Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

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Fat Cat
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Re: Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

Post by Fat Cat » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:26 pm

SubClaw wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:58 am
Ryan wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:09 pm
Kirk wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:55 pm
The aortic root is mildly dilated.
Keep an eye on that. Another possible byproduct of high blood pressure/ valsalva during lifting.
Avoiding the Valsalva maneouver might be the perfect auto-regulation tool (unless you are into strength sports). If you are forced to use it, maybe the load is way too heavy and you would be better off using lighter weights (from a health standpoint).
That's an interesting idea with a lot of merit as a simple way to tell when you're crossing the border from healthy training to unhealthy straining.
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Re: Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

Post by Really Big Strong Guy » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:13 pm

I've found this thread very enthralling. Thanks to Kirk, Fat Cat, Ryan and Cayenne for their time on this.

I'm turning 50 soon. Had a complete cardiac workup 8 years ago when a dear friend, who I considered the toughest and fittest person I knew, the same age as me, died of a massage cardiac event. Just recently went through a colonoscopy when I learned that two dear friends were diagnosed with colon cancer - one an elite power lifter who has lifted at the Arnold numerous times, the other a top athlete in my sport. Definitely preferred the cardiac workup by comparison. All things turned out well.

I still do a good bit of heavy training - but heavy is a relative term anymore, In reality I'm probably lifting no heavier than 75% of capacity ever; always leave reps in the tank. And I still compete in my sport and do event training on days I don't lift.

The part that has caught my attention mostly is the breathing patterns that Kirk wishes to implement as part of his continued training in order to lessen his blood pressure. I write this because I had an difficult endurance event this past summer that absolutely pushed my thresholds. I literally thought I folded space time - or lost time because I was zapped. AT the time of the event, I was in the mid 290s. After the event, I made a life decision to get back to what I weighed during college - 250. I'm at about 260 to 265 now. Major diet changes, fasted training, fasted cardio, and embracing a whole lot of suck.

I do have marginally high BP. Under the new guidelines, it's high 130ish/60. Been on HRT since 2006. 150mg a week.

In any event, I've never worn a cuff when I weight train or had my BP taken when I exert myself. I've put on a cuff after I event train and it's only marginally elevated from what I wrote above. However, the breathing patterns for my sport are very deliberate yet relaxed and predicated upon effort. Heart rate goes through the roof, but I am back to normal within about 30 seconds after an event. When I weight train the only time I feel a comparable heart rate is when I hit heavier weights on squats or pulls; otherwise, I don't get winded at all. Again, I've never used a cuff during my weight training or at the gym. Again, this whole process has my curious though.

Like Kirk, I would like to get the most out of the ticker I have. I'm only sharing my experiences because I hope we can all learn something form it. And it sounds like Ryan knows his shit on this subject.
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Re: Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

Post by SubClaw » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:25 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:26 pm
That's an interesting idea with a lot of merit as a simple way to tell when you're crossing the border from healthy training to unhealthy straining.
I guess it's the same idea behind the long, steady cardio using nasal breathing only.

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Re: Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

Post by Kirk » Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:36 pm

It's kind of funny to me that I thought I had already adjusted my thinking from trying to stay strong to just maintaining some muscle mass as I age (aka, general fitness). I was using a trap bar as a kind of average between squatting and deadlifting and I was only using four 45s on each side of the trap bar since that was all that fit on the one at the work gym (thick/crappy rubber coated plates). I thought having a fixed limit of weight would be a good way to keep me in the general fitness range. Lifting that for 12 reps was still leaving some reps in the tank although I was breathing a little heavily by the end.

On tuesday I put two 45s on each side and just did 2 sets of 10 very quickly with 'normal' breathing. Maybe doing dynamic effortish reps like this would be reasonable. For upper body stuff I'm trying the old school bodybuilder approach.

I've made a buttload of changes this year including getting down around 170 lbs (@5'7"). The cardiologist would like me to get a little lighter although I'm not particularly fat. I'm going to go ahead and try to lose a bit more but I wonder if much lower will be maintainable (I'm just short of visible abs now). I'm curious what impact it'll have on my day to day blood pressure though.

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Re: Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

Post by Really Big Strong Guy » Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:28 pm

Kirk wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:36 pm
It's kind of funny to me that I thought I had already adjusted my thinking from trying to stay strong to just maintaining some muscle mass as I age (aka, general fitness). I was using a trap bar as a kind of average between squatting and deadlifting and I was only using four 45s on each side of the trap bar since that was all that fit on the one at the work gym (thick/crappy rubber coated plates). I thought having a fixed limit of weight would be a good way to keep me in the general fitness range. Lifting that for 12 reps was still leaving some reps in the tank although I was breathing a little heavily by the end.

On tuesday I put two 45s on each side and just did 2 sets of 10 very quickly with 'normal' breathing. Maybe doing dynamic effortish reps like this would be reasonable. For upper body stuff I'm trying the old school bodybuilder approach.

I've made a buttload of changes this year including getting down around 170 lbs (@5'7"). The cardiologist would like me to get a little lighter although I'm not particularly fat. I'm going to go ahead and try to lose a bit more but I wonder if much lower will be maintainable (I'm just short of visible abs now). I'm curious what impact it'll have on my day to day blood pressure though.
good stuff. I am going to be 50 soon. And I too have set these "weight" restrictions to which I will go no heavier. i'll just do more reps or more sets. And, like you, leave lots of reps in the tank.

straight up, you are wicked strong for someone that weighs 170. Well done. Best of luck with your BP. I look forward to following your progress. I'm in the same boat, trying to slim down and get it naturally lower over time.
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Re: Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

Post by Kirk » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:53 am

Really Big Strong Guy wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:28 pm
straight up, you are wicked strong for someone that weighs 170. Well done. Best of luck with your BP. I look forward to following your progress. I'm in the same boat, trying to slim down and get it naturally lower over time.
I'm glad that I found out about my heart issues before anything got severe. A mild aneurysm is bad enough. I will miss the ego stroking from surprising people in the gym but I'll get over it. :-({|=

Thanks for the well wishes. I hope we can both see another 30+ years.

Here's a pretty scary/sad case study of someone with an aortic dissection/tear:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533001/

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Re: Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

Post by Really Big Strong Guy » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:49 pm

Kirk wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:53 am
Really Big Strong Guy wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:28 pm
straight up, you are wicked strong for someone that weighs 170. Well done. Best of luck with your BP. I look forward to following your progress. I'm in the same boat, trying to slim down and get it naturally lower over time.
I'm glad that I found out about my heart issues before anything got severe. A mild aneurysm is bad enough. I will miss the ego stroking from surprising people in the gym but I'll get over it. :-({|=

Thanks for the well wishes. I hope we can both see another 30+ years.

Here's a pretty scary/sad case study of someone with an aortic dissection/tear:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533001/
survival of an Aortic dissection unheard of yet I had a good friend survive it a few years ago. He has had a lot of issues since that time; but he is alive. He is back to work. He is slowly getting active again. From memory, he have a mechanical flap placed into his left ventricle. Anytime his HR got over 120, you could hear the mechanical flap open and shut. He made a comeback in my sport; but suffered other health maladies that side tracked him. Pretty sure it was all related to the initial dissection.

30 years is likely pushing it for me. I would be happy with 20. Anything after that is a gift.

But yes, ego is now gone for me. I will never squat over 405 or deadlift over 600. Will never bench over 225. My only goal at this stage is to get back where I can do body weight pullups for a set of 20. And to be honest, that 405/600 is likely a bit high. At the moment, it's around 385/505 for comfortable sets of 5 to 10; saving a ton of reps in the tank.

Best of luck and stay strong as you can.
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Re: Weight Training, Heart Attacks, and Strokes

Post by Sua Sponte » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:51 pm

I had a stroke a little than 2 years back. Odd sort of stroke, effected the 3rd and 6th cranial nerves and I loss control over eye movement. So odd, as a matter of act, the the ER staff here in small town MT didn't think it w as stroke at all. Metrics weren't bad; 130/85 BP (even under the stress of the stroke), cholesterol was 220 vs a suggested ceiling of 200, and most else seemed okay. Was in decent condition lifting and hiking the local hills regularly. Had a year earlier stopped heavy lifting and gone to 15-20 reps more frequently (I posted a link some time back to a series of articles by Bill Starr about higher reps in older life - I'm 57) Echo's showed nothing and the MRI only showed the location of the stroke-no other issues. There was some ventricular hypertrophy they were concerned about and thought BP was too low too have caused it. Conclusion was that I was hit by lightning - no known cause and perhaps someway, somehow a threw a clot and it flowed to the brain (although there was no evidence of that).

Fast forward a year. Was on a riding trip with friends and I fell asleep early and both told me in the morning I stopped breathing in my sleep often and severely. But I did not snore. Sleep apnea. Obstructive and central. Severe. They now believe this was the cause of the stroke and the hypertrophy. CPAP is a gawds awful contraption but it's hard to explain how much better I feel. No more morning headache, don't need 4 cups first thing, don't want to crawl under my desk at 2 in the afternoon and I'm not exhausted by 7pm. BP is down, resting heart rate down, workouts are better and i recover more quickly and mental acuity back where I remember it from way back when.

Only point here is that while food, stress, exercise and rest are the fearsome four, make sure you're getting from each what you think you are. For me, it nearly cost me my life.

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