Empowering Human Performance | Athletigen Blog

Athletigen: Expand Your Foundation

Posted by Casey Jones on Wed, Sep 30, 2015

In the inaugural address by Greg Glassman, he defined CrossFit* as an evidence-based fitness program that was “developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks.”

“CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. We have designed our program to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible."
- Greg Glassman - CrossFit CEO. As stated in Foundations, CrossFit Journal, 2002. (1)

The concept of fitness was introduced as being a function of three fitness standards (2): Competency in ten general physical skills, an ability to perform well at any physical task, and a bodily proficiency in each of the three metabolic pathways. The scientifically based assertions of CrossFit’s program speak to optimizing health and fitness through specific training and diet that drives physiological adaptation down to the molecular level.

CrossFit athletes have become the world leaders in broad scale physical competence, through rigorous training specifically designed to maximize physiological adaptation. Until now, this was the best known approach for achieving optimal physical performance.

“...our program is distinctive,if not unique, in its focus on maximizing neuroendocrine response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities…”
- Greg Glassman (1)


Access to genetic information has allowed the scientific community to begin developing their understanding of how DNA plays a role in these physiological adaptations, with significant progress being made to date.

Perhaps most importantly is the growing understanding that differential responses to training often have genetic influences. Further, responses to diet and supplementation also differ between individuals, and are influenced by an individual’s genetics.

CrossFit’s workouts famously focus on providing a broad scale physical competence in each of the ten recognized fitness domains, with each athlete preparing for the annual Open and for some, ultimately the Games. Training for the unknown workouts in the competitive arena requires some flexibility in training strategy, and allows the opportunity to leverage individual strengths, and while address weaknesses. By arming oneself with genetic knowledge, strategic approaches to WOD training give rise to increased success and new PRs.

“Diet – Lays the molecular foundations for fitness and health.”
- Greg Glassman (1)

Greg Glassman was correct in his inaugural statement above: our response to nutritional intake is shaped by our genetics at dozens of genes related to macronutrient metabolism, micronutrient response, and sensitivity to supplementation. Given the wide variation of personal response to diet and supplementation, genetic insights that reveal nutritional sensitivities are an essential component to understanding how to fuel your optimal performance.


* CrossFit is a registered trademark ® of CrossFit, Inc.


      (1) Glassman, G. (2002). CrossFit: Foundations. CrossFit Journal. Retrieved from
      (2) Glassman, G. (2002). What is fitness? CrossFit Journal. Retrieved from

Topics: fitness, foundation, genetics, performance, sports genetics, sports performance, crossfit, Editorial

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