Ch. 10 – “Practicing at Life”

In his final chapter, Kunitz explains the most recent paradigm shift in fitness. In the early 2000s, he claims, New Frontier Fitness (NFF) came into existence, as regular people moved from more recreational activities, like jogging and sports, to training like professional athletes. Central to this shift in training was a change in mindset from aesthetics to performance. He identifies Greg Glassman, a YMCA-gymnastics-coach-turned-personal-trainer, as the influencer who recognized both athletes and professionals, like police and firefighters, required top-notch general physical preparedness (GPP). Importantly, Glassman acknowledged better GPP was not restricted to elite members of fit society, but could improve the performance of all individuals, regardless of occupation. It was out of this concept of optimizing GPP that CrossFit was born. Kunitz employs CrossFit as the epitome of NFF: democratic in the sense that all walks of life can and do participate and holistic, as exercises are varied, involve multiple integrated muscle groups, and extend beyond the realm of working out, “set[ting] the rhythm of people’s daily lives,” through sleep schedules, eating patterns, visions of self, and ideas of achievement.