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Peter

Dr says Dean Mercer did too much endurance exercise

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So he may be right, but in essence it's just an opinion piece, where the doc gets more and larger pics of himself than Dean....... Not saying he's wrong. Just that as yet we don't have any definitivel evidence.

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I'd rather die at 47 having lived a life like Dean Mercer than look like that cardiologist.

Hopefully dean's heart attack wasn't like the 40 year old NFL and pro wrestlers having heart attacks

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I wonder if there will be a follow up article that says sitting on the sofa watching Strictly doing SFA contributed to somebody's heat attack?

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9 hours ago, Ruley said:

I'd rather die at 47 having lived a life like Dean Mercer than look like that cardiologist.

Hopefully dean's heart attack wasn't like the 40 year old NFL and pro wrestlers having heart attacks

You might change that opinion when you are 46. 

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It's like the ABC article about this the other day. The cardiologist was saying how he 'feels' about exercising 'too much'. No specific concerns, and no larger context of risk. The article would simply be used by many to justify sitting on the couch some more. 

At this point everyone has nothing more than conjecture regarding Mercer.

The bigger picture is that although there are some concerns that large volumes of endurance exercise may cause cardiac problems for a percentage of individuals , the overall life expectancy as a whole continues to go up the greater volume of endurance exercise (and exercise generally) is done. I'm not aware of any studies that even show a definitive levelling off as exercise volume continues to rise....

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10 hours ago, Ruley said:

I'd rather die at 47 having lived a life like Dean Mercer than look like that cardiologist.

Hopefully dean's heart attack wasn't like the 40 year old NFL and pro wrestlers having heart attacks

Happiness in life shouldn't be determined by how u look though?

 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, garf said:

It's like the ABC article about this the other day. The cardiologist was saying how he 'feels' about exercising 'too much'. No specific concerns, and no larger context of risk. The article would simply be used by many to justify sitting on the couch some more. 

At this point everyone has nothing more than conjecture regarding Mercer.

The bigger picture is that although there are some concerns that large volumes of endurance exercise may cause cardiac problems for a percentage of individuals , the overall life expectancy as a whole continues to go up the greater volume of endurance exercise (and exercise generally) is done. I'm not aware of any studies that even show a definitive levelling off as exercise volume continues to rise....

Correct

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36 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

Why not live to 105 like Keith is going to?

I have a theory. I think 'Keef' is the Highlander.

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Seems when someone dies they come up with a lifestyle reason for dying.  

A smoker dies at 50 it is cause of smoking yet others die at 95

An endurance athlete dies and exercise is to blame yet so many endurance athletes still going.  

Doctors are sometimes they worst people to judge things.  They administer drugs to people when they don't really need them.  Has a doctor ever owned up and said their negligence killed someone?  

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Well everyone does usually die for a reason. 

And someone mentioned an autopsy. 

It was done. Dean had a heart attack. 

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12 hours ago, Blacky said:

i would be waiting for the autopsy before shooting my mouth off. 

They have. Dean had a heart attack. 

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And yet as a cardiac athlete (3 x open heart) my cardiologists are pumped that I have trained and competed in endurance events my entire life!!

 

I'm betting Dr Sharpe and Paleo Pete are good mates.

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I think most would agree exercise is good for you - the question is how much (and at what level) is too much?

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It doesn't take a dr to know taking your heart to its max daily isn't good. 

Im interested to see how all this HIIT exercise ends. 

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17 minutes ago, trinube said:

I think most would agree exercise is good for you - the question is how much (and at what level) is too much?

Exercise is good for you.  Entering IM races on stuff all training & being over weight is the bit that's not good for you. Now I'm older & a little wiser, I worry about the stress of racing IM under done puts on your body. I won't be doing it again. 

7 minutes ago, Peter said:

It doesn't take a dr to know taking your heart to its max daily isn't good. 

Im interested to see how all this HIIT exercise ends. 

Not many endurance athletes would be taking their HR anywhere near their max on a daily basis.  

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1 hour ago, trinube said:

I think most would agree exercise is good for you - the question is how much (and at what level) is too much?

without doubt this is it.   will always be outliers but when i see what the state of old athletes and their hearts it is fairly obvious if you have an underlying condition, endurance sport will find it.  

I also look at the people that have over trained for years in the area I live in and very few look good for their age. Again, could just be a genetics to look old for their age but many look 10 years older than they should.

AP is n=1.... he looks great.

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'There's a thing called athlete's heart where you get marked thickening of the muscle because the heart has been working harder so much and that can lead to rhythm disturbances.'

I got this.  The bloke who did the echocariogram said it was nothing to worry about?
 
Since I've reduced my aerobic training volume by about 70%, the symptoms have all but disappeared.

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19 minutes ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

'There's a thing called athlete's heart where you get marked thickening of the muscle because the heart has been working harder so much and that can lead to rhythm disturbances.'

I got this.  The bloke who did the echocariogram said it was nothing to worry about?
 
Since I've reduced my aerobic training volume by about 70%, the symptoms have all but disappeared.

yes, the heart is a muscle.   if all our muscles can strain, snap, pop, the heart can too.   The more you use, the more opportunity it has to go pop.

Edited by Oompa Loompa

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Just got news that Ryan Bourke a triathlete and triathlon coach at i4 coaching passed away last night from a heart attack. 

Edited by Fitness Buddy

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57 minutes ago, Oompa Loompa said:

yes, the heart is a muscle.   if all our muscles can strain, snap, pop, the heart can too.   The more you use, the more opportunity it has to go pop.

The heart also has an electrical system which can stuff up. Most of these sudden deaths in seemingly fit and healthy people will be from rhythm disturbances.

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2 hours ago, Oompa Loompa said:

yes, the heart is a muscle.   if all our muscles can strain, snap, pop, the heart can too.   The more you use, the more opportunity it has to go pop.

I've found that when you do have to do something, a muscle is more likely to strain, snap, pop, if it has a history of not doing much.

 

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5 hours ago, Peter said:

It doesn't take a dr to know taking your heart to its max daily isn't good. 

Im interested to see how all this HIIT exercise ends. 

Who would take their heart to the max every day ? 

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11 hours ago, Blacky said:

Who would take their heart to the max every day ? 

People that do HIIT training or Boxing. 

Spin classes. 

Lots of people. 

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Measured statistically, I am sure the numbers of people whose life has been extended due to exercise is far greater than those whose life has been shortened. And the health benefits far outweigh the risks. This is the message Dr (Prof?) Andre Le Gerche passes consistently.

Unfortunately a high-profile - and rare - incident like Dean Mercer gives (more) fuel to the naysayers...and the media love reporting that!!

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10 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

I have done 26 Ironmans....I am 50...... I could today immediately stop due to fear of heart issues......and tomorrow I could be hit by a car and die..... I think I know what I'll be doing. Life is full of chances...I'll take a chance on my next Ironman :)

I have to agree with this path B) I believe if there is a "secret" it's to back your endurance exercise program with the best nutrition, including supplementation. After all we're asking our bodies for extra, so we need to give them extra. Remember "old trucks need a lot of maintenance"

 

27 minutes ago, CEM said:

Measured statistically, I am sure the numbers of people whose life has been extended due to exercise is far greater than those whose life has been shortened. And the health benefits far outweigh the risks. This is the message Dr (Prof?) Andre Le Gerche passes consistently.

Unfortunately a high-profile - and rare - incident like Dean Mercer gives (more) fuel to the naysayers...and the media love reporting that!!

See there good old fashioned common sense posted on Transitions - at the end of the day this is just a journalist making a headline out of an unfortunate, very rare occurrence, we're all sharing it and talking about it so the journalist has ticked all the necessary boxes :huh:   

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Sometimes bad shit happens to good people. It sucks, but it does.

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Exercise like most other things is best in moderation. To be competitive in any sport, moderation goes out the window. Endurance training carries risk... the older you are the greater the risk becomes. If you have any concerns, get a heart scan and find out your calcium score. If your results are low or normal risk, carry on your merry way. If you are moderate to high risk, a rethink maybe in order!

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2 hours ago, Chookman said:

Exercise like most other things is best in moderation. To be competitive in any sport, moderation goes out the window. Endurance training carries risk... the older you are the greater the risk becomes. If you have any concerns, get a heart scan and find out your calcium score. If your results are low or normal risk, carry on your merry way. If you are moderate to high risk, a rethink maybe in order!

Had one 12 months ago due to a shocking family history. I think it was $200 out of pocket because it's not covered by Medicare. Got a surprisingly good score. Pretty cheap peace of mind.

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4 hours ago, Chookman said:

If you have any concerns, get a heart scan and find out your calcium score. If your results are low or normal risk, carry on your merry way. If you are moderate to high risk, a rethink maybe in order!

There is evidence that a high score in highly trained athletes is not necessarily that bad - The calcium deposits in the arteries are denser and less likely to break off...

Read this the other day...

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12 hours ago, CEM said:

Measured statistically, I am sure the numbers of people whose life has been extended due to exercise is far greater than those whose life has been shortened. And the health benefits far outweigh the risks. This is the message Dr (Prof?) Andre Le Gerche passes consistently.

Unfortunately a high-profile - and rare - incident like Dean Mercer gives (more) fuel to the naysayers...and the media love reporting that!!

I think this is a bit of an over-simplifation to classify 'exercise' so broadly. 

With the growing number of ultra-endurance athletes suffering from all kinds of heart problems, surely too much of some things (including as Dr Ferrari says, orange juice) is not good for you. 

Despite the call that maxing out the heart rate is not good for you, there seems to be a growing body of evidence that HIIT is 'healthier' or at least 'safer' than endurance. 

Just look at all the deaths and heart problems from triathletes. I could name a dozen off the top of my head and the list seems to be growing. Add in deaths on the bike and you could say Ironman triathlons were a net negative for health. 

Personally I think it's the inflammation from sugars and grains that causes the blocking of arteries that causes the blocked arteries that cause heart attacks and the theory has always been to have lots of carbs to fuel your efforts. 

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"Just look at all the deaths and heart problems from triathletes. I could name a dozen off the top of my head and the list seems to be growing. Add in deaths on the bike and you could say Ironman triathlons were a net negative for health. "

Your anecdote does not equal data. Have you considered that in the context of death and disease in the broader population?

The list of people I knew who are dead (or have heart problems) grows with each year too. It has nothing to do with triathlon. 

The data says that the net effect of exercise is a net benefit even when including the risks of being hit by a car while running or cycling. Or the possibility of a cardiac event.

The simple fact that these things are big news is because they are unexpected/ unusual. 

Edited by garf

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13 hours ago, AP said:

I have to agree with this path B) I believe if there is a "secret" it's to back your endurance exercise program with the best nutrition, including supplementation. After all we're asking our bodies for extra, so we need to give them extra. Remember "old trucks need a lot of maintenance"

AP....... and I forgot to add.........rest and recovery are also important.

I love doing Ironman and I plan on doing it for a long time (touch wood)...... that means I have to be smart about what I eat and do, how I train and how I recover......it also means how often we race and the breaks I have in between....... I like to take it easy over winter so as to let the body recover......hope that means the heart too!!!!!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, garf said:

 

Your anecdote does not equal data. Have you considered that in the context of death and disease in the broader population?

The list of people I knew who are dead (or have heart problems) grows with each year too. It has nothing verifiable to do with triathlon.

The data says that the net effect of exercise is a net benefit even when including the risks of being hit by a car while running or cycling. Or the possibility of a cardiac event.

The simple fact that these things are big news is because they are unexpected/ unusual. 

The plural of anecdote is data. And all the people on this forum have bought in to the long held belief that exercise will protect us against heart disease. So how do we explain this proliferation of heart issues amongst our own? If 'exercise is good' is all we need to know how do we reconcile Craig Purdah doing 7 Its in 7 days then dying within 6 months or super fit Tri Coach Ryan Burke dying from a heart attack in his 30's or 'Australia's fittest 50 year old John Hill almost dying from a heart attack the day before his 20+ something ironman.  We don't take it into account at all. We dismiss it as irrelevant and just a coincidence. It's called cognitive dissonance. 

I'll say it again if the 'healthiest' of us are dying from heart attacks, maybe we need a major re-think in what we currently understand as being 'healthy'. 

 

 

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To add. The article specifically mentions Lisa Curry-Kenny requiring an AICD "after encountering problems as an endurance kayaker".

Elsewhere this is specifically mentioned as being a consequence of a viral infection (ie . viral cardiomyopathy).  This has long been a recognised problem and is known to be one of the underlying causes for several endurance athletes that now have IPPMs/AICDs. 

And this is where some of the issues lie for committed endurance athletes...they don't want to rest when they are unwell, because they might lose fitness. 

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3 minutes ago, Niseko said:

The plural of anecdote is data.

No, it's not. And never has been

But , you are right in that there must be some 'upper limit' that is safe for most. Clearly that is going to vary from person to person.

The current state of the evidence appears to support that the current recommendations for exercise are the bare minimum to aim for and there are great benefits to doing much more when looking  overall (not just at cardiac risk)

Edited by garf

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7 minutes ago, garf said:

No, it's not. And never has been

But , you are right in that there must be some 'upper limit' that is safe for most. Clearly that is going to vary from person to person.

The current state of the evidence appears to support that the current recommendations for exercise are the bare minimum to aim for and there are great benefits to doing much more when looking  overall (not just at cardiac risk)

So you're putting your chips in the  'more exercise is healthier' box. Then how do you explain the proliferation of heart attacks in endurance athletes including Dean Mercer?

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One person dies in Australia from a heart attack every 26 minutes. It's not just althletes. I have not seen any data to show althletes are dying at a faster rate. 

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8Heart is a muscle, it gets bigger and stronger with aerobic exercise. Mitch Anderson was in The Sun a few months back story about ultrasound testing and some study (Baker Institute?) and how his heart was near 3X average size.

I don't think one cardiologist views are necessarily representative, not sure there is even a consensus amongst cardiologists.

 

Just a few years back Andre Le Gerche cardiologist and (former?) endurance athlete gave a talk at St Vincents hospital about heart problems and endurance athletes - elite athletes  if I remember, or at least those who train 20ish hours a week, and he certainly made the point, my paraphrasing, that for nearly everyone  endurance exercise is basically good, but the really high end is perhaps where it might become questionable, or with predispositions.

Way back in the 80s there was a book "The Exercise Myth" written by a cardiologist challenging the benefits of exercise. This quote from someone at goodreads about the book

Quote

The author shows, for example, that marathon runners do not have an immunity to atherosclerosis (see page 112). He sites Dr. Virmani, who studied marathoner autopsies, and says that he "found that severe coronary atherosclerosis is the most common cause of death in marathon runners".

 

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3 hours ago, Niseko said:

Personally I think it's the inflammation from sugars and grains that causes the blocking of arteries that causes the blocked arteries that cause heart attacks and the theory has always been to have lots of carbs to fuel your efforts. 

Yes, interesting, I have trained with two of the better old locals at IM and they are very old school in their nutrition and race day feeding.  Watched them say a very well known nutitionslist was clueless at an event a few years ago attended by about 50 people. These two don't seem to have the heart issues - n=2 though. 

Mind you though, sucking on gels, bars and sugars is easy and addictive. 

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