T Nation

Training 50+ Y/O W/ Heart Trbl

Hi,

My Dad has been watching my recent weight lifting and is eager to get back into the gym after being absent for 20-odd years. The trouble is that in those years his health hasn’t been great and he was a constant smoker.

He had a heart attack 6 years ago, and has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. He quit smoking after his heart attack, although he “occasionally” has one or two - which I believe in practise means about one cigarrete a week. He had a endeoplasty surgery a few years ago and has stopped taking cholesterol medicine, against the doctor’s wishes.

His doctor has recommended he doesn’t do anything too stressful due to his heart condition, and at the moment he is doing around 10 minutes of cardio a day, along with around 50 situps and 50 press ups.

My question are:

*Would you recommend he take his exercise regime further?
*Should he be doing strength training?
*Do you know of anyone who has had a similar experience and has done resistance training successfully?
*What program do you recommend, if any?
*Are exercises that use many different muscles(squat, DL) worse for his heart than those which use fewer muscles?

Thanks in advance.

I don’t know if anyone is going to feel qualified to risk an answer.

Really, the only thing I could suggest would be to work on increasing cardiovascular fitness – with the cooperation of your Dad’s doctor.

Once the cardiovascular system is strong, maybe then the risk of a heart attack and death during excerise would be reduced. Your Dad’s condition may be such that it simply can’t be done.

Your father eventually has to make the call, but everyone has to understand the risks, what it might mean, and how best through nutrition and supplementation to try to avoid them.

Why doesn’t he consider just working towards cardiovascular health? Maybe if he gets there, in a year, he can consider being more aggressive?

Thanks vroom. I will inform him of this and help him work towards slowly building up his CV fitness.

km02

[quote]km02 wrote:
Hi,

My Dad has been watching my recent weight lifting and is eager to get back into the gym after being absent for 20-odd years. The trouble is that in those years his health hasn’t been great and he was a constant smoker.

He had a heart attack 6 years ago, and has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. He quit smoking after his heart attack, although he “occasionally” has one or two - which I believe in practise means about one cigarrete a week. He had a endeoplasty surgery a few years ago and has stopped taking cholesterol medicine, against the doctor’s wishes.

His doctor has recommended he doesn’t do anything too stressful due to his heart condition, and at the moment he is doing around 10 minutes of cardio a day, along with around 50 situps and 50 press ups.

My question are:

*Would you recommend he take his exercise regime further?
*Should he be doing strength training?
*Do you know of anyone who has had a similar experience and has done resistance training successfully?
*What program do you recommend, if any?
*Are exercises that use many different muscles(squat, DL) worse for his heart than those which use fewer muscles?

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

Hi, First thing, tell him to take his cholesterol meds pronto. He’s a fool not to. The chances of him dying from a massive heart attack are high.

How old is he? and is he just ignorant , a thick headed person, or what. THe bottom line being if he doesn’t address the underlying conditions which gave him the first heart attack, then its just a matter of time before he buys the farm.
Answer those questions first and i will proceed.

Incidently, in Feb of 2005 i had a quadruple by pass surgery. I had had a heart attack but didn’t know it, and yes i did workout with abandon. I knew that if i was going to live i would have to change and come to terms with my lipids.

I will continue when you respond and i will tell you want meds i am taking and what is good , although what works for one may not work for another. My problem essentially was high triglycerides coupled with low HDL( the good cholesterol). anyway i will wait for you.