Gym session triggered rare muscle condition

A woman said she was “lucky to be alive” after a heavy gym workout caused her muscles to start dissolving.

Rebecca Johnson, from Brighton, spent four days in hospital after a personal trainer at LA Fitness gym in North Road pushed her to the limit during an hour-long session.

Doctors told the 30-year-old she was suffering from rhabdomyolysis, a rare condition which could have caused her kidneys to fail if left untreated.

The condition is triggered when muscles start to break down during strenuous exercise, causing toxic fluid to leak into the body.

Since her ordeal she has been unable to return to work as a goldsmith – because her arms are still too weak.

Miss Johnson, who runs regularly, paid £40 for an hour-long session at the LA Fitness gym near her home.

She told a national newspaper: “I did pull-ups, weights, bench press-ups and found it incredibly hard going. A few times I said to the personal trainer I was finding it tough and I didn’t know if I could carry on.

“But he encouraged me to dig deep to do the best possible. As he was the professional, I did as he asked. I thought no pain, no gain.”

When she woke the next day, Miss Johnson could barely move.

She said: “I was in such agony I couldn’t straighten my arms.

“It was difficult to work – I make jewellery for a living but my arms were so painful it was impossible to hold the tools.”

When she noticed that her urine was tea coloured and felt her arms beginning to swell, she called an out-of-hours doctor. 

She said: “He took one look at my arms and after testing my urine said I needed to go to hospital straight away. When the doctors explained it can lead to potentially life-threatening kidney failure, I realised how lucky I was I sought help when I did. I was stunned when they said that one hour’s exercise had caused it.”

A spokesman for LA Fitness told the national newspaper: “We take the health and wellbeing of our customers very seriously and we’re really sorry that this happened to Rebecca.

“All our personal trainers are fully qualified. We understand that this particular condition is incredibly rare and cannot be pre-screened for.

“However, given the experience at Brighton we have advised our teams to ensure they are fully aware of this.” 

Comments (4)

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11:02am Wed 11 Dec 13

Take it Personally says...

I hope she gets better soon!
But I have to say, why do people need to torture themselves like this supposedly in the name of health? Some of these regimes are so ridiculous they are life-threatening. Whats wrong with just plain exercise and eating well. To "push yourself to the limit" seems quite absurd. If it hurts, don't do it. As for the personal trainer at the said gym, what a tw4t, you nearly killed someone.
I hope she gets better soon! But I have to say, why do people need to torture themselves like this supposedly in the name of health? Some of these regimes are so ridiculous they are life-threatening. Whats wrong with just plain exercise and eating well. To "push yourself to the limit" seems quite absurd. If it hurts, don't do it. As for the personal trainer at the said gym, what a tw4t, you nearly killed someone. Take it Personally

1:10pm Wed 11 Dec 13

lovethegreens says...

The trainer could not have known that this lady had this condition and whilst my sympathies go to Miss Johnson she was getting what she paid for. I really hope this is not a prelude to a compensation claim
The trainer could not have known that this lady had this condition and whilst my sympathies go to Miss Johnson she was getting what she paid for. I really hope this is not a prelude to a compensation claim lovethegreens

1:43pm Wed 11 Dec 13

paul76 says...

Take it Personally wrote:
I hope she gets better soon! But I have to say, why do people need to torture themselves like this supposedly in the name of health? Some of these regimes are so ridiculous they are life-threatening. Whats wrong with just plain exercise and eating well. To "push yourself to the limit" seems quite absurd. If it hurts, don't do it. As for the personal trainer at the said gym, what a tw4t, you nearly killed someone.
If it hurt that bad she could have stopped at anytime, even if she was being encouraged to keep going. You can't blame this on the trainer.
[quote][p][bold]Take it Personally[/bold] wrote: I hope she gets better soon! But I have to say, why do people need to torture themselves like this supposedly in the name of health? Some of these regimes are so ridiculous they are life-threatening. Whats wrong with just plain exercise and eating well. To "push yourself to the limit" seems quite absurd. If it hurts, don't do it. As for the personal trainer at the said gym, what a tw4t, you nearly killed someone.[/p][/quote]If it hurt that bad she could have stopped at anytime, even if she was being encouraged to keep going. You can't blame this on the trainer. paul76

2:11pm Wed 11 Dec 13

The Prophet of Doom says...

Why didn't she take a rest?
Why didn't she take a rest? The Prophet of Doom

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