Greg Glassman is a US entrepreneur who is most famous for founding the global fitness phenomenon—CrossFit.
He and his now ex-wife Lauren Jenai launched their fitness training program from humble beginnings…but by the time it sold to Eric Roza, there were thousands of CrossFit gyms around the world.
Being the man behind a globally recognized brand hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Glassman though.
From controversy to marriage break-ups to fighting polio, Greg has faced down a few demons.
Here’s what we know.
The Origin Story
Greg Glassman was born and raised in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.
He entered the world on July 22, 1956, the first child of a rocket scientist dad—he worked for Hughes Aircraft—and a stay-at-home mom.
Hailing from a firmly upper-class LA family, Glassman contracted polio when he was just 10 weeks old.
It was diagnosed sometime after his first birthday, and he was given a walker to use.
Instead, he crawled around—“one legging it for a while,” he says.
He’d spend vacations with his grandparents in Alabama, a time he looks back on with fondness.
He describes time with his grandparents as “wholesome,” and compares it favorably to his home life.
Glassman describes his mom as “mean-spirited” and says that everything was a competition for his father.
Never an academic kid, Greg skipped the college route when he left high school.
He worked out a lot in his parents’ garage, cycled with friends, and pushed his young body to the limit.
From a young age, he knew that fitness and physical training were his way up in the world.
Love and Marriage
In the late ’80s, Glassman fell in love with the girl next door—literally.
His first wife was Brande Jones, the girl who lived next door to him growing up.
The pair had a son, Blakely, on July 18, 1989, a couple of days before Glassman’s 33rd birthday.
The marriage didn’t last forever, and soon, Glassman was finalizing a divorce and dating one of his personal training clients—Lauren Jenai.
Jenai was a hairdresser when the pair met.
They worked together to fine-tune Glassman’s ideas around personal training and physical fitness, and eventually founded CrossFit in 2000.
The pair married and had four children together—two sons and two daughters.
That marriage didn’t last, either, and resulted in a drawn-out, messy divorce that wasn’t finalized until 2013—four years after proceedings had started.
For her part in founding one of the world’s biggest fitness crazes, Jenai received a $20 million pay-out.
With that second divorce out of the way in 2013, Glassman remarried again—this time to Maggie Robinson.
Maggie was a waitress at a San Diego restaurant, and the pair met when she was on a date with the head of CrossFit’s legal department.
She is almost 30 years younger than Glassman.
The Birth of CrossFit
CrossFit—the branded fitness giant created by Glassman and his ex-wife, Lauren Jenai—was born in 2000.
A blend of physical exercise theory and competitive sport, it draws from multiple sports and fitness disciplines, including weightlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
At its height, millions of people were members of CrossFit-affiliated gyms.
Its signature Workouts of the Day—referred to by CrossFitters as WODs—became a craze across the US, UK, and most of the Western world.
CrossFit came under fire in 2010 for being a contributing factor for exertional rhabdomyolysis—a life-threatening breakdown of muscle tissue.
It was also found to cause more injuries than traditional resistance training with weights.
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The Decline of Glassman’s Empire
In a CrossFit leadership call following the death of George Floyd—a recording of which was obtained by CNN—Glassman stated, “Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it’s the white thing to do . . . .”
Glassman doubled down on his statement with a slew of offensive tweets about health, race, and gender.
In the days that followed, CrossFit lost hundreds of licensed gyms as their owners dropped their affiliation with the brand.
In total, more than 500 gyms would part ways with Glassman.
The fitness behemoth also lost its major sponsors—Reebok, FitAid, Rogue Fitness—and saw many big names pull out of the annual CrossFit Games.
Noah Olsen, a popular figure in the sport—and the athlete who came 2nd at the 2019 annual games—famously declined his invite to the 2020 event.
Two weeks after the fallout from his insensitive rant began, Glassman announced that he was selling CrossFit to Eric Roza.
He had already resigned as chief executive, with the role going to Dave Castro.
Glassman’s total departure from the CrossFit brand was hailed as a success by the community, and a way for the chain to move forward.
Roza—who took over as CEO when he bought the privately-owned company—began cleaning up the company’s image immediately.
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Greg Glassman – Net Worth
Glassman earned most of his wealth from founding and managing CrossFit.
In 2020, Greg sold the company. The financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Therefore, entrepreneur Greg Glassman has an estimated net worth of $110 million.
Interested in what CrossFit will do without Greg Glassman? Men’s Health followed Eric Roza and Dave Castro’s rebuild of the brand—and you can read it here.
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