Resistance exercise–induced rhabdomyolysis: Need for immediate intervention and proper counselling


Rhabdomyolysis results from damage to skeletal muscle. Improper resistance training may result in rhabdomyolysis, which can cause acute kidney injury, serious metabolic abnormalities, compartmental syndrome and even death. Proper counselling for athletes may prevent this condition.


We present two patients with unilateral swelling after resistance exercise. The workup revealed rhabdomyolysis. We highlight the importance of counselling to prevent rhabdomyolysis secondary to resistance exercise.


Trainers and primary care physicians need to be educated about the main features of rhabdomyolysis and urgently refer trainees suspected of having this condition. Treatment consists mainly of hydration and correction of metabolic abnormalities. Primary care physicians need to counsel patients on ways to prevent rhabdomyolysis. Trainers and primary care physicians should instruct novice trainees who are performing resistance exercise to start low and gradually increase the load. Training with loads of 60–70% of one repetition maximum for 8–12 repetitions and use of one to three sets per exercise is recommended. 


Autor / Fonte:Maysaa A Khalil, Basem R Saab Australian Family Physician 2016, 45 (12): 898-901