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Have to change my Training...

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:58 am
by Crow
I really don`t know how to start this, so I will jump straight in...

I was diagnosed with an "aneurysmal thoracic aorta" (i should say I had luck it was discovered early, but really, it doesn`t feel like it ;) ). Until they take a second look at later this year it I was advised not to do (intensive) strength training. I`m allowed to do LISS-Cardio with a heart rate staying under 140bpm; a bit more wouldn`t be an immediate problem, but just not that beneficial for heart health (diminishing returns). I could be born with it, so it could be stable, but I think this has an impact on my training for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have experience with this diagnosis?

It`s obvious to avoid valsalva and (most) freeweight excercises to keep bloodpressure low... I use a heart rate monitor now, started jogging and using the row ergometer and thats fine... but I also started strength training to keep my health (desk job)... Can I do some more prehab-oriented training? Like using some maschines (like vertical pull or chest press) doing some sets of 8 using a low weight?

Thanks in advance!

Re: Have to change my Training...

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:37 am
by stuward
JungleDoc might understand that but he rarely comes by these days. It seems to me that the issue is avoiding intense exercise. It shouldn't matter what type of exercise, as long as you keep the intensity down. Machines, body weight, free weights, etc are all possibilities. You can make any of those intense or easy just by controlling the effort you put into it.

Re: Have to change my Training...

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:07 am
by Crow
Thanks Stuward!

As far as I understand the issue (english is not my first language so excuse me if I use the wrong terms) the problem would be mainly high bloodpressure. Heartrate and bloodpressure usually go in the same direction, but I was told that you can`t say "when your heart rate is x your bloodpressure is equally high or y". And the measurement during an excercise seems difficult...
So the solution from the doctors is the estimate that "dynamic, cycling movements" (cycling, jogging, walking, swimming, rowing) with a lower heart rate (aerobic endurance) keeps blood pressure low enough to be o. k. ...

Also... "low intensity" is tricky... With pushups I need to stabilize the core so even doing 10 reps lets my heart rate climb around 20bpm. A 20 rep set of db bench press with 10kg db let it climb around 30bpm... With some maschines I need ridiculously low core stabilisation or none at all, so I`m using little weight for sets of 8 to move the muscle... like up to 8x8 controlled with the heart rate monitor...

Perhaps JungleDoc could tell a bit more, when he reads this...

Re: Have to change my Training...

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:50 pm
by Jungledoc
Well, I happen to be in the neighborhood, so I thought I'd stop by. Unfortunately, I can't really give you any very specific help with this--it's the kind of thing that I'd be asking a consultant about. There aren't any practical ways of checking the pressure while you are actually performing an exercise. Taking a pressure with a BP cuff wouldn't work, because you have to stop the activity to take the pressure, and it takes at least a few seconds to get the reading. The pressure that you'd really be interested in would be the peak pressure when you are at maximal exertion, maybe mid concentric.

Unless you can find a doctor with specialized knowledge (a cardiovascular surgeon?) who lifts weights, most doctors either wouldn't understand the medical side, or wouldn't know (or care) much about the exercise, or both. I wonder if a cardiac rehabilitation therapist might be able to help.

Has anyone talked about surgical repair of the aorta? Have you had a second opinion?

Re: Have to change my Training...

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:59 am
by Crow
Thank you very much for answering!

I just had the first measuring last October and it is planned to measure again after a year (oct. 2016). The diameter is 44mm at that point (the norm would be 25-35mm) and afaik when reaching 50 to 55mm there would be the indication for a surgical repair.
So they will look at it again after a year, but when it stays the same (which would be good), then perhaps I still wouldn`t know if its stable or not, because I try to avoid everything that would make the condition worse. (At least concerning strength training, fortunately I`m still allowed to work in the garden or move the snow from the pavement, as long as I take a break a little more often. I didn`t try it with the heart rate monitor ;) ) And it will surely get worse with age... At my age the diameter is too high, but I could be born with it (so "just" an aberrance).

I didn`t ask for a second opinion yet, because I`m doing a time consuming off-the-job training which will keep me busy most of the time till the second measuring is done (the first was done by a cardiologist). But I will search for another opinion (at least someone with more training experience) as soon as I get more time.

Re: Have to change my Training...

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:34 am
by Jungledoc
OK, well good luck with it.