About the FIT Lab:

Director:  Katie M. Heinrich, Ph.D.

Dr. Katie M. Heinrich

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.

Student Research Poster

FIT Lab researchers investigate these factors for different populations including active duty military, cancer survivors, youth, overweight/obese adults, and athletes, 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 (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
  • Factors predicting exercise initiation, intentions, and adherence
  • Examining important aspects of physical activity/exercise policies at the local, state, and national levels

    Current Research Projects

  • Army Training at High Intensity Study (1R01 DK0995-16-01A1)

    Intervention Group Participants

  • Exercise Training to Improve Survival and Quality of Life Among Cancer Survivors (Johnson Cancer Research Center; poster,poster)
  • Investigation of Social, Behavioral, and Physical Factors Related to High-Intensity Functional Training through CrossFit (poster)
  • Marketing Walking to Women and their Families
  • Assessment of wellness policies within state health departments
  • Public Support for Active Transportation Policies
  • Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention in Rural Built Environments

    Previous Research ProjectsGilmore poster

  • A Qualitative Study of Key Social and Behavioral Factors Associated with CrossFit Participation (poster)
  • The Influence of a CrossFit Exercise Intervention on Glucose Control in Overweight and Obese Individuals (thesis, manuscript)
  • Mission Essential Fitness (manuscript)
  • Survey of Kansas Policy-Maker's Attitudes towards Issues and Problems in Kansas (manuscript)
  • Fitness Gains from a Summer Youth Conditioning Camp (poster)


  • 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

Dr. Stevenson
Sarah Stevenson, PhD
Bryan Heinrich
Bryan Heinrich, BS
Field Coordinator
Katelyn Gilmore
MPH Student
Hometown: Aurora, CO
 Tammi Paolilli
MS Student
Hometown: Lone Tree, CO
Cheyenne Becker
Hometown: Pratt, KS
Jake Frye
Hometown: McPherson, KS
Taran Carlisle
Hometown: Kansas City, KS
Victor Andrews
Hometown: Manhattan, KS

Contact Information:

(785) 532-7771