First of all: Please note that after this week, Dawn Patrol is cancelled until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenience but thank you for making it a fun few months!

When should you start to worry that your muscle soreness might be something more serious? I've been seeing this question crop up more and more frequently lately as people are hitting it harder in the gym, and usually, it's just your run-of-the-mill DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). That being said, we all know that there is such a thing as overdoing it, which can lead to injury, and, most specifically, to rhabdomyolysis, aka rhabdo. Rhabdo is the breakdown of muscle fibers that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream, which is harmful to the kidney and can cause kidney damage. So here is a note about muscle soreness, what's normal, and when you might want to start paying extra attention:

What's normal: If you've done CrossFit, you've almost definitely had DOMS. This is that feeling the day after a tough WOD, when you are stiff, achey, and standing up off the toilet is a more daunting task than standing up your PR back squat. DOMS can sometimes even be worse on the second day after a tough WOD, but the discomfort typically plateaus and starts improving by the 3rd or 4th day, and rarely lasts more than a week (at the most) before you are feeling back to normal. If you find yourself with a nasty case of DOMS, you should take the day off, keep as hydrated as possible, and try stretching, light exercise like air squats or a long walk, ice/heat packs, Epsom salt baths, and Ibuprofen. Foam rolling is also a helpful tool, but if you are SUPER sore, it can make things a little worse by smashing already damaged muscle fibers.

But when should you start paying extra attention? If it's so painful that you can't put clothing or a blanket on top of it; if you notice swelling; if you're so sore that you couldn't extend your arms or walk normally (or whatever equivalent for your affected body part), even if you tried; if you are nauseous or dizzy; if your normal methods of treatment--like ice, ibuprofen, etc--don't seem to make a dent in your pain; and most of all, if your pee is brown (in which case, you need to go to the ER immediately, but that hopefully goes without saying).

Most of all, listen to your body. I know that CrossFit has a culture of pushing through pain and showing what you're made of, but if you are so sore that you're hobbling straight-legged down the stairs or using the handicap railing in public restrooms, take an extra day or two to recover outside of the gym. There is no award for working out when sore, and don't forget that your muscles are built while recovering from workouts, not during them!

WOD:

EMOM for 7mins
3 Strict Pull-Ups + 3 Strict Ring Dips
or
2 Strict Muscle-Ups

5 Rounds
12 OHS 95/65
10 Box jumps 24/20
Run 400m

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