The Military assess CrossFit


The Military Assess CrossFit

Another agency has had a serious review of the CrossFit protocol. As a CrossFit Trainer – I immediately knew what the outcome was going to be. CrossFit is typically so much better than what is typically available that it was a fairly predictable outcome – however lets hear what the US Army had to say about CrossFit.

Maj. James Uptgraft – Maj. Jeffrey Paine – Maj. Ryan Wylie

The US Army conducted a 8 week study of the effects of CrossFit training on the strength and fitness of soldiers over a range of fixed work outs. They concluded..

“These results lead us to the conclusion that generalized training (CrossFit P.G) can prepare athletes for unknown and unknowable events, a crucial capability in combat, and can produce improvement in specialized events despite non-specialized
training.”

In otherwords CrossFit fitness transfers to other areas of human performance – even though those elements may not have been physically prepared for.

This has been Glassmans driving point for years and the reason behind Crossfits Broad and inclusive model of fitness.

The study goes on to state:

‘Each athlete in the study experienced an overall increase in his or her work capacity
over the eight-week training period based on their performance during the assessments. These
increases ranged from 3.71% to 41.92% with an average increase of 20.33% (see Appendix E
Performance Data). Therefore, very generally, we can conclude that the CrossFit program is a
successful method for increasing the level of physical fitness of U.S. Army Soldiers.’


There came an especially interesting observation for those who are more serious about sport or fitness. The study found;

‘our findings suggest that while many fitness programs could potentially increase the work capacity of below average athletes,
the CrossFit program might be unique in its ability to create increases in work capacity in above average athletes because of its reliance on high intensity workouts and task variance.’

In short they found that:

‘The CrossFit program and other functional fitness programs present the U.S. Army with
unparalleled opportunities to improve Soldiers’ level of physical fitness. In this study, after only
six-weeks of training using the CrossFit program, on average the athletes increased their level of
physical fitness by 20%. One athlete increased her level of fitness by 41%.’

The study goes on to recommend Crossfit be implemented and outlines the process.


This is impressive enough but the whole study took only 6 weeks and the key CrossFit ingredient was missing – the diet. In otherwords – the athletes would have seen a far higher return had they been on the Paleo or Zone diet.

The article can be read in full via the crossfit journal.

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