Lifting weights and Weightlifting

My doctor told me that,I can't lift anything over 90lbs and 100lbs,I had 2 45lb olympic plate weights that equals 90lbs together,My doctor tells me,I would not lift those weights that equals 90lbs because it will crush the wire.I don't want to be like actor John Ritter(Jack Tripper) who died 10 years ago of a torn aorta inside his heart.I read that lifting heavy weights will have an impact on your heart and it will tear your aorta inside your heart.


My experience re exercise

by Reboot1212 - 2013-12-03 07:12:10

I have a St Jude PM for 3rd degree heart block. My Dr knows I worked out with weights both he and EP said get back to it. Benefit outweighs risk in my case. That said, I use slow controlled movements with weight I can control. No explosive lifting or bouncing weight off me. It never touches my chest. Waited beyond six weeks before easing into it - extra time to heal. Ask your Dr about cardio rehab training? Don't forget benefits of cardio! Good luck...


by Tracey_E - 2013-12-03 08:12:54

If a bar is on your chest like you're ready to press it overhead, is it sitting on your wire? If it is not, how is it going to crush it?

And what type of lift? I don't know your history and I'm no doctor so I'm not saying ignore your doc, but his instructions don't make a lot of sense to me. I'd be asking more questions because his restrictions seem more arbitrary than thought out. Is he even a lifter? Because 90 or 100 doesn't qualify as particularly heavy, imo. I'm a middle-aged 5'6" mom who is nowhere close to the strongest female in my boot camp class, and I can get more than that overhead on some lifts. Two years ago I had to work a lot harder/strain more to get half that much weight overhead. There are guys in my class who warm up on a weight that's a personal record for me. Everything is relative, my point is it sounds like he plucked a number out of the air.

Damaging a pm wire is very different from damaging the heart itself. Damaging a wire means pinching it/breaking it so the signal no longer gets through. If the bar sits right on your wire, then you need to be careful because that can happen. Mine does not, my dr said I can lift without restrictions.

John Ritter had a heart defect that caused the aorta to pull away. This has nothing to do with exercising and/or pacemakers.

When it comes down it it, if you are not comfortable with it, if you are going to spend every session worried something will go wrong, then find another way to stay fit. But if it's important to you, I would have another conversation with your doc, maybe get a second opinion. Try to figure out if he had a concrete reason for giving you that number or if perhaps he simply doesn't have any other patients who want to lift so he's never been asked the question before.

Do some research

by Theknotguy - 2013-12-03 10:12:06

Do some research. Maybe make a post to see how many on this site lift weights?

My cardio guy said no heavy exertion until after 90 days giving my body time to grow around the PM and the leads.

He also advised me not to throw the 90 pound 4x8 wood sheets around. He was concerned if the sheet got tipped towards me and I'd have to exert force of 180 pounds to push off. That could cause damage. So that means I can't move the big sheets but can handle smaller pieces. (I'm too weak because of the trauma I had and it will be at least a year before I can consider it anyway.)

I'm guessing (since I'm not a medical person or a doctor) he's concerned you'll have the barbells tip onto your PM side and you'll have to exert more than 90 pounds on the vein with the leads. And if you do the exercise before the 90 days it could cause serious damage. However...

I'm guessing there are quite a few PM people lifting weights who can give you guidelines.

I hate the fact the PM has forced limitations on me.
I love the fact it's made my life better.
I can live with what I have.


I think

by Creaky - 2013-12-03 10:12:26

the doc is worried that the force of lifting will cause the leads to be pinched between the collar bone and rib, thus breaking the lead. I doubt he was worried about the bar hitting your chest.


by Tracey_E - 2013-12-04 02:12:31

When I said the bar hitting the chest, I meant when you clean the bar or hold it for a front squat.

Pinching is only an issue if the pm or leads are right at the collar bone. Most are lower than that.

Weight lifting

by gleesue - 2013-12-04 03:12:18

Lifting weights will not hurt you or your pacemaker. I've been lifting weights since the age of 12, now 67. As a matter of fact we should do it all our lives particularly as we age. We lose a lot of upper body mass and it seems to settle right around the middle. My EP just said to take it easy and start out with less weight and more reps to begin with. He also said, if it hurts don't do it. The ones that hurt a little at first were lat pull downs and butterflies. No problem with any of them now.



by Creaky - 2013-12-04 04:12:54

TraceyE. Just relating from my own experience that I have had two ventricular leads crushed against collar bone. Ended up needing leads extracted and new leads placed (third set). I do not want the third to break, hence my conservatism re weight lifting. Leads being crushed may not be a huge problem statistically, but when it happens to you, and the aftermath, it is no fun.

Exercise and crushed leads

by DrJGTr - 2017-06-23 19:34:56

The primary concern is with repetitive overhead moves - Military Press, OH Dumbell Presses, Lat Pull-downs, Pull-ups, swimming, etc. The main danger is Subclavian Crush Syndrome, where the leads are crushed between the clavicle and 1st rib; and with with repetitive moves over time flexing the leads to the point of breaking. In my case, the Surgeon said wait 3 months before Lat Pull-downs; MP and OH DB Press are questionable, and Pull-ups, never. And BTW, no Inversion Table (e.g.,Teeter) for 3 months... 

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