T Nation

Is Heavy Lifting Harming Blood Vessels?


#1

I’m sick and tired of worrying if lifting heavy and exerting myself is harming blood vessels. Ever since I strained an intercostal (so I was told at the ER, which felt like a heart attack), I’ve been so worried about if the steep rise in blood pressure is damaging vessels. My ultimate fear is that my aorta will burst from it. I’ve had many tests which say I’m good, but I still feel a variety of symptoms, particularly a dull ache in my upper back. I also feel a constant, pulsing sensation down my stomach. I’ve had tons of symptoms come and go over the years, but the constant worry has been if I’m damaging my aorta. Part of my frustration is that I don’t see ANY reputable strength coaches talking about the dangers or non-dangers of lifting and the vascular system. I’ve seen Coach Rip talk about it, but that’s it. I’m so tired of looking up my issues and not seeing answers. I see story after story of people dying from this or surviving a stroke, etc from people that don’t lift and the people that do, don’t talk about it. I have elevated blood calcium and cholesterol and I’m just wondering if that’s my body’s attempt at padding the damaged vessels. My symptoms are highest on training days and disappear when I take a couple days off. I understand some or maybe even all of this may be just anxiety, but simply telling me that isn’t convincing me. I do not feel well the rest of the day after I train, and then better on off days. I love lifting and love the benefits it offers, but I can’t help but worry it’s harming me. Sorry about the rant, but this has really been life altering for me. Don’t simply say thousands of people lift without dying everyday. That doesn’t tell me much. Any reputable science would be appreciated.