Rhabdo is no new thing in the CrossFit, functional fitness, high intensity, military, or fitness world… Recently, a popular fitness pro who has a large following got rhabdo from a CrossFit workout that included near 100 GHD sit ups. This sparked a large social media outroar about the dangers of crossfit (like we haven’t heard them all before) and led me to sharing what I’ve noticed in training plus the link to rhabdo.
CLAIMING THAT CROSSFIT CAUSES RHABDO IS LIKE THE CLAIM THAT THE SUN CAUSES SKIN CANCER.
Sure, the sun can contribute to cancer but why do some get cancer from the sun and some do not?…. metabolic system, immune system, inflammation, and cellular weakness are a few… sure, cancer is not rhabdo but the ROOT of most of these serious health issues remains to be the same.
Like most other health issues people look at the immediate cause and fail to consider the ROOT of the issue contributing to the kidneys and liver struggling during the recovery process (healing from a workout).
MY “UNEXPERT belief” (since I’m not a doctor) is THE ROOT CAUSE IS SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION. From what I’ve seen in over 10 rhabdo cases (in real life) is that OVERTRAINING IS NOT THE MAIN ISSUE. I’ve seen people get rhabdo without taking long periods of rest, I’ve seen “fit” people not overtrain or overreach and they still get rhabdo. The rhabdo had little to do with the exercises themselves.
In high intensity training the goal is to produce as much power as possible….
Most “athletes” I’ve seen consume WAY TOO MUCH PROTEIN. This can be verified with a simple blood panel (look nitrogen balance). These high levels of URIC ACID are toxic to the body (hint hint: the kidneys)… stacked on top of this when the immune system is compromised (someone goes too hard in a workout), people working out sleep deprived or stressed, partying in the weekend, or those with AUTO IMMUNE CONDITIONS (to name a few ways)… the stress on the kidneys due to nutritional errors because fake news on nutrition, high levels of “inflammation”, an unfavorable immune response + D.O.M.S. due to some training = hello hospital.
All the modifications in the world are great and needed for new athletes. HOWEVER, when you see people end up in the hospital for a week after a workout done in a group where everyone is the same is similar fitness level it makes sense to take a few steps back and link COMMON DENOMINATORS that the people have who got rhabdo.
The common link from what I’ve seen is inflammation and a negative immune response.
True fitness incorporates health as a whole. Many of these severe incidents can be prevented by having blood panels done and ensuring you are treating your total health like you would a well balanced training program.
Just because someone LOOKS healthy or PERFORMsS at an ELITE level does not mean their body is near OPTIMAL HEALTH.