Texas Teen Comes Down With Life-Threatening Illness From Lifting Weights Too Much

Pretty much every gym, workout program, diet, and bit of exercise gear warn us to make sure we are healthy enough for exercise and to pace ourselves. We hear the warnings so often that our minds tend to filter them out.


Jared Shamburger learned the hard way that those warnings are there for a reason. The 17-year-old Texas teen recently got a gym membership. He did a 90-minute weight lifting session, purposefully pushing his limits. Jared told one media outlet that his thought process behind pushing so hard was to catch up to his dad and brother, who have both been weight lifters for years.

 I gotta catch up to them and get as big as them. I have to go hard fast.

After that session, his muscles were sore in a way he knew wasn’t right. Just touching him hurt, his body was swollen and hard. When the symptoms didn’t go away, his mother did some research and then phoned his doctors. She was convinced he had something called rhabdomyolysis, a potentially fatal condition where damaged muscles begin to decay and release toxins into your system. Those toxins can overwhelm and shut down your system in a long and painful process. Mama was right. 

Jared was in the hospital for five days while medical teams worked to clear his system of the toxins his muscles released.

Athletes may know about the risks of rhabdo, but the average person probably doesn’t. Working out isn’t the only way to get it; any damage to muscle can cause it — a hard impact from a fall or accident, for example. 

Those who have suffered it never forget, though.

Jared does plan on getting back to the gym soon, but has learned his lesson about trying to “catch up” to other people. Remember, building muscle takes time and trying to rush it can be deadly. Build your limits slow and steady, stay hydrated, and be healthy everyone!

H/T: Twitter, Indy100, ABC13