Resuming rowing after bypass surgery

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Resuming rowing after bypass surgery

Post by IkeHasson » October 3rd, 2017, 7:11 am

I'm 65 yo and had a triple bypass five weeks ago. Does anyone have any advice or experience on at what stage I could resume light training ?

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Re: Resuming rowing after bypass surgery

Post by Citroen » October 3rd, 2017, 12:44 pm

You should ask your cardiologist.

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Re: Resuming rowing after bypass surgery

Post by strider » October 11th, 2017, 4:25 pm

Your cardiologist will tell you to exercise ONLY as tolerated.
No chest pain, no shortness of breath.

You likely need to be able to walk strongly first, and see how you tolerate steps and stairs.
I first tried my Model A C2 at about 6 weeks post CABG. Being unable to pull faster than about 3:40 split time told me I was not ready.
I built up my capacity and heart rate capability over a few more months, and then resumed the erg more easily. I walked on a treadmill with and without a weight vest, and worked on step-ups with weights eventually. Then got back on the erg when I was stronger and had a better max heart rate. It took time, but I got there.

Dr. Richard Flanigan, a cardiologist and Masters Oarsman, personally suggested to me, via e-mail, if any difficulty, to use my nitro spray before a row, and after if needed. I never used it before. But a few times I did have some minor discomfort on the erg, and I did not hesitate to back off and use the nitro spray. And continued with my erg workout.

All this was great, as a year or two later, I was able to resume some basketball, and at 6 years, rowing on the water, and took up volleyball.
My max heart rate climbed those 6 years, going from about 100 a month after surgery, to over 180 playing basketball 6 years later.
I trained very carefully, used a heart rate monitor always.

I also eat an extreme heart healthy diet, with almost no fat, no salt. Even 1/4 of an avocado has given me 3 hours of strong chest pain.
I posted links to significant research I uncovered on WebMD, and they eventually posted a short article on my amazing recovery.
But left out details.

Now 12 years later, I had an actual small heart attack two weeks ago. But not while rowing.
I can still push the erg a bit, three weeks ago, cranking the split time down to 1:38. Careful on long pieces, my best is a mere 8:50 for 2K.
But my cardiologist said I would be dead within three years of surgery, so I am doing well, not pushing daisies.

Also, heart rate recovery is important. Safest, your heart rate should come down at least 12 beats the first minute after backing off, and 30 beats after 2 minutes. More is better, less is risky.

This is all from my own personal experience in my own recovery. The cardiologist said my heart rate should not get over 130.

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Re: Resuming rowing after bypass surgery

Post by grahamcawood » April 25th, 2018, 12:35 am

In 2015 I started getting the occasional feeling of weakness in my daily sculling outings. I decided to do erg sessions only, 30 minutes daily, to a similar perceived level of exhaustion. Best splits were 2.03, with near monthly jumps to about 2.15 (No! - I'm male). This would drop over the next few weeks. After 6 months of this I showed my doctor a graph of the splits. This led to 5* bypass surgery within a month. 9 partial blockages, and 2 complete! Perhaps due to inherited 'factor 5 leiden' , a clotting problem.
After 2 1/2 weeks I was back on the erg again, at 3 .05 split.Pulling to the knees only to reduce pull on the sternum for a few weeks. Over 4 months split dropped to 2.08. Best split to date was a recent 2.04 - inspired by the heroic action of James Shaw Jnr. in the waffle house attack.
I do 25 spm. 2 breaths per stroke, 1:1 in:out, relaxed bent back, layback at the catch, heels on 20mm blocks. I'm 70.
Thank you C2,and my 'B' erg!

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Re: Resuming rowing after bypass surgery

Post by sekitori » April 25th, 2018, 11:24 am

strider wrote:Your cardiologist will tell you to exercise ONLY as tolerated.
No chest pain, no shortness of breath.
Undoubtedly correct. But as Citroen has stated, those words should come directly from a cardiologist and not a post in a discussion group. As has often been mentioned, the source of specific medical advice should always be a qualified health professional. This forum, no matter how well intentioned contributors may be and no matter how well their personal experiences may relate to yours, is not the place to seek that advice.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with other people stating their success overcoming health problems in a forum like this. Their stories can be inspiring and the advice they contain may be valid, but they still can't begin to take the place of medical counseling regarding your personal situation.

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