Is bodybuilding or muscle mass harmful to the heart?

There is a concern that bodybuilding or a large set of muscle mass negatively affects the heart. I am a certified personal trainer and part-time bodybuilder. My cholesterol and blood pressure are normal. Skeptics insist that the harmful effects of bodybuilding on the heart with excess muscle mass will make itself felt in the future.

I would like to understand how the idea came to these people that bodybuilding harms the heart, because they did not conduct any research to confirm this myth. The use of steroids, often found among bodybuilders, can negatively affect the heart. However, this article only applies to natural bodybuilders and other athletes who build muscle exclusively in a natural way.


  • 1 Are there studies showing that weight lifting is good for the heart?> 2 Who should not do regular weight lifting?
  • 3 Greater muscle mass does not lead to any of these risk conditions.
  • 4 Bodybuilding and a Healthy Heart - Video

Are there any studies showing that weight lifting is good for the heart? Yes there is!

A report published in the Journal of the American Heart Association said that weight lifting improves heart muscle. Studies conducted by author, Ph.D. Barry Franklin, state: “We now more clearly understand that weight lifting exercises can significantly weaken some of the factors that affect the risk of heart disease, including lipid and cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and obesity. glucose metabolism. ”

You might think: “Well, all this refers to weight lifting. But what about bodybuilding and muscle building? ”The minutes of the meeting of the American Heart Association Scientific Council, which discussed weight lifting, recommended the following: one series of exercises of 8-15 repetitions, including 8-10 different standard exercises, 2-3 times a week.

Natural bodybuilders will train a lot more than indicated above, especially with regard to the number of approaches. However, if you follow the recommendations of the ASA protocol at the most intense level, then the person (if he is genetically predisposed and adheres to a supportive diet) can become quite muscular. If a person chooses weight lifting, which makes the implementation of 8-15 repetitions of exercises difficult enough, then he does not intend to develop muscles, as if he was going to do this, choosing resistance exercises, which makes 8-15 repetitions almost impossible.

In addition, the rest time between exercise series, which is not set in the ASA report, plays an important role in muscular development. It does not matter how diligently a person adheres to this protocol, he will not become ridiculously large, although he can become quite muscular, enough to create a skeptical thought that all these muscles harm his heart.

Other studies show that weight lifting exercises help lower resting blood pressure (Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association). Lead author, Dr. George A. Kelly, believes the following: "Even if this decrease in blood pressure is not significant, it can lower the individual risk of developing heart disease and angina attacks."

Although the analysis of bodybuilding modes is not carried out within the framework of these studies, anyone can come to the conclusion that several steps of strength training on the way to the world of bodybuilding will not lead to heart damage. And why should they lead to this "> Who should not be engaged in the usual weight lifting?

Franklin believes that people with unstable angina pectoris, uncontrolled arrhythmia and uncontrolled blood pressure. However, those who criticize bodybuilding or excessive muscle mass believe that these activities are harmful to the hearts of healthy people or may become attacking over time.

According to the American Heart Association, the following risks exist for the development of heart disease: obesity, smoking, hypertension, high levels of “bad” cholesterol, hyperlipidemia (excess levels of blood fat), diabetes, constant mental stress, abuse of fatty foods, hereditary predisposition and ... . lack of physical activity.

Other risks of developing heart disease include a body mass index greater than 25, persistent elevated blood sugar levels (prediabetes), insomnia, sleep duration of 6 hours or less or 9 hours or more, and apnea syndrome (sudden stop breathing during sleep). Is a bodybuilder or a person with large muscle mass suitable for these signs?

Greater muscle mass does not lead to any of these risk conditions.

Men and women who work hard to increase muscle mass are very conscious about the issue of healthy eating. Although they think about cheating on food intake, the bulk of their diet remains correct, so all their food is more than refined, with significant restrictions on white sugar, white flour products, saturated fats, trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients.

Regarding the idea that the heart is deformed by body weight with large muscle mass, understand that the heart of such a person is well prepared as a result of bodybuilding, as well as heart exercises that accompany the entire bodybuilder lifestyle.

Bodybuilding and a Healthy Heart - Video