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The Terrifying Side Effect That's Becoming More Common as Workout Difficulty Increases


You’ve heard the term “overtraining”, right? Most trainers if not all have heard about it at this point, but few have experienced it and that’s a great thing. You don’t want to overtrain and then be out of the game for a prolonged period. However, what’s happening lately goes beyond the principle of overtraining and it needs to be addressed.


The Terrifying Side Effect That's Becoming More Common as Workout Difficulty Increases

There are tons of workout classes these days, a new kind of class pops up ever so often and willing gym goers will be hard-pressed to miss out on the opportunity. The industry has shifted in these past years; high intensity has become a dime a dozen and while the avid gym goers love the feeling of being drenched in sweat, some of the new comers are suffering.

Some of these workout classes are just too hard for newcomers. Is it their fault? They should be aware of the classes they’re taking before they get there. Sometimes, that isn’t the case especially when a basic spin class becomes a whole new experience according to the instructor. There’s always that instructor that loves the go hard or go home philosophy while others are all about pacing their class.

This doesn’t seem like anything new, right? This happens all the time, it’s part of the process. They’ll learn if it’s too much for them and feel sore, but will come back begging for more. If not, there’s no big deal they’ll just change classes. What happens if the workout is so intense for that person that it becomes near life threatening? You might think, that’s unheard of and I understand that because up to a few days ago I thought the same thing.

It’s so rare to have an exercise class become life threatening, but lately that’s becoming more common. If you’ve never heard about rhabdomyolysis, then this is the time to learn it. It’s becoming more common as exercise classes and programs have increased in intensity. Newcomers and even avid gym goers who are unaccustomed are overwhelmed by the workload.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, rhabdomyolysis is supposed to be extremely rare, but is a serious condition. When damaged skeletal muscle tissue breaks down rapidly the products are released into the bloodstream. When damaged muscle cells, such as protein myoglobin, are released into the bloodstream it could be harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure. It’s also important to note that when the muscle tissue gradually breaks down in certain muscles it could lead to permanent paralysis.

Here are some of the causes of rhabdomyolysis:

  • A crush injury (auto accidents, falls, debris)
  • Lost lasting muscle compression (prolonged immobilization on a hard surface)
  • Electrical shock injury, lighting strike or third degree burn
  • Snake or insect venom
  • Alcohol, medications like antipsychotics, and illegal drugs
  • Extreme muscle strain (it can happen in trained or untrained athletes)
  • Metabolic disorder such as diabetic ketoacidosis

It’s possible that one can die from rhabdomyolysis, but thankfully prompt treatment can lead to a positive outcome. Signs and symptoms may be hard to pinpoint due to the broad range of causes, but classic symptoms include muscle pain in the shoulders, thighs, or lower back, muscle weakness or trouble moving limbs, dark red or brown urine, and decreased urination. It’s possible to suffer from this and not have muscle related symptoms.

Other common signs of rhabdomyolysis include abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, fever & rapid heart rate. If you remotely feel that you or someone could be suffering from this after an insane workout session it’s extremely important that you seek medical attention immediately. Who could have thought that an intense exercise class could lead to something so bad?

That’s why as professionals we need to be aware of the people taking our classes. Even though we’re trying to ensure the best experience for our clients, we need to keep safety as our primary objective. With that in mind, our NPI-Certified Posture Specialist™ is all about safety and ensuring your client’s aren’t jumping into the deep end before they’re ready.

You can check out our program here >>

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