Weight Training With Pacemaker

Hi all, 

After a bought of more ilnesses (Restless Leg Syndrome & Sleep Apnoea) I should finally have all my health issues behind me in the New Year, so I was looking into getting back into training and exercise. (FYI, my pacemaker was inserted over 2 years ago)

I used to be very muscly and have now put on quite a bit of fat and I am looking to trim down. But I also love weight lifting and my question is does anyone have any tips on how to weightlift safely with a pacemaker? Plus, because I have had the pacemaker inserted at the point where my chest is the smallest it has been (Muscle-wise) if I grow my chest muscles will the size of the muscle put pressure on the wires/pacemaker so much that it would pull the wires out? I am not looking to be a weightlifter but I put on muscle quite easily. 

Any other tips on exercise would be very helpful if there is anything people have learnt when getting back into exercise.







Not to worry

by AgentX86 - 2019-12-04 12:02:21

The only caution I was given was that I was not to press free weights. There is a risk of the weight crushing the PM'S lead. It wouldn't do my chest any good either, I'd guess. I'd think one would be spotted when using free weights in any case.

There is no chance that muscle development will harm anything. It might make your PM more visible as you lose fat.

I think

by Pacer2019 - 2019-12-04 13:23:42

it’s a great opportunity to initial so leg work ! Squats and deadlifts. 

The poster makes a good point regarding free weights - as we know in order to grow muscle we have to overload our muscles which means at times reps to failure 

when I think free weights and chest I think pec flys or dumbbell presses -  nice smooth controlled reps won’t get you in trouble i believe - they also may no grow muscle !  It’s those last few where you lose stability at failure that can get you in trouble.

a good thought is to focus on the eccentric part of the rep - often neglected but highly effective .

Bottom line .....no lifting and getting fat is more dangerous than lifting.

start slow and light focused on the quality of the reps - high reps light weights 


by Tracey_E - 2019-12-04 18:05:03

Run it by your doctor but I wasn't given any restrictions. The leads are thin and flexible, tough and designed to move with us. Putting on muscle will not hurt them. The main thing to watch out for is direct pressure on them. Depending how it's placed this may or may not be an issue. If you are holding the bar in front rack, you don't want pressure on the leads or box. If your leads are very close to the collarbone, you'll want to be careful about pressure there. Most of us have it lower than that so it's not an issue.

If you have a 2 lead pacemaker you are less likely to have problems than if you have a CRT or ICD because they are larger. 

Start slowly and see how you feel. If something doesn't feel right, back off and try again in a week. If it still doesn't feel right, try something else instead. It's not hard to tell when something isn't right. 

You may aggravate the scar tissue when getting started. Ice helps. 

Being fit is the best thing we can do for ourselves. My doc said the benefits of exercise far outweigh any negligible (his word) risks to the leads. I've been paced 25 years, have been doing Olympic lifting as part of Crossfit the last 9, and have not had a problem. I've still got one original working lead, so it's well past its expected life despite all my efforts to push the envelope. 

Thank You

by CallumLennon - 2019-12-05 07:56:40

Hi all, 

Thank you very much for your advice and help, it goes in line with my thoughts and understanding from the cardiologists! 

This has helped a lot.



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