Training with high blood pressure Training with high blood pressure

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Thread: Training with high blood pressure

  1. #1
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    Default Training with high blood pressure

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    I'm 48 years old and just completed my 12th SS session. I've seen some nice gains across the board and I'm starting to feel much better. I'm overweight (270 lbs at 5'10'') but have been following the program and not attempting to lose weight while I get stronger. My squat has gone from 115 to 235, bench press from 135 to 175, press from 85 to 115, and DL from 115 to 235. Haven't lost weight, but haven't gained any either and my waist is definitely smaller. In general, I think I'm responding well for my age/weight.

    The issue is that I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure (170/100) and put on meds and sent for a stress test. The stress test was 'abnormal' because my pressure went too high while exercising (220/100) and now I have to go for a follow up. My doc has advised that I avoid overly strenuous exercise for the time being. I mentioned the program and he prefers that I adopt a 'lower weight/higher rep' approach until I get the BP under control.

    I'm trying to decide whether I should start giving myself 72 hours to recover between workouts but stick with the current approach, thus decreasing the number of times per week that I'm putting myself under that much stress, or just drop all the weights and increase the number of reps.

    What would you advise?

  2. #2
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    Any time a doctor says "lower weight/higher reps" he is actually saying "I don't know anything about training." Why would "strenuous" exercise be bad? What does he anticipate happening if you continue the program?

    1. How was your BP measured when you were diagnosed originally? Was the cuff of normal size, or did they adjust for your bigger arm?
    2. How was your BP measured in the "exercise" test?

    My advice would be to continue the program and tighten up your diet, but Jordan and Sully may have some additional comments.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Any time a doctor says "lower weight/higher reps" he is actually saying "I don't know anything about training." Why would "strenuous" exercise be bad? What does he anticipate happening if you continue the program?

    1. How was your BP measured when you were diagnosed originally? Was the cuff of normal size, or did they adjust for your bigger arm?
    2. How was your BP measured in the "exercise" test?

    My advice would be to continue the program and tighten up your diet, but Jordan and Sully may have some additional comments.
    Nothing much to add to that, Rip...except the growing body of literature on the use of resistance training for hypertension.

    Hypertension isn't a contraindication to lifting heavy.

    Hypertension is a reason to lift heavy.


    --

    This post is for infotainment and ejumacational porpoises only and does not constitute medical advice for any particular person, patient, disease, injury, condition or cetacean. No doctor-patient relationship obtains here. Sully has not examined you or even given this case much thought. The fact that you even read his post evidences serious shortcomings in judgement on your part. This post is just Sully's incoherent, uninformed and irresponsible babble, and does not represent the opinion of any other entity, institution, corporation, hospital, collegium, congregation, club or militia. You should always follow the advice of your doctor, even if he doesn't know what the holy blue fuck he is talking about. Remember: he knows more...than you do. Your portion is obedience. Unwavering, unquestioning, blind obedience. Any other approach courts certain disaster.

  4. #4
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    The cuff used to diagnose was just a normal sized cuff in the doc's office. During the stress test, they also used a normal cuff but a nurse checked my BP periodically. In general, I think they are worried that my BP will go too high while I'm lifting. But for the time being, I've decided to continue the program. We'll see what they have to say after the nuclear test next week.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  5. #5
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    At your bodyweight, I can almost guarantee you that your BP was inaccurately measured.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    At your bodyweight, I can almost guarantee you that your BP was inaccurately measured.
    I have the same issue. I think the large cuff only measures up to 43cm arms. If he is bigger than that, he needs the extra large.

  7. #7
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    Rip, I doubt the inaccuracy of the BP reading. He is 5 10, and it is the length and not girth of the upper arm that primarily leads to overestimating of BP.

    Be that as it may, I totally agree that the best thing for your BP is exercise. If you need meds to get your BP somewhere safer then so be it, but unless your doc thinks you are having some kind of acute emergency from your BP then I don't quite understand why you shouldn't exercise.

  8. #8
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    Lots of problems with measurements, cuffing size are shockingly common: http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content...42.full#sec-16
    (go to "Cuff Size" for size and length)

    Now, the error isn't going to bring you down to 110, but I sure wouldn't be paying and I sure wouldn't be going back if it turns out that this was done.

  9. #9
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    Just saying, was in the diabetes clinic and was reviewing charts. I always recheck BP manually despite what the machine generated readings are and have found, quite consistently, that my numbers vary wildly. Hell, a lady came in who had accidentally double dosed her diuretics and the machine said she was 180/105.....yea...no. Anyway, all this is to say that it's fairly common that BP readings- particularly by machine or with the wrong sized cuff are incorrect. This is likely different from place to place, as would be expected.

    As Sully said, there is a growing body of evidence supporting resistance training (RT) for hypertensive patients. Coupled with adequate dietary changes, we won't have to talk about this much longer.

  10. #10
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    Ditto to what everyone else said. How was the nurse holding your arm when he/she checked your blood pressure during exercise? If she wasn't supporting your arm correctly while checking it that could also alter the reading.

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