In Athletes, CrossFit, ExPhysiology, HD Videos, Reference

November 23, 2012

Video Article

For Team U.S.A., defeating Team Europe at last month’s CrossFit Invitational wasn’t the only challenge. While in Malibu, Calif., team members were subject to metabolic analysis by Pepperdine University. Athletes wore masks covering their noses and mouths, as well as gadgets to track various markers.

In this video, Julie Foucher, who finished second at this year’s CrossFit Games, does Fran inside one of the school’s lecture halls.

“Studying exercise can lend itself to disease prevention and disease treatment,” explains Dr. Cooker Perkins, associate professor of sports medicine at Pepperdine.

For Foucher, a medical student, it was an opportunity to pick the brains of some of the university’s professors as she determines her own career path.

“I really love their approach to research here and how much they really want their research to affect people and to not have research published in a paper that’s filed away somewhere and no one reads it,” Foucher says. “I think that’s really important in translating that research to medical care and to general practice so it really helps people and improves people’s lives.”

Video by Mike Koslap.

10min 38sec

HD file size: 188 MB
SD wmv file size: 127 MB
SD mov file size: 150 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: What Is Fitness? by Greg Glassman, published Oct. 1, 2002.

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9 Comments on “A Metabolic Analysis of CrossFit’s Elite: Part 2”


wrote …

I would love to see the full video and detailed report on this! Any clue if this is going to be fully published? What ever happened to "Killing the Fat Man" series? Episode 10 can't be it...


wrote …

As an exercise physiologist and CrossFitter, I'd LOVE to see the actual data. Please tell me the researchers will be submitting this to a peer-reviewed journal! CrossFit needs that to gain credibility in the 'traditional' exercise science community


wrote …

Dave: i feel the same way. CrossFit needs this to gain credibility on the "Traditional" exercise science community.


wrote …

Dave & Javier,

I pose this question with no sarcasm (which can be tough to tell via written text).........why? Why do we need to gain credibility with the "traditional" exercise science community?

The goal of CrossFit is to further the development of elite human performance, aka fitness. Our goal is not, and never has been to further exercise science. If exercise scientists would like to run tests, conduct experiments, and gather data, then so be it. However, whether some folks in that community agree or disagree with us or our methods will have zero impact on what we do and how we do it. We simply do what works, whether traditional exercise science likes it or not is irrelevant. Whether a journal is peer reviewed or not is irrelevant to our charter of making people better and improving human movement.

I do understand that some organizations, like the military require certain hoops to be jumped through before they can officially endorse things, etc, etc. Perhaps such entities would find benefit from what you are talking about. I can appreciate that. I'm just saying I think it is important to realize that "gaining credibility" in the community you mentioned is simply a paperwork drill that has no impact on how we make people fit and healthy.

This is written as a friendly discussion/debate.


wrote …


I agree that "gaining credibility" does not further the development of human performance (elite or not). That does not mean the exercise science community can't be used to improve that goal or CrossFit.

You state "we simply do what works", but the real question is how do you know?! The Black Box Model means we don't need to know why squatting works, or why it is better than leg extensions. CrossFit has advanced so much since the early days. The workouts, the SME, the role of HQ, and the theoretical discussion/CFJ entries have all come a long (and impressive) way.

The new goal should be how to make CrossFit better. (I think I can safely assume that people all over, HQ and the community at large, are working to do that.) But do we really know works best?! "We simply do what works best" is a vastly different statement to yours, as it defines that some things work well and, conversely, some don't. How do we minimize (or eliminate) time doing what works a little bit and maximize time doing what works the best.

With CrossFit's broad goal of fitness, the impact could be anything. Challenging old dogma is an important tool. For example, is the 21-15-9 rep scheme the best? Maybe 22, 14, 10 brings about more positive changes. Is there any merit to ever doing Chelsea when you can do Cindy? What about Cindy for 30 minutes? More reps? Less weight? Fewer? More backflips? More swimming?

Applying exercise science, or applying regular science to CrossFit exercise, may provide a tool to achieve CrossFit's benefits greater or faster. Simply making it better.


wrote …


I think we are in agreement here. We are continually evaluating what works best. I believe this data will come from the affiliates and the athletes, not the exercise science community. Science always follows observation. Generally speaking the coach on the field has known what works and what does not work long before there was any "proof" delivered from the laboratory.

I was lucky enough to be at Pepperdine when these videos/experiments took place. I had these very same conversations with the doctors and professors there. They are wonderful people and I have no doubt that both of our communities will benefit from the interaction. These relationships are only going to increase, not decrease. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

By the's nice to engage in friendly, useful talk on the Internet. This helps restore my faith in humanity.


wrote …

Don't let a few bad apples ruin the bunch, or however that saying goes.

The Internet is magical! It redefined the way the world communicates, the access to information.......and CROSSFIT! Image if Glassman was stuck working in some Santa Cruz gym spreading the word to 'just' his clients by mouth. Too many people would be stuck in the dark ages (of fitness) waiting for the ShakeWeight to deliver 6 abs.

(Sorry for misspelling "CrossFit", I was e-yelling for emphasis! hah)


wrote …

I want to see the full study and it's results not because I'm skeptical but because I'm a huge nerd. Any chance that those will be open to the public anytime soon?


wrote …

julie is amazing

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