Diamond Dallas Page talks the benefits of altitude training and occlusion training for those who cannot lift heavy weight

In the latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, Mike O’Hearn welcomes back the legendary wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) to discuss the perennial debate in the fitness world: lifting light versus lifting heavy. This episode delves into the nuances of weightlifting and explores innovative training techniques that cater to different fitness goals and physical conditions.

Diamond Dallas Page returns in part two of his long form conversation with Mike O’Hearn. In the previous episode, DDP discussed the “dark side” of wrestling and how he used positivity to help make a difference (and even save lives) of fellow wrestlers struggling with addiction.

This week, Diamond Dallas Page focuses more on functional training tips and techniques – specifically for those over 50 that may struggle with lifting heavy due to deteriorating joints or previous injuries. For those who love to lift and value being strong, these alternative options can end up being paramount towards continuing the bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle despite setbacks. Let’s dive in.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mike O’Hearn (@mikeohearn)

The Great Debate: Light vs. Heavy Lifting

Mike O’Hearn kicks off the episode by addressing the ongoing controversy over lifting light versus lifting heavy. He argues that the debate often creates unnecessary confusion for both aspiring and amateur lifters. According to Mike, the concept of “lifting light” can be misleading. He emphasizes that all lifting should impose sufficient stress on the muscles to stimulate recovery, repair, and growth. Without this crucial stress, muscle development is not possible.

Mike acknowledges that “lifting light” is a relative term, typically meaning lifting lighter weights compared to hardcore heavy lifters. However, he believes that the discourse has misled some gym-goers into thinking that they can achieve significant results with minimal effort and stress. He stresses that regardless of the weight, the key is to challenge the muscles adequately.

Diamond Dallas Page’s Perspective

Diamond Dallas Page shares Mike’s concerns but also brings a unique perspective to the discussion. DDP highlights the importance of promoting training programs that help build muscle and strength while minimizing stress on injured areas or connective tissues, especially as we age. Drawing from his extensive wrestling career and the toll it took on his body, DDP emphasizes the need for adaptable workout strategies.

Innovative Training Techniques

Altitude Training

One of the standout tactics that DDP discusses is altitude training. This method involves using an oxygen mask to limit oxygen intake during workouts, simulating high-altitude conditions. DDP describes his intense training regimen known as “the Gauntlet,” which starts with a cold plunge, followed by incline backwards jogging at 6% oxygen. He then switches to regular breathing for ten minutes on a bike, and finishes with short sprints.

This approach has significantly reduced the pressure and stress on his knees, allowing him to achieve a fulfilling workout without pain. DDP also highlights the broader benefits of altitude training, such as improved focus, sharper mental acuity, and overall health enhancement.

Blood Occlusion Training

Diamond Dallas Page also introduces the concept of blood occlusion training, a technique that involves restricting blood flow to the muscles during exercise. This method, though not new, has been enhanced by DDP’s co-created technology called power cuffs. These cuffs are loosely fitted bands around the arms or legs, which can be tightened to the desired level using a dial.

Blood occlusion training works by disrupting blood flow to the working limbs, causing blood to pool in the muscles and inducing hypertrophy. This swelling triggers a cascade of processes leading to muscle growth and strengthening. DDP notes that this technique has given him a level of muscle hardness comparable to what he experienced during his steroid-using days.

The Benefits of Blood Occlusion Training

Diamond Dallas Page explains that the primary benefit of blood occlusion training is its ability to promote muscle growth with minimal weight. He often trains without any weight and still feels the effects as if he had done a traditional weightlifting session. This makes occlusion training an excellent option for those who need to avoid heavy lifting due to injuries or other limitations.

Furthermore, DDP clarifies that blood occlusion training does not have to replace traditional weightlifting. It can be used in conjunction with regular weightlifting routines, depending on the individual’s goals and physical condition. For DDP, this technique has significantly enhanced his overall workout, strength, health, and physique.

Bridging the Gap

The conversation between Mike O’Hearn and Diamond Dallas Page effectively bridges the gap between traditional and innovative training methods. While Mike underscores the importance of challenging the muscles to stimulate growth, DDP highlights the need for adaptable and less stressful workout techniques, especially for those dealing with injuries or aging bodies.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, this episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show provides valuable insights into the light vs. heavy lifting debate and introduces innovative training methods that can cater to a wide range of fitness enthusiasts. Whether you’re an aspiring lifter looking to challenge your muscles or someone seeking to maintain fitness while managing physical limitations, the strategies discussed by Mike and DDP offer a comprehensive approach to achieving your fitness goals.

By incorporating techniques like altitude training and blood occlusion training, individuals can tailor their workouts to their specific needs, ensuring both safety and effectiveness. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in optimizing their workout routines and understanding the science behind muscle growth and recovery.

You can watch the full episode above. And don’t forget to check back every week for new episodes of The Mike O’Hearn Show on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

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.