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F.I.T. Lab logoAbout the FIT Lab

Director:  Katie M. Heinrich, Ph.D.

Research conducted in the Functional Intensity Training laboratory is focused on the effects of high-intensity functional training (HIFT) on fitness, health and psychosocial outcomes delivered in a group-based context.

FIT Lab researchers investigate these factors for different populations including tactical athletes, cancer survivors, youth, overweight/obese adults, and older adults, among others. Policy and environmental research in the FIT Lab is conducted to investigate relationships between policies and physical activity in collaboration with a nationwide network of researchers through the CDC-funded Physical Activity and Policy Research Network-Plus (PAPRN+).

FIT Lab 1

The FIT Lab also promotes education and service by providing opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and community members to participate in exercise training through CrossFit.



  Research Areas

  • Exercise interventions and health and fitness outcomes
  • Tactical athlete fitness training and testing
  • Factors predicting exercise initiation, intentions, and adherence
  • Examining important aspects of physical activity/exercise policies at the local, state, and national levels

Intervention Group Participants    Current Research Projects

  • Individualized Training Prescription using Heart Rate Variability on the Physiological and Psychological Outcomes of CrossFit
  • Short Term Caffeine Effects in Intermittent CrossFit Exercise
  • Program Evaluation System for K-State CrossFit
  • Army Training at High Intensity Study (R01DK0995; ATHIS website) *currently recruiting in Manhattan*
  • Effects of Sport and High-Intensity Functional Training on Adaptive Athletes' Quality of Life

   Previous Research Projects


  • Hollerbach posterAn Epidemiological Examination of Reproductive Health in Female Law Enforcement Officers (dissertation)
  • A Comparison of Muscular Strength, Power, and Endurance among College Fitness Classes (see study updates here!)
  • Survey of Deployment Experience in Combat Zones (undergraduate research)
  • The First 20 Exercise Training Program and Fire Academy Recruits' Fitness and Health (thesis)
  • Confidence Improvement Through the Use of Push-up/Pull-up Modifications (student research)
  • High-Intensity Functional Training to Improve Balance and Daily Function Among Older Adults: Functional Fitness Program (presentation, poster)
  • Identification of Intensity Levels During Long and Short Duration High-Intensity Functional Training (undergraduate research)
  • Prenatal Exercise Guidelines: A Selective Review (manuscript)
  • Exercise Training to Improve Survival and Quality of Life Among Cancer Survivors (Johnson Cancer Research Center; (poster 1,poster 2poster 3manuscript)
  • Investigation of Social, Behavioral, and Physical Factors Related to High-Intensity Functional Training through CrossFit (poster 1poster 2poster 3poster 4presentation)
  • A Qualitative Study of Key Social and Behavioral Factors Associated with CrossFit Participation (poster 1, poster 2, manuscript)
  • The Influence of a CrossFit Exercise Intervention on Glucose Control in Overweight and Obese Individuals (thesismanuscript)
  • Mission Essential Fitness (manuscript)
  • Affective Responses to Various Exercise Training Modalities
  • Fitness Gains from a Summer Youth Conditioning Camp (poster)

   Policy and Built Environment

  • Open Streets Manhattan Survey
  • The Impacts of Sit-to-Stand Desks in a Self-Contained Classroom for Students with Emotional Disturbances (undergraduate research)
  • The Campus Effect: Built Environment and Active Transportation at Kansas State University (student thesis)
  • Marketing Walking to Women and their Families (abstract, manuscript)
  • Involvement of Local Health Departments in Built Environment Decision-Making
  • Public Support for Active Transportation Policies (abstract)
  • Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention in Rural Built Environments (presentation, manuscript)
  • Survey of Kansas Policy-Maker's Attitudes towards Issues and Problems in Kansas (manuscript)
  • Sunflower Trails Program Evaluation (manuscript)


  • Teach evidence-based fitness using a core strength and conditioning program where needs ofparticipants vary by degree and not kind with the goal of providing broad, general, and inclusive fitness.
  • Teach real life functional movements (e.g., squat, deadlift) in a group setting while providing individual feedback.
  • Educate kinesiology, and other interested individuals on CrossFit methods through exposure to the program.


Public Health:

Class Orientation
  • To make functional fitness available to all regardless of ability level, pre-existing conditions, and financial status; to address rising rates of obesity through physical activity.  
  • Disseminate and promote knowledge of CrossFit training methodology to professional and lay community leaders.
  • To understand the key components and effects of physical activity/exercise-related policies.

FIT Lab Researchers

Bryan Heinrich
Bryan Heinrich, BS
ATHIS Field Coordinator
Manhattan, KS
Brittany Hollerbach, MS
PhD Candidate
Overland Park, KS
Jesse Stein, MEd
PhD Candidate
Roseau, MN
 Justin DeBlauw, MEd
PhD Student
Dr. Cosgrove
Sarah Cosgrove, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Council Grove, KS 
Victor Andrews
MPH Student
Manhattan, KS
Lucas Dudgeon, BS
MPH Student 
Overland Park, KS
Cale Hepler
Cale Hepler
MS Student
Melitza Ramirez
BS Student
Brady Kurtz
Brady Kurtz
MS Student
Overland Park, KS

Additional Researchers: Jason Sartor (BS Student), Cassandra Beattie (BS Student), Blanca DeLaTorre (BS Student)

Contact Information:

(785) 532-7771