Last night I received word from Bill DeSimone of Congruent Exercise that my fitness mentor Greg Anderson died over the weekend. Greg Anderson ran Seattle’s Ideal Exercise and has been active in the High-Intensity Training community for many years. Greg was passionate about fitness and High-Intensity Training.
How I met Greg was pure luck. When my Tales From the Glitter Gym series was featured on MetaFilter, I got slammed with negative comments. One of the negative comments was specific to the fact that I was dismissive of cardio. I decided to do a more detailed post on the topic, so I wrote The Myth of Cardiovascular Training. Although there are some minor things I would change today, for the most part, I am still proud of that post.
Shortly after that post, I received an email introduction from Greg. He really liked the new cardio post and invited me to his HIT gym for a workout. Greg’s gym was a short drive away from where I live in Seattle.
I detailed my first HIT workout with Greg in the post High-Intensity Training at Ideal Exercise of Seattle. Prior to this workout, I was attempting to practice what I had been reading in the book Body By Science. I was doing the movements correctly. I was even doing OK with the fluid movements and the timing.
What I didn’t get until my workout with Greg was what intensity really means. After this workout and a follow-up session with Greg, I became a believer and disciple of HIT. People laugh when I tell them I work out just 10-15 minutes per week. They wouldn’t laugh had they experienced a HIT workout by Greg Anderson. Those first 9 minutes I spent with Greg will forever be seared in my memory.
Greg Anderson is my fitness mentor. I learned a lot from him. He will be missed. Dr. McGuff, the author of the greatest fitness book ever, Body By Science, just posted a nice tribute to Greg titled The Greatest Trainer in the World. Read it all.
Dec 4, 2012 — 3:25 pm
Greg will be missed greatly. He was a good friend and hell of a great guy that i’ve known for over 10 years.
Dec 6, 2012 — 12:43 am
Thank you Michael.
Your kind words mean a lot. You are always welcome at Ideal Exercise.
Dec 6, 2012 — 9:40 am
@Ann-Marie – Thank you!
Dec 6, 2012 — 11:44 am
I just heard about this terrible news. I worked for Greg and Anne-Marie at IE in the late ’90s. Greg and I also trained in martial arts together. That was an important chapter in my life. Circumstances have taken me far from Seattle and I’ve fallen out of touch with the Andersons, but this news is difficult to learn.
Anne-Marie: My condolences. Greg: RIP, amigo. See you on the other side.
Dec 7, 2012 — 2:28 pm
My best friend is gone.I am so sad.Can’t get a grip on it.Ann-Marie,you are in our thoughts,all day,everyday.I will miss my phone conversations with Greg.
Dec 7, 2012 — 8:28 pm
my condolences, having just recently stumbled across this blog and HIT, its a disappointment to come across news such as this 🙁 …
Dec 8, 2012 — 2:25 pm
I am so sorry Ann-Marie and I am stunned. Thats the best way to describe hearing of Gregs passing. Greg was a great friend and mentor to me as I was starting that road to understanding HIT training. He was an inspiration who not only was always willing to teach but was able to bring it down to what was important. Never any B.S.!!
Greg was a great trainer to be sure but also a great business man. He continued to grow and change his business with Ann- Marie as a partner to great success. He enjoyed his job!! Even though I fell out of favor with Greg over the last few years, I will miss the times we spent together and wish for more. Greg was great in exercise but he was also a great guy. There were many times he had me laughing so hard I thought I would burst. His wit was fast and furious. A brilliant guy and I am saddened by losing him. Bless you Ann- Marie and please know that I would love to help you if there is anything I can do.
Dec 15, 2012 — 8:00 am
Wow, just read this. The last time I saw Greg was when Dr. McGuff did a presentation at Ideal. He seemed just fine then. How did Greg die?
Dec 15, 2012 — 8:04 am
@JP – I do not know.
Dec 15, 2012 — 4:05 pm
Can someone in the know please tell of the proximate cause of death? I hear nothing but words of praise, but a deafening silence on the cause of death.
Dec 15, 2012 — 9:47 pm
Here is the obit: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=greg-alan-anderson&pid=161619609#fbLoggedOut
Dec 16, 2012 — 6:53 am
JP, the Obituary does not answer my question. It only says that he died peacefully and to donate to the American Heart Association. Is it improper and impolite or just plain dumb to ask about the proximate cause of death? Did he die of a heart disease or failure of some kind? What did the High Intensity Training Protocole have to do with it?
Dec 16, 2012 — 10:36 am
Thank you, JP, for posting the obituary from the Seattle Times. The memorial on Saturday, January 19, 2:00PM at Pier 57 on the Seattle Waterfront is open to anyone who wants to come remember Greg and send him off to Valhalla.
Greg died of the same causes that his maternal grandfather did at the age of 49. Gout, extreme arthritis, and coronary artery disease, to name the most obvious. This last year, Greg had taken four major falls, inuring his back severely each time. I believe the damage to his body was just to much for his diseased system.
The cause of death, per the coroner, was that his arteries were completely blocked with calcium. Sometimes genetics trump the best of efforts to beat them. I know in my heart Greg is in a much happier place now.
Dec 16, 2012 — 5:26 pm
Ann-Marie, please accept our condolences. Greg will be missed.
Aug 6, 2015 — 10:58 am
He didn’t believe in cardiovascular exercise and he died from heart disease?
Aug 6, 2015 — 11:04 am
@Steve – My take on Greg’s writings is that he felt cardiovascular health could be a by product of strength training, specifically High Intensity Training. Getting stronger is an efficient path to improved cardiovascular health.