.
The gist of the story is Tiger ultimately comes around and realizes he was being a pompous ass and makes up with Harmon. But by that time his new coach had fixed his swing and Tiger was winning Major Tourneys again so it was easy for him to see he was in the wrong.
I think we are seeing something similar here. People become defensive of what they have built. This is especially true when they are in the public eye. Hopefully, CFHQ will come around and realizes that by listening to constructive criticism they will be a better and stronger movement.
In this story capitalism will rule day and we will see the true winners in a couple of years. It will be an interesting read when it is all said and done.
Fat Guy says
If Dave Castro called Greg Everett a “fat fuck”…..what would he call his boss Coach Glassman????
Robb – sorry to hear how you were treated. Just run your own seminars and keep the $$$ yourself. Will be way less of a headache – and you can really say what you like.
I thought CrossFit was open source…..hmmm…doesent sound like they are practicing what they are preaching. Very dissapointed in HQ. Dave should be fired.
When I got my Level I cert in March of 2006, Dave Castro was one of the instuctors. My impression of him was that he was an immature 21year-old punk who just graduated BUDS and was feeling cocky because he was a SEAL. He even managed to piss off Nicole during the cert, and there was obviously tension between the two. I’m former military SOF, so I asked a couple SEAL friends of mine if they knew Dave from the West Coast teams, and I learned that he was closer to 30, had been in the Navy for a good while, and was not well-liked or well-respected in the SEAL community.
Coach Glassman, if you’ve dropped Greg and Robb and kept Dave because of business value, you made the wrong choice. Apologize and invite them back, because Dave Castro is only going to bring more trouble for you.
“It would involve staff who have trained people for years and have extensive educational backgrounds…let’s see here, Greg everett as the OL guy, Rip as the barbell guy, tucker or Coach sommer as the gymnastics guy, and I’ll cover the geek stuff.”
Sign me up for that course.
Some observations from a Crossfit newbie:
1. From my limited experience I knew Robb was in the Paleo camp, not the Zone, CFHQ never realized this to now? Dave should not have been surprised at Robb’s comments on nutrition.
2. Hanging around the Crossfit forums I’ve seen threads get locked or even “disappear” at times when someone raises a question about Crossfit that could be taken as being critical. Someone usually asking “why x when y looks more effective”?
I’ve seen Coach Glassman speak and he gave a great speech on fitness that got me interested in doing Crossfit. But any business/organization needs to look at best practices and see if there is a way to do things better. If not, someone else is doing that and they will leave you in the dust.
Robb Wolf says
Yes, but WHY was I in that camp? I experimented for years with basic Zone concepts and I found them less productive than Paleo concepts for everything from autoimmunity to athletic performance. I’ve detailed many examples of this on the blog. I tried to engage in constructive conversations about this and was hammered down. The friction came from an unwillingness on the part of HQ to evolve the program. this was the same thing which drove Rip out of the group.
Barry Cooper says
Robb, Greg, and I have been corresponding off-line, and I have a few thoughts. First off, both Greg and Robb are going to remain CrossFit affiliates. In my understanding–and Greg commented on this specifically at Performance Menu–they do this not particularly because of the CrossFit name, per se, but because of the sundry benefits that membership in this community creates for them. They care about you all, personally, and frankly the supplements they are able to offer to Main Page–the new contacts they generate through word of mouth in this community–is good business for them. Both are relevant, and I wouldn’t question that for a moment. I have great respect for both of them. Both will continue to be viewed by many as Subject Matter Experts, and will be in positions to offer seminars.
What we need to remember, here, is that Dan John did not create the CrossFit community. This is not to say he hasn’t provided a lot of valuable information and motivation to many people. Mark Twight did not create this community, even though no one CAN question his credentials as an elite alpinist, and as the manifestly successful trainer of many people.
Coach Glassman created this community. He provided the underlying theory that held it all together. He developed the templates for teaching functional movements executed at high intensity, and varied constantly if not randomly. He initiated the CrossFit Certifications. His excellent public speaking skills are both highly motivational and informative, and I don’t think anyone who has seen him in action can deny that.
Virtually none of you would be here, complaining, were it not for Coach Glassman. I see no credible reason why it would be possible to conclude otherwise. Did you all not get to this link through the CrossFit Message Board, or through Robb’s blog? Absent CrossFit, I never would have heard of or met Robb, and the same would apply to most of you.
Absent CrossFit, I doubt seriously Robb would have started his gym when he did. It had, as he stated then, been a long term dream of his, but I wonder (and Robb can speak to this) if he would have had the confidence to do it without the encouragement, help, and template Coach Glassman provided.
To be perfectly honest, it sounds like Dave was out of line here, even if Greg was egging him on in subtle or not-so-subtle ways. Today is Thanksgiving, and for many of us it calls to mind both happy moments, and moments of extreme tension, family fights, and even physical assaults (although in my own case, my experience is limited to yelling and screaming along the lines we are discussing here).
CrossFit is often accused of being cultish because for many of us this mode of working out is life changing. It makes us tougher, more resilient, and of course much fitter, physically. We call Coach Glassman “Coach”, which I suppose for many looks suspiciously like “Guru”.
We expect dramas in business. Bill Gates is notorious for the vicious tongue lashing he metes out to people he perceives as incompetent and wrong. No doubt this basic tendency is played out among entrepreneurial enterprises around the world. Creation and management are two different things. The personalities that create something from nothing are very often not those that take something that exists, and maximize efficiency. That’s what they teach Business School grads.
What do we have here? Somebody flying off the handle. I’ve seen that at my own work, and not seen those responsible fired. I’ve been sworn at myself (which I usually deserved, since I have a tendency to ignore rules I don’t like) repeatedly. For those of you in the military, have you never been dressed down in public? One hopes not, but it happens.
For those questioning Dave, I can say for certain that he WAS a trainer when he was in the service. That was his job, day to day.
The hurt feelings, here, result from the widespread perception that in some basic way, the CrossFit Community was immune from the silly dramas that happen in businesses and homes around the world every day. That we were, necessarily and constitutionally, unique.
Why would this be? Can a system really have been developed that eliminates ALL negative human behavior whatever? Can we really be thinking Coach Glassman is a saint, when it is quite possible to read negative information about Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Einstein, and whoever else you want to sanctify?
What remains, at the end of the day? The people with whom you have bonded BECAUSE of Coach Glassman, and the fitness system you love, and were introduced to (in almost all cases) as a result of the work of Coach Glassman.
Whining is easy. Creating is hard. For my loving fans, see you a week from Saturday. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!
I agree with you Robb, you should ALWAYS be examining what you are doing, applies to everything in life. If a better way presents itself, change. Denial or apathy will kill an organization.
The crazy thing about all of this is that you don’t “bash” the Zone at all. I’m sure you have MUCH respect to the work Barry Sears has done over the years and think the Zone has it’s merits. You have simply found that after years of trying different methods that eating grass fed meats, wild fish, veggies, some fruit, nuts and seeds , while cutting out gluten and sugar work better than any other way you have tried. Also, as you say in your lecture, it’s uncomplicates things. I would think that the empirical data you have gathered with clients over time, both from a weight loss and performance perspective, would be something HQ would be thrilled to examine. You have also made it clear that if an unweighed and measured paleo isn’t helping shed those last couple of lbs, then going “weighed and measured” is the next step. Why is this such an issue with HQ. Very bizarre. Almost as bizarre as defending the merits of a medball clean…but not quite.
I personally think Crossfit has an excellent concept going, but remember it is, in the end, all about the money. If you have noticed Barry Sears has been all over the crossfit site recently, with his webinar and what not. If they have worked out some kind of deal with him to co-promote the Zone with Crossfit it would make sense that they would want to protect that investment. Just because it is not ideal for the athlete doesn’t mean its not ideal for crossfit HQ.
The fact that they had a blow out with Robb over it before discussing the party line with him is just poor management. If they wanted a Zone centric push for commercial reasons, then they should have told Robb this in private and if he didn’t feel comfortable with it, they could have found someone else.
My 2 cents.
Kill The Lawyers says
Disclaimer: I am a mere law student half way through my second year… although I did have the highest GPA in my year including the highest grade in Contracts.
In response to the people wondering about whether or not they have a right to/can get their money back.
I believe that the change of instructors constitutes a material, and possibly total, breach of contract by HQ, and probably entitles registrants who have paid to get a refund.
When performance under a contract is due, any non-performance is a breach. But not all breaches give rise to a claim for damages. With respect to performances to be exchanged under an exchange of promises, a breach by non-performance gives rise to a claim for damages *only if* it discharges the injured party’s remaining duties to render such performance.
In determining whether an injured party’s duty to render performance is discharged, the materiality of the breach is significant. In determining the materiality, the following factors can be significant, among others: (1) the extent to which the injured party will be *deprived of the benefit which he reasonably expected,* (2) the likelihood that the party failing to perform will cute his failure…, and (3) the extent to which the *behavior of the party failing to perform comports with standards of good faith and fair dealing.*
Here, performance of a contract is due: the contract between CFHQ and the registrants to provide a nutritional certification in exchange for payment. While I believe most of the parties here have already paid for their certification, and thus the issue of excusing their performance is moot in that regard, it is still relevant for determining whether the HQ’s “breach” was material, and total.
Here, it is quite obvious that the registrants will be deprived of the benefit they reasonably expected. The nutrition certifications were built around advertising Robb Wolf, and it is fair to say that “most,” if not all of the, registrants were motivated to attend by Robb himself. The “benefit” they are deprived of is learning from Robb. Additionally, the likelihood that HQ will cure it’s failure (failure being not having Robb actually do the “cert”) is, safe to say at this point, nill. Lastly, there is a good argument that HQ has not acted in good faith in carrying out the agreement, for obvious reasons.
The other factors relevant to determining whether or not this is a “total breach” giving rise to damages are not really applicable to this situation (the extent to which it reasonably appears to the injured party that delay may prevent or hinder him in making reasonable substitute arrangements, and the extent to which the agreement provides for performance without delay). However, there are no substitute arrangements here (yet), and in looking at these factors for determining whether a breach is total, no one is determinative on its own.
A material breach may be enough in this situation for a claim of damages (ie, a refund). If it’s not, it’s a good argument.
However, *even if* CFHQ has breached a contract giving rise to damages (a refund), and *even if* registrants have a right to a refund, who is going to force HQ to give them one? They can keep the money and do whatever they want: the only remedy would be a lawsuit, and the only feasible one would be a class action due to the relatively small amounts at stake to each individual.
So unless people are planning on suing HQ, they’ll have to bear the loss on this one.
Seriously, take the criticism from HQ for what its worth. Obviously the commercialization of CrossFit training is now taking precedent over effectiveness and education with certainly a lucrative result. As an MD who took your Nutrition Cert, I appreciate your methods and honest desire to find the truth. While the Zone may have merits for the average American gorging themselves with excessive bread and pasta and wondering why their wasteline is growing, so too the Elliptical is a better choice for the average inactive adult than their current lifestyle. The issue is what is MOST effective and that’s what you’re about, we’re just glad you didn’t “sell out” to the “Commercial CrossFit” product being peddled to the uneducated masses over the last 2 years.
I’ve been around CrossFit just over 3 years, have ZERO financial interest in any of this, truly believe in most of the tenets originally espoused by CFHQ, and really enjoyed the diversity of trainers and trainees I’ve met at the 4 Certs I’ve attended. I took those courses and continue to read and watch videos not to train clients (I train myself, my wife and my kids) but to learn to do it RIGHT!! However, the mindset and goals of this organization changed significantly during that time, funny what a little financial greed can do to a once honest and altruistic search for elite fitness. Maybe we should coin it “The Globo-gymanization” of CrossFit! Sad.
Barry Cooper says
Before anyone asks, releasing or not releasing any emails will not be a decision I have to make, since Robb has decided that what is best at this point is to simply move forward, and not reopen issues that were closed 2 or more years ago. This is likely a good decision.
Let us suppose, though, that they contain very vicious, personal attacks on someone who may or may not have deserved it, likely the latter. Would this tell us “CrossFit”, per se, is no good? No. Would it tell us that Coach is prone to fits of anger? Yes. Is he unique in this? Not in my experience. I had the owner of one company I worked for tell me–to my face–that I was an “effing pussy” for fighting for some money out of which he had, in effect, cheated me.
Clearly, going off reflects, often, a character flaw. It does not in any way reduce, however, the positives of which that person is equally capable. Was Chesty Puller a saint? I haven’t read his biography, but the mere facts that he was a hard charging type A, and that he was a member of the species Homo Sapiens, tells me that whatever detractors he had found ammunition with which to charge him of whatever offense they deemed suitable, likely with some justification, to which his supporters would have offered in defense his long and stellar record of getting the job done.
When you are in your boxes, wherever they are, you can do whatever you want. You can do Starting Strength. You can ignore Med. Ball cleans. You can do Paleo, Zone, the Pritikin Plan, or Power Eating. Up to you. Nobody is there watching you every day.
This is the benefit of the Affiliate system, and to my mind the most valid, business oriented objection is that if you are running an Affiliate, how you do things is your own damn business, as long as they are based on CrossFit ideals of randomized, high intensity training with functional movements, all of which are open to very broad interpretation.
If they want to demand specific routines, diets, exercises, etc, then they need to call it a franchise, and lay out the specifics. It can’t go both ways, and frankly I too would be chomping at the bit if I were simultaneously being told I had complete freedom, and then being told I had to do things a certain way.
In this case, it sounds like two highly opinionated people butted heads. As I have shared with some high placed people at HQ, I think this is a learning opportunity. It is always better to reform something that exists, than to create something brand new.
The obvious direction, to me, is that of increased latitude for the Affililates to find their own ways, which would include diverse opinions on biomechanics and diet.
Kill The Lawyers says
Apparently they’re giving refunds no questions asked… so last post is now moot.
As professionals, we have an obligation, always, to do what is best for the people we influence, regardless of any dogma or politics.
Barry Cooper says
One last thought, then I’m likely done. Two, actually.
First, I wanted to openly apologize to Robb and Greg for suggesting other than honorable motives on their part. There are still pieces of this puzzle I’m lacking, but my speculations seem to have been largely or wholly off-base.
Second, I wanted to point out that there are a LOT of people out there gunning for CrossFit, simply because of the success we have enjoyed. For example, I see a lot of big guys out there saying we don’t do enough strength work for their taste. This is true. They don’t run enough for our taste. But what is the point in saying your goals differ from GPP, then bashing CrossFit for not meeting them?
Everyone is free to program things however they want. A lot of people are doing this Buy-in/WOD/Cash out system, where you do both Max Effort strength training and metcons on a regular basis. This seems to have merit. You see it on Affiliate pages all over.
But trying different approaches is different from trying to claim CrossFit fails in some parameter it is not trying to meet in the first place. The Main Page is fine, as far as I know, for thousands of people overseas, who are NOT training for the Games. And self evidently, people who are training for the Games have got to do more than the Main Page. If someone has claimed otherwise, please link to it.
So there are really multiple angles here. We likely have imprudent, abusive behavior being excused by HQ. We have lost a good resource as far as Nutrition. On the flip side, it seems likely we have a lot of people at HQ feeling under attack by a lot of people whose main intent seems to be to cause harm and mayhem. This does not seem to have applied to Greg, and Robb was out of it entirely, as far as I can tell. His participation seems to have been limited to arguing in favor of unweighed Paleo, and trying to referee an argument.
But you can’t explain Dave’s reaction without consideration of that fact. Many, many people want CrossFit to fail, for many, many different reasons. In trying to understand ANY situation, all of the factors in play have to be included in any serious analysis.
It’s a crappy situation. It will pass, one way or another. I’d encourage you all to remember the things you love, and forget about events thousands of miles away that have little to no impact on what you do every day.
Robb Wolf says
I appreciate the post. I’d have to say there are a ton of people who wanted to see CF succeed like nothing else. HQ has systematically run them off when improvements on the brand were suggested.
This is unbelieveable, screw HQ! they are to damn cocky for their own good. I love crossfit, but when i hear shit like this it gets me very frustrated. Out of everyone, Dave should get kicked from the crossfit community, but as we all know that will never happen. Rob I agree 100% with you about the paleo diet, im a diabetic, and have drastically reduced my insulin levels since eating correctly, and as you have stated my performance has gone through the roof as well. Greg Everett also made excellent point, form is the most critical point of all olympic lifts. Using correct form is only going to help your performance. If HQ doesnt want to be more open to ideas, and cant take criticism well, then they will be something of the past. Hopefully, they can change, and they can start by straightening Castro out!
Just a European Boy says
this might not mean much to you as I am just a student from Germany doing CrossFit (my own programming) and following you’re homepage aswell as Greg Everetts’ performance menue with great interest and admiration.
I personally have nothing to do with CrossFit HQ nor it’s staff. But I have followed CrossFit’s developement for about 4 years now. I have to say that I have always wondered how the Glassman’s could built such a huge empire showing so little professionalism on certain business topics as well as on choices on personal. When I watched the CrossFit Games 2007 movie “Every Second Counts” I was shocked by the way Dave Castro acted in the movie. I thought he had an anger management problem when I saw him reacting on the “bumping clean situation”.
I was also shocked when I saw the Glassmans. They didn’t look like they had practiced what they preached for a long time… not even the nutritional part. To me they looked like lottery winners who didn’t know how to spend all the money they got (boob jobs?), but surely not like professionals of any kind.
I have also followed the so called “Couch Thread” and the open dissing of GreySkull. Neither one seemed very professional to me.
I believe that excellence will always win in the end. Being unprofessional is not my definition of excellence.
On the other hand what you, Greg Everett, Mark Rippetoe, Mike Burgener and many, many others do, seems very professional and excellent to me!!
I have done my Level I Cert this summer and thought about opening an affiliate in Germany after finishing my studies at university. I’d still love to open a box, but I become and more alienated by HQ’s behaviour and I know I’m not the only European who is thinking like that.
I know you and Greg will keep up the good work and will still have a huge impact on the CrossFit Community because what you do is excellent and the manner in whi