Strength: Hang Squat Clean
Spend 15 minutes working on explosive hip opening/extension. Focus on correct form, then incrmentally increase weight.
WOD: “Get your Burpee on!”
100 Burpees for time
Start with Burpees. At the top of every minute perform 3 hang power cleans (95/65). Continue the cycle until you complete all the burpees. 20 minute time cap. Score the number of cleans completed during the WOD. Think of it like golf, the lower the score the better!
Buy Out: 50 Ab Mat Wall Ball sit-ups (20/14)Learn More
Skill: Ring Pull-Ups
Work on range of motion. If you can get chest to ring, then go for it! 10 minutes
WOD: 3 Rounds for reps
Ab Mat sit-ups
Score total reps completed
Spend 1 minute in each movement. Complete all 3 movements, then rest 1 minute between rounds.
Buy out: Tabata hand stand holds
Let’s talk about what Rhabdo is, then I’ll tell you my story. Rhabdo is the rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle. When this breakdown occurs, myoglobin (muscle protein), is released into the urinary system. Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is a blood enzyme released into the blood stream during the breakdown. Signs and symptoms of Rhabdo include, but are not limited to, severe muscle soreness, swelling, bruising, and dark (cola) colored urine.
Now that we know what Rhabdo is, let me tell you about my experience. I participated in a workout the other evening. I really went for it during the WOD, and pr’d by close to a minute and a half. The next morning I was sore, but didn’t think much of it after the effort expended the previous night. I did some skill work and light cleans, followed by another short WOD. The next day, I was broken. Sore really doesn’t do it justice. I thought I had a severe case of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) that had settled in for a rough couple of days before everything would return to normal.
I coached the next day and struggled through the warm-ups. I knew there wasn’t a WOD in my future for at least 2 days, or so I thought, and decided to listen to my body and recover. When I got home from the box that night and removed my shirt (long sleeve), I saw I had sausage arms! Both arms were swollen from shoulder to mid forearm. That’s when I knew there was something other than DOMS happening. I called my family doctor the next day, explained what I thought was going on, and requested having my CPK levels checked. They agreed, but advised that I would have to see the doctor when they got the labs back, so an appointment was set.
Another long day spent at the box, loving the athletes, but struggling with even simple movements. As I was closing up, I checked my voicemails and had one from my doctor who sounded concerned. One of those “Hey Marc, this is Doctor @#%, please call me as soon as you get this” type of calls. It was 9:30 pm, so I decided to call the office first thing in the morning. When I finally got around to calling (a completely different story best shared over a few beers), the nurse confirmed that I did have Rhabdo. I told her I thought so and thanked her for calling. She continued, explaining that I had a critical case and needed to be tested for kidney function immediately. I complied, left work, and went to the office to see the doc and have another set of labs drawn.
The visit went well, and the doctor and I had a great discussion about my situation. Let me share what I’ve learned from this event:
Find a doctor who is CrossFit friendly. Someone who understands workload and intensity. This makes it so much easier to explain what is going on when something goes askew.
4 days following the WOD, my CPK levels were 55,000. A normal person has 200-275.
7 days following the WOD, my levels were still 44,416; however, my kidney function tested normal, other than elevated myoglobin, which was expected.
My doctor and I agree that my hydration prescription is what kept me out of the hospital and functioning during this ordeal. Remember what I’ve told all of you, ½ your body weight in ounces every day, with 16 -24 ounces for every hour of activity.
I have no idea why this happened. I’ve logged the same WOD 4 times in the past, with steadily improving times. But this was a huge PR, so the intensity was definitely there.
I have neglected my personal fitness recently. My focus has been centered on providing the best experience I can for our athletes. And if that meant taking a back seat as an athlete to help others get better, then that’s what I wanted to do. No regrets, just stating the facts.
Sleep has been elusive recently. I am hardwired as a night owl. So even though I get up early, I still tend to burn the midnight oil.
My diet . . . . . sucks. Enough said about that.
So what caused this? I feel that it was the perfect storm, or possibly a comedy of errors, that conspired with “Angie” to crush me. It wasn’t any single component. It wasn’t the WOD, diet, rest, or lack of consistency. It was the combination of all of these and my intensity that caused the situation.
The one thing I was doing correctly was drinking water. It’s no secret that I have an affinity for coffee, but I also make a point to consume my required water every day. I cannot over emphasize the importance of this single part of your athletic performance. Figure out how much water you need to drink, and handle your business! It could just save your life………
What does the future hold for me, post Rhabdo? Well, I’m not sure. I’ll have my CPK levels checked again today. If they are down to a reasonable level, I’ll start with recuperative movements. If they are still elevated, I’ll rest a few more days.
Am I done with CrossFit? How about Angie? Hell no. I’m not done, not even close. I am going to refocus and prioritize my personal fitness. I own a CrossFit box. I should be able to find a time to do work. I am going to sleep more. For 10 days a month, sleep is beyond my control. But for the other days, I’m going to make some changes. My diet is changing. Angie better watch her ass next time she shows up, just saying!
I felt that I needed to share this with our athletes, and any other interested parties, to help make you aware. Aware of what, Marc? Aware that this stuff happens! It’s not the end of the world. Does it suck? You have no idea……..but it’s not the end. If you show me a fitness program that is 100% safe, I’ll show you a program that is marginally effective. With risk, comes reward. With intensity, comes results. What are you trying to accomplish? Maintaining a reasonable level of fitness requires a certain level of intensity. Trying to cut a minute off your Fran time requires a whole different level of intensity. This is your journey. We are just here to help show you the way.
I hope this hasn’t created more questions than it has answered. I hope this hasn’t frightened anyone to the point where you just stop. My intent was to share my story, my journey with Rhabdo. I am available to answer questions, and hopefully quell concerns.
I’ve always told you that you may not like the answer I give, but I won’t lie to you. I can’t change what happened, but I can learn from it. And hopefully it will make me a better coach for you, because at the end of the day, that’s all I’ve wanted. Thanks for reading this, and God bless you all.
Check out Dan Bailey giving some double under pointers!Learn More