Tuesday 131105



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Rope Climb Technique

Today the coach will go over rope climbs. You’ll get to work on your S-hook and J-hook. We want to spend some time getting comfortable with these positions prior to the WOD.




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Complete 5 rounds for time of:

15 Kettlebell thusters, 55#/35#

2 Legless Rope Climbs

20:00 cap on this one.

Here’s another variation of some mainsite programming circa 2005. The KB thrusters are 1 arm, switch as needed. For the legless rope climbs, that’s on the way up. Please use your legs on the way down! If you don’t have legless, the scaling option will be using your feet. If you don’t have rope climbs, today’s the day to get your first one!!




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Today’s post will be the first of 2. There was an article floating around the ol’ interweb recently about CrossFit, rhabdo, and how you will die. We’re not going to link the article because it had a lot of false info in there, and there are plenty of folks out there way smarter than we are that went through and pretty much decimated the entire thing.

However, it did get people talking. Rhabdo isn’t new, nor is it limited to CrossFit. This article talks about rhabdo and distance runners and discusses a “perfect storm” of factors – more on this tomorrow. Members of college football teams have experienced rhabdo as well. There were articles in the CF Journal in 2006 and 2010. We hope that among our athletes, they’ve heard of it and are educated about the symptoms and more importantly, how to avoid it!

Our own Kristi H is a PA here in town, and has seen some cases in her office. She knew about it through CrossFit, knew the symptoms, and was able to diagnose it. Pretty cool! While telling me the story of some of her cases I asked her to write a post for you guys and lucky for us she was all about it! Here it is:


“Rhabdo” is a medical term that, as a CrossFitter, you should be aware of.  Our coaches are concerned about our safety and have asked me to write a PSA so you all are aware of this condition that is becoming more and more prevalent.

What it is:  I will try not to bore you with the science behind rhabdo… Rhabdomyolysis is when muscle is damaged significantly enough that substances are leaked from the muscle cells into the blood.  The waste that is leaked into the blood can lead to kidney damage, electrolyte imbalances and, in the most severe cases, death.  Kidney failure occurs in 15-50% of people who are diagnosed with rhabdo.  The kidney’s job is to filter the blood and remove waste as urine, the increased amount of waste can lead to kidney failure.  When the muscle cells are pouring out waste and the kidneys cannot keep up with the filtering, potassium and phosphate increase in the blood and calcium decreases (there is some awesome cellular physiology that goes on here but that is the take home message).  These imbalances can lead to further kidney damage, cardiac arrhythmias and hormone issues.

 Symptoms: Now that you know what is going on inside of your body, we need to know what to look for.

  1. Muscle pain, weakness, and/or muscle swelling (we get this everyday but we know when we pushed too hard and the pain and weakness is not the typical recovery pain).  The muscles that are most often sore and weak are the muscles closest to your torso (thighs, shoulders, upper arms).
  2. Dark urine (Coca Cola or Tea colored), some studies report this occurs in only 50% of people diagnosed with rhabdo so just because you don’t have dark urine you still could be going into rhabdo.
  3. Severe fatigue, fever, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain are late symptoms and suggest a more advanced condition.

What to do:  If you develop one (or more) of these symptoms what do you do?  Pretty simple, go to your doctor or an Urgent Care.  They will draw blood and get a urine test.  If your body is in rhabdo you will have an elevated CK (creatine kinase), myoglobin and other muscle enzymes.

Treatment:  This depends on the severity of the condition, most of the time it requires IV fluids in the hospital if it is caught early.  If the condition has progressed, dialysis may be needed.

Work outs that require large repetitions and use of the same muscle groups are often the causes of rhabdo.  The major culprits are pull-ups, push-ups, and GHD abdominal work outs.

I have seen 3 patients in the past 10 weeks with rhabdo requiring hospitalization.  Here are their stories so you have an idea how easy it is to go into rhabdo:

A 16 year old male who had been running and lifting on and off during the summer.  Pre-season tennis practice the coach had him do 100+ push-ups, 100+ sit-ups, sprinting and 100+ air squats.  He was sore, fatigued and felt flu like, therefore, came in for symptom relief.  His urine was “kind of dark,” a urine test showed abnormalities, blood work was done and his values were more than 15 times the normal.  He was hospitalized for 4 days.  He is doing well.

A 37 year old female is an active marathon runner and does yoga 3 times weekly.  She went to her first WOD and because she is “in shape” she did not scale back on reps.  She did 100 pull – ups (with a band) and 100 push-ups.  Her friend encouraged her to come in to the clinic because she felt sick and weak.  Her blood work was abnormal, she received IV fluids in the ER and gets her blood drawn every 4 days until her values normalize.

A 28 year old male who lifts at the gym regularly and occasionally drops into a box for a WOD.  He did a Hero WOD (I cannot recall which one).  His arms were significantly swollen and he felt much more muscle fatigue than usual.  Lab values were high, IV fluids in the ER.

Take Away:  Be smart, take care of yourself, scale when you need to, and help spread the word about rhabdomyolysis.

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