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Dangers of CrossFit: A Must Read

They are popping up virtually everywhere. Crossfit centers are the “in” way to train these days.  High intensity training, taken to the extreme. Proponents say it is the best way to get in shape and lose fat. The days of long, slow runs or heavy weight lifting with sufficient rest in between are out. Get the heart rate high and sweat, sweat and more sweat.

Or so the motto goes. . .

Enter Rhabdomyolysis

Under extreme conditions your muscles cells explode. They die. They leach protein out into the blood stream, including one form called myoglobin. Ever stalwart, your kidneys take up the job of clearing these dangerous proteins from the blood. Why? It’s just what they do. Unfortunately, myoglobin proteins aren’t designed to be in the blood in the first place and they can easily overload the kidney. This can produce injury or death to all or part of the kidney in a short amount of time, and is potentially lethal. Locally, the muscles are left damaged and dying. Swelling ensues and weakness occurs as pressure builds around the remaining muscle cells. Your body’s systems that normally can assist with this local muscle damage are now offline trying to help you not die. If you get to this stage, you’re in serious trouble.

And this is what is happening with CrossFit.

Disturbing to say the least.

As early as 2005, the New York Times documented rhabdomyolysis associated with the culture of CrossFit in a piece entitled, “Getting Fit, Even If It Kills You.” The article included these types of quotes:

“Yet six months later Mr. Anderson, a former Army Ranger, was back in the gym, performing the very exercises that nearly killed him. “I see pushing my body to the point where the muscles destroy themselves as a huge benefit of CrossFit,” he said.

There are a multitude of ways to train.

This however, is NOT one of them.

Doc’s Thoughts: The only running you should do as it relates to CrossFit is to run away from these places!

Go back to what works and what has always worked. For weights, the “3/5” formula has a long, celebrated history of effectively building strength safely. Three to 5 sets, of 3-5 repetitions, 3-5 minutes in between (rest time) 3-5 exercises with compound movements and heavier weights, 3-5 days per week.

Find something you are passionate about and that will end up being your cardio.

Get your diet right 85-90% of the time and all will be right with the world!

 

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