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  • Weight Training

    Hi all,

    I am currently at a loss(total ) as regards the apparent 'obvious' negative effects of weight training for people with HCM.

    I have recently strated weight training again and since I have been diagnosed with HCM I use a heart rate monitor during exercise.

    I have noticed that during all of the exercises I perform, my heart never exceeds 120b.p.m. (I only work upper body muscles and use slow and controlled movements but with the heaviest weight possible). I train twice a week for an hour each session with low intesity (i.e. wait for my heart rate to drop down to <90 b.p.m. before performing the next set).

    My question:
    Does the heart differentiate between say working at 110b.p.m. while walking quickly and 110b.p.m while benchpressing?

    Diagnosed with HCM @20
    Mostly asymptomatic.
    Septum 29mm
    25mg Atenolol
    I Hate my missed/extra strong beats

  • #2
    Re: Weight Training

    I can't say for sure the heart can tell the difference, but with weight training, its important to not hold your breath or strain/grunt. This is putting undo stress on your already weakened heart. Almost all literature on HCM states that weight training with heavy weights is the worst thing you can do.
    I was training 2 hours a day when I got the HCM news & was forbidden to go back to the gym until I had an ICD installed. Now I'm back & learning to adjust to light weights and a completely different routine.
    I never had difficulty before with heavy weights, but could not tolerate any kind of HITT training or stairclimber/eliptical activity.
    Please discuss your activity and abilities with your medical professional before you continue.
    Marc
    Diagnosed @ 48
    Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
    Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
    AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
    After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
    Quietly going insane . . .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Weight Training

      Your heart can't tell what it is in your body that's demanding oxygen, but it's not only your average heart rate that counts. It's also sudden changes in demands for oxygen, and as mbcube said, the action of holding your breath and bearing down.

      Best thing to do is to be safe. Talk to your cardiologist about this. It's likely that they'll say that some weight training is fine (I use some weights) but will warn you to stay away from really heavy weights that cause you to hold your breath and bear down.

      Gordon
      Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Weight Training

        Thanks guys,

        it sure is very hard for me to accept this. I am a physical education teacher and before being diagnosed with HCM at 19 years I used to weight train, practice martial arts, dance the night away till 5 a.m. and engage in all sorts of physically demanding activities. All this without a hint of symptoms. My family discovered our condition due to a minor operation of mine. Dad has HCM too.

        Giving up all that was a tall order and my urge to just forget all about the HCM and do it my way keeps surfacing. Seems I just can't strike a balance. Only my love for my wife and daughter seem to be able to save me from my dark side.

        Still, what really mixes me up is that fact that most reports of sudden deaths are attributable to people who were engaged in aerobic activity not to anaerobic activities.


        May the force be with you!
        Diagnosed with HCM @20
        Mostly asymptomatic.
        Septum 29mm
        25mg Atenolol
        I Hate my missed/extra strong beats

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Weight Training

          I can appreciate that it's hard to change your life, especially when you feel more or less OK and there's no obvious danger. But I'd really recommend learning more about this, and talking with your cardiologist about why they recommend you stay away from intense training of any kind.

          This is no substitute for such a talk, but I'm pasting below an excerpt from the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation's web page on sudden death in athletes; the full page is at http://www.suddendeathathletes.org/about_sdia.asp.


          Gordon


          In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, intense training and the strain of competition, which increase physiologic demands on the heart, produce alterations in electrolytes, blood volume and levels of hydration and together increase sympathetic tone and withdrawal of parasympathetic tone. Multiple interactions of those factors with the hypertrophied myocardium and the disarray of myocardial fibers act as triggers for potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmias (24). Also, increased myocardial mass and insufficient regional perfusion during high-intensity exercise cause myocardial ischemia, and over time, replacement fibrosis, both of which may act as independent triggers of arrhythmias. In fact, patients with HCM that survived a sudden death had a very high incidence of inducible ischemia on thallium stress-testing (25). In addition, lack of appropriate blood pressure and heart rate response to exercise may act as the initial event cascading into a hemodynamic collapse with loss of consciousness. Finally, partial obstruction present at rest may increase twice as high with intense physical exercise compared to levels at baseline (26), which can potentially result in myocardial ischemia, hemodynamic compromise and arrhythmias. Autopsy, histological and microscopic studies, and sometimes biochemical tests establish a post-mortem diagnosis of HCM. To see a representational sample of a gross heart specimen and histological studies, click here.
          Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Weight Training

            Hi,

            thanks a lot for the info. A very interesting read. Guess it pretty much settles any doubts I have. Will have to pack up once again But hey, life's full of other interesting things to do. You win some, you lose some.

            Thanks again

            Have a nice day

            Bob
            Diagnosed with HCM @20
            Mostly asymptomatic.
            Septum 29mm
            25mg Atenolol
            I Hate my missed/extra strong beats

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Weight Training

              Hey Bobby,

              I'm in the same boat as you. I was diagnosed with HCM before having any symptoms, was in great physical shape and frequently played basketball and lifted weights (perhaps two of the riskiest activities it seems). Much like yourself for not my wife and child I might still be playing ball and lifting but I cannot take that chance because of them.

              It's a tough pill to swallow. I still run and swim daily, but my HCM Doc discouraged much resistance training, but ok'd me to do some push ups and sit ups once or twice a week.

              As for anaerobic and aerobic exercise..I think it's easy to forget what sorts of exercise people die during. Basketball for instance seems aerboic, but it's really quite sporadic, and it's the stopping and starting that I'm told causes the high risk for us.

              While I don't think people often die during weight lifting, it seems weight lifting increases some risk factors and can actually increase the growth of the hypertrophy.

              -Todd

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Weight Training

                I do a 50/50 workout. I don't lift really heavy weights anymore. I will still bench, fly's, etc... But probably at 75% of what I could really do. I am post Myectomy and have never had a problem with breathing while lifting. Pre surgery, I had a **** of a time with any Aerobic exercise. So I run about 2 miles then lift for about 1/2 hour five days a week. I have received the green light to Ski and to scuba dive.

                I had to make the decision to get an ICD or not after Myectomy. Ommen (up at Mayo) asked me if I was going to be physically active like I was prior to my surgery. I said I would like to. The only way he would allow that was for me to put an ICD in. It has been two years and the device hasn't fired (thank God!)

                In my opinion, every case is different. Listen to your body. Get a good close relationship going with a specialist in HCM. Ommen was interesting how he evaluated my case. The data is really shaky when it comes to this subject. Most of it is theory and the statistics are scarce.

                Best of luck...

                Dave

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Weight Training

                  Guys,

                  seems that many people with HCM love participating in sports! Being a physical education teacher I must have one of the hardest times in trying too keep away from all the games!

                  Recently I had started lifting weights once again but stopped after just three weeks due to the persistent fear that I might pass out. Unfortunately it seems that my body responds very well to exercise and I feel generally much healthier than when I don't exercise!

                  Also, as yet, studies I have read as regards weight training and the heart haven't provided the essential details I crave for. Although most studies say that lifting weights is bad for us because it can lead to an enlarged left ventricle, however the studies in question do not give details as regards the training regimen i.e. training frequency, prior athletic condition, reps and sets, heart rate during exercise etc.

                  Striking a balance between taking care of your body and not pushing it too much seems to be very hard for us.
                  Diagnosed with HCM @20
                  Mostly asymptomatic.
                  Septum 29mm
                  25mg Atenolol
                  I Hate my missed/extra strong beats

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Weight Training

                    I go to Dr. Lever in Cleveland. He told me NO weights at all. The only things that I'm "allowed" to do is some light kicking of the soccer ball with the kids, walking and water aerobics. But, to be honest, when it's summertime, I don't do any exercise because keeping up with the kids takes about all my energy (and that has NOTHING to do with the HCM as I consider myself to have pretty mild symptoms). It just doesn't seem like there is enough time in the day. At any rate, I digress. I would just say to still surround yourself with sports but as for weight training, I would STOP. The stress it puts on your heart is much more than walking and it the research all says that athletes who lift weights DO have larger hearts. That is NOT something that people like us need. Good luck to you.
                    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++
                    *Adopted but know that birth Father died at 37 of what we now believe to be HCM.
                    *Diagnosed with HOCM in 11/07. I also have the abnormal papillary muscle.
                    *Gradient 100-185 when provoked.
                    *Currently being treated with Atenolol, 50 mg. per day.
                    *Three kids: 19, 13 and 11, all presently clear of HCM.
                    *Patient of Dr. Sharlene Day, U of M.
                    *ICD - August, 2010

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Weight Training

                      Originally posted by bobby View Post
                      Unfortunately it seems that my body responds very well to exercise and I feel generally much healthier than when I don't exercise!
                      Ah the joys of endorphines! I'm sure you'll eventually find a routine that works for you, your heart & your doctor. Please discuss at length with the good doctor your goals & objectives. Perhaps with modified stress tests (or maybe a local medical schools facility) you can safely examine what exercise you can do and to what limits.

                      Exercise is good for us, but we need to understand that we are now limited and have to learn to adjust to that. Its an individual thing and a lot of factors are at play here.

                      Good Luck Bobby!
                      Marc
                      Diagnosed @ 48
                      Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
                      Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
                      AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
                      After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
                      Quietly going insane . . .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Weight Training

                        Thanks cube,

                        yeah, stress testing and regular monitoring should do the trick. This summer I will try to explore archery. Archery shouldn't be a problem at all for me and also, thanks to my medication (beta-blocker) I should have an (unfair ) advantage over the competition since it reduces trembling. Apparently beta blockers are banned substances due to their performance enhancing qualities for concentration sports.

                        Robin Hood
                        Diagnosed with HCM @20
                        Mostly asymptomatic.
                        Septum 29mm
                        25mg Atenolol
                        I Hate my missed/extra strong beats

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Weight Training

                          Wow I did not know that...about the banning of BB's.. maybe that is the reason we are all such focused and methodical thinkers... See you learn something new reading the entire message board!

                          Thanks ..Pam
                          Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                          Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                          Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                          SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                          [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                          Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                          Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                          Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Weight Training

                            Pam,

                            have done some research and found a complete list of banned substances by the world anti-doping agency. Beta blockers are definately out of bounds and have realised what a fantastic performance enhancer they are! Just look at the list here http://www.wada-ama.org/en/prohibitedlist.ch2. Was shocked myself to find out that even the FIA (motorsports) bans bbs .

                            Also, there exists a possibilty for people with certain conditions who wish to particpate at Olympic level to be granted an exemption and actually be allowed to use bbs and other medications if needed.

                            Who knows, perhaps one day there might be an HCM'er particpating at the Olympic games
                            Diagnosed with HCM @20
                            Mostly asymptomatic.
                            Septum 29mm
                            25mg Atenolol
                            I Hate my missed/extra strong beats

                            Comment

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