Mike O’Hearn Answers: Is A Bodybuilding Lifestyle Bad For Your Heart & Blood Pressure?

Mike O’Hearn and Vlad Yudin debate about heart heath advice from doctors within the bodybuilding lifestyle.

Mike O’Hearn is a bodybuilder with an incredible physique. But he’s also a bodybuilder who focuses just as much on health and longevity as he does on his outward physique. It’s certainly possible to have a sculpted massive physique but be incredible healthy under the hood. O’Hearn understands that and has dedicated his life to overall health. That’s why we asked O’Hearn his thoughts on heart health and blood pressure for bodybuilders. In our latest GI Exclusive, Mike O’Hearn breaks down why he thinks heavy weightlifting and bodybuilding is ultimately good for your heart and blood pressure.

Mike O’Hearn has seemingly accomplished the impossible. He maintains a mass monster physique without the use of PEDs. It’s so incredible that many believe he is lying and secretly uses steroids. It’s a strong believed rumor that has persisted for nearly O’Hearn’s entire career.

Regardless, it’s clear O’Hearn has been consistent in his claims of being all natural. Not only that – O’Hearn has always promoted healthy lifestyle choices within the world of bodybuilding. It’s surprisingly possible to build an impressive massive physique with unhealthy habits. Mike O’Hearn wants to have his cake and eat it too. An incredible physique and incredible long term health.

But is that fully possible when carrying mass monster levels of muscle? We asked this question to Mike O’Hearn, specifically in regards to heart health and blood pressure. Vlad Yudin states that he had a conversation with a cardiologist claiming that heavy weightlifting and massive muscle is ultimately bad for your heart in the long term. The reasoning behind this is two fold. On one hand, you are still carrying a massive amount of weight on your body. This is harder for the heart to pump blood through. On the other hand, the heart can actually grow like a muscle. Heavy weightlifting can increase hearts size (this is ultimately a bad thing).

Watch our GI Exclusive segment with Mike O’Hearn above!

When asked about this, Mike O’Hearn had his own rebuttal. He recently visited a cardiologist for a routine check up. Not only is O’Hearn incredibly healthy for his age. He also discussed overall heart heath when it comes to heavy weightlifting. His conversation with a doctor revealed the opposite opinion. Lifting weights helps make the heart stronger. Mix that with a healthy diet and you avoid high blood pressure as well.

So what is the correct answer here? Two different doctors with two different opinions on bodybuilding and heart health. Mike O’Hearn chooses to then look at anecdotal evidence. O’Hearn looks back at pro bodybuilders from the golden era and what we know about their health now in their twilight years. According to O’Hearn, many of these older former bodybuilders are healthier and more able bodied than many people their age. This makes O’Hearn believe bodybuilding, when done correctly, is ultimately healthy for your heart.

Mike O’Hearn puts an important caveat on that statement. It’s very easy for a bodybuilder to abuse the techniques to make up an ultimately unhealthy lifestyle. Bodybuilders can eat crap to bulk up muscle. These “dirty” foods can lead to high blood pressure and ultimately heart problems. Heavy lifting can also go too far. Going hardcore each session in the short term does not look forward towards health in the long term.

O’Hearn also makes one more statement in regards to bodybuilding and heart health. Ultimately, there is a randomness to health as a whole. Some people smoke their whole lives but live to be 100. Some people are incredibly healthy-minded but die in their thirties. This doesn’t mean it’s not worth focusing on health – but it does mean that we shouldn’t accidentally assume coincidence is evidence of an actual statistical trend.

You can watch Mike O’Hearn go into full detail about bodybuilding, heart health, and blood pressure in our latest GI Exclusive interview above!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.