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Rhabdomyolysis and Crossfit #rhabdomyolysis #crossfit #fitness #intensity #unclerhabdo #health
Healthy by Heather

Rhabdomyolysis and Crossfit #rhabdomyolysis #crossfit #fitness #intensity #unclerhabdo #health


What you need to know!

Ever heard of rhabdomyolysis? It is commonly referred to as Rhabdo, or in the Crossfit world, “Uncle Rhabdo.” Well if you haven’t, it is a pretty serious condition that comes about from extreme training. I have been seeing a lot of articles lately on the topic and thought I would share my opinions with everyone.

First of all rhabdomyolysis is a condition when the muscle fibers and their contents are broken down, specifically myoglobin, and are released into the blood stream. The problem is that myoglobin is toxic to the kidneys and can lead to failure if the condition is extreme enough. Rhabdomyolysis also disrupts electrolyte balance within the body and can lead to nausea and vomiting. Some signs you might have Rhabdomyolysis are nausea, vomiting, swelling of area that is damaged, confusion, muscle pain and weakness, and dark tea colored urine, from damage to the kidneys to name a few of the warning signs.


The topic gets interesting when it makes the exerise news because of Crossfit. Many people are giving Crossfit a bad reputation for causing this condition. Crossfit is not the only thing that can cause this condition. Yes Crossfit promotes “constantly varied functional fitness at high intensities,” but that doesn’t mean people should be almost killing themselves to get through a workout! I was on the edge for a long time about Crossfit having attended a couple different “boxes” and because of my knowledge of health and fitness.  By the way, I am a personal trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine and have a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. So I took the weekend course to get certified to teach and understand the principles of Crossfit. Yep I paid $1000 to hear from corporate what Crossfit was all about. To my surprise, there were many people in my class that were educated in a health related field and were either strength and conditioning coaches or personal trainers. Yes there were some that just liked Crossfit and wanted to dive into the program and start coaching, but they were in the minority in the Las Vegas area. In this class we talked a lot about intensity. I think that it is most important for people to realize that intensity is all relative to the person. What one person considers being really intense, may not seem so intense to the person next to them and that is perfectly acceptable.

Back to the claims that Crossfit causes rhabdomyolysis. Yes it can cause this condition but so can marathons, triathlons, dehydration, drugs and alcohol, hyperthermia, many metabolic conditions, accidents that cause physical trauma, and arterial thrombosis and embolisms.

So my point is that when it comes to your health and who you trust coaching you, you do some research. Don’t just choose the gym or “box” that is closest to you. Choose the one that is ran by the most qualified staff! Look into their educational backgrounds and whom they’re certified with. Even if they aren’t educated make sure they’re working for someone who is. Just because someone likes Crossfit and is good at it doesn’t mean that they’re qualified to open their own “box.”  Oh and listen to your body.  If your body is telling you that you are pushing too hard, then take a little breather and get back into it when you are ready.

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