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View Full Version : Overcoming fear of lifting too much



fry790
06-20-2009, 01:24 AM
Quick summary: I was born with heart problems. I had seen a cardiologist (heart doctor) over 18 years and she had said that the problems had become observably nonexistant.

The problem I face now is that the last time I saw her a few years ago (before I started bodybuilding), she had told me that while endurance sports and activities were good, bodybuilding/weightlifting is one of the worst activities for anyone (NOT just me) from a heart-health standpoint. (I forget most of her explaination, but I have always trusted her)

I had gotten back into bodybuilding early this year, and after a few months of great gains I began to sometimes experience this wall of fear when I was lifting heavier weights (mostly during squat and leg press exercises). I would imagine that the strain of this heavier weight was actively damaging my heart and would either compensate by lowering the weight and adding a set (which obviously has its limits) or much worse, just blowing off the exercise which would sometimes lead to me blowing off the rest of the workout and even the next few workouts. All because of this massive perceived fear that I am actively damaging my heart when I lift heavy weights (for me: 180x12 for squat, 300x12 for leg press).

Have any of you experienced anything like this and if so how did you deal with it? If not, then should I just stop progressively increasing resistance? And could that still lead to hypertrophy?

Thanks.

And to be clear: I do NOT currently have any heart challenges. I only have the opinion of an esteemed cardiologist that heavy weightlifting is bad for all people's hearts.

Klumpurinn
06-21-2009, 08:00 AM
Quick summary: I was born with heart problems. I had seen a cardiologist (heart doctor) over 18 years and she had said that the problems had become observably nonexistant.

The problem I face now is that the last time I saw her a few years ago (before I started bodybuilding), she had told me that while endurance sports and activities were good, bodybuilding/weightlifting is one of the worst activities for anyone (NOT just me) from a heart-health standpoint. (I forget most of her explaination, but I have always trusted her)

I had gotten back into bodybuilding early this year, and after a few months of great gains I began to sometimes experience this wall of fear when I was lifting heavier weights (mostly during squat and leg press exercises). I would imagine that the strain of this heavier weight was actively damaging my heart and would either compensate by lowering the weight and adding a set (which obviously has its limits) or much worse, just blowing off the exercise which would sometimes lead to me blowing off the rest of the workout and even the next few workouts. All because of this massive perceived fear that I am actively damaging my heart when I lift heavy weights (for me: 180x12 for squat, 300x12 for leg press).

Have any of you experienced anything like this and if so how did you deal with it? If not, then should I just stop progressively increasing resistance? And could that still lead to hypertrophy?

Thanks.

And to be clear: I do NOT currently have any heart challenges. I only have the opinion of an esteemed cardiologist that heavy weightlifting is bad for all people's hearts.

I don't have a answer for you but I wanted to bump this thread since I have a similar issue.

conisag
06-21-2009, 09:07 AM
weight lifting is bad for the heart? dude nature intended man to get strong.

johnderriLLL
06-21-2009, 09:41 AM
we were made to do a lot of physical labor.

arimasu_yo
06-21-2009, 09:46 AM
i would personally get another opinion from another heart specialist. never hurts to be on the safe side.....

nokkov
06-21-2009, 12:42 PM
if you died from lifting too much you'd become a legendary bb.com martyr and would be immortalized in our hearts and memories.. just a thought

ChicagoChef
06-21-2009, 03:04 PM
I feel ya... I have blood pressure/issues with my pulse running too high (currently taking cardizem cd) and have always been paranoid about going heavy and hard, despite being told by Drs. that I should be okay. So, from my experience...

I got over it. I figured "hell, if something is going to happen to me, at least I'll be in a gym where at least a few people know how to start treatment instead of sitting on my ass at home". Over a couple of weeks, my blood pressure regulated and my recovery time got better and better... a sign of becoming better conditioned. In fact, last week I had to get an exercise echocardiogram and my recovery time was so good that they had trouble getting the pictures they needed at the higher heart rate in time.

You will not damage your heart from heavy lifting, but rather strengthen it. What you are lifting should be fine... unless during the sets you experience discomfort such as chest tightness, pain, light-headedness, etc. As far as your doctor is concerned, she probably wants you to focus more on doing cardio, as this is what is really what is going to benefit your heart. All exercise improves your general health, and lifting IS good for your heart, but cardio is what really conditions it. Even after patients have cardiac events like a heart attack, they get them first to start doing some rehabilitative cardio and then integrate resistance training.

Start off slow, and get comfortable with the idea of lifting heavy. Eventually your anxiety should pass.

johnderriLLL
06-21-2009, 06:43 PM
i would personally get another opinion from another heart specialist. never hurts to be on the safe side.....

yea if u dont like what one doctor says see another.

fry790
06-22-2009, 06:36 PM
I feel ya... I have blood pressure/issues with my pulse running too high (currently taking cardizem cd) and have always been paranoid about going heavy and hard, despite being told by Drs. that I should be okay. So, from my experience...

I got over it. I figured "hell, if something is going to happen to me, at least I'll be in a gym where at least a few people know how to start treatment instead of sitting on my ass at home". Over a couple of weeks, my blood pressure regulated and my recovery time got better and better... a sign of becoming better conditioned. In fact, last week I had to get an exercise echocardiogram and my recovery time was so good that they had trouble getting the pictures they needed at the higher heart rate in time.

You will not damage your heart from heavy lifting, but rather strengthen it. What you are lifting should be fine... unless during the sets you experience discomfort such as chest tightness, pain, light-headedness, etc. As far as your doctor is concerned, she probably wants you to focus more on doing cardio, as this is what is really what is going to benefit your heart. All exercise improves your general health, and lifting IS good for your heart, but cardio is what really conditions it. Even after patients have cardiac events like a heart attack, they get them first to start doing some rehabilitative cardio and then integrate resistance training.

Start off slow, and get comfortable with the idea of lifting heavy. Eventually your anxiety should pass.

This sounds about right. She was mostly concerned with the increased blood pressure associated with weight lifters. I will clarify this when I see her for the last time later this year.

I usually do 8 min warm up + 15 min of cool down cardio each session, so I hope that basically balances things out as I move forward.

Thanks for the encouragement.

DomzyCuttin
06-23-2009, 09:33 AM
Quick summary: I was born with heart problems. I had seen a cardiologist (heart doctor) over 18 years and she had said that the problems had become observably nonexistant.

The problem I face now is that the last time I saw her a few years ago (before I started bodybuilding), she had told me that while endurance sports and activities were good, bodybuilding/weightlifting is one of the worst activities for anyone (NOT just me) from a heart-health standpoint. (I forget most of her explaination, but I have always trusted her)

I had gotten back into bodybuilding early this year, and after a few months of great gains I began to sometimes experience this wall of fear when I was lifting heavier weights (mostly during squat and leg press exercises). I would imagine that the strain of this heavier weight was actively damaging my heart and would either compensate by lowering the weight and adding a set (which obviously has its limits) or much worse, just blowing off the exercise which would sometimes lead to me blowing off the rest of the workout and even the next few workouts. All because of this massive perceived fear that I am actively damaging my heart when I lift heavy weights (for me: 180x12 for squat, 300x12 for leg press).

Have any of you experienced anything like this and if so how did you deal with it? If not, then should I just stop progressively increasing resistance? And could that still lead to hypertrophy?

Thanks.

And to be clear: I do NOT currently have any heart challenges. I only have the opinion of an esteemed cardiologist that heavy weightlifting is bad for all people's hearts.

Doing cardio after an intense weight lifting session can help counter the damage done. The extreme BP increase during a set of squats can periodically cause the arteries to harden. By doing cardio you get the blood moving and cause the vessels to elastiscize and loosen up.

Im not sure on the details of the study, as I read it a while ago. But thats the jist of it. If your up for the cardio session after training, then go for it! You have nothing to lose.

fry790
06-23-2009, 10:38 PM
That sounds good. Doing heavy squats and leg presses would just blast my confidence away with fear of what is happening in my cardiovascular system. Better cardio balance seems to be the solution here.

Thanks for the input.

PopeGregorius
06-24-2009, 08:00 PM
You might want to get a Polar heart rate monitor watch to reassure yourself.
I monitor my heart rate all the time during a workout & slow down if necessary.

fry790
06-25-2009, 08:23 PM
You might want to get a Polar heart rate monitor watch to reassure yourself.
I monitor my heart rate all the time during a workout & slow down if necessary.

Unfortunately, that actually makes me feel 10 times worse. It makes me focus on my heart and just leads to more fear and stress. I will even cover the heart rate screen on cardio machines to avoid thinking about it.

I also don't care what my heart rate is. My original concern had more to do with the possibility of unseen heart damage and high blood pressure while doing heavy lifting. You guys have helped me with that.

jmd92
06-25-2009, 09:02 PM
I haven't experienced what you're going through, but I would say get a spotter you know you can trust. Trust each other with your lives, like brothers, and keep on lifting. That way, if anything goes wrong, even if it isn't related to your heart condition, you know you have someone who will take care of you.

ybarrama
06-25-2009, 09:09 PM
What's damaging to the heart is when people lift heavy weight and forget to breathe. This is what puts tremendous pressure on the heart and why people actually die on the toilet taking a dump! lol The circulation produced from lifting is good, just like with cardio, but just remember to control your breathing during the lifts and you should be fine my man!

spirit3530
06-25-2009, 10:23 PM
Quick summary: I was born with heart problems. I had seen a cardiologist (heart doctor) over 18 years and she had said that the problems had become observably nonexistant.

The problem I face now is that the last time I saw her a few years ago (before I started bodybuilding), she had told me that while endurance sports and activities were good, bodybuilding/weightlifting is one of the worst activities for anyone (NOT just me) from a heart-health standpoint. (I forget most of her explaination, but I have always trusted her)

I had gotten back into bodybuilding early this year, and after a few months of great gains I began to sometimes experience this wall of fear when I was lifting heavier weights (mostly during squat and leg press exercises). I would imagine that the strain of this heavier weight was actively damaging my heart and would either compensate by lowering the weight and adding a set (which obviously has its limits) or much worse, just blowing off the exercise which would sometimes lead to me blowing off the rest of the workout and even the next few workouts. All because of this massive perceived fear that I am actively damaging my heart when I lift heavy weights (for me: 180x12 for squat, 300x12 for leg press).

Have any of you experienced anything like this and if so how did you deal with it? If not, then should I just stop progressively increasing resistance? And could that still lead to hypertrophy?

Thanks.

And to be clear: I do NOT currently have any heart challenges. I only have the opinion of an esteemed cardiologist that heavy weightlifting is bad for all people's hearts.
studies or Doc "broscience"

Is this due to diet that "weightlifters" have or training?


I doubt Doogie Houser has any sources to back up that weight training is causing this issue. "Heavy" is relative.

fry790
06-26-2009, 10:36 AM
studies or Doc "broscience"

Is this due to diet that "weightlifters" have or training?


I doubt Doogie Houser has any sources to back up that weight training is causing this issue. "Heavy" is relative.

She made the point that she thought that light weightlifting with <40 lb dumbbells was fine, but that in her 20+ years as a Cardiologist she saw poor heart-health in her heavy weightlifter clients and their very high blood pressure, worse than any other client type.

Now while I trust her to a great degree, even I have gone far beyond her recommended limits. Though that unfortunately hasn't stopped my worrying from her warning. But you guys have helped and I will resolve this when I see her for the last time later this year.

dannyboy27
06-27-2009, 03:28 AM
if you died from lifting too much you'd become a legendary bb.com martyr and would be immortalized in our hearts and memories.. just a thought

Hahahahahaha this is acually really funny, and true. Dying from lifting too much weight either means the person is the dumbest man alive... or the greatest man alive, you having a heart problem would be choice B.