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Old 08-12-2008, 12:55 PM   #21
Daniel Fannin
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

I think my biggest issue is that Crossfit is mention specifically, and it is implied that if Crossfit didn't exist, then these injuries never would have happened. Now the senior leadership of all of our Armed Forces are going to be forced to make a decision on whether or not this style of PT is safe (and therefore legal) for military members to participate in. I know there are also people "testing" the principals, but if these are the same people that said a bicycle test and non-weighted push-ups and sit-ups are fine for the Air Force in a not too distant past, then I'm not too sure I trust their methods or opinions. Especially when I may have to crawl out of a burning aircraft and sprint 400 meters or so to get away safely.

If this issue was between a sailor and his trainer it would be different. Considering that there are some senior leaders apparently already itching to get rid of the Crossfit program and it's principals altogether, it seems like just a ploy to accomplish just that. I'm worried that one bad apple will spoil it for everyone that uses it effectively, safely, and smartly.

If Mimms wants to take this up with his trainer, then fine. That's his right, and if I felt that a trainer decieved me into an injury then I would do it as well. However, there is a point where as an individual I'm going to say no to anyone who is trying to get me to do something that is causing the apparent severe physical pain this workout caused. Every time I get hurt I take responsibility for it...even when a PT leader told me to play a game that initiated my last injury. He didn't force me to step in a hole, I did that on my own. He just led me too it.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:19 PM   #22
Andy Shirley
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

Crossfit is mentioned specifically in the lawsuit because the fact that Rhabdo is a known potential adverse effect, and should be able to be prevented with proper oversight. This much has been acknowledged by CF/coach, and warnings are in place(although not prominently enough given the repeated cases under similar circumstances). The fact that it was a CF workout and CF has admitted to cause rhabdo is at the heart of the case.

That's not to say that this case hasn't been publicised by some in the military in order to deter the use of CF by its soldiers.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:43 PM   #23
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

If soliders can't handle a workout that thousands of everday people can handle, maybe we need new soliders. Apparently, our military commanders don't think much of the average solider.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:35 PM   #24
John Frazer
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

I sure hope everyone looking at this issue remembers that CF isn't the only way to get rhabdo.

The only person I know personally who's suffered from it is a 60-ish ultra-runner who found himself doubled over in pain a few miles before the end of a 100-miler. Of course, "everyone knows" distance running is good for you, and the more the better.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:38 PM   #25
Derek Maffett
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

This doesn't surprise me (the injury, that is). A guy who has been in the military for 11 years goes into Crossfit and gets rhabdo. They are very fit individuals who can push themselves too hard relatively easily.

Was the trainer to blame here? It's hard to say in regards to rhabdo because the qualification is simply that the person went "too hard." How hard is too hard? It varies from person to person. Deadlifts, thrusters, etc. with improper form are dangerous for everybody, but a specific level of intensity may or may not be too much for a given person. This is why I prefer to over-scale workouts for people.

Now, depending on the exercises selected and the amount of scaling used, the trainer may have been at fault here (a workout with a hundred jumping pull-ups and GHD sit-ups would be an example), but if it was scaled to half, no common rhabdo-risk exercises used (or used minimally), and warnings issued about not pushing the intensity as much as possible, it could just be one of those things - a very unfortunate "one of those things" that I hope he recovers from (though I find it somewhat odd that he still hasn't recovered completely after three years - maybe he hasn't been trying to regain his strength?).

Injuries are to be expected. They are to be avoided as much as possible, but they're going to happen - that's the price for not becoming molecularly bonded to the couch cushion.
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:19 PM   #26
Christian Gotcher
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

We are entirely too ignorant as to the details of this situation to make an accurate estimation of Ruthless' guilt. Was the coach encouraging him to 'fight through the pain?' Was he performing the movements properly? Did the group adequately stretch/warmup, and if he was a beginner, was he offered a scaled down version of the exercise? I'm not a legal expert, but all these measures seem adequate to prevent rhabdo in anyone, and we might have to admit, when the case comes to light, that someone failed on the training side. Is that necessarily the case? No. I've worked out with a few midshipmen who expressed they were in incredible shape and didn't need a scaled down version only to be utterly crushed by Murph (and probably experienced mild rhabdo). Who knows? Not us.

Still, from the military side (because that's what distresses me most), the idea of 'banning' Crossfit workouts on site for one reason or another is both absurd and frightening... but I can see it happening, and soon. Someone drowns because they try to swim 50 meters underwater having never tried... ban underwater swimming. Somebody fell off the Obstacle Course Rope because they're fatigued when they tried it and didn't pay attention to the instructions they're given? Move the target 2/3 the way up the rope. The standard response to a 'safety hazard' is usually instruction and restriction rather than enforcing an expectation of basic maturity.

If I have to file an Operational Risk Management chit to do Fran, I swear I'll go ballistic.
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:37 PM   #27
Steve Rakow
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

Since all the facts are unknown with regard to what actually caused the rhabdo, the attorney for Mimms will have to prove that the trainer caused it in order for the trainer to be liable for Mimms' injuries. Were I the trainer's attorney, I'd look into the following to see if Mimms had other risk factors at the time that could have precipitated Mimms' susceptibility to rhabdo. These include:
(1) dehydration
(2) taking cholesterol-lowering meds
(3) alcohol or drug consumption and the time since last ingestion
(4) contemporaneous viral illness
(5) time of day, temperature, and humidity
(6) fatigue level of Mimms at the time of the workout
(7) state of Mimms' conditioning
A good trainer would know and/or recognize these conditions and mitigate properly. If Mimms' suffered from any of 1 - 4, the trainer could probably win the case. Also, if Mimms claimed to be in a particular condition when in fact he was deconditioned, this would also help the trainer out, but it would have been obvious.

While the list is not all inclusive, it is easy to see that there are other factors than just a shoddy trainer who pushed Mimms before he was ready. That said, every rhabdo case is a good learning piece for all trainers and CrossFit trainers in particular. Constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity is what we train people to do. As long as we continue to train ourselves (i.e. be professionals) then we won't hurt others in the process. If you're a CF trainer and you aren't aware of the rhabdo risks I noted above, then start doing some reading - there's plenty of info on the net. Safety is paramount, but if you never push the limits of your experience, you'll never improve beyond your comfort zone. The implied tasks we have as trainers is to push our CrossFitters, but recognize when we've pushed too far. With rhabdo, this is especially difficult because the symptoms of rhabdo rarely manifest while someone is being trained. Usually, it takes 12 to 24 hours for the swelling, pain, and often dark urine to set in. This is another reason to make sure that you know your people and make sure they know the symptoms of rhabdo as well.

Almost everyone who has pushed themselves and suffered extreme soreness afterwards hasn't just experienced DOMS, but has had a mild form of rhabdo.

We all need to be mindful (notice I didn't say careful) of the potential for rhabdo while CrossFitting. At the same time, all CrossFitters need to recognize the inherent safety of performing the functional movements correctly, while most other sports are inherently unsafe regardless of what the participant does. (I recently had a 33 year old CrossFitter suffer a torn rotator cuff from playing in his dodgeball league!) I'm surprised at the comment by an earlier poster with regard to the SEALS taking a step back from CrossFit as I've heard just the opposite from those who train at BUDS. CrossFit method is actually reducing injuries in BUDS. It would interesting if we could get some first-hand info from our fellow SEALS.

In light of the article, it would behoove everyone to educate others about CrossFit's benefits and the extremely rare instances of injury overall.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:19 PM   #28
Chris Robinson
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

Not trying to detract from the good discussion going on, but how was the article posted on August 18 when it's only August 12?
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:48 PM   #29
Daniel Freedman
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

Many publications are dated days -- or even weeks -- after they are printed. Army Times is apparently one of them.

It's always been ridiculous. And it's even more ridiculous in the Web era.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:50 PM   #30
John Frazer
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Re: Lawsuit brought against CF affiliate

I just looked up the case on the county court info system -- it's scheduled for a 2-day jury trial in early October. I may have to sneak out to Manassas and look at the case file ...

One thing that may be of interest is that Virginia is one of the small remaining handful of "contributory negligence" states -- so if the plaintiff was even slightly negligent, he loses. Will be interesting to see if or how that affects this case.
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