heart size

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by FatTire, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. FatTire

    FatTire Orange Belt

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    not sure if this is the right forum for this, or if anyone will be interested, but, here goes...

    friend and i were having a discussion about a mutual friend, we can call them friend A and Friend B respectively. friend B used to be morbidly obese, over the last four years, hes gotten into competetive cycling, and lately hes gotten quite good. hes lost 250 pounds, more or less. so friend A has a theory. he thinks friend B is doing so well in bike racing becuase when he was fat, his heart had to work extra hard, and now, its a bigger muscle than normal for a person of friend Bs new size. any way that theory has some validity to it?
     
  2. Revok

    Revok Brown Belt

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    I always wondered that. Same principle as if you smoke - it makes your lungs less efficient, so does that mean you have better anaerobic capacity?

    Either way I'm not about to become a 400lb nicotine addict to improve my gas.
     
  3. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    I have wondered something similar but my scenario was two people, one a fat untrained guy, the other a similar weight but very muscular, low bf but has never done any conditioning work before but instead lifts heavy weights.

    Who would after a year of training have the better cardio ability.
    I would personally lean towards the fat guy should he have some mental will power to keep at it (because effectively he is untrained while the other guy is trained so his body will try and retain those abilities).
     
  4. Standard

    Standard Too dumb to learn, too stubborn to quit

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    I think asking if there is an overall improvement to the cardio system may be a better way to phrase the question, an enlarged heart can kill you.
     
  5. zop

    zop <img src="http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/7201/

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    I believe your theory is false. The real question to ask is if the change in heart capacity required for cycling is so great that an equivalent amount is achievable with a large body.

    Well lets look at someone who is fat. The heart works a lot more to keep muscle supplied than fat, everyone knows this. So I'm willing to posit that a large change in fat doesn't really correlate to a large change in heart capacity.
     
  6. FatTire

    FatTire Orange Belt

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    interesting comments, thank you. i tend to agree that its the wrong question to ask, standard, and zop, what you are saying also makes reasonable sense. on the spot i just couldnt come up with anything to counter what my friend was saying about hugely fat = bigger heart. i knew it wasnt correct, but i couldnt point to why it was inccorrect.
     
  7. 1mmort4l

    1mmort4l Guest

    Interesting question, and I too have wondered similar things.
    Although, to clarify on your initial question..
    The Heart isn't actually a muscle to my understanding. It is an Organ, so therefore extra work won't necissarilly make it larger and more effective.
    Using that logic, wouldn't a high level of sexual activity make the old fella down stairs substantially larger with the extra workload?
     
  8. FatTire

    FatTire Orange Belt

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    i like this reasoning, sounds correct.


    Using that logic, wouldn't a high level of sexual activity make the old fella down stairs substantially larger with the extra workload?[/QUOTE]

    well, thats what i tell my wife :icon_chee
     
  9. ciscokid1024

    ciscokid1024 Purple Belt

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    From talking with my heart doctor ( I have high blood pressure) the heart is a muscle, but it is in a constrained space so once it gets to a certain size it starts to get thicker.
    Because I have high blood pressure the walls of my heart began to thicken. This can be a problem at a certain thickness because it begins to constrict blood flow.
    My doctor put me on medication and after a year he did another sonogram and said my heart walls are thinned so I am not in danger.
    So, I thinking being fat (which I am) poses more danger than benefit even if it does make your heart "bigger."
     
  10. bluethree

    bluethree Banned Banned

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    Actually, the heart can enlarge if the arteries are cloged since the heart is like any other muscle: it will increase in size if there is resistance. However, this is not a good thing since having an enlarged heart due to hypertrophy will impede blood flow, make the heart stiff and have irregular patterns.

    Think about it this way, your heart must continually beat therefore it is like a long distance runner. What do long distance runners look like? They are long and thin, that is what your heart should be like.
     
  11. zop

    zop <img src="http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/7201/

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    The heart is a muscle. Ever heard of cardiac muscle?

    Just because something is an organ does not mean it's not made out of muscle.
     
  12. 1mmort4l

    1mmort4l Guest

    Hmmmmm, this is true Zop. TBH, I wasn't 100% sure about what i wrote.
    I just assumed, that It's an organ, that's it.
     
  13. Shabba Ranks

    Shabba Ranks Orange Belt

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    I'm not sure whether the hearts chambers actually increase in volume, but I have read in numerous biology books that training can multiply your beatvolume by about 1.5x compared to the average male.
    (Not sure whether the word "beatvolume" actually exists but directly translated from swedish it means the amount of blood pumped out per beat)
     
  14. zop

    zop <img src="http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/7201/

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    Your talking about stroke volume. Lot's of factors can increase it, the chambers don't actually increase in szie (maybe a little, but not significantly) I think the main factor is probably heart rate, TPR, and such.
     
  15. T.J.T

    T.J.T Green Belt

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    I have to agree with the guy with the high blood pressure, i was doign some reading on the heart and when they showed a enlarged heart and a normal heart it was the thickness of the heart walls that changed.

    I dont know if the diagrams were to scale, but it was something i thought i would toss into this thread, im not a expert but its just my 2 cents.
     
  16. Dan's Knuckles

    Dan's Knuckles Blue Belt

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    I figure this would be a good thread to return to the boards with since I can answer this question accurately.

    The heart, as a muscle does respond to exercise by hypertrophying. Exerecise causes the ventricular walls to thicken with muscle, and the ventricles themselves to enlarge slightly. If someone was morbidly obese, chances are their heart wasn't hypertrophying in a positive way, it was most likely decreasing in ventricular wall size or increasing ventricular cavities without the concurrent increase in muscle.
    As a person rarely becomes morbidly obese with regular physical exercise the hard work done by his heart every day is by beating faster weaker beats, as opposed to fewer stronger beats.

    So no, being a big fatass won't cause you to be able to have better cardio when you get in shape if you don't get in shape with physical exercise.

    If you compare a 250lb fatass who does not exercise and a 250lb guy with a bodybuilder build who never does cardio, the bodybuilder will still have better cardio, all other factors being equal, because he still has more lean muscle mass to ****bolize oxygen with.

    adendum;
    typically an increase in ventricular cavity is pathologic- it means you are sliding down the slippery slope to Chronic Heart Failure, and you stroke volume will decrease. An athletes heart enlarges and the stroke volume increases, which is why they have low heart rates; their heart can pump in one pump sometimes 3 times what the average persons heart can pump in one pump.
     
  17. FatTire

    FatTire Orange Belt

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    thank you for that reply, very well thought an out and explained using facts. i think thats the end of this thread ;-)
     
  18. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Black Belt

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    Excellent answer, Dan. I've been wondering where you went.
     
  19. spirez

    spirez Purple Belt

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    why is **** censored?

    M E T A
     
  20. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Black Belt

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    There was a hacker ****** a while back that used meta.
     

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