CrossFit training is a growing trend among the health conscious. The high-intensity workout boasts a myriad of benefits, but one particularly unforeseen consequence of the CrossFit craze may be budding CrossFit romances.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit began as a strength and conditioning program for police academies and military units. Though the exercise program was initially formatted for combat specialists, the creators of the workout insist that it "delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive."

The grueling training program has been described as "gymnastics meets Olympic lifting." It involves varied, challenging movements designed to test a different part of your body. The goal, according to Nerd Fitness, is to train your body to be capable of any and everything.

CrossFit Controversy

Many believe that CrossFit isn't really for everyone. In fact, even those who are extremely physically fit can try the program and be overworked.

Take Brian Anderson, for example. He was a member of the special weapons and tactics team at the Tacoma, Wash., sheriff's office. In 2005, after an intense CrossFit workout that involved him swinging a 44-lb. steel ball over his head and between his leg, Anderson found himself in excruciating pain.

According to the New York Times, "That night [Anderson] went to the emergency room, where doctors told him he had rhabdomyolysis, which is caused when muscle fiber breaks down and is released into the bloodstream, poisoning the kidneys. He spent six days in intensive care."

But six months after that incident, Anderson was back at the gym and back to pushing himself to the limit. "I see pushing my body to the point where the muscles destroy themselves as a huge benefit of CrossFit," he said.

Anderson's case is not uncommon, as some criticize CrossFit for creating an addictive, cult-like atmosphere. CrossFit does consist of group classes that encourage participants to cheer each other on as they attempt the challenging workouts. That camaraderie does create a feeling of acceptance and belonging that keeps people coming back for more.

"I'm a big believer in the original concept of exercising in a community setting," said Tom Brose of Washington, D.C. "If you come in and do a workout with us, you're going to have seven people who know your name at the end of the class and are cheering for you."

CrossFit And Your Love Life

According to a recent article in the New York Daily News, more and more CrossFit devotees are finding love at the hard-hitting fitness classes. It makes sense, as the program is designed to bring people together in a way that other activities do not. The team atmosphere allows opportunities to get to know people with similar interests.

"I think if you do CrossFit, you're already the kind of person who likes to push themselves and is adventurous," said Nicole Tiberia, whose husband owns a CrossFit gym in Greenpoint, N.Y. "And you really feel like you bond with someone when you're doing these hard workouts together."

Those who participate in CrossFit say that its benefits go way beyond physical fitness. Though the workout has its critics, avid CrossFit participants say the social and emotional advantages of the intense workout make it worth it.

"In general, I'd say most CrossFit folks are more dedicated because the gyms cost more, they are more social because of the group classes, and they tend to attract more athletic folks," said nutritional therapist Diana Rodgers. "It's much more of a community than other gyms."

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