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CrossFit’s Elite vs. the IMG Combine360 by Various - CrossFit Journal

In Athletes, HD Videos

July 12, 2010

Video Article

In the lead-up to the qualification season for the 2010 CrossFit Games, Director of Training Dave Castro decided to haul a group of past Games athletes, well-known firebreathers and 2010 Games competitors out to Bradenton, Fla., to take part in an athletic evaluation at the IMG Performance Institute. The test, or Combine360, includes a battery of evaluations, including vision, mental and physical assessments.

Shot before the regionals, the video features elite athletes Spencer Hendel, Rob Orlando, Heather Bergeron, Lindsey Smith, Tommy Hackenbruck, Caity Henniger, Karianne Dickson, Tanya Wagner, Kristan Clever, Jared Davis, Pat Burke, Pat Barber, Jason Khalipa, Chris Spealler, Miranda Oldroyd, David Millar and Emily Beers.

Over the course of three days in Florida, Sevan Matossian takes us behind the scenes as these athletes are put to the test.

35min 38sec

HD file size: 1.23 GB
SD wmv file size: 380 MB

Please note: These files are very large. They are long and even the SD versions are higher quality than the normal Journal videos. They are not meant to be watched streamed. Please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Training With the Enemy by Kevin Daigle, published May 17, 2010.

Free Download


76 Comments on “CrossFit’s Elite vs. the IMG Combine360”


wrote …

That was frikin bad ass and tommy's back flip was so cool!



wrote …

"So any questions about golf?"

... (awkward silence)


And that driving role playing bit. Very funny. Curious about the results though; and what a top level running back or rugby player would score. You know, just for perspective.


wrote …

Awesome video! What are the results and what's the comparison to some other athletes though?


wrote …

What an awesome experience that group of guys got to have. They represented the crossfit community well, lookin forward to seein more of it. That place is awesome... but it's still no garage gym or box!


wrote …

post the results for vertical jump and 40 so we can compare


wrote …

Very interesting and entertaining - it was fun to watch CrossFitters do improv. But don't tease! How did the CrossFitters measure up against other sports?


wrote …

This Combine 360 thing is pretty new, I don't know if there are many scores yet to compare to. According to the Underarmor blog they are focusing on ages 8-18 in any case.


wrote …

The iphone format doesn't play on my iphone 3G.


Dane Thomas wrote …

A correction - Nick Bollettieri founded his tennis academy that was later purchased by IMG and expanded into the IMG Performance Institute. IMG was founded by Mark McCormack.

More info on Nick, Mark, IMG and the IMG Academies can be found on Wikipedia:


wrote …

Just wanna know Castro's score :)


wrote …

Did anyone else have any sound problems or freezing??? I played the wmv format haven't tried anyother players yet.

Still very interesting watch, love this sort of stuff.


wrote …

Video freezes up with about 5 minutes left.


wrote …

just when it started getting good... :(


replied to comment from Benjamin Plouzek

Getting the same freeze up right towards the end.


wrote …

I thought the freezing was just me.


replied to comment from Thanh Phung is freezing during Khalipa's 40M run. I tried to download it two separate times and it doesn't play beyond that point.


wrote …

Same freeze


wrote …

Please release their findings! Maybe in the future, send some of the top Crossfitters to various sports "camps" to compare them to like Baseball, Football,Soccer...Then bring one of their athletes into a Crossfit Box...woohoo!


wrote …

The suspense is killing me! Please post the results.


wrote …

Dear whoever made/edited this video, Nick Bollettieri is NOT the founder of IMG...he's the founder of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, which IMG bought in 1987 and expanded into the many other sports you see now...

IMG was founded by Mark McCormack, who was Arnold Palmer's agent...he started and built IMG into the largest sports management company in the world...he passed away in 2003...

anyway, just thought the facts should be straight, especially if people from IMG see this...



Rob Barrese wrote …

31:45 in it freezes but the clock continues to roll?!


wrote …

you aint gonna see any results folks as i imagine they are probably quite pathetic compared to athletes who participate in sports that use the services of IMG.


replied to comment from Harrison Meelker

I laughed at the golf awkward silence too.


wrote …

Journal subscribers,

There are some issues with the frame rate for this video, which is why the last few minutes are cut off and the video is not viewable on mobile devices.

We're also aware that Nick Bollettieri is not the founder of IMG, as Omid Ashtari said above. As indicated, Bollettieri's Tennis Academy was purchased by IMG and is the foundation of what is now the IMG Academies.

We regret these issues and will be correcting them as soon as possible following the CrossFit Games.

Thanks for watching and commenting.

Mike Warkentin
CrossFit Journal


replied to comment from Baker Leavitt

Nice one, I like that sweet negative attitude of yours.

I'd wager that they perform very well. IMG is specializing, of course, but the proof is in the pudding. Lets wait for the results, don't just lay bombs on the dudes. As I understand it's a general test, not a sport specific test, maybe they have sport specific tests, but in either case they'd do fine.

Point is not that to see how they score, I thought it was informative enough just to see some of the ways that IMG trains. I had no idea that a place like that existed, how cool is that? How cool would it have been to go there as a youth? Heaven on earth... especially if they'd mix in a bit of CF.


wrote …

Gotta' love the immature squat (torso inclined forward, shallow depth, etc.) of the guy demonstrating/judging the pressing snatch balance. Nice subtle call-out, Pat.


wrote …

Great video! i'm thinking there should be a part II sometime soon....Orlando is a beast!


replied to comment from Steven Kicinski

Haha ya i caught that too!


wrote …

Clash of cultures! I think the crossfitters will have performed well, but there is probably a lot that both camps can learn from each other. As someone who is rubbish at golf, the pause did make me laugh!


replied to comment from jake buchanan

jake i wasnt being negative i was being realistic. i bet there isnt 1 person there that even had a remotely remotely competitive 40 time or shuttle time and i would venture to place a wager that maybe all the verticles were quite pathetic save for maybe a couple of the crossfitters

i am all about crossfit, i love crossfit and it is a huge part of my life i also played football in college with a handful of guys that are in or were in the NFL and i feel that i can make a safe assumption as to how a lot of crossfitters would stack up to collegiate athletes at a place like IMG and that their results in pure speed drills and drills involving changing of direction probably arent that great (man was that a run on sentence or what?). Do i believe that the crossfit games winner has the right to say he/she is the fittest person on the planet? Based on the way we define fitness you bet your ass i do, i dont think anyone else compares or any other discipline compares...that being said do i think crossfitters are the best athletes out there...NOT BY A COUNTRY MILE!!!!!!!

places like IMG or CES are designed to improve athletes skills and performance in specific sports NOT the sport of fitness. i think it is comparing apples and oranges

i think it was a great video and would love to see more of this stuff

i love crossfit and im not being negative or a hater so please dont think that or take this the wrong way



Web Smith wrote …


I speak from first-hand experience and you are horribly wrong on all accounts. I am sure the results will be made public in due time.

Lindsey Smith


replied to comment from Web Smith

Lindsey, what were some of the drills they put you all through? what drills did the Crossfitters perform well in and which drills did they not perform well in or what in your opinion were the strengths v the weaknesses?

that is kind of a vague and tortureous response, apparently you were there. what did you think about all of it?



wrote …

So I'm guessing the whole letting us know the results question is just gunna be ignored and we will never find out????


wrote …

Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults
Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults
Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults
Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults Re-sults


replied to comment from Baker Leavitt

My guess is that while CrossFitters are not the most elite or best athletes in the world; and, as mentioned, are not specialists in sport specific skills, that CrossFitters hold as enormous edge in gpp over many or possibly most elite athletes of other sports. This gpp advantage and well rounded training in the 10 general physical skills probably puts the CrossFit elites in a very good position when compared to others who test in the Combine360. As Coach Glassman has said the biggest gains to be made in high-level athletics are in the area of gpp. Tests like this and the results, which I hope are revealed, may serve to prove that theory.


wrote …

Speal's pressing snatch balance was so much better than that black ref guy's...SO much better haha


wrote …


It seems odd to me that you would first make the declaration that the group’s performance was "probably quite pathetic", only to then follow that with a post where you inquire as to what tests, etc. were used as a basis for evaluation. Call me old fashioned, but I usually like to have a clear understanding of what I am evaluating and how I am to evaluate it, prior to drawing my conclusions, and proclaiming them with certainty to the world.

Michael Cooper


wrote …

My guess is that the crossfitters as a whole probably did not score that great in the physical tests compared to great athletes that train SPECIFICALLY to do well in those test. Coming out of college i spent a bit of time a couple camps simular to IMG, and you're entire time there is training to do well in those specific tests. Thats all you work on, 40 times, vertical, lateral direction change, flexibility, mostly very short burst high output. I do bet they finished very well on some of the mental test and communication though.

With that said, while those elite crossfitters may not have done great against those athletes that train specifically for those tests, my other guess would be that the crossfitters finished closer to them in this than those athletes would finish in an overall test of GPP (say the Games) against our crossfitters.

Just a blind guess, could be completely wrong.


Evan Davidson wrote …

While I suspect the results of the Physical and Athletic examinations where stellar, I also suspect the results of the Pantomime and Macaroni Art sections of the 360 to be widely varied amongst the CrossFit Elite.
- Okay, in all seriousness though, I did enjoy the "Roll Playing" exercise - Hilarious! And, I'll be thinking twice about the attitude I'm conveying the next time I'm in at the box.

P.S. I'm sure results will come after the games, folks. Formatting issues with the video - it happens. Thanks Mike W. and other Journal Staff for your continued hard work.


replied to comment from Michael Cooper

Michael, poor choice of words on my part.


replied to comment from Jason Goss

Jason, i agree with you for the most part. crossfitters strive to be the fittest and i think we can back that up in spades but i do not think that crossfitters are the best athletes and if we start trying to make that statement then we are diluting our brand.

im curious to see how crossfitters would perform in say a decathalon? i dont think jason khalipa could run the 110 hurdles or pole vault or high jump very well. he and i are the the same size roughly he is 5'9" 205 and I am 5'10" 200. do i think i am a better athlete than he is, any day of the week do i think that i am in the same universe has him when it comes to fittness? heck NO!!! same goes for rob orlando roughly same size i think i am a better athlete than Rob is but im not as strong nor am i as fit.

i love crossfit

Baker Leavitt


wrote …

WOW! I felt like I was watching a reality show that was actually worth watching. The improv had me laughing out loud and watching the vertical jump made my jaw drop. $60K a year?! This was simply amazing. Though, I do agree, I would like to see the results. ...And of course where Mikko would stack up!


wrote …

The video would never have been allowed to be put up if the CFers didn't finish at least respectfully...

Loved the video, wondering how some of the athletes at would have done considering a lot of these elements are posted in their daily WODs and the mechanics are taught in the certs.


wrote …

I'm struggling to understand why some don't expect the top crossfit athletes to perform extremely well against the people whom train at IMG. I think some folks are misunderstanding what the combine 360 is... We (crossfitter's) are not competing against athletes who train as professional combine 360'ers. They use these tests to evaluate athletes from all different kinds of specialties to give them an idea of stregnths, weaknesses, etc. regardless of what their specialty is. I would argue based on what I've seen so far that crossfitter's have a blatant advantage in this test overall based predominantly on their lack of specializing. Just based on the fact that if you take athletes from all the different sports collectively a crossfitter's specialty is damn near training for an evaluation on all aspects of fitness (IE combine 360 eval) vs. being a very fast sprinter, tennis player, football player, etc. I trained at a Tennis Academy that directly competes with IMG in Florida and spent alot of my life "specializing" for that sport, which gave me alot of advantages in the dept of speed, agility, etc. Needless to say my overhead squat wasn't quite up to par when I started crossfit. However, I do know this: I've been crossfitting for a while now and I haven't gotten any slower. To argue that crossfit programing will hinder an evaluation that takes all aspects of fitness into consideration really makes me wonder if you've taken into consideration what crossfit's definition of fitness and methods of improving that really are? If there is a place where a crossfit athlete should REALLY shine...this is it.


wrote …

Sounds to me like Baker challenged Khalipa.


replied to comment from William Routt

wait till my birthday WOD on August 6th


replied to comment from Baker Leavitt

Hell yeah Leavitt!


wrote …

WAIT! Pat Barber do you read this?

Did that guy say that your pressing snatch balance was sub-par to his and Tommy's??!

HAHA...funny, did anyone correct him...maybe you should fly Coach B out there to train the trainers... Or was I missing something?


replied to comment from Kyle Byrne

Kyle, the physical tests at IMG as whole do not test "fitness", they test "athletic ability", big difference. While fitness can play a part in that, I know some amazing athletes that can run great 40's, 6'0" guys that can dunk in a pickup basketball game (great vertical) and are really quick for a few seconds, but when it comes to fitness, they are not fit by any means. Coach Glassman talked about that once, in comparing Crossfitters to decathletes, that decathletes can claim to be the most athletic people on the planet, but Crossfitters are the most fit. As Baker pointed out above, there's a distinct difference between athletic ability and fitness level.

For a time I trained to have a great 60yd dash (baseball's version of the 40), and I can say for a fact that I am slower now in that test from crossfitting because crossfit doesn't focus only on that muscle group, I'm not slow but i am slower. And in those test, tenths of a second can seperate you from getting a contract and not getting one.

So this is not THE place a Crossfit athlete would shine in my opinion.


replied to comment from Kyle Byrne

Also, I think people are wanting to know how the Crossfitters stack up against other elite athletes, not joe shmo or john smith highschool freshman.


wrote …



wrote …

Certainly agree that we don't care about Joe Shmo. I see it like this, we train to improve these domains: Cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy. Now on a test that evaluates: "nine athletic elements common across most sports including power, speed, strength, endurance and flexibility. how well your body’s nervous system interacts with muscles and movement to create balance and posture. ; diet quality, how your mind reacts during competition and communication with others helps determine mental, nutrition and communication levels ; Sport Specific Movement ; and Visual Ability." I only see the last 2 items being something that we as crossfitters may or may not be training specifically for. Everything else I like our chances a lot! Not to mention we didn't exactly send our average Joe's out to the field. I agree that not all crossfitters are going to do well in a combine 360 test. But to be on the same playing field as the crossfitters that went to that eval, I would suggest that you'd need a little more then just a lot of practice. I think that what you are looking at as athletic ability I consider talent. Personally I think an athlete's ability has a very strong dependency on their level of fitness (as crossfit defines it) and that has a lot to do with why athletes from all different sports can utilize crossfit programming to improve their abilities in those sports. I can't wait to see the results for this thing! I couldn't believe I watched that whole video without getting to see the end result...almost like feeling great after a killer WOD and realizing you didn't start the watch!


replied to comment from DANNY LAU

Little Danny Boy, the only immature childish comment out of 51. grow up and go play with your little cannon.

Im an ass bc i have an opinion and i gave my reasons that supported my opinion.

get a life amigo.

better yet, rather than call people childish names why dont you tell me why you disagree with me or my opinions and share your opinions with the board



wrote …

Hey Baker,

I don't speak for anyone, but I think Danny L called you out because you said,

"i dont think jason khalipa could run the 110 hurdles or pole vault or high jump very well. he and i are the the same size roughly he is 5'9" 205 and I am 5'10" 200. do i think i am a better athlete than he is, any day of the week do i think that i am in the same universe has him when it comes to fittness? heck NO!!! same goes for rob orlando roughly same size i think i am a better athlete than Rob is but im not as strong nor am i as fit."

What does that mean? You are a better athlete than they are but you aren't as fit? What sport are you a better athlete in? Or are you saying you are just generally better athletically? Please clarify. Just trying to understand the definitions. Bottom line is that you are comparing yourself to these elite guys and insinuating that you are more athletic. Are you competing in the Games? If so, I will cheer for you. Forgive me if I don't know your name. I haven't seen your "All Over The Map" video yet. I'm not trying to be a hater (God forbid) I'm just trying to digest your bravado. Thanks, buddy.


replied to comment from Kyle Byrne

Kyle, I get where you could feel that when reading the general description of the test "nine athletic elements common across most sports including power, speed, strength, endurance and flexibility. how well your body’s nervous system interacts with muscles and movement to create balance and posture". But if you dive into each one those, only one of those tests goes beyond 1 minute, the 300 yard shuttle. Everything else on the "Foundational Athleticism" (which acounts for almost 2/3 of the physical testing score)the "integrative movement" and "sport specific movement", is less than 5 seconds, broad jump, seated medball, 10 yard sprint, 20 yard sprint, (40 yard sprint is acually in the sport specific section but is usually thrown in) vertical jump, grip strength, 5-10-5 and sit and reach. Then there's "Integrative Movement" which Crossfitters may do well in, like "T-balance" and "push up oposite", and then the "pressing squat" which crossfitters are probably better at than most (even the instructors), those count for only 40 points out of a 200 point total.

So the majority of the test points are in a single "fitness" domain, phosphagen, which Crossfit addresses but doesn't focus on because its much more broad, we work on broad domains. And really most of that is not a fitness test but a test of athletic ability or talent as you see it.

So while I don't doubt there was probably some good scores in a couple areas, overall I still don't think the crossfitters as a whole would do great against great athletes who focus on those specific areas to shave tenths and hundreths off there time and for one rep explosion movements.

I know guys right now that could go run a 4.4 40, but would do fran in 12 minutes, thats why i think crossfit is a much better test of fitness but not athletic ability, or "foundational athleticism" which is the bulk of IMG's physical testing.

Pure speculation, you may be right, but I would also think there would be something wrong with crossfit if as a whole we scored awesome in a specific testing area such as this, its not what we train for. So its kind of a fun cool thing to do, and they probably did well in general, against elite specific trained athletes i dont think they would stack up great (excluding maybe one or 2 of the better crossfit "athletes"). But like I said before, I think our elite crossfitters would be closer to them in this, then they would be to our crossfitters in a GPP overall fitness test.


replied to comment from Donovan Conrad

Yes, I am saying i believe in a decathalon which is a test of pure athletic ability in 10 events i would beat Jason Khalipa. In a test of fitness Jason Khalipa would beat me.

There is a difference bw fitness and athletic ability

no i am not going to the games and if the games were a test of pure athletic ability neither would jason khalipa

As crossfitters we can argue and support that arguement with facts that we are the fittest on the planet when you try and say crossfitters are the best athletes out there you are diluting the brand and that is bad for crossfit.


replied to comment from Jesse Gilge

Jesse, excellent post.


replied to comment from Baker Leavitt

As a former Division 1 Track athlete, I can tell you that the decathlon is not a test of pure athletic ability. It is a test of your abilities in 10 specific events. Yes, the breadth of the 10 events were designed to test the athlete over a wide range of athletic ability, however, the 10 events were limited to 10 track and field events. They do test power, strength, endurance, speed, and jumping ability, however, you can win decathlons without excelling in several events. Because of the point system, the only thing that kills a decathlete is scratching or no-heighting in field events or getting a dnf in a running event. It will be VERY difficult for someone to win the Crossfit games without finishing in the top 10 in EVERY event. You can't blow off the running events and expect to win. Guys like Spealer and OPT will kill you. Don't believe that Crossfitters or better athletes than Decathletes? Tell me how you believe decathletes would fair in the Olympics if they didn't know what events they would be asked compete in until the first day of competition. Oh, yea, and the events they might be asked to compete in where ANY event contested in the Summer Olympics. I'm pretty sure their training regimen would closely resemble Crossfit.


wrote …

No wonder the pressing snatch balance test is done with a dowel. With form like that I doubt the trainer could overhead squat the bar.


wrote …

Thanks Donovan. I still think Baker is an ass.

Get to the Games and then talk your talk Bake aka "Mr. Im the Bomb Athlete"


replied to comment from DANNY LAU

Danny, I have never once said "Im the bomb athlete". In fact the greatest thing i ever walked away from college football with was I learned how good I wasn't.

the games is a test of the fittest, NOT the most athletic.

Obviously Coach Glassman doesnt know what he is talking about either.


wrote …

one other question for Danny and other posters.

Danny would you consider someone with MOS of 0321 to be a great athlete or extremely atheltic?

to the board, do you consider soldiers in the Special Forces community to be extremely athletic or great athletes? or would you describe them as super fit/extremely driven fit individuals??

curious to everyones opinions/answer to this question

im so pumped about tomorrow and this weekend FYI




replied to comment from Baker Leavitt

I don't think any reasonable person will argue that elite CrossFitters are the best or most elite athletes in the world. I think the theory is that if these athletes of less than great or elite talent can perform well in these tests because of their fitness as obtained through CrossFit, then how much better might a truly elite athlete perform if they improved their gpp to elite levels also. If the example in the video of the trainer demonstrating the pressing snatch balance is any indication, the kids at IMG might benefit greatly from some good movement/fitness coaching to go along with all the sport specific training they are doing.


Brian Thurmond wrote …

0321's are both great athletes and extremely athletic. I don't usually post on here but I had to in this one case. They are also very charming, handsome, and eloquent speakers. The only thing better than them is the Navy 8427 and the 8403. They are the smarter version of the 0321.


replied to comment from Brian Thurmond

Brian you obviously dont know your ass from a hole in the ground if you describe 0321 as

hope everyone has a good weekend



Brian Thurmond wrote …

Ruggedly handsome, besides that I am promoting my own cause my friend. There are plenty of folks who would describe us as handsome. I am hurt that you would say that we are not handsome.


Brian Thurmond wrote …

We meaning the 0321 and the Better versions, the Navy's 8427 & 8403's. I admit that there are a few Reconnaissance Marines who are right on the borderline, but I'm speaking in general terms.


wrote …


If athletic events were originally derived from physical skills and capacities associated with being a warrior, then special operators are athletes almost by definition.


replied to comment from Baker Leavitt

I don't know why there is so much negativity. It seems if anyone questions the Crossfit methodology in the least amount, people in the community will jump all over you. I agree with your comments, Elite crossfitters are some of the best athletes in the world but that doesn't mean that their aren't elite athletes in other sports and training methodologies.


wrote …

Something not mentioned yet is that the speed drills were all performed on Nike (or nike-like) turf. From what I can tell, none of the CF athletes were wearing turf shoes or spikes.

Anyone who has ever done any of those drills on Nike turf knows it is difficult to really dig in without cleats. Thus, the speed times are not a good measure of these athletes' true abilities unless there is some way to adjust for footwear.

Just my two cents but that was the first thing I thought when I saw them trying to get started on the 40s or dig in to change directions on the shuttle


wrote …

Looking forward to the results - post Games, of course. Tired of the speculation. Must have been a great experience.


wrote …

Is that the Baker Leavitt I know??


replied to comment from Derek Romaine

Derek, yes you ratard! How many Bakers exist in this world? One, like Madonna there is only 1!!!


wrote …

haha, I apologize to the one and only, Baker L.


wrote …

Anyword on when we will get the results? Really looking forward to seeing them.


wrote …

I don't believe that the response was because someone questioned CrossFit's methodology; I think it was because a lot of us on here have met a few of these athletes and the word "pathetic" in no way describes them. Baker, I see you later retracted by saying it was a poor choice of words. I can accept that. Being a full blooded Cajun I can understand throwing out a word or two that might not have been the most accurate, or acceptable. Shannon out.

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