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Old 01-25-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
Marek Mrva
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heart problems and Xfit

Hello
My fiance has moved to Canada for 8 months from january on. I persuaded her to try crossfit because she lives like 5 minutes walking from affiliate.
You can say that she is out of shape compared to crossfiters but she has done some exercising in the past.
The problem is that sometimes her heart starts to beat abnormally fast, like with twice the frequency. It may occur during exercise but also when she is idle. Sometimes it lasts for couple of minutes but sometimes even several hours. When it happens she can not do anything except sit and wait for it to go.
Doctor say it can be caused by some unobserved childhood heart disease/damage, but no serious treatment has been given to her. All the standard test reveal nothing out of ordinary . Often weeks pass without such incident and therefore it is not big burden.
She would really like to start crossfiting, but on her second time in box (first one was just free intro lecture with some intensive 10 minutes of burpees and running) her heart started dancing after some warm up rope jumping, not even a WOD.
We have observed that starting mechanism for such abnormal heartbeating are stress, exercise and unhealthy habits, but she is living quite healthy nowadays, so the first two remains afaik. We are working on ways to eliminate stress before workout (one of my ideas was a cold shower pre workout), but i am afraid that if she was to go to the box again, all the new people, unfamiliar place and previous bad experience would surely put her in very stressful state. I know her quite well in this matter.
Any advice you can give us would be very appreciated. If you know anyone who is crossfiting and had similar problems please let us know. I believe that increased cardiovascular endurance that crossfit brings would benefit her greatly but we are unsure how to start.
Thank you very much.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:39 PM   #2
Frank E Morel
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Re: heart problems and Xfit

Abnormal heart rate at any time rest or activity warrants a medical check up...
Sorry it's the doctor first then the crossfit class.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:46 AM   #3
Marek Mrva
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Re: heart problems and Xfit

Frank,
sorry if it was not made clear, she did have a check up but if failed to reveal anything out of ordinary. Doctor just gave her advice to live healthy lifestyle and exercise.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
Frank E Morel
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Re: heart problems and Xfit

Her "check up" involved wearing a recording monitor for 24 hours to capture abnormal activity. Rapid hr lasting " hours" is not normal.
If your car engine makes a funny noise and lose power and you go to a mechanic and tells you it's fine yet the noise still There , the loss of power still occurs.... Would you go to another mechanic for a different opinion or go back to the same guy? A
Sorry.. My answer is still the same. Get it checked out.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:47 PM   #5
Brandon Newell
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Re: heart problems and Xfit

Marek,

Your fiance is not alone! The same exact thing seems to affect me.

The quickened abnormal heart beat thing started happening in my teenage years (now 27). There are a few things I have noticed. It isn't neccessarily exercise induced. Instead it seems to be activated in situations where my body is under some physical stress and then gets "surprised" by something like an abnormal movement, quick powerful movement or a moment of awkward breathing. Movements that cause it most if I don't pay attention to my rythm etc. are stuff like double unders, accelarating at the start of a sprint or jumping. Dealing with this for 10 years I have noticed that the closer I am to peak metabolic conditioning the less it happens. When I maintain my conditioning I will often go 6-8 months without it occuring (and then it happens because of an awkward movement or something).

I have been crossfiting/hard physical training for the last 8 years and have learned to live with it. The better shape I'm in the less it happens. When it does happen I stop my workout immediately, wait 5 minutes and if it goes back to normal I continue if it lasts longer I just call it a day. It is scary at first, if you I try to "push through it" it feels like my muscles are getting no oxygen and my vision has started to dim before. Don't "push through it", just wait for it to stop or try again tomorrow.

I have been to the doctor with similar results. I have been hooked up to EKG's by the Air Force and even recieved a passing physical to attend special forces training (a pretty thorough physical that involves heart monitoring/exam). Doctors can't find anything wrong...but the abnormal/quikened beating has never happened while under exam. I believe I have a kind of short in the electrical signals my heart recieves from my brain that gets jump started when I experience a sudden/awkward/out of rythm movement. Take this info with a grain of salt; your fiance and I may be in different boats.

Overall, I am not worried by my condition. I have learned how to manage it and know that being in great shape almost makes it disappear. The only time it landed me in a bad situation was during the open water swim of a triathlon (about 400m into a 1600m swim). Since I was in great shape I was able to complete the swim using a slow breast stroke and deep rythmic breathing and never had the dimming vision effect and was able to finish (though much slower and it went away on the bike).

I guess I'm just trying to say that for [B]me[B] I am able to lead a very active life and workout hard and have never had any life threatening situations and have been repeatedly cleared by doctors. Though they were military doctors...

With that said, I am not a doctor and can not give advice as I do not know if we have the same condition. I do not want you to make any decisions based on my experiences, but maybe this can give you some insight you can bring up with the doctor. I would definetely get a thorough heart examine and clearance first.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:07 AM   #6
Marek Mrva
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Re: heart problems and Xfit

Thank you Brandon,

you information are very helpful and encouraging. It is great to hear experiences of somebody with similar problem who is well established in crossfit.

I am certain she will see a doctor as soon as she gets home, but that is some seven months to go.

If you will remember something more about your experiences, we will be very grateful if you post it here. As you said you may not have the same exact problem, but every bit of information is valuable.
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