T Nation

Training With Hypertension


I believe I have slight hypertension and would like to know if there is anyone out there with a similar problem as mine.

So far, this is the kind of training I follow. High intensity training 5 days a week, low - moderate reps (Squats, Bench, etc) Training sessions at 1 hour daily

This approach has worked well for me in terms of strength and muscle gains, but I believe it may not be healthy in the long run cos my BP tends to be elevated. I don’t wanna risk organ damage in the long term.

To be honest, I believe I may be overtained cos I have sleeping problems (wake up once every night) and end up feeling fatigued during the daytime.

However, in the event I do have high BP, what kind of exercises should I do and which ones to avoid, cos from what I understand, people with high BP should not train too intensely and also avoid exercise like squats and even bench press cos during heavy lifting, systemic blood pressure is increased from what is called the valsalva maneuver?

What should I do? I heard that one should so circuit style training at 60% of one rep max in order to avoid BP from rising too high? Wouldn’t my body shrink if I follow such an approach cos i am used to moderatele high intensity training?

I want to continue gaining muscle, but how am I suppose to gain if I cannot train heavy. Training heavy at moderate to low reps have worked for me so far…

Anyone with hypertension with the same problem?

Get your BP checked by a doc. It is VERY important to have it dealt with. If your doc. puts you on meds take them!
If the meds keep your BP under control, you should be able to train as you wish.

High BP is called the silent killer, for good reason.

Get sorted!


I’m no doctor, but If you have hypertension, get the meds first off the doctor so you can normalize it.

Then start lifting, training, eating properly, supplementing properly until you can take off the meds and have good blood pressure.

If you have trouble sleeping, and high blood pressure, think about getting checked for sleep apnea. But waking up once per night is generally not really “trouble sleeping.”

I am not sure whether the high blood pressures encountered during lifting are what the main problem is.

It is possible that since you have such high blood pressures during some lifts your heart muscle grows in size due to this, I suppose that if your heart is pumping against the 400 mm of mercury that has been seen during heavy squatting it could hypertrophy and this heart hypertrophy is a reason high blood pressure is bad.

More likely, I think that having high blood pressure, and your heart exposed to it all the time causes the hypertrophy and is def a must to get resolved. As far as any acute problems from lifting heavy, I am not aware of a problem there.