Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Health, Human Performance, and Recreation (MSHHPR)


Health, Human Performance, and Recreation

First Advisor

Derek Crawford

Second Advisor

Michael Carper

Third Advisor

David Miller


Purpose: The purpose of this investigation is to determine the effectiveness of heart-rate variability as a monitoring and intensity-prescription tool for CrossFit.

Methods:Twenty-five recreational trained males and females were randomized into two groups, experimental (EXP) and control (CON) prior to the intervention. Prior to any assessments, all participants established a 14-day baseline period for their morning heart-rate variability. Both groups underwent pre-training assessment for work capacity, whole body strength, maximal oxygen consumption and body composition. All participants followed a 21-day training program followed by another week of testing, repeated twice. During the training, a rolling seven-day average of heart-rate variability was used to prescribed based upon windows set at .5 and 1 SD of the baseline average with the windows adjusting after the first training block. EXP would have full-intensity, moderated-intensity, or active recovery training sessions based upon morning heart-rate variability while CON always trained at fullintensity/effort.

Results: There were no significant group by time interactions for any variables, but there was a significantly different amount of training sessions at a full intensity. All participants saw increases performance outcomes, while seeing significant improvement in physical work capacity, and EXP seeing positive outcomes in body composition measures.

Conclusion:Heart-rate variability is an effective tool for monitoring participants and prescribing-intensity in CrossFit Training.



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