Howdy, ya’ll !
I decided to post this to get opinions and to provide a heads-up to my esteemed colleagues at the T-Nation !
I recently had a mild heart attack and spent 3 days undergoing tests at the local hospital. I awoke from a nap with the classic squeezing chest pain centered right behind my sternum. I suspected heart problems immediately. As a long time weight trainer, I had experienced a lot of different kinds of pain in the past (all good)and this was different. The hospital diagnosed it as a heart attack and confirmed it with a blood test that showed I had levels of an enzyme in my system that indicate heart damage. My blood pressure returned to normal (120/75)shortly after arriving at the hospital and my heart cath indicated that I had no blockages or any buildup at all in my coronary arteries. YEE-Haww ! Three days later I was released.
I’m 49 years old, have been lifting since 1969. I was a pathetic ectomorph my teenage years and through my twenties and only started really thickening up in the last 15 years when I switched from a bodybuilding type of lifting to power lifting. With the help of heavy lifting, 7 or so two week cycles of MAG-10, along with creatine, protein shakes, M and TRIBEX, I reached my “pinnacle”(?) of size and strength in 2003 - 5’8" tall, 205 lbs, approximately 16% bodyfat. I was strong and aggressive, for an old fart. I liked carrying the extra bodyfat because I was always so skinny growing up. I really felt good at 205… The day I had my little “episode” I had not lifted for about 4 days because I was real busy at work.I was off all supplements for about 1 month, with the exception of protein shakes. I was not feeling any undue stress from work or home.
I used ephedra before every workout for the last 6 1/2 years ( I had a big stash of it)One diet fuel per day every other day for this period. Although I took it for a long time, I never took more than one at a time. Never ! Ocassionally, I would substite Power Drive for ephedra, but not very often. Also, I rarely did any cardio. Yea, I know… I loved lifting but grew to hate cardio…I was a xcountry runner in my skinny days and I got sick of cardio by 1988. These 2 issues may have contributed to my eventual heart problem.
My prognosis is good. I have to take 1 baby aspirin/day for life and I’m currently on Lipitor to further lower my already low cholesteral. The doctor, aware that I was a lifter, ordered me to take 2 months off from the iron and to “start lifting like a bodybuilder again, damnit !” Of course I tossed all of my remaining diet fuel and am wondering what I’ll do with my stash of MAG-10… Hmmmm, maybe I can sell it to my buddy T-blaster…
Please let this diatribe serve as a precaution to some of you older lifters who get the urge to go heavy, go hard and take and energy enhancers. I survived, you may not.
I thought I was invincible.
One final bit of advice : if any of y’all ever get chest pains, take aspirin immediately (regular, not enteric)and get your ass to the hospital. Machismo has caused many a man (and women) to ignore chest pain. The pain will usually go away if you wait long enough. Problem is, the next time it flares up it will be much, much worse for your heart. You can save much of your heart function if you get blood thinners and medical attention ASAP !
It’s good to be alive.