Mental 24

    Several things are disturbing in the short article below.

    First, and most glaringly, would be the inclusion of P90X and CrossFit in the same sentence.

    Second would be the already addressed ad nauseum topic of “concerns” regarding high-intensity, functional training. CrossFit has done a phenomenal job over the years of squashing such concerns with science and fact.

    We are not a CrossFit gym, and that is not an accident or an oversight.

    My opinion: part of the reason these concerns are surfacing again in such a large-scale forum is that the quality of the training “in question” has deteriorated. Safety erodes quickly when people (and bad trainers) try to mimic what they see on the internet without knowing the in’s & out’s of how, why, when, and how much.

    Intensity is not a substitute for form any more than speed is. The concerns they are addressing are more often than not the result of ego-driven intensity and over-work without the proper legwork to support it.

    And, bad coaching.

    We’re not playing badminton- injuries happen. Bumps, bruises, cuts, discomfort happens often.

    The responsibility you have to yourself (and if you have one, that your trainer has to you) is to assure that you have all the tools you need to keep yourself safe while still maintaining that highest level of effort and output.

    The article below is a reflection of a lack of that mentality, and a trend towards too much, too soon in our style training. The things they mention are real, yet uncommon, and in all but the rarest case, avoidable.

    High-intensity fitness training programs like P90X and CrossFit are exploding in popularity in both the military community and the civilian world because they offer dramatic results with aggressive regimens, frequently timed and performed with high repetitive loads.

    But anecdotal concerns have surfaced in both communities about injury rates, particularly muscle injuries such as exertional rhabdomyolysis — basically, too much intense exercise. Symptoms include severe, incapacitating muscle pain; elevated blood levels of the muscle-cell enzyme creatine kinase, which can cause kidney problems; and myoglobin in the urine, which may turn the urine a dark brown color.

    In response to those concerns, the Consortium for Health and Military Performance at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., is hosting an upcoming workshop for military medical professionals to develop standard definitions of high-intensity exercise programs, discuss the merits of these programs, develop guidelines for their safe use, and draft an agenda for further research.

    Military Times would like to hear about your experiences with high-intensity training programs. Have they worked for you? Have you suffered any injuries along the way — particularly anything approaching rhabdomyolysis? Any advice you would pass on to newbies who are thinking about jumping in? E-mail highintensity@militarytimes.com.

    High-intensity fitness programs to be reviewed