I'm new to this forum.  I had a PM implanted mid January, 2020 for a 2nd Degree AV block.  I was feeling it most when I would exercise, and especially heavy weight lifting.  Eventually it got to be all of the time, even getting up from the couch.  I had hit an all time peak with new PR's for myself with lifting and had my sights set on competing in Strongman this summer.  Things have changed a bit now.

My doctor said I can go back to lifting when I asked if I could.  He said he doesn't want me not doing the things I enjoy doing in my life.  That was good to hear, but honestly I'm still nervous.  I'm starting out light to see how I feel.

I'm just here reaching out to get feedback from other weightlifters with pacemakers.  Strongman experience would be great to hear back on too.  I'm afraid of some of the lifts due to the potential of hititng the PM with an impliment, example the log press.   How has it impacted your training, and do you have any tips? Thanks.

Oh yeah, I'm 32.  Docs were trying all other avenues to figure it out because of my age.



by Tracey_E - 2020-03-09 16:21:07

I'm nowhere near your league, just a 50-something mom with a thing for barbells, but my docs have all said do what I want. I've been paced 25+ years for 3rd degree av block, so far I haven't managed to do any damage.

You don't want direct pressure right on the box or the leads because the leads can be crushed.  Most doctors think ahead enough on young patients to put it lower and deeper so that's not an issue. Other than that, if it feels ok, it should be ok. Leads are flexible and durable, intended to move with us over many years. You may want to talk with your doctor about the amount of reps/weight it takes to be competitive, that's considerably more than the casual lifter like me. 

It's normal to be nervous about getting back to it but ease into it and see how it feels. Know that you will likely aggravate the scar tissue, esp at first. Ice will help. 

Once thyroid causes have been ruled out, electrical problems of the heart are only going to be fixed with a pacer. It's an electrical short circuit in an otherwise perfectly normal, healthy heart. It always confounds me why they want to put off pacing due to age. I went through the same thing, then one day my rate tanked, I almost died, and had emergency surgery. Not the easy way to do it. We all need a normal heart rate, doesn't matter how old we are. I get not rushing into it, but if you've been diagnosed with heart block and are symptomatic, you will need it one day. There is no other fix, it will not go away on its own. Why suffer, why risk getting hurt from passing out, by putting it off? Fix it so we can get on with our lives.

Most of us don't know what causes it, it's just a fluke. Any chance your mom has Lupus? Children of women with Lupus are more likely to have heart block. Beyond that, it can  happen from infection, medication, surgery, autoimmune diseases. Or, for most of us we never know what causes it and we have no other health issues. 

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker interferes with your electronic scale.

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