Cross-fit has become an increasingly popular form of exercise in recent years with new training facilities popping up all over the place. And cross-fit is an extremely powerfull way to exercise and get into shape. However, it comes with a caveat. Hospitals around the country, and indeed around the world, is reporting on a new phenomenon. Young people, especially guys, who have recently started doing cross-fit are being hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis. So what is rhabdomyolysis? Rhabdomyolysis is a condition with excessive muscle breakdown where breakdown products, such as proteins, are released into the blood-stream. It is accompanied by muscle pain and soreness, weakness, vomiting and confusion, and can potentially become life-threatening.
So why is this happening? Part of the explanation is that those who suffer are most often untrained to begin with, and then in-roll in these high intensity exercises classes. Here they will often experience both group pressure and pressure from the coach to push just a little bit more. Had they been exercising on their own they would have likely stopped long before. And the untrained muscles just cannot cope with the stress and exercise. This leads to muscle damage and if repeated without proper rest this can eventually develop into rhabdomyolysis. Just imagine finding your self hospitalized with a life-threatening condition just because you wanted to get into shape.
Fortunately it does not have to be like that. You should remember these few basic advices when starting cross-fit. Listen to your body’s signals. Do not push yourself over the limit. You are the best judge of when that is – not your peers or your coach. And remember to rest between exercise days. As anyone who has been lifting weights would tell you, your body needs 4-5 days between exercises that target the same muscle groups. This is of course only true talking about high intensity exercises. So do get fit. Do exercise. But remember to take care of your self.