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OKLAHOMA CITY – It is the sport of fitness.

The CrossFit craze has exploded around the world.

But, critics believe CrossFit coaches push too hard and their workouts leave athletes injured.

Next week, elite athletes from around the globe will face off in an Olympic-style competition called ‘The CrossFit Games OPEN’ is truly survival of the fittest.

In Oklahoma, there are about two dozen CrossFit gyms where coaches subscribe to that same recipe for getting into shape.

“You come in here and get in shape,” said CrossFitter Shannon McCarty.

“It’s almost like a party with hard work,” said Chesca Washco.

Inside the bare bones, no frills facility teams of committed individuals come to work, sweat and grow.

“Our goal at KODA CrossFit and every affiliate across the United States is to give the best results in the minimum amount of time as possible and to keep you safe, so you’re a client for many, many years,” said KODA CrossFit co-owner Brice Collier.

Fast results are part of the reason critics said CrossFit is dangerous, the kind of workout where you will get hurt.

“You can be your own worst enemy in that place,” said Jordan Loney. ” I would never tell anyone not to do it. I would say, ‘Be insured. Have your insurance paid and up to date, because you don’t want to be without when the time comes.'”

Loney shattered his kneecap at CrossFit.

Four surgeries later, plus months of rehab and he’ll never go back.

Some said injury is inevitable at CrossFit.

It is a sort of badge of honor for this breed of fitness nut.

“Fitness in general is risky,” Collier said. “Our goal is to minimize that risk by making them balanced athletes and by maintaining energy system the whole time.”

CrossFit coaches are nationally-trained.

And, they offer a six-week safety course for first-timers.

The goal is muscle not misery.

In fact, as the CrossFit craze has swept the nation and the number of faithful fitness fanatics grows, so does the variety of athletes.

A team of seniors trains at Norman Strength CrossFit.

The oldest in the bunch is nearly 70.

“I didn’t want to end up sitting around the house and getting fat and having a heart attack,” said Huey Daniell.

Dr. Mac Moore and the orthopedic surgeons at OSSO are seeing more and more patients with injuries from CrossFit.

“With any of those more powerful movements, explosive-type training, the chance injury gets a little more, a little higher,” Moore said.

One in five of the patients in Moore’s practice have a fitness-related injury.

CrossFit casualties are common ground among orthopedic surgeons.

Kevin Wallace tore his rotator cuff doing CrossFit a few years ago.

While you’d think a major injury and subsequent surgery would sideline his CrossFit career, do not underestimate the loyalty of CrossFit’s most resolute members.

Wallace continues to work out at CrossFit Complete in Midwest City several times a week.

“That’s easy for me,” Wallace said. “I’d rather get hurt, risking injury doing this than sitting on the couch developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes or a whole list of other health problems that goes on and on.”

Wallace has found what works for him.

When you find what works for you, know your limits and guard against any program that pushes too hard.

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