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June 29, 1970

Risks of Weight Lifting

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1970;212(13):2267. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170260063025

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To the Editor.—  The answers given by your two consultants cover the orthopedic aspects but fail to consider the cardiovascular problems. Weight lifting by a 22-year-old man with a blood pressure of 160/100 leaves something to be desired from the cardiovascular standpoint. I agree with the benefits your consultants mention for people who are, or wish to become, muscle men or athletes. However, the presence of a hypertension of 160/100 in someone who is presumably not a professional athlete raises an entirely different group of problems. Weight lifting is principally a static form of exercise and it has been clearly shown that static exercise raises the blood pressure and does little or nothing to benefit the heart and cardiovascular system in general. Therefore, anyone with a tendency to hypertension should refrain from weight lifting and other forms of static exercise and should consider a rhythmic exercise such as swimming or