Is lifting safe?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 11:31 AM GMT
    I just suffered a panic attack at work and was admitted to the hospital for a little over 24 hours. They ran numberous test on me to rule out anything cardiac related. My heart is fine but on the eko exam the technician was telling me that I should limited my weightlifting to 2 days a week from 3 days a week. Now I do not powerlift but she said that lifting enlarges the heart and that could become an issue in my 40's. When I asked my doctor about it, he said that this has not been confirmed or denied study linking lifting weights to heart problems.

    I want to know if anyone has had or known anyone that has had a heart issue from lifting weights. Issues that are natural issues and not from the use of any enhancement drugs.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Sep 03, 2009 12:58 PM GMT
    To my knowledge, research suggesting that weight training is associated with heart problems is troubled by work that doesn't parse out AAS users/abusers from nonusers/abusers. So, for example, some researchers might sample Olympic powerlifters and not ask about AAS use, and then assume that heart problems are caused by powerlifting. That's not very solid.

    Lots of other research suggests that there's no link between weight training and heart problems of the sort you're describing. If you had a panic attack but there's nothing physically wrong with you, it might be a good idea to have a few sessions of therapy to see how things are going.

    Null findings:
    Haykowsky, M.J., Teo, K.K., Quinney, A.H., Humen, D.P., & Taylor, D.A. (2000). Effects of long term resistance training on left ventricular morphology. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 16, 35-38.

    Abstract:
    OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of long term (mean SD 105 years, range three to 25 years) resistance training on left ventricular (LV) dimensions and mass. METHODS AND RESULTS: The study participants were 21 elite male power-lifters (age 33.45.9 years) and 10 sedentary male control subjects (age 30.94.2 years). Two-dimensionally guided transthoracic M-mode echocardiograms were obtained at rest to quantify LV diastolic cavity dimension, posterior wall thickness, ventricular septal wall thickness and LV mass. Long term resistance training was not associated with an alteration in LV diastolic cavity dimension (resistance trained 54. 44.3 mm versus control 51.85.6 mm), ventricular septal wall thickness (resistance trained 9.71.0 mm versus control 10.10.7 mm), posterior wall thickness (resistance trained 9.61.5 mm versus control 9.31.4 mm) or LV mass (resistance trained 200. 332.5 g versus control 186.539.6 g). In addition, no resistance-trained athlete was found to have an LV mean wall thickness above clinical normal limits (12 mm or less). CONCLUSION: Contrary to common beliefs, long term resistance training as performed by elite male power-lifters does not alter LV morphology.

    Lalande, S., Baldi, J.C. (2007). Left ventricular mass in elite olympic weight lifters. American Journal of Cardiology, 100, 1177-1180.

    Abstract:
    The existence of resistance training-induced left ventricular (LV) concentric hypertrophy is equivocal. Although some have described significant LV hypertrophy, others have suggested that training-induced LV hypertrophy is proportional to increased fat free mass (FFM) and thus a normal physiologic response to training. Method limitations, steroid use, and type of training may contribute to discrepant findings. Thus, LV structure and volumes are determined using magnetic resonance imaging. Body composition was determined using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in 9 elite Olympic weight lifters and 10 age- and weight-matched recreationally active controls. LV structure and volumes were determined by acquiring 6 short- and 3 long-axis magnetic resonance imaging scans of the left ventricle, whereas LV wall thickness was defined as the average of 6 midventricular segment thickness measurements. Weight lifters had the same age, weight, and FFM, but were shorter and had a greater body mass index than controls. LV mass was not different in weight lifters and controls, but was lower in weight lifters when indexed to FFM (2.56 0.07 vs 2.30 0.05, p = 0.01). LV mass correlated with FFM (r = 0.49, p = 0.04). However, LV mass was lower in weight lifters for a given FFM. LV wall thickness, as well as end-diastolic, end-systolic, and stroke volumes, were not different between groups. In conclusion, these results refute the hypothesis that resistance training induces LV concentric hypertrophy and suggest that Olympic weight lifting is associated with increases in FFM without a concomitant increase in LV mass.
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    Sep 03, 2009 4:47 PM GMT
    gymguy1 saidI just suffered a panic attack at work and was admitted to the hospital for a little over 24 hours. They ran numberous test on me to rule out anything cardiac related. My heart is fine but on the eko exam the technician was telling me that I should limited my weightlifting to 2 days a week from 3 days a week. Now I do not powerlift but she said that lifting enlarges the heart and that could become an issue in my 40's. When I asked my doctor about it, he said that this has not been confirmed or denied study linking lifting weights to heart problems.

    I want to know if anyone has had or known anyone that has had a heart issue from lifting weights. Issues that are natural issues and not from the use of any enhancement drugs.


    Find a different doctor. One adaptation of the heart to lifting is that LVH (Left Ventricular Hypetrophy) occurs. You heart gets STRONGER. Ask any cardiologist worth his stuff if this is a problem in athletes. He'll tell you no. Ever read up on the heart of Lance Armstrong? It pumps nearly 3 times as much blood in a stroke as a regular person.

    It just so happens that last week I had a sonogram on my heart. Guess what. Mild LVH. As expected. However, my heart was strong and vital and not leaking. The cardiologist will tell you that it's the difference in the systolic and diastolic pressures that matters, and not the fact that you have a strong heart. After 34 years of lifting, you better believe I have a strong heart. Under the wrong conditions you get damage, but, having a strong heart is not a bad thing.

    LVH is a given in ANYONE who lifts weights. Note that it has nothing with doing AAS, either. Studies have shown the theory that AAS causes excessive LVH is bunk. In fact, there are a number of benefits to the heart from AAS. Those studies, FYI, compared regular folks and fat asses, against non AAS folks lifting, and AAS folks lifting. The LVH in AAS folks vs. non-AAS folks is not more. There was little to no LVH in the control group of sedentary folks. If you load your heart, it'll get stronger. If your heart is loaded in exercise, it's different than being loaded by being a fat ass.

    Go lift, or, at least get a cardiologist who knows what he's doing. Mine is in Flower Mound Texas, and spent 8 years as a U.S. Army doctor, and he runs every day. You see, he has LVH, too.

    I.e. LVH is a normal consequence of resistance training. You get a stronger heart because of having to push blood through dense muscle under load, and the constriction response that lifting causes on an intermittent basis. However, that's not the same as an unhealthy heart, that's weak, and has limited stroke volume from being a fat ass.

    Remember: the number one killer is not lifting weights. The number one killer, by far, and many times above, is being a fat ass.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 5:01 PM GMT
    Thanks guys for the info. Definitely worth checking into all of this.
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    Sep 03, 2009 9:53 PM GMT
    Weightlifters are not the only athletes that can develop increased thickness of the left ventricular wall (Athletic Heart Syndrome). People that exercise more than one hour a day for most days can develop Athletic Heart Syndrome.

    The Merck Manual states :The syndrome is asymptomatic; signs include bradycardia (slow heart rate), a systolic murmur, and extra heart sounds. ECG abnormalities are common. Diagnosis is clinical or by echocardiography. No treatment is necessary. The syndrome is significant because it must be distinguished from serious cardiac disorders

    The sports that results in the most enlargement of the left ventricle is rowing and cycling.
    For example, rowing sports and cycling are most commonly associated with LV wall thickness >13 mm.
    isometric sports like weightlifting and wrestling will not increase the wall thickness beyond 12mm

    Only 2% of highly trained athletes develop a wall thickness of 13-15 mm

    A cardiologist becomes concerned when the wall is thicker than 15mm. Athletic heart does not result in a wall thicker than 15mm. A wall thicker than 15mm indicates a pathological heart disease.

    Physicians used to discourage weightlifting for individuals with high blood.pressure.
    Weightlifting can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. This increase can be dramatic-- depending on how much weight you lift.
    But this is no longer the case. Regular exercise, including moderate weightlifting, provides many health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure.
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weightlifting/AN00637
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 10:05 PM GMT
    Due to a then unexplained illness, I got both a transthorascic echo cardiogram (an ultrasound on your heart like pregnant chicks get for their babies) and a transesophogeal echo cardiogram (they stick a tube down your esophagus so they can get a clearer ultrasound of your heart) and after both I was told I had a very healthy heart.

    I don't buy that its bad for your heart.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Sep 03, 2009 10:17 PM GMT
    It's only bad for your heart when you fall in love with your personal trainer....sigh
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    Sep 03, 2009 11:00 PM GMT
    I used to ride my bike for hours, and miles, and miles.

    I had a resting heart rate of 43 when I was 26.

    My biking gave me big legs (bigger than I have now, even), kept me lean, and kept my heart rate at tick, tick, tick.

    Today it's running about 60 to 80, but, it gets lower if I do more cardio.

    My cardiologist tells me doing HIIT runs my bp up, in the short term, just like squatting or doing deads, etc., but, of course, helps to lower it over the long term.

    In my case, my heart doesn't have any unusual noises. It's just that it's stronger than fat asses.