Potentially Deadly Condition from Too Much Exercise - WSET.com - ABC13

Potentially Deadly Condition from Too Much Exercise


Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Brian Whitesell

Lynchburg, VA - We have all tried to stay or get into shape at some point or another, but fitness experts and specialists say slow down. They are starting to see more people diagnosed with a potentially deadly condition just from overdoing it in their workouts.

It is called Rhabdomyolysis. It is when injury to skeletal muscle tissue causes it to degenerate quickly. That releases breakdown products into the bloodstream, which can lead to kidney failure.

"I was at the end and I couldn't even do a single push up. But I was like, 'ok, well at least I'm going to get results because I'm tearing my muscles pretty good,'" Taylor Smith who had Rhabdomyolysis said.

Smith says his pride got the best of him, and that is why he did not stop when he felt the pain.

"I got to doing it and I was like 'oh my gosh,' like half way though," Smith said. "I've worked out before and never had that kind of a problem."

Smith was trying P90X- a DVD collection of high intensity workouts. In the series, hundreds of repetitions are done in a short period of time.

"I couldn't move my arms. It felt like I was flexing all the time. My arms were swollen," Smith said.

He ended up in the Emergency Room for four days.

"Potassium can leak out of your muscles and go into your bloodstream. And then your kidneys start to shut down. They're not filtering that potassium out," Krista Leake, a Physical Therapist for Centra Rehabilitation at the Jamerson Family YMCA said.

For Smith, one particular enzyme, called CK, skyrocketed.

"At the hospital, the scales go up 42,900 and mine were over that for two or three days," Smith said.

Fitness experts we spoke with say those workouts are for very conditioned individuals or athletes.

"That's a very advanced workout and it takes a lot of base fitness to be able to do some of the exercises they do on there," Paula Dahl a Group Fitness Coordinator at the Jamerson Family YMCA said.

"There is no quick, easy, fast way to get fit. It's hard work," Kathy Thomas a Fitness Director at the Downtown YMCA said.

Smith is back home and doing fine. Fitness specialists say, when working out, drink lots of water, eat properly, start out slowly and allow your muscles time to recover.

Smith says he took Creatine, a muscle building supplement, before his workout. He is not sure how much of a role that played.

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