Cardiologist: "Weight training hardens the heart muscle." Cardiologist: "Weight training hardens the heart muscle."

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Thread: Cardiologist: "Weight training hardens the heart muscle."

  1. #1
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    Default Cardiologist: "Weight training hardens the heart muscle."

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    A retired military officer I know (in his 60s) was recently told by his cardiologist not to weight train: She said she didn't want him to lift weights anymore - work out yes, lift no - because it "hardens the heart muscle and we want to keep that muscle nice and soft".

    Cardiologist is US trained, works in a major city, and has a good reputation.

    I did some research and found that some studies show a stiffening of blood vessels associated with weight training, but nothing about damage to the heart muscle, and nothing at all so far that shows any increase in mortality or other risk. I understand that cardiovascular accidents associated with weight training are so low as to be unmeasurable, but I would appreciate it if I could get some comments on this from people in a position to have more practical experience than a cursory Internet search would yield. Sounds absurd to me, and at any rate the benefits of training, to me, far outweigh the unmeasured risks.

    Didn't really know where to put this so it would be seen by the most people in medicine. Couldn't find anything about stiffened blood vessels or anything similar in a search.

    I already wrote back a page of recognized benefits: Lower blood pressure, compression of morbidity, ease of everyday tasks, benefits of diet and rest associated with training, increased mobility, resistance to injury, etc.

  2. #2
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    I don't know what to tell you there, Fiddler. Cardiologists are very smart, you know.

  3. #3
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    canstock17101286.jpg
    As a workaround, train weights anyway but use this to "soften" the heart

  4. #4
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    I vaguely recall some gibber jabber (possibly from a magazine that also told me about 8 ways to sculpt my posterior serratus) about elite barbell hoisters having enlarged hearts due to the repeated bouts of incredibly high blood pressure lifting weights of that nature will bring on. Of course, that could just be bullshit (or related to certain "supplements" more than the lifting itself), and it wouldn't be the slightest concern for a 60 year old who probably isn't going to squat 800 lbs.

  5. #5
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    So does being stingy with your money, it is about time you folk shouted me out to lunch. I will have a large steak with potato chips and gravy.

  6. #6
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    We have dealt with some of this "arterial stiffening" literature in the science review articles. There is no observed clinical relevance to this phenomenon. As to the "hardening" of the heart, he is probably (can't be sure, because this is all bullshit) extrapolating from the observation that the athletic heart is thicker and therefore stiffer, and further extrapolating from the ventricular stiffening that accompanies early heart failure and diastolic dysfunction. Not the same scenario at all.

    Cardiologists generally know fuckall about exercise physiology. Cardiologists know cardiology stuff.

    (Usually. I work with cardiologists. Every now and then you meet one who is actually as dumb as a sack of hammers, as in most other fields of human endeavour.)

    This cardiologist, on this particular occasion, on this particular topic, is talking out his AOA cardiologist asshole, waving his hands on something he knows nothing about on the basis of no good evidence whatsoever, spewing uninformed cardiologist opinion all over the exam room like Mr. Hanky, and doing a disservice to his patient in the process.

    So fuck him. Fuck him in his cardiologist asshole.

    God damn, but this pisses me off.

  7. #7
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    Be careful judging the comments of a doctor from second hand accounts. Doctors do indeed say a lot of dumb stuff when it comes to fitnessbut it does no one any good to pile on over comments that were almost certainly misinterpreted and misremembered.

  8. #8
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    That's hilarious. My cardiologist told me post-op to "keep doing what I'm doing" because it clearly worked.

    It sounds like another case of an MD having no fucking idea what weight training actually does to a patient.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I don't know what to tell you there, Fiddler. Cardiologists are very smart, you know.
    Yep. They're the same ones who told me not to eat eggs or fat, and to take statins even though nobody can demonstrate that they reduce mortality.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimieJosh View Post
    Be careful judging the comments of a doctor from second hand accounts. Doctors do indeed say a lot of dumb stuff when it comes to fitnessbut it does no one any good to pile on over comments that were almost certainly misinterpreted and misremembered.
    Sorry, Limie, but this sounds like typical doctor shit to me.

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