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The increasing frequency of obesity related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension are often the product of a nutritionally inadequate diet along with sedentary lifestyle. The fitness movement called CrossFit, formed by Greg Glassman in 1996, provides an alternative prescription to battling these physical ailments by incorporating high intensity-functional exercise along with a Paleolithic-inspired diet (The Paleo Diet). CrossFit is a distinct lifestyle that encourages participants to strive for an "elite" and "optimal" state of fitness and health. In this thesis I provide ethnographic data collected from participant-observation at a CrossFit gym in Bloomington, IL. I examine scientific research on the exercise and physiology of CrossFit training and the Paleo Diet, and I explore the history of fitness movements in America to place the culture of the CrossFit into historical perspective.

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