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John Planow

I’ve been involved in sports and fitness all my life, from chasing a soccer ball as soon as I was old enough to run, to competing in a variety of sports, and finally captaining, coaching, and leading sport organizations.

I spent my childhood in rural New York State as a soccer player, and eventually started competing in endurance sports. I focused on cross-country skiing throughout high school, finishing multiple seasons ranked in the top 10 in the state. In 1995, I began attending college at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY. Looking to expand my level of fitness, I turned toward powerlifting. While working on heavy deadlifts, bench presses, and squats, I dedicated myself to learning excellent technique. As I began helping others do the same, I got my first taste of coaching. I took great pride in knowing that members of my group were lifting more safely and effectively than anyone else in the gym. In addition, the focus and intensity I brought to skiing and lifting had positive effects on my ability to do the same in other parts of my life.

After graduating from RIT in 2000 with a degree in Computer Engineering, I relocated to the Sacramento, California area to work as a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard. Despite continuing to participate in team sports throughout college, I missed being more competitive and decided to take up a sport called Ultimate. At the time, Sacramento lacked any serious, competitive teams, so I honed my skills by playing on the UC Davis men’s team for a year. Wanting more, I teamed up with a fellow player and founded the Sacramento Ultimate Players’ Association (SUPA), a non-profit organization aimed at promoting Ultimate in the Sacramento area. The leagues and tournaments we hosted created a large player base, which eventually helped us field more competitive teams in tournaments throughout the region. It gave me plenty of opportunities to work on my skills as a coach and captain, a role that I found more and more fulfilling. In the process, I made numerous life long friends, learned how to push myself to new levels, and realized I could achieve challenging, far-off goals.

John Planow

John Planow, Owner / Founder of CrossFit Genesis - Turkish Get Up with Barbell


In early 2006, a co-worker who knew about my passion for fitness introduced me to CrossFit. I was intrigued, and then astonished at what I saw people doing in the videos from After I started doing CrossFit workouts myself, it didn’t take long for my entire outlook on fitness to change. It also affected my life in other ways – it taught me even more about mental toughness, reaching goals, community, and helping others, just to name a few. In the latter part of 2007, I decided to help others realize the same benefits through CrossFit and began training people in my garage gym. In early 2008, I met Phil Mancini at a CrossFit certification seminar and shortly thereafter, CrossFit Genesis was born.

Sports and fitness have been a life-long passion. I’ve had so many positive experiences based around people reaching their fitness goals. It’s an amazing experience to coach someone and watch them experience their own physical potential. My vision for CrossFit Genesis is transforming lives by forging unimaginable strength.

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