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"I started playing sports and ruined my health"

Regular exercise makes a person stronger and more resilient, gives confidence and allows you to feel like part of a team. Although sometimes training leads not only to victories, but also to diseases - especially if a person has chosen a sport, not knowing the characteristics of his body. We talked with three athletes from Yekaterinburg and Natalya Makarochkina, head of the UMMC Health clinic, about why the body crashes and how to avoid it.

Sergey Zimin, 32 years old

I have loved football since childhood. My father took me to matches, we watched them on TV, and on weekends I played with friends in the yard. For us, it was the most affordable sport. Seeing my passion for football, my parents enrolled me in a sports school. We trained five times a week at the Central Stadium, went to competitions.

At age 13, I first felt severe pain in my knees. She always came at the same time - in the evening, after class. I remember once I couldn’t climb the stairs to get home. But I suffered, and the next morning the pain receded. This went on all summer. I did not say anything to my parents and coach because I did not want to go to the hospital instead of football.

The pain always came in the evening, after class. Once I could not climb the stairs to get home

Three months later, it became impossible to endure and I confessed to the club doctor. He immediately sent me for an examination. The hospital was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease. This is often found in teenagers involved in sports. The body does not cope with excessive physical activity and malfunctions. Some doctors advised me to do the operation, others said that you can do it - it is believed that the person is getting older, the muscles adapt and the disease goes away by itself. Then, after all, it turned out that there was a small percentage of people with whom she remained for life. I was among them.

The operation was never done to me. Doctors recommended reducing physical activity, as well as prescribed physiotherapy and laser procedures. I missed a winter of training, and my knee pain went away. He returned to the team, but could not engage at the same level. I was offered to stand at the gate, where I spent another year until it became clear that this option also did not suit me - the pain returned.

So at the age of 15 my sports career ended. Even if I had surgery, I still could not play on a professional level. I have no regrets about this, I did not dream of becoming a football player. I liked to compete and feel like a part of the team.
Now I play football once a week. Sometimes I go cross-country skiing and ride a bike. I practiced in the gym, but after training, my knees started to hurt again, so I refused it. A few years ago, I tried to resume a failed sports career and started training with the Ajax football club. Amateurs and former professional athletes play there. Trainings are held regularly, but for me, unfortunately, the load was high - the team performs in the championship of the Sverdlovsk region.
However, the head coach invited him to help. I decided to develop in football, but in a new capacity, received a license and began to train an adult team, and then a children's team - in the T-shirt club. Now my son is engaged in it. I do not insist that he prepare to become a professional athlete, he must decide it himself. It is important for me that he experiences on himself what it means to be in a team.

Elena, 34 years old

In 2012, I started going to high intensity interval training and pumping (training when exercises are performed in multi-repetitive sets with small weights, - approx.ed.). In fact, these were crossfit classes, but at that time this term was not yet so popular. The hall was within walking distance, so I practiced at least three times a week, usually at lunchtime. On Monday and Wednesday I could go to interval training, on Friday - to pump and vice versa. I wanted to lose weight, because I weighed 105 kilograms, and give the body a beautiful relief. But a few months later I realized that my coach and I had different goals - he was more interested in sports results.

I pressed a 28 kilogram bar from my chest and practiced with a ball full of sand - was ready for anything to lose weight

In training, I pressed a barbell weighing 18 kilograms from the chest first, after 28 months of training it was already 28. The coach saw that I had strong arms and gradually increased the load. The most difficult thing was on the pump - I practiced with a barbell with disks or a ball full of sand. The body barely coped with the load, but at that time I was ready for anything, just to lose weight. But the most annoying thing is that on the contrary, I was gaining muscle mass and it seemed to me that I became even bigger.

After each training session, I was very dizzy, I was sick. I talked about this to the coach, but he convinced that "this is normal, just the body resists." He said, they say, “we can do it”, soon I will start to lose weight, and training will be easier. I had a rejection of training and a persistent unwillingness to play sports. But I did not give up: I ran again, jumped, and pressed the barbell.

Then I got hemorrhoids. The doctor asked if something had changed in my life that could lead to such consequences. I began to talk about my path to a perfect body, of course, I mentioned training. She spoke with pride about successes in crossfit, because the coach often praised me for lifting a lot of weight. But the doctor was horrified: "Are you going to the Olympic Games ?! You are a girl who has yet to give birth." Then I found out that my training could lead to more serious consequences, for example, omission of the uterus. I was not ready for such sacrifices for the sake of thinness and did not go to crossfit anymore.

Once I met a friend who I hadn’t seen for a long time. She also suffered from excess weight, but was able to lose more than 20 kilograms. According to her, she ate well and walked a lot. Then I first thought that you can lose weight without exhausting training. She began to walk from home to work and back (6 kilometers a day), while working with a nutritionist. Thanks to this, I lost 35 kilograms in six months.

Now I am in the ideal weight for myself and have been holding it for three years. I go to dance, do kickboxing and other martial arts. If I ever return to sports, it will be some kind of “female” training, but not crossfit. Until now, when I imagine myself next to the barbell, nausea comes up to me. I don’t want to suffer anymore. I want to get high and benefit for my body.

Alexander Anashkin, 36 years old

I went to the rocking chair in 1997, when I realized that I wouldn’t go to college on a budget. I had only one road - to the army, and I realized that such feeble guys like me in the barracks did not cause respect. I came to the hall, saw people similar to the Greek gods, and immediately wanted to become the same. Since then, every day after class, I ran to the simulator and gave all my best. The coach noticed me and I got to the Youth Championship of Russia. There I took second place, but this did not help to avoid the draft. During the service, I only thought about how I would return and speak again.

After the army, I did not go for a walk, as my friends did, and got a job at the factory. I needed money to eat right and prepare for the competition. In the afternoon I worked as a sledgehammer, worked in the hall in the evening. Over time, I gained the necessary weight and volume, began to go to competitions and take prizes. For 15 years, I became the two-time absolute world champion, European champion, absolute champion of Russia and the Urals Federal District.

Each title was given with difficulty, but I was young, and youth forgives everything. I only thought about preparing for the competition. Every free minute I weighed. I ate strictly according to the schedule, regardless of whether I was hungry or not. Over time, I ceased to feel the taste, there was an aversion to food, but I still forced myself to eat.

At the end of each preparation for the competition, I limited myself. Refused salt, spices and water. This step is called drying. I needed to maintain muscle volume, while reducing fat and water to a minimum. My record without water is three days. In this mode, the body becomes like an anatomical atlas with beautiful, smooth muscles. The flip side of this was that I felt like a zombie. Everything annoyed me, due to dehydration, there was a buzz in my head.

My record without water is three days. The body became like an anatomical atlas and i felt like a zombie

The hardest part was on the podium. The athlete must show that everything is easy for him, that he enjoys the performance. This is actually not the case. I stood on the stage and smiled with all my strength. The lips immediately stuck to the teeth. It was possible to relax the facial muscles, but the smile remained. Because of the bright light, I did not see anything, I changed my poses, focusing on the commentator's voice. And after the competition there was a breakdown. I ate everything. Swallowed food like a waste machine.

In 2007, I first thought about how to leave the sport. It was not related to health. I trained, collected titles, but it did not bring money. There was no point in speaking without sponsorship, but it was also impossible to quit. I was too afraid to lose my appearance - I had no idea how to go out if the body becomes different. It was a psychological barrier, then I could not overcome it.

In 2009, I took a desperate step: I played in an alternative federation, for which I was disqualified for a year. I did this on purpose, as I was hoping that during this time I could break the habit of training. But it didn’t work: in 2010 I again found a reason to compete. I decided to put a beautiful point in my professional career by speaking at the legendary Mr. Universe It was important for me to be on the stage where Arnold Schwarzenegger himself once posed.

In preparation for the competition, I felt very bad. I turned to the club doctor, he sent me for an examination. However, I was skeptical, said: "Why? Everyone will see that I am a rocker. They will say: do not rock, and everything will be fine." I didn’t go to the hospital then, promising the doctor that I would begin to be treated after speaking in London.

On Mr. Universe I became the fifth, it is a huge success for any athlete. After the competition, as I promised, I made an appointment for an examination, but I didn’t get an appointment. I was taken to the intensive care unit with heart failure. The wife was in shock. Three days ago we played a wedding, and then they say to her: go to church, put a candle, he has three days to live. My heart worked at 11%.

I was brought to resuscitation by banal greed. I conducted 200 personal training sessions per month and myself was engaged between classes. Sometimes there was no time to even eat. I called Tuesday and Thursday "powder days." I did not go on vacation for five years. I thought that I was resting on the road to competitions, before and after the performance.

During the time that I spent in the hospital, my weight dropped from 102 to 84 kg. I have lost everything that I valued over the past 15 years. Until recently, I was beautiful and strong, everyone wanted to study with me. Now nobody needed me and did not know what to do next. I was 30 years old. At discharge, the doctor ordered disability and drink pills for the rest of his life. He forbade lifting things heavier than 1 kilogram. I could only swim and ride a bike. There was no question of returning to professional sports.

The bike saved me. I began to practice first on my own, then with a coach. I went to the May Walk, I liked it. I decided that if life gave a second chance, you need to grab hold of it. He began to recover slowly.
Since 2013, I have been participating in mountain bike competitions. I feel much freer than when I was engaged in bodybuilding. Every day I am glad that you no longer need to shower with sports food. My weight is 85 kg, my heart works at 80%. I listen to my body and relax more often. It was not necessary to issue disability.

Natalya Makarochkina

Head of the UMMC-Health Clinic, Cardiologist, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Member of the Russian Cardiology Society and the Society of Heart Failure Specialists


Have a medical examination once a year even with good health during training. A routine examination includes a general practitioner consultation, cardiogram, chest x-ray, and urine and blood tests. If you are actively involved in sports, I would recommend including ultrasound of the heart in it.

Watch for changes in the veins in the legs. If you lift heavy weight in the gym, then you risk getting varicose veins. It is also possible the appearance of thrombosis - blood clots that impede the free flow of blood through the circulatory system.

Watch the sensations in the internal organs, especially if you are engaged in wrestling or boxing. Pain can mean hemorrhages and other negative changes that lead to serious problems in the future. The abdominal cavity and kidneys are affected first.

Increase the load graduallybecause training is stress for the muscles, heart and blood vessels. Excessively high loads result in personal injury or a sharp increase in pressure. The consequences are different - from a hypertensive crisis to a stroke. Particularly careful should be people over 50 years old who decide to lose weight with cardio loads.

stop training if headache and nausea appear.Contact the medical office in the fitness center and ask for a measurement of heart rate and pressure. These symptoms may be associated with changes in blood pressure, arrhythmias, or with a sharp drop in blood sugar. In the latter case, hot sweet tea will help.

Stop exercising for cold symptoms. Viral infections in combination with intense physical activity lead to inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), as well as negative consequences for the lungs (bronchitis, pneumonia). You also need to think about other people involved in the room. Do not put them at risk of catching an infection.

Text: Irina Varkentin

material prepared with support

Persons. LO-66-01-005616 from 10/05/18


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