When we train new people at Momentum Fitness we always start them out gently. Very gently. We'll scale workouts and modify movements to the point where It might seem overly cautious. Insulting, even.
Don't care. We know you've worked yourself up to come to us. We get that you want to do well and not be preceived as weak, a newb, as if every other workout or sport you've done in your life somehow doesn't count.
As this article in the Times reports rhabdomyolysis is real and more common lately as bad trainers push exercise class participants, most in their first visit, way past where they should stop or at least back off and, well, let them get hurt.
I single out the trainers because they should know better. But part of the responsibility is on the participant. Don't walk into a class of something you've never done before and think you're "fit" enough to go hard without paying a price. Fitness is well defined and means you are fit to do whatever it is you're doing. If your regular workout doesn't involve picking things up, moving your whole body through a full range of motion and getting out of breath you are not fit. You're certainly not ready to go all out at your first Spin class. Tell your instructor you're new (until at least your 10th class) and take it easy. Don't kid yourself, you're not going to "crush it".
We take a well rounded approach to health, fitness and longevity. We know from studying and watching that success comes from learning safe, effective technique, then adding volume and only then, increasing intensity. Learn to do a thing well, learn to do that thing repeatedly with amazing precision and when you're ready we'll let you go fast and/or heavy. And not before.
I sound a little crabby about this. It's easy to understand why. High intensity exercise, now all the rage, is not new to us. But look around and it's like it was just invented. HIIT, this method, that protocol, celebrity trainers, the online noise alone is deafening. Everybody has the answer, everybody's a freakin' expert.
Exercise is not mysterious, dangerous, doesn't have to be a time-suck and isn't magical. Do things that mirror real life activities, focus on the ones that will improve your other pursuits, be consistent and get on with it. If you're doing something you've never done before don't be an idiot. Get some instruction. No, not YouTube videos. Real, quality instruction. Like us. If we can't help you, we'll send you to somebody who can. But we haven't met anybody yet we can't help. Come see us.