First day back in the gym? ALL THE BARBELLS!!! Right?!
Of course not. Though your clients probably didn’t get Coronavirus, the next plague in gyms could very well be rhabdomyolysis. Your clients are still strong and fit, but they’re not used to resistance and heavy reps. That’s a recipe for problems.
If you look for “causes of rhabdomyolysis” online, most of the answers you’ll get is “it’s hereditary” or some other vagary. But if you look for examples of rhabdomyolysis around you, you’ll find stories of people taking their first swim of the year; or piling wood in the spring; or doing a hard workout after a break. In my city, a nurse once told me, there are usually around 30 cases of rhabdo per year: 29 from seniors shoveling snow, and 1 from exercise. And they all have the same underlying cause: familiar movement with unfamiliar intensity. In other words, people don’t get rhabdo from learning new stuff; they get rhabdo by returning to intensity after a break.
I understand it this way: the wiring is still there, but the plumbing leaks.
There’s no evidence to suggest that intense exercise is more dangerous after a break. But still…rhabdo was part of the CrossFit Level One seminar for years for a reason. Best to be on our guard.
On your first week back in the gym, how will your programming change?
Will you ramp everyone back up slowly, or program for the equipment you’ve been denied?
What would the best coach in the world do?
How will you explain the “why” of your programming to your members, who might be eager to test for strength losses?
How will you manage if you’re forced to open as “open gym” instead of as a class or group workout?
Keeping clients long-term means more than engaging them daily. It also means holding them back. That’s good business AND good coaching.