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Endurance Training Not Good!

An interesting article from “Science News” regarding endurance training and the possible long term damage that it can do to your heart.

Is it true?

You be the judge!

"People who compete in grueling long distance bicycle races are in great phyiscial chape. But a study now suggests that the endurance training they undergo could do long term harm to their hearts.

Researchers in Switzerland located 62 Swiss bicyclers, all men, an average of 38 years after they had competed in the Tour de Suisse race. As a control group, the researchers examined 52 men whose chief exercise for much of their lives had been golf.

The researchers took a blood sample from each man and checked for signs of heart trouble. Men in both groups had an average age in the mid-60’s and had comparable body weights and blood pressures. Although the former cyclists were exercising slightly more both groups had similiar heart pumping capacity.

The blood samples revealed that the former cyclists averaged more than twice as much b-type natriuretic peptide, a natural compound that can identify people at risk of heart failure. Eight of the cyclists, but onlyone of the golfers, had worrisome concentrations of peptide, says cardiologist Christine H. Attenhofer Jost of HerzGefassZentrum, a Zurich clinic.

Furthermore tests revealed that the former cyclists hearts had significantly largerleft and right atria than did the golfers. Increases size of these heart chambers could be a sign of permanent damage, Jost says. Enlarged atria are associated with heart-rhythm problems, but in this study anyone with rhythm abnormalities had been excluded from the start.

The large atria didn’t come as a complete surprise, Jost says. “We’re seeing so many of these patients who were formerly professional athletes in endurance sports 20 and 40 years out.” Some need pacesmakers for heart-rhythm irregularities, she says.

People pursuing most sports, even strenuous ones, need not be concerned, she says. “This was the extreme end of the spectrum,” she says. However, she cautions, “marathon runners will fall into the same category” as the elite bicyclists."

Not compelling. Credible reserach has also ruled that enlarged hearts of athletes is nothing to worry about. Enduarance athletes are some of the most long-lived, while maintaining the highest quality of life, in the world.

I always knew golf was the best form of cardio!

Perhaps this is simply one more piece of evidence that interval training is not only the way to go to save muscle, but to live longer as well.

Probably written by a fat-ass Wendy’s manager that

  1. Wanted to boost customer sales by saying health is “out”

  2. Wanted other people to be as fat and out of shape as him.

[quote]ZEB wrote:

People pursuing most sports, even strenuous ones, need not be concerned, she says. “This was the extreme end of the spectrum,” she says. However, she cautions, “marathon runners will fall into the same category” as the elite bicyclists."[/quote]

If you fall into the “extreme” category then worry, if not, don’t worry. Luckily this probably covers 99.9% of the population. After all, how many of us run marathons at the Olympics or ride the Tour de France?

If they compared the ACTUAL heart attacks between elite endurance athletes, the sedentary, and casual exercisers at all stages of life, I think there would be no surprises as to what they’d find.

Is 8 out of 62 vs. 1 out 52 even a significant result? I’m not sure that it is.

Why those dirty liars!

Extreme endurance training IS good for you!

I wonder why they are lying?

(shaking head walking away)

[quote]rg73 wrote:
Is 8 out of 62 vs. 1 out 52 even a significant result? I’m not sure that it is.
[/quote]

8 out of 62 is not significant. This could then, of occured via chance.
Heart problems may be associated with a rapid decrease/stop in physical activity. Elite endurance athletes need to ‘detrain’ when the retire. A fact not known 35 years ago id guess.
Id like to read the study in full as it seems more of a casual observation rather than anything to go by.

[quote]bg100 wrote:
ZEB wrote:

People pursuing most sports, even strenuous ones, need not be concerned, she says. “This was the extreme end of the spectrum,” she says. However, she cautions, “marathon runners will fall into the same category” as the elite bicyclists."

If you fall into the “extreme” category then worry, if not, don’t worry. Luckily this probably covers 99.9% of the population. After all, how many of us run marathons at the Olympics or ride the Tour de France?[/quote]

Exactly, I train to race bicycles at the amateur level, and I only train about 5-6 hours a week. The average pro/elite cyclist might do 20-30 hours a week, (3-5 hours a day for 5-6 days). So if you fall into the 0.1 percent of the population that is at this level, then worry, if not its alot better than sitting on the couch eating fried chicken and drinking beer.

I also wonder if they took into consideration that some of the people in the “extreme” endurance athlete group might have done some form of performance enhancing drugs. One drug that is popular is EPO it thickens (increases red blood cells) the blood and could be responsible for some of the wear on the heart.

“Perhaps this is simply one more piece of evidence that interval training is not only the way to go to save muscle, but to live longer as well.”

I don’t know exactly what message your trying to convey here Zeb, but I believe steady state cardio has numerous health and composition benefits. People are to busy trying to say intervals are better than steady state or vice versea to realize the benefits that can be had from both. All to often in fitness people are to busy trying to say something is worthless and not realizing the positive aspects that different modes, duration, etc offer. As Charles Staley is fond of saying, “the answer is usually in the middle.”

As for the original article, yeah that’s it, get in kickass shape and your much more likely to die than the average american who thinks cardio is using the escalator and not the elevator. Pretty small sample size…

[quote]giff07 wrote:
I also wonder if they took into consideration that some of the people in the “extreme” endurance athlete group might have done some form of performance enhancing drugs. One drug that is popular is EPO it thickens (increases red blood cells) the blood and could be responsible for some of the wear on the heart.
[/quote]

Amphetamines were all the rage back in the era in which the population in question competed. As with the EPO more recently, there were surely some who pushed the usage further than others.

I’m not an “extreme endurance athlete” but just so people don’t hate on this based on one study here is something to look at which addresses in much more detail and with much more studies. I know two older fellas who used to do triatholons and I’m not so sure both couldn’t kick my ass.

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:352QblHkLQEJ:www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/osteoarthritis.html+Extreme+endurance+training+impact+on+health&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3

What of that most vital organ in the body, the heart? Will long-term cardiovascular training lead to heart problems in later life? There is mounting evidence that intense CV exercise can damage the heart, but before considering this in detail, it must be emphasised that the benefits of long-term CV exercise far outweigh the relatively minor risks, as outlined below.

The main potential risk is of damage to the left ventricle (the chamber of the heart that pumps oxygenated blood around the body) resulting from participation in ultra-endurance events. Konig and his team investigated this risk in a study of 11 highly trained male professional road cyclists, putting in around 34,000k per year(8). The team assessed the cyclists after one stage of a five-day professional cycling race, with a careful cardiac examination, including echocardiography and stress ECG.

They found nothing to worry about and concluded that strenuous endurance exercise in professional road cyclists does not result in structural myocardial damage.

Noakes found a seemingly more worrying scenario when he discovered left ventricular damage in ultra-distance runners (specifically participants in the Comrades Marathon(9). However, he found that the damage healed itself rapidly during recovery, without lasting structural damage. Research by George et al drew similar conclusions after studying Ironman and Half- Ironman triathlon participants (10).

Other heart conditions
What of other heart conditions? Heavy and prolonged endurance training builds the heart into a great machine capable of pumping huge amounts of blood around the body with greatly reduced effort. Could this growth (hypertrophy) of the heart create potential problems?

Missault et al compared cardiac anatomy and function in 26 professional road cyclists with those of 21 matched controls(11). They found that heart hypertrophy in the cyclists led to an increase in the internal dimension of the left ventricle and an even larger increase in the thickness of the ventricular walls. However, diastolic filling (when the heart fills up with blood between beats) was similar in the athletes and controls, and the researchers concluded that professional road cycling could be regarded as safe from the cardiac point of view.

A number of studies have looked at the hearts of endurance-trained athletes after their serious competitive training days have ceased. Pelliccia and colleagues focused specifically on left ventricular enlargement in elite endurance athletes, studying them first in their twenties and then 1-13 years later(11). The researchers found that left ventricular dimensions did not completely return to pre-training levels, with reduction or cessation of exercise. And they concluded that: ?left ventricular atrophy? may have future long-term clinical implications in some individuals (and that this) cannot be excluded with certainty?.

The ?this? being referred to is the (admittedly unlikely) possibility of an athlete with a heart enlarged by long-term endurance activity being misdiagnosed as suffering from a genetic condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, that can cause sudden death.

So it appears that a commitment to serious endurance training in youth should not cause heart problems in later life. And indeed all ?retired? athletes, whether endurace or powerbased, should seriously consider continuing CV exercise at a moderate level for the rest of their lives, since its contribution to reducing deaths from coronary heart disease ? and the incidence of numerous other diseases ? is indisputable.

The oft-quoted study of Harvard Alumni drew the following key conclusions about the value of CV exercise(12):

Expending 8,400kJ (approx 2000 calories) during ?active leisure time? through ?vigorous? activity reduced the risk of developing all forms of CHD by 20%;
The same level of effort reduced the risk of a first heart attack by 39%;
This effort could increase life expectancy by 2.5 years in those exercising regularly after age 35 and by 1.5 years in those taking up exercise after age 50.
This should make very palatable reading for former athletes, as you can see that you do not have to take up a masters? sport and train seriously to derive the health benefits of life-long exercise. Four 40-minute moderately paced rowing sessions or 60-minute fast walking sessions per week would suffice.

Moving on to a less obvious potential negative consequence of sports involvement, research indicates that endurance athletes have a higher risk of suffering from kidney stones than their non-exercising peers. It?s argued that repeated bouts of dehydration, as may occur during endurance exercise, can create the right conditions in the kidney for the development of stones. The best way to prevent this is obviously by remaining optimally hydrated before, during and after training or competition.

I also found some more studies if anyone is interested I will PM them.

Great posts, H Factor. I had read this before actually. But I had no idea how to go about finding it again.

I think that since they studied the particpants in Ironman and half Ironman, the possibliity of EPO or Repoxygen doping is pretty high.

I don’t know how that would effect their results though. I know too much EPO fuck you up sideways though.

[quote]PGA200X wrote:
I always knew golf was the best form of cardio![/quote]

Yeah, whatever. I just like driving the carts around.

That makes total sense, people who push their bodies to the limit having problems because of it makes total sense. The saying “everything in moderation” goes a long way here… People think that just because someone is training their heart, even if it is to the maximum and beyond, they will be the model of fitness due to increased stroke volume, decreased heart rate etc…

Just because your heart is very healthy doesnt mean that you can beat the shit out of it and not suffer any ill effects… If someone has a high stroke volume and can work at near maximal levels due to a very high lactic acid threshold, the stress on the heart must be astronomical… And remember these arent your nice and fit 3 times a week runners, these are people that use their body like a car.

[quote]supermick wrote:
rg73 wrote:
Is 8 out of 62 vs. 1 out 52 even a significant result? I’m not sure that it is.

8 out of 62 is not significant. This could then, of occured via chance.
Heart problems may be associated with a rapid decrease/stop in physical activity. Elite endurance athletes need to ‘detrain’ when the retire. A fact not known 35 years ago id guess.
Id like to read the study in full as it seems more of a casual observation rather than anything to go by.[/quote]

8 out of 62 compared to 1 out of 52 by percentage is definitely significant. What isnt significant is the subject pool, thats not enough people to draw a conclusion on. And who knows it could be even worse if a larger poplulation of both groups were looked at…

Based on those percentages and a subject pool of 1000 each you would be looking at 130 out of 1000 for the trained athletes vs. 20 out of 1000 for the untrained, yes very insignificant…