Heart Patient - Response from Eric


I'm sure you're inundated with questions and I know you're not a charity, but I was hoping you could answer a quick question.

I am a heart patient with prior history of a heart attack in 1993 and a cardiac arrest in 12/2000. I am doing the EAS challenge and am working hard.

The question is that obviously I can't push myself to the limit I used to be able to. So I can't fight that last rep for that extra added gain. Do you in your opinion,

think I can still make significant gains if I only push the envelope to say 90-95% instead of 100% and over?

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.


Adam, Thanks for the inquiry and congratulations on seeking to become your personal best!! There are multiple factors that dictate success in the pursuit of an improved physique/healthier lifestyle. Genetic predisposition, motivation and volitional effort, regulating the volume and frequency of workouts, nutritional profiling, hydration, sleep quality and tranquility, etc., are but a few examples of vital concerns.To address your specific question, I am assuming ,of course, that your cardiologist has given you the "green light" to proceed (with proper caution) with a properly designed exercise and dietary protocol.As has been stated before, your best effort is YOUR best effort regardless of any comparative foe. I often remark that a well developed plan, executed with 75-85% efficiency will far out-perform a poorly-designed plan executed with 100% effort and dedication! Suggestions for increasing intensity without using near-maximal weight would be to: 1. "Pre-exhaust" the target muscle with an isolation movement first, immediately followed by a compound movement, which will cause a necessary reduction in the amount of resistance used during the working set (i.e. dumbbell flies followed by dumbell press for pectorals). 2. Slow the movement-remove thrust and momentum as outside forces in muscular force production or:, 3.- Reduce the rest periods between sets to as little as 30-45 seconds. This will factor intensity in a different path, increase capillary support, and aid in mobilizing bodyfat stores.

Hope this has helped. Please continue to address any and all concerns with your physician/cardiology team.

As you may guess, there is a special place in my heart for all Body-for-Life competitors.

Wishing you great success in this and all of life's endeavors.

-Eric Shrieves