CrossFit Division: Coaches Corner- Responsible Training-
Rhabdomyolysis, while rare, can develop from high intensity
or high-volume exercise, including CrossFit or any
other process that damages muscle cells. Rhabdomyolysis
(often simply referred to as “rhabdo”) is a medical
condition that may arise from breakdown of muscle
tissue and release of the muscle cells’ contents into the
bloodstream. This process can damage the kidneys and
may lead to renal failure or death in rare cases. Rhabdo
is diagnosed when a patient with an appropriate history
has an elevated level of another molecule, creatine kinase,
also known as CK or CPK. CPK is easier to measure in the
blood than myoglobin and is generally used as a marker
for rhabdo, even though it is the myoglobin that does
Treatment consists of generous amounts of intravenous
fluids to dilute and flush the myoglobin through the
kidneys. In the worst cases, patients may need dialysis
while the kidneys recover. Death, though rare, can result
when the kidney failure causes imbalances in the usual
electrolytes, which may cause cardiac arrhythmias. Most
patients make a complete recovery after being rehydrated
with IV fluids over anywhere from several hours to a week
or so, depending on the severity.
There are a few ways a CrossFit trainer can protect athletes
• Follow the charter of mechanics, consistency,
• Know the movements that have a higher rate of
rhabdomyolysis incidence (those that prolong the
eccentric contraction), and be mindful of the total
volume that is programmed with these exercises.
• Scale workouts for clients appropriately.
• Avoid progressive scaling.
• Educate clients on the symptoms of rhabdomyolysis
and when it is appropriate to seek medical attention.
Teams of 2, AMRAP 20minutes
20- KB Swings
One partner runs, while the other works on the couplet, picking up where they left off after the run