Weightlifting (bench pressing, squatting, deadlifting, curling, etc.) have been a part of my life for many years. Will I be able to continue this exercise program after pacemaker implantation? Have any of you continued weightlifting (or had to stop weightlifting) after implantation?



by Tracey_E - 2020-05-18 10:11:41

This comes up at least a couple of times a month. Some doctors are more conservative and set limits either on weight limit or overhead movements. Most doctors,  mine included, have no restrictions on us once we are fully healed. Just the opposite, my ep is adamant about staying fit, whatever form that takes.

I have been doing Crossfit for 9 years, with my ep's blessing, so Olympic lifts, dumbbells, kettlebells, push ups, pull ups. No issues so far. I have  never held back and still have one working lead that is from 1994. I'm congenital and on my 5th pacer. I also kayak, hike with a heavy pack, do ropes courses, ride roller coasters. There's nothing I want to do that I cannot. 

Make sure the surgeon knows your lifestyle before surgery. They can place the pacer a little deeper so it doesn't get in the way. If it's too high (close to the collar bone) or too shallow, it's possible to crush the leads with the bar. Easy to prevent, just speak up before surgery. Most don't put it that high anyway. You want it low enough that the bar doesn't put pressure on the collar bone and crush the box or leads when in front rack. If your doctor has never touched a barbell, explain what front rack is :o)


by malikowm - 2020-05-18 11:04:49


I can't thank you enough. Your response is most encouraging. Your experience means a lot since you've "lived it" and it's not merely theoretical.




by doublehorn48 - 2020-05-18 14:45:21

There are many people on this site that have been lifting weights, running, ect. for years.  You will get to the point when the only time you think of the pm is when you visit this forum.  I set my personal best in the bench press when I was 46 and had had my pacemaker for about 8 years.  I'm still lifting and running at 71.

Just don't rush back into lifting.  Let it heal.  That's the problem most people have with a pacemaker.  You need a few weeks, not days before you resume your usual workout.

Keep lifting,



by malikowm - 2020-05-18 14:56:05

Hey M. Scott:

Thanks for your comment - it is "spot on." Like you, I'm 71 ... and still "at it" even after 53 years. (I'm a "lifer.") My best lifts are well behind me but if I can continue to bench 200 lbs. for reps and squat and deadlift 300 lbs. for reps along with supplementary exercises I'll be quite content going forward.

And thanks for your advice to wait and fully heal. As long as I can resume at some point I'll be pleased.



by PacedNRunning - 2020-05-19 03:44:05

Ask to have your PM placed under the skin  and not the muscle. Under the Muscle with weight lifting can put more stress on the leads and cause fractures


Under Muscle???

by bobjohnson - 2020-06-28 12:41:20


I am due to have suregery on the 2nd to have mine relocated from under the skin to under the muscle. One of the reaons was working out/weightlifting.  Now you have me worried.

I had mine put in as an emergency with 12 hours notice on March 29th and it's under the skin high up on left side. It moves around a bit but is usually resting nearly up against my collarbone and when I lift my arm up, reach across my body, dry my hair, etc. the pacemaker rides up and over my collarbone. Same with sleeping.

I was concerned about carrying heavy packs like film gear in the mountains, and I'm also an actor and was concerned about the massive bulge, so the caridologist found another surgeon to move it under the muscle. 

I plan to get back to working out and put some meat back on now, but now with the surgery a few days away, you have me nervous. The surgeon told me the only danger of having under the pec while pushing heavy weights, was the potential for it to get squished out of the pocket into the arm pit, which would require another surgery to fix.  He did not seem that concerned about it and it seemed remote. 

Can you expain what you mean by "put more stress on the leads and cause fractures?" Do you mean the leads will fracture, the leads cause ribs to fracture and do you know this from personal experience or?

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