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Rhabdomyolysis: How I almost died from being pushed to do too many pull-ups

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  • #16
    For some of us women, negatives are the only kind of pull-up we can do for a while. It's one step on the way to doing a real pull-up. And it hurts like hell at first.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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    • #17
      i'm really sorry that happened to you. but am wondering something, if it's ok to ask....why did you feel you couldn't say, screw that, i am not doing that many? what would he have done, kicked you out? i get that you trusted him, but i'm trying to understand why you felt you couldn't refuse to do what he says? i, in no way, am trying to lessen what happened to you, it was an awful thing....i'm merely curious about the why on not refusing to do what he insisted you do?

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      • #18
        From what I understand...

        Originally posted by Cavewizard View Post
        Is it because they were negatives? When I reach failure I reach FAILURE - there's just no way I'm getting the weight up, no matter how hard I push, even if I was willing to damage myself. I know injuries happen but this is pretty extreme. How can this be avoided while still pushing yourself to where you force your body to adapt? Why haven't I heard of this more often on bodybuilding forums?
        From what I understand it was because of the negatives or the concentric portion of the lowering slowly under body weight....in rapid succession.

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        • #19
          I don't think you can get rhabdo from negatives or any other real strength training protocol because it's too intense to take the volume high enough.

          Googling a bit I saw that Univerisity of Iowa football managed to rhabdo THIRTEEN guys in 2011 with a methodology that I think illustrates perfectly how to create rhabdo.

          1. Don't work up gradually. They did this workout after a 2 week break.

          2. Pointlessly high volume. 100 reps of back squats. Presumably for time.

          3. Intermediate resistance. 50% of max. Too light for real strength training. Too heavy for real cardio.

          Even doing everything 'right' still the majority of the athletes didn't get rhabdo.

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          • #20
            It's all very well saying 'you should've said ''no''' but hindsight is a blessing, and what has happened is hugely unfortunate. I can't help but feel that no one is really to blame, the condition/disease, whatever you want to call it, is far too un-common to be taught to PT's (Like myself). I am a great promotor of research and constant learning. It's up to all parties involved to educate themselves. Blind faith is dangerous in any context (as was his in his training methods before it looks like i'm singling you out!). I hope sincerely this hasn't dimmed your view on exercise too much, as silly as that reads!
            What is recovery like? Can/will you train again?

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            • #21
              Wow, I have never heard of this before... Scary it is!!!
              How did you recover. In your story you don't write anything about recovering other than you had good care. But how are your muscles doing now?

              I don't work with a trainer because I honestly believe their can't help me. They don't know what I feel and even if you tell them they usually won't listen. I tried it once but I hated it big time.
              My doctor always said, a bit of pain is alright but you have to be able to stretch and move normally after each work out. It's a good advise...

              Anyway, I do hope you feel much better now...
              My story, My thought....

              It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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              • #22
                Just because that's what you "think" doesn't make it so. The facts are the facts. It would be irresponsible of you to go about telling people there is no way they could get it from strength training. The fact is that it happened to me. And there are countless others. Just look at what the crossfit community has dealt with. If people have the knowledge, the FACTS about rhabdo, trainers and their clients can make responsible, informed decisions in their workouts.

                Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
                I don't think you can get rhabdo from negatives or any other real strength training protocol because it's too intense to take the volume high enough.

                Googling a bit I saw that Univerisity of Iowa football managed to rhabdo THIRTEEN guys in 2011 with a methodology that I think illustrates perfectly how to create rhabdo.

                1. Don't work up gradually. They did this workout after a 2 week break.

                2. Pointlessly high volume. 100 reps of back squats. Presumably for time.

                3. Intermediate resistance. 50% of max. Too light for real strength training. Too heavy for real cardio.

                Even doing everything 'right' still the majority of the athletes didn't get rhabdo.

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                • #23
                  Feeling much better now. I've just started resuming normal day-to-day activities. I am pretty nervous about resuming workouts, but just need to take baby steps. It's definitely been very, very difficult mentally, as exercise was my natural "Prozac".

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                  • #24
                    I trusted him.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Chellegood View Post
                      Just because that's what you "think" doesn't make it so. The facts are the facts. It would be irresponsible of you to go about telling people there is no way they could get it from strength training. The fact is that it happened to me. And there are countless others. Just look at what the crossfit community has dealt with. If people have the knowledge, the FACTS about rhabdo, trainers and their clients can make responsible, informed decisions in their workouts.
                      I think you're misunderstanding bcbcbc2's point. CrossFit is not strength training. This is one of the main criticisms of CrossFit.
                      The Champagne of Beards

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                      • #26
                        As a trainer, you should absolutely be educated on conditions like rhabdo. You should also be educated on the exercises you are having your clients do. His particular exercise, negative pull-ups, is an exercise that souls be worked up to gradually. And never, never should have been introduced for the first time with that amount of repetition. This specific exercise has caused rhabo in many others. Mine isn't an isolated incident.

                        My recovery was ok. Being in the hospital for 6 days without my family just plain sucked. Once the pain in my arms subsides I felt much better. I'm very much looking forward to getting back to working out. The hardest part for me has been the mental aspect of recovery. I have quite a bit of anxiety about weight training now. But I've been assured by doctors and other trainers that it wasn't the regular weight training I was doing...just this specific one (jumping pull-ups) that caused a perfect storm of condition a resulting in rhabdo. That makes me feel better, but still anxious. I definitely DO NOT want to go back there again!

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                        • #27
                          And negative pull-ups is done in crossfit. I didn't sign up to do crossfit.

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                          • #28
                            you shouldn't fear strength training at all. What you trainer had you do is entirely different. The rep range he was working in for your fitness level was unwise(arguably for any level save a crossfit athlete). If someone can't do an unassisted pullup then eccentrics are a useful tool to get them there more quickly. In short the exercise isn't the problem, the application of it to your fitness level was. You should have been in the 5-8 rep range with adequate rest between sets. Also starting with bands and building up some base level of strength first.

                            I'm unclear from your article, was this part of a timed circuit? Were you doing the 20 pullups multiple times? either way its a bad choice but frankly I'm a little surprised you got rhabdo from 20 stand alone reps. Your trainer made a bad call for you either way but understand something: the single most common cause of rhabdo that most dr's see is from long distance cardio. Marathons, ultra's, century rides etc. Not from strength work.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Chellegood View Post
                              I didn't sign up to do crossfit.
                              Well, at least you made 1 good choice...
                              The Champagne of Beards

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                              • #30
                                I'm not sure it was timed? We were doing circuit. When doing the pull-ups it was 20 without rest inbetween each. Then back through circuit. Then another 20 pull-ups. The injury was in my arms. Swollen, deformed and couldn't be straightened.

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