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  1. #1
    Coming Up The Ranks Ridgeracer's Avatar
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    Default How does your heart get stronger?

    I was thinking about cardio the other day and it got me thinking...how does a heart get stronger?

    The heart is a muscle. We know that our other muscles tear (with use) and then the scar tissue that is built during recovery increase muscle size and thus strength. SO when cardio excercise is performed does that mean that your heart is tearing in some fashion?

    And would taking extra protein on cardio days help improve your results as it does when you work your other muscle groups?

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    Axe murderer fatboyjay's Avatar
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    I'm just repeating what I've read so no accountability here, but I've read that HIIT, and tabata circuit type of training increases the heart and lungs ability to work efficiently. I'd have to go back but there is a way to measure the oxygen in your blood, I think it's called your v02 levels. And the intermittent action:rest of these workout does the trick.
    Long distance cardio has a much lower effect of this v02 level and causes atrophy after an hour or so.
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    Lots of sex! That's what I do and my heart is great and I'm healthy as fuk!! lol
    So you say you dont listin to the "big guy at the gym anymore" Instead you read articles and studys and go of what some science study on the internet says. Hows that working for ya? Big guy still big you still small...
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    Squattatron Squatter's Avatar
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    Well, I'm no Heart Surgeon, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. So here is my take:

    A muscle can get stronger without getting bigger. It is possible for the heart to grow bigger, which you don't want. If it grows to big, your days are severley numbered. An enlarged heart is pretty much a death sentence.

    You do want your Heart to be efficient. For example, a really fit person's average resting heart rate will be around 45-55 BPM. An out of shape person's will likely be around 80-100. As you can see, if you are fit, your heart is working alot less, yet doing the same work.

    The only way I know of to get the heart in shape is to do cardio regularly, and of course to have a healthy diet.
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    Seasoned M&S Veteran AToE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridgeracer View Post

    And would taking extra protein on cardio days help improve your results as it does when you work your other muscle groups?
    Building muscles happens when you're not-lifting, not when you are-lifting, you should be getting whatever amount of protein you need every day, not trying to target the days that you're lifting - at least I've never heard or read anything that would support the idea that you need more protein on lifting days.

    Heart is muscle so it definitely needs protein, but it's a very different kind of muscle than skeletal muscle. I have no idea if the muscle fibres in the heart are tearing and regrowing or not, but they definitely benefit from cardio.

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    M&S Elite Member zach90's Avatar
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    im pretty sure what happens is that the heart gets more efficient at moving more blood through your body. this means your body gets the same amount of oxygen if not more with fewer beats of the heart.
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    Coming Up The Ranks Ridgeracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AToE View Post
    Building muscles happens when you're not-lifting, not when you are-lifting, you should be getting whatever amount of protein you need every day, not trying to target the days that you're lifting - at least I've never heard or read anything that would support the idea that you need more protein on lifting days.
    I suppose I should have phrased that differently. The way I understand it, ideally you should get protein (through food or post-workout shake) within 30mins or so after lifting weights. Was curious if the same rule applied to cardio.

    Quote Originally Posted by AToE View Post
    Heart is muscle so it definitely needs protein, but it's a very different kind of muscle than skeletal muscle. I have no idea if the muscle fibres in the heart are tearing and regrowing or not, but they definitely benefit from cardio.
    Very true, there are 3 different types of muscle: skeletal muscle (Biceps/quads/etc.), smooth muscle (intestines), and cardiac muscle (heart). The heart has it's own catagory. I know cardio is the way to go and that knowing why things work won't neccessarily make a difference in results. However I was just curious about the theory behind the heart is all.

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    Just joined M&S Nathan1337's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridgeracer View Post
    I was thinking about cardio the other day and it got me thinking...how does a heart get stronger?

    The heart is a muscle. We know that our other muscles tear (with use) and then the scar tissue that is built during recovery increase muscle size and thus strength. SO when cardio excercise is performed does that mean that your heart is tearing in some fashion?

    And would taking extra protein on cardio days help improve your results as it does when you work your other muscle groups?
    The heart is a special type of muscle also known as cardiac muscle, it doesn't "tear" like other mucle nor does it grow. But from what I've learnt is the left ventricle after doing so long of cardio expands, allowing it to pump a larger amount of blood without needing to beat faster and that's why very fit athletes who mainly do cardio E.g runners have a lower standard heart rate because there heart can pump more blood with less beats

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    E-Cowboy 2cents madjinx's Avatar
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    simply put, the heart gets stronger in 2 ways, aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise.

    aerobic exercise increases the size of the left ventricle, allowing more blood to fill up and be pumped out. this is why cardio oriented athletes have such low resting heart rates, because their heart pumps more blood per pump from the increased size of the chamber.

    anaerobic exercise increases myocardial and ventricle wall thickness. this increases your ejection fraction (think of it as the amount of blood from the left ventricle that goes out, athlete have more that goes out per pump from contraction).

    so basically aerobic=increased chamber size (holds more) / anaerobic=increased amount pumped from chamber (more leaves).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatter View Post
    Well, I'm no Heart Surgeon, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
    Ha!

  11. #11
    M&S Senior Member walkerj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjinx View Post
    simply put, the heart gets stronger in 2 ways, aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise.

    aerobic exercise increases the size of the left ventricle, allowing more blood to fill up and be pumped out. this is why cardio oriented athletes have such low resting heart rates, because their heart pumps more blood per pump from the increased size of the chamber.

    anaerobic exercise increases myocardial and ventricle wall thickness. this increases your ejection fraction (think of it as the amount of blood from the left ventricle that goes out, athlete have more that goes out per pump from contraction).

    so basically aerobic=increased chamber size (holds more) / anaerobic=increased amount pumped from chamber (more leaves).
    This

    and V02 max is the maximum oxygen it can hold i believe more oxygen = more in the aerobic = muscles cope better due to more oxy in the blood?

    Im no scientist but it makes sense to me anyway.

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    Coming Up The Ranks Ridgeracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madjinx View Post
    simply put, the heart gets stronger in 2 ways, aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise.

    aerobic exercise increases the size of the left ventricle, allowing more blood to fill up and be pumped out. this is why cardio oriented athletes have such low resting heart rates, because their heart pumps more blood per pump from the increased size of the chamber.

    anaerobic exercise increases myocardial and ventricle wall thickness. this increases your ejection fraction (think of it as the amount of blood from the left ventricle that goes out, athlete have more that goes out per pump from contraction).

    so basically aerobic=increased chamber size (holds more) / anaerobic=increased amount pumped from chamber (more leaves).
    Awesome. Thanks for the info guys!

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    Just joined M&S JaneHolliday's Avatar
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    Great question, great answers. Thank you all.

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    Seasoned M&S Veteran Spartigus's Avatar
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    Your heart has a few things you need to talk about

    Stroke Volume - This is how much blood it pumps per beat. Depending on the cardio you do, you can make this increase.
    Beats per minute - This is how many pumps your heart does in a minute. The bigger your stroke volume, the less your heart has to beat, therefore the less work it needs to do.

    Less beats per minute is your heart getting stronger.

    Your heart does undergo left ventricle hypertrophy, the left ventricle is where the oxygenated blood is stored before it pumps to your body . It can get thicker walls but not a bigger area, it can also get a bigger area which increases stroke volume and thus heart fitness.

    EDIT:
    I did butcher and simply the science as thats the extent of my knowledge, so accept it for what it is
    Last edited by Spartigus; 11-07-2012 at 06:23 PM.
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    Seasoned M&S Veteran Spartigus's Avatar
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    You also have something caled a-vod (arterial venous oxygen difference), this refers to the difference between how much oxygen is in your blood after it passes through your body. O how well your muscles accept oxygen. The more cardio you do, the better you get at absorbing oxygen.

    EDIT:
    I did butcher and simply the science as thats the extent of my knowledge, so accept it for what it is
    Last edited by Spartigus; 11-07-2012 at 06:23 PM.
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  16. #16
    Frequent Poster PGio's Avatar
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    As the oxygen demands for your body increase, your heart and lungs must work harder to supply the body with oxygen-rich blood. As they adjust to these demands, the stroke volume (amount of blood pumped out of the heart) increases, leading to a lower resting heart rate, since less contractions are needed to supply the body with blood.

    The heart and lungs work in tandem, you cannot consider one without the other. That being said, does the heart undergo actual hypertrophy, and does protein aid in this hypertrophy? I do not know the answer to that, but I can tell you that cardiac muscle is different from skeletal muscle with some similarities. Pick a doctor's brain if you come across one.

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    E-Cowboy 2cents madjinx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGio View Post
    That being said, does the heart undergo actual hypertrophy, and does protein aid in this hypertrophy?
    yes, it does.
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