Weight lifting with pacemaker

Anyone with experience on weight lifting and pacemaker? I am getting a pacemaker and I am a heavy weight lifter. Will I have to stop? My cardiologist just said to not do jerking movements but what about heavy weight? 


How bout

by Pacer2019 - 2019-11-24 19:54:03

would be a great time to do a squat cycle ! Bulk up all winter - maybe the GOMAD program ?

great opportunity to work legs 

cleans and snatches are probably out for a while ....no pec fly’s 

deadlift seems doable ....bench seems ok ? 


by Tracey_E - 2019-11-24 22:12:32

I don't go too heavy, but I do Crossfit and for a 53 year old mom who never touched a barbell until 8 years ago, I hold my own and go heavier than most of the other women my age. I deadlift my bodyweight, back squat just a bit under that, clean/jerk PR is triple digits. My doctor did not give me any restrictions other than to stop if it doesn't feel right.

Once you heal, ease back into it. You'll know if something isn't right. It was about 4 months after my last one (I'm on #5) before I was back to my full weights and not being extra careful. 

Talk to them about position of the pacer. You don't want the bar anywhere near your leads or box when in front rack. You also don't want the box/leads so close to the collarbone that pressure on the collarbone puts pressure on the box. They can go lower and deeper, or they can put it between the pectorals. This is a discussion to have with your surgeon beforehand. Make it really clear what you do at the gym and that you don't plan to stop. 

Hadn’t thought of ....

by Pacer2019 - 2019-11-24 22:17:12

A pacemaker and the front rack.  Wonder if someone is dedicated to Olympic lifts under the pec makes the most sense ?  I've heard it's a longer recovery but if you do a lot of cleans or front squats you would have to always be aware 


by Tracey_E - 2019-11-24 22:21:57

Many of us who lift have subpec. Depending on build, tho, you can sometimes get away with just going lower and deeper than the usual just under the collarbone placement. Under the muscle/between the muscles is more invasive so it's more painful and healing is longer. I didn't find it awful, mostly got by on tylenol and ice, and it's well worth it in the end to not have to worry about it. 


by Kettlebell man - 2019-11-30 08:54:59

I've had my PM for two months now, just had a checkup and all looks good. I'm slowly getting back to a running routine, but was told to really go easy with weights, because you could pull a wire doing the following. Overhead press, bench press, or any quick movements. Are any of you doing these with no problems? Also, prior to all this happening late summer, I was also doing a lot of boxing training. Any advice if this is safe to do? Thanks

kettlebell man

by Tracey_E - 2019-12-05 10:25:54

I do all of those! No issues. Once it's healed it's almost impossible to pull a wire. After a year they are in so tight it takes a special laser to get them out. It's possible to crush a lead if you put weight directly on it, but just working out won't hurt it. They are intended to move with us. Boxing isn't recommended if you are sparring and likely to take a direct hit to the pacer. You won't hurt the box but we will bruise up. 

Will send this via private message also since this is a few days old and buried now. 

contradicting advice from my EPs

by Sig27 - 2020-07-28 21:38:34

So, I had my first PM in 2005 at age 35, was playing soccer at the time. My EP told me no contact sports, then he paused and said, "uh, heck, do what you want, you're 35, play soccer!" So I did, until I got hit super hard right on the top edge of the PM. Was worried lead would break. It did not, but I did stop playing soccer. Went more to Yoga, some lifting etc, walking, biking, occasional jogging. Then my second EP told me maybe 6-7 years back, "oh, you do strength training with your arms?, but don't do chest butterflies, that squeezes the area where the wires are and with repetition they can break". So, forward to this February and they told my one lead was 'wearing out' whatever that means, no obvious damage I don't think, but just poor conductability. I had the PM and lead extraction/replacement done last week. The EP who did my discharge said "Oh, you shouldn't do any arm weight training, like things like dips, shoulder press, push-ups, they squeeze the pecs into the vein with the lead and squash the lead between the pec, vein, and collar bone". I asked him if that was just for the 2 months post-op and he indicated that was going to be his permanent advice. So, clearly they don't agree, I will ask again, I have two friends who also have a PM and an ID and they were told no such thing, so who the heck knows. I wish they would determine this and agree and then give clear written instructions post-op. Because I just got fit and lost a bunch of weight, would like to keep that up, now I don't know what I should do. I'd rather not go through the same surgery for a while, it was an ordeal, but also want to keep being fit. 

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