If you don’t feel like reading, the summary:
- 20 yr, 6ft, 195lbs, 8% body fat
- Blood pressure went from 120/80 to 140/90, coinciding with addition of heavy lifting
- Healthy diet, aerobically fit, blood tests fine, no obvious reasons for problems
- Anyone else experience a positive correlation between lifting frequency and blood pressure?
A little background…
I’m a 20 year old Male, 6ft, 195 pounds, 8% body fat. I started lifting weights seriously (5-6x a week) about 1.5 years ago (was around 165 pounds at similar body fat when I started). My blood pressure was always normal (120/80) up until a year ago when it was 130/85. The doc didn’t worry about it because my readings had always been fine. In March, I had it taken again and it was 140/90.
I’m currently seeing doctors and getting different tests done to see what’s up (it was 140/90 again today). I took it every day for about a month when I was at college and it averaged to around 130ish/80ish. So that just proves that this isn’t white coat hypertension.
So, my question is, has anyone here noticed a RISE in blood pressure that coincided with an increase in weight lifting? The doctor I saw today said that he has no proof, and it’s purely anecdotal, but he’s observed people that have a similar case as mine (albeit not as young as me) in that they started weight lifting and the blood pressure went up with the weights.
I know that I’m physically fit, I ran cross-country for 4 years in high school and then the past 2 years in college. I’m not on the team anymore, but I currently run 8-10 miles a week, some more cardio-like, some HIIT, a little of everything. I was running 40 miles/week in February, so lack of aerobic/cardiovascular fitness is not the cause of the HBP. Back when I was running a lot (and trying to gain weight), I was eating 5k-6k calories a day, but I don’t think that should really affect things.
It may sound like I was overtraining (lifting 5-6x a week and running 40 miles), which I may have been, and I know that too much sympathetic stimulation can cause blood pressure to increase, but I cut back a lot for a few weeks and there was no significant change in my readings.
I had blood tests done, my cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. came back fine. Also had an ultrasound of my renal arteries, everything was fine there as well. The only hereditary association with high blood pressure is to my grandmother. Both of my parents are 110/70.
I’ve never done steroids, drank alcohol, smoked, done drugs, etc. The only supplements I take are fish oil and whey (I rarely take a multivitamin). I’ve played around with my diet a lot over the years, but I eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, whole grains, etc. Pretty much the only food I eat from a box is cereal, everything else is the way it was when it came off the bush/tree/animal/whatever. I don’t put salt on anything.
After talking with the doctor today I’m going to try to cut back sodium intake even more (sometimes I might eat popcorn, for example, which has around 900mg of sodium for a bag) to see if it helps - I don’t know if it will.
Does anyone have any ideas on this? Anyone experienced anything similar? I definitely don’t want to stop lifting. I’m willing to try whatever I need to to get this down. - the doctor also said that (once again anecdotal evidence, he said he has no studies to prove it) sometimes yoga can help lower BP. I want to exhaust all of my options before I even consider going on any type of medication for this. I don’t take any medication now and I’d like to keep it that way.