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Old 10-16-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
Jim Wojciehowski
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Rhabdo

Since the topic seems to come up related to Crossfit I figured I would toss this case out there.

I know a 19 year old presently in the hospital for Rhabdo. When I asked him if he had ever heard of Crossfit he said no. He is a wrestler and has been training with a friend. They were in a regular gym setting and decided on "arms day" to do as many curls and tricep extensions as possible with very light weights as fast as possible to fatigue.

The next day he felt sore but again worked out doing "chest day". Of course his arms got a workout as well.

The next day his arms were swollen, and his urine turned very dark. He was evaluated in the ER and admitted for exercise induced Rhabdo. When I found out I called him. He admitted to a "change up" in the workout regimen but admitted to never hearing about Crossfit. The only supplement he was taking was Whey Protein. He said he thought he was hydrating well enough.

From my research it seems he was the perfect storm for this presentation. In fairly good shape but changing to an aggresive low weight, high rep routine and blasting one muscle group.

Just thought I'd throw this one out there so the next time someone you know bashes Crossfit as being Rhabdo prone you can tell them it's an affliction also available at your local gym for the asking.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:15 PM   #2
Mark Ritchie
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Re: Rhabdo

The only person I know who got rhabdo got it in a spinning class. And the hospital said they see it from people in spinning classes all the time. No mention of CrossFit either.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:54 AM   #3
Bryan Kemper
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Re: Rhabdo

Wow, Crossfit is not the only source of rhabdo???? I'm shocked.

Sorry for the sarcasm.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:27 AM   #4
Joseph Regan
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Re: Rhabdo

I am no doctor by any means but i would like to see some examples of peoples diets that have gotten Rhabdo. I am very curious as whether or not proper nutrition can prevent this. Its basically just a huge breakdown of muscle cells so if you have adequate nutrition can those that are susceptible to Rhabdo, prevent it?

Just thinking out loud.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:54 AM   #5
John L. Mclaughlin
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Re: Rhabdo

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Originally Posted by Joseph Regan View Post
I am no doctor by any means but i would like to see some examples of peoples diets that have gotten Rhabdo. I am very curious as whether or not proper nutrition can prevent this. Its basically just a huge breakdown of muscle cells so if you have adequate nutrition can those that are susceptible to Rhabdo, prevent it?

Just thinking out loud.
Eh, sorta kinda. Rhabdomyolisis is an extreme state of muscle tissue breakdown from excessive overuse( like training the holy hell out of your arms with dropsets then benching heavy as hell the next day. The muscles get swollen, and the kidneys begin to excrete blood. Toxins build up, you get sick, etc. In some cases rhabdomyolisis can lead to kidney cancer.
Now that I've had my 2 cents, here is a message....
Say No to Rhabdo!!
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:58 AM   #6
Joseph Regan
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Re: Rhabdo

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Originally Posted by John L. Mclaughlin View Post
Eh, sorta kinda. Rhabdomyolisis is an extreme state of muscle tissue breakdown from excessive overuse( like training the holy hell out of your arms with dropsets then benching heavy as hell the next day. The muscles get swollen, and the kidneys begin to excrete blood. Toxins build up, you get sick, etc. In some cases rhabdomyolisis can lead to kidney cancer.
Now that I've had my 2 cents, here is a message....
Say No to Rhabdo!!
Yes a better definition definitely. What i wonder is can pre workout nutrition help prevent the muscle breakdown or the cells from exploding i.e. bcaa's or whey??? Just curious
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:48 AM   #7
John L. Mclaughlin
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Re: Rhabdo

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Originally Posted by Joseph Regan View Post
Yes a better definition definitely. What i wonder is can pre workout nutrition help prevent the muscle breakdown or the cells from exploding i.e. bcaa's or whey??? Just curious
EH, sorta kinda again. More research is needed!
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
Jim Wojciehowski
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Re: Rhabdo

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Originally Posted by Joseph Regan View Post
Yes a better definition definitely. What i wonder is can pre workout nutrition help prevent the muscle breakdown or the cells from exploding i.e. bcaa's or whey??? Just curious
I called the kid in the hospital. He was using Whey. I doubt that diet has anything to do with causing or preventing Rhabdo.

Extreme hi rep overuse of large muscle groups in an otherwise relatively fit exerciser who does not hydrate well enough is the perfect storm.

The Crossfitter most prone would be someone new to Crossfit who is in good shape and jumps on a GHD and rips off 30+ reps as well as jackknives, and sit-ups.

I think you can get my point. If the New Crossfitter was in mediocre shape they probably would not be able to push themselves into the needed level of overuse to develop Rhabdo.

The case I outlined that started this thread was a fit 19 year old wrestler that changed up his routine to low weight hi rep hammering of his arms and then followed the next day with more arm bashing by working chest.

BTW, he's still in the hospital 5 days later being hydrated aggresively and is doing fine.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:08 PM   #9
Sean Rockett
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Re: Rhabdo

To Joe's question no diet would not help if someone was pushing their muscles that hard. To Jim's point I have also seen Rhabdo in people who were elite and then got hurt. They then had to rest or modify for several weeks to months and then when they returned tried to come back at their usual numbers or times and got into trouble.
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:08 AM   #10
Neil Khant
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Re: Rhabdo

I have been CrossFitting for a long time. Since 2006. I gave myself Rhabdo from a workout last year.
In talking to Dr's here at my gym. Almost all athletes have had Rhabdo within their athletic career. They just didn't know that they had it. It will go away on it's own, but it can also become very dangerous. Most just think they overdid it and let it heal itself without knowing they ever had it. I have had many people realize that they had Rhabdo during the military or as an athlete in the past now that they understand the symptoms.

In my case, I did a workout that I wouldn't have programmed for a beginner or intermediate CrossFitter. But I thought I would be fine for a more advanced CrossFitter. It could have been a perfect storm or just a bit of arrogance. I spent a couple of days in the hospital getting IV's pumped into me. It was just boring.

My point is, this can happen to anyone. Protect your veteran athletes as much as your beginners.

I feel the only reason this is seen as a CrossFit problem, is that we talk about it. We tell people what it is and warn them not to put themselves or others into positions that may cause it. But just because we are the only ones talking about it, doesn't mean it's not happening to people all the time.

Educating our trainers have put us on the forefront of this. But I would rather be educated than ignorant!
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