I have always had my opinions about Crossfit, some good and some bad. Owning gyms myself, I obviously have strong opinions on exercise. Being a Chiropractic physician and treating sports injuries, I obviously have opinions on those too. But today on Good Morning America they ran a story that is sweeping the nation and causing a scare. It was titled CrossFit Linked to Potentially Fatal Condition Rhabdomyolysis and you can watch the video here http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/crossfit-linked-potentially-fatal-condition-rhabdomyolysis-20380676. Rhabdomyolysis is an extremely rare condition in which damaged skeletal muscle tissue breaks down rapidly. Breakdown products of damaged muscle cells are released into the bloodstream; some of these, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure. The severity of the symptoms, which may include muscle pains, vomiting and confusion, depends on the extent of muscle damage and whether kidney failure develops. The muscle damage may be caused by physical factors (e.g. crush injury, strenuous exercise), medications, drug abuse, and infections. Some people have a hereditary muscle condition that increases the risk of rhabdomyolysis. The diagnosis is usually made with blood tests and urinalysis. The mainstay of treatment is generous quantities of intravenous fluids, but may include dialysis or hemofiltration in more severe cases.
Good Morning America brought on Eric Robertson, spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association and professor at Regis University, as an "expert" to comment. He bashes crossfit not only on GMA but also online and in other papers he has written. I personally think Eric Robertson just has a problem with exercise in general not just crossfit by his appearance today. Now Im not saying this to be mean, but if you bring on an "expert" to talk about exercise, maybe that person should exercise. I will also go to say that it is arguable that he is an expert when it comes to this topic. The reason why? He's a physical therapist, does he know about muscles and how to massage and stretch them out, of course he does, but to go to say that his education of what happens in your bloodstream and to your kidneys once this protein is released in your body is a stretch.
So what would I say to Eric Robertson? I would ask him if he has heard of a much more common disease known as heart disease? It kills 1 out of 3 Americans. Being overweight, puts you at higher risk. Rhabdomyolysis is so rare that GMA's and ABC New's chief medical correspondent Dr. Richard Besser (notice there is a Dr. in front of his name) said he has never even heard of it! After doing more research myself on Rhabdo there are so many other factors that go in to someone experiencing this besides exercise. And to discourage people from exercising too hard for fear of this is flat out ridiculous. We have an obesity epidemic in this country where 2/3 of Americans are overweight! Like I said before I have some things about Crossfit that I don't agree with but I will tell you that if every American did Crossfit, our country would be a healthier place. Eric Robertson should try it, maybe he can lower his risk of heart disease too.
So what do I not like about Crossfit? Being an ex college football player myself and having quite a bit of experience in Olympic style lifting, I will say to start they weren't designed for repetition. Power cleans, snatches, jerks, that are staple exercises at Crossfit were never designed to do in high counts. They were designed to do very low number of reps. Doing these in high repetition and then adding in competition just spells out injury. And trust me I have treated quite a few of them. One of the reasons why Crossfit is so popular is because pretty much everything they do is a competition. Most of those are for best times, meaning that who can get the most amount of reps in the shortest amount of time. So if you are trying to do an exercise as quickly as possible, obviously form can get compromised which leads to injury. But this is really irrelevant to the GMA story. And bottom line is people get fit and lose weight at crossfit.
Now if sounded angry in this blog, that's because I am! HAHA jk. But I get angry when so called experts make claims that can lead to further risk for people. So imagine everyone watching GMA today who could use to lose a few pounds, they may never try Crossfit because of this. Trust me Crossfit will do a whole lot more for you then that treadmill at 24 hour.
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