Physiological Performance Measures as Indicators of CrossFit® Performance.


Department of Exercise Science, Concordia University Chicago, Riverforest, IL 60305, USA. [Email]


CrossFit® began as another exercise program to improve physical fitness and has rapidly grown into the "sport of fitness". However, little is understood as to the physiological indicators that determine CrossFit® sport performance. The purpose of this study was to determine which physiological performance measure was the greatest indicator of CrossFit® workout performance. Male (n = 12) and female (n = 5) participants successfully completed a treadmill graded exercise test to measure maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), a 3-minute all-out running test (3MT) to determine critical speed (CS) and the finite capacity for running speeds above CS (D'), a Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) to assess anaerobic peak and mean power, the CrossFit® total to measure total body strength, as well as the CrossFit® benchmark workouts: Fran, Grace, and Nancy. It was hypothesized that CS and total body strength would be the greatest indicators of CrossFit® performance. Pearson's r correlations were used to determine the relationship of benchmark performance data and the physiological performance measures. For each benchmark-dependent variable, a stepwise linear regression was created using significant correlative data. For the workout Fran, back squat strength explained 42% of the variance. VO2max explained 68% of the variance for the workout Nancy. Lastly, anaerobic peak power explained 57% of the variance for performance on the CrossFit® total. In conclusion, results demonstrated select physiological performance variables may be used to predict CrossFit® workout performance.


CrossFit® sport performance,D′,VO2max,benchmark performance,critical speed,physiological indicators,strength,