The P90X workout is one of the biggest fitness trends in the past several years, with enthusiastic endorsements across the cultural spectrum, including everyone from singer Pink to 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
But businessman Matt Lombardi says just one day of the program’s strenuous routine sent him into the emergency room with kidney failure.
“I simply wanted to get back in shape. I could have killed myself in the process,” Lombardi writes on his site, College Spun.
Lombardi says he has “always been an athlete” and that he didn’t wander recklessly into the program. Instead, he says he wanted to try P90X to help lose the 20 pounds he had gained while developing College Spun.
After completing only half of the first day of workouts, Lombardi said he woke up the next morning feeling sore and ill.
“If you’ve done P90X, then you know that the first day (chest & back) is really, really difficult,” he writes. “You’re asked to do push-ups, then pull-ups, then push-ups, then pull-ups. I lost count of my how many of each I did — but it was a lot. Eventually, my muscles just shut down.”
Despite the pain, he decided to try day two of the program. Instead, he found himself back in bed. On the third day, he describes using the bathroom and being shocked when his urine “looked like Coca-Cola.”
After a quick Web search, Lombardi guessed he was experiencing rhabdomyolysis. The National Institutes of Health describes the condition as “the breakdown of muscle fibers that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Myoglobin is harmful to the kidney and often causes kidney damage.”
The condition is commonly brought on by excessive physical activity and results when excessive toxins are released into the bloodstream.
“I’ll be honest — P90X has a number of ‘warnings’ about what strenuous exercise can do to your body,” Lombardi wrote. “But if I’d specifically known about rhabdomyolysis, I don’t think I’d have ever even taken the plunge.”
Lombardi then checked himself into an emergency room, where he says the levels of toxins in his bloodstream were literally off the charts.