Network Analysis of the Social Environment Relative to Preference for and Tolerance of Exercise Intensity in CrossFit Gyms. Academic Article uri icon


  • Known for its ability to improve fitness and health, high-intensity functional training (HIFT) focuses on functional movements completed at high intensities, often yielding outcomes superior to repetitive aerobic workouts. Preference for and tolerance of high-intensity exercise are associated with enjoyment of and adherence to HIFT. Similarly, the social environment present within CrossFit, a popular group-based HIFT modality, is important to the enjoyment of and adherence to HIFT. This study aimed to test whether preference and tolerance were related to social connections within CrossFit networks. Linear network autocorrelation models (LNAMs) and exponential random graph models (ERGMs) were computed on sociometric and attribute data from members of three CrossFit networks (n = 197). LNAMs showed the preference and tolerance scores of someone's social connections were associated with their own in all three gyms, and ERGMs demonstrated preference and tolerance scores were associated with the presence of social ties within all networks. This study is the first to provide evidence for a relationship between social connections and preference and tolerance. Future longitudinal research is needed to determine if the social environment may influence and optimize a person's preference of and tolerance for HIFT.

published proceedings

  • Int J Environ Res Public Health

altmetric score

  • 3.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Patterson, M. S., Heinrich, K. M., Prochnow, T., Graves-Boswell, T., & Spadine, M. N.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Patterson, Megan S||Heinrich, Katie M||Prochnow, Tyler||Graves-Boswell, Taylor||Spadine, Mandy N

publication date

  • November 2020