Did you ever think that you could injure yourself simply by putting forth a lot of effort, all the while thinking that you’re working completely within your limit? That’s what I did a few weeks ago.
I was doing the shoulders and arms workout from Gilad’s Quick Fit System. Like all of his strength-training workouts, it’s freakin’ hard, especially for me and my wimpy, little arms . . . or not so little arms, but wimpy, nonetheless. I put an honestly hard effort into it, dropping the weight when I felt like my shoulders couldn’t take it anymore. I did exactly what I’ve been doing since I started working out with Gilad in early December.
Two days later, I noticed something quite odd on my shoulder. I had never seen anything like this, before; but knew that it had to be related to my shoulder workout. After all, the affected area was my shoulder! There were red stripes on my right shoulder, almost like scratches, except they weren’t, and they were dotted, like something that was created by a dot-matrix printer. You remember those, don’t you?
It wasn’t until shortly after that I noticed my shoulder started to feel sore. It felt like I had overdone it in a bad way – not a “wow, I’m out of shape and this workout kicked my butt” kind of way, but a “holy crap, I didn’t realize my hard effort was causing injury” kind of way.
It was very difficult to find anything on the Internet that actually matched my condition. Most of what I could find were forums where people with similar marks would ask about them, and then all of the “Internet docs” would give crazy diagnoses that I knew absolutely were not the case. Finally, I found the answer on some weight-training website that was buried deep in the Google search results. After verifying it with a more reputable site, I had my self-diagnosis: petechiae (puh-TEE-kee-ee).
According to the article, “Petechiae,” by the Mayo Clinic, “Petechiae are pinpoint, round spots that appear on the skin as a result of bleeding under the skin. Petechiae may look like a rash. Usually flat to the touch, petechiae don’t lose color (blanch) when you press on them.” Petechiae occur when capillaries hemorrhage and the blood leaks to the skin. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels where the blood releases oxygen into the tissues and picks up the carbon dioxide waste. Petechiae can be a sign of a very serious condition, but it can also occur from weight training.
Fortunately, my shoulders and arms workouts are a week apart, so the petechiae subsided in time for me to repeat the abuse. Fortunately, the condition has not returned.