Yesterday the Associated Press reported on thirteen football players from the University of Iowa being hospitalized after a workout that included 100 squats.
Highlights of the article:
– they were all diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, “a stress-induced syndrome that can damage cells and cause kidney damage and even failure in severe cases”
– even with severe muscle soreness and discolored urine they did more workouts
– Thursday, 100 squats and pull a sled 100 yards; Friday, (while having unusual pain) upper body workout!; Monday, another workout!
– the athletes are expected to ensure better hydration in the future
Let’s hope all 13 of them make full recoveries and don’t continue to pay the price of compromised health in later adult years. Every football season high school and college football coaches engage in lethal training regimens (about 10 football players die every year from dehydration) and it all stems from the macho, bonehead “make ’em tough” training that displaces reason and finesse with saturation and overkill. Literal overkill.
Just as bad, these philosophies filter down through all strength training so when Joe Accountant, and Suzy Lawyer decide to improve their health by lifting weights they inherit the sick, stupid legacy of this bonehead mentality. More volume, multiple exercises per muscle group, multiple sets every workout, no pain – no gain. Too tired to do your workout? Don’t rest – do a different workout to ‘confuse your muscles’ and ‘keep it fresh’. Coaches, personal trainers, magazine articles and workout-de-jour books all tout more and more of the above.
Matt Hayes at Sporting News says this, “Is this really what we’ve come to? After Rashidi Wheeler collapsed and died during a conditioning test at Northwestern. After Devaughn Darling collapsed and died after mat drills at Florida State. After Dale Lloyd collapsed and died at the end of 16 100-yard sprints at Rice.”
And none of these coaches, trainers or workout authors wants any form of objective measurement, because that would put the lie to their ridiculous workout regimens. And next year ten more kids will die on the football practice field. Fortunately these thirteen were ‘only’ hospitalized.
Is it any wonder reasonable people like Joe and Suzy give up in the gym? Please . . . train with your brain.