Does Spinning cause Rhabdomyolysis (Rhabdo)? What is it? What are the symptoms and how do you recover?

Numerous factors contribute to rhabdomyolysis, commonly defined as the rapid destruction of skeletal muscle which releases muscle enzymes from inside the muscle cells. Although there are various causes and factors of the condition, as of late an article has surfaced specifically associating the condition with indoor cycling. This association, in many expert opinions, is borderline irresponsible and unsupported. It fails to consider the true culprits that people should truly be watching out for. So please… share this vlog with the world. It’s your duty as someone who cares about people’s safety and well being.

In this vlog, Cat Kom (who has only seen one case in 15+ years of Spinning hard) and fellow Studio SWEAT trainer, Elli – who just a year ago was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis – sit down and discuss the condition to its core, providing factual information about the condition and debunking false statements and myths circulating about cycling and rhabdomyolysis. Along with that they discuss what the condition involves, how to avoid it, and how to watch for symptoms.

Rhabdomyolysis results from the death of muscle fibers and the release of contents into the bloodstream, which can cause muscle damage and kidney failure. Causes can include trauma, crash injuries and dehydration and most importantly to this conversation, overtraining, which can result from any form of physical activity, especially when engaging your muscles to exhaustive levels. The intensity of an exercise and the individual’s physical capability can lead to the development of rhabdo, especially when the individual is straining to an extreme (like a quick power lift) and overworking the muscles.

Symptoms may include changes in the color of urine, where the tint shifts to a darkened tea color as well as tightened muscles, or unilateral swelling. Many mistake the tightening for growth instead of risk. As Elli explains though, the feeling is not normal. It’s not like anything you’ve felt before after some challenging workout. So speaking responsibly, if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, seek diagnosis and treatment immediately.

Here at Studio SWEAT, instructors challenge participants, that’s their jobs, but they also encourage participants to exercise at their own pace and in a safe manner. We also encourage you to find out the facts. For example, according to the National Institutes of Health, obesity and overweight factors together are the second leading cause of preventable death with over 300,000 people in the U.S. alone per year dying from moving too little, and eating too much. Death people!!! On the flip side, only 26,000 cases (not deaths mind you) of Rhabdo occurred in the U.S. in 2016 (of which the majority by a landslide were not acute cases) and many of those cases were from Traumatic injury, like car and construction accidents. Yep, had nothing to do with working out. Oh, and another thing being conveniently left out of the discussion is that many people have inherited muscle conditions that increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis.

We are not saying you should not watch for symptoms and try to avoid being saddled with this rare condition, clearly you should. But, to those scaring people away from working out, that is really thoughtless. It really is.

Just remember that working out is about the only thing proven over and over again to keep you healthy, but whether you’re running, lifting, or on a bike, listen to your body and attend to its needs.

And again, share this video with your friends and family to inform them on the true causes of rhabdomyolysis, and check out more Trainer Tip videos at Studio SWEAT onDemand!