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Phys Sportsmed. 2016 Nov;44(4):403-406. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

Attentive processes, blood lactate and CrossFit®.

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a Department of Formative Processes , University of Catania , Catania , Italy.
b Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences , University of Catania , Catania , Italy.



To analyze the influences of blood lactate produced during a specific session of CrossFit® on intensity and selectivity of attention. The first was evaluated by measuring the reaction time and the second by analyzing divided attention with a dual task.


Fifteen male professionals of CrossFit® volunteered in the study. The training session was the Workout Of the Day (WOD) called 15.5, marked as: 27-21-15-9 repetitions (without recovery) in term of calories measured by using a rowing ergometer (e.g. 27 rowed calories) and in term of barbell full squats (raising a weight of 43 kg for men and of 29.5 kg for women). Blood lactate, blood glucose, reaction time, execution time of a dual task, number of errors and number of omissions were measured at rest, at the conclusion of the session and 15 minutes after its end.


The levels of the blood lactate before the start of the session were considerably higher than those which normally occur at rest (<2 mmol /L), with a mean value of 4.5 mmol /l (± 1.99 SD). At the end of the workout session the blood lactate exhibited a significant increase, reaching a mean value of 13.8 mmol /l (± 1.18 SD) and then returning to values similar to the initial ones after 15 minutes. Blood glucose did not exhibit any statistically significant differences during the session. Reaction time, execution time, number of errors and number of omissions exhibited a significant worsening concomitantly with the increase in blood lactate.


Athletes practicing CrossFit®, with high levels of blood lactate even at rest, should consequently have attentional performances somewhat limited.


CrossFit®; Exhaustive exercise; blood lactate; divided attention; reaction time

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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