Case Study-Rose Bagley
Rose Bagley and her husband Josh joined TPS approximately three years ago, where they began personal training together a few nights a week with Steve DiLello. Josh was getting ready for one of the U.S. Army’s physical ability tests and needed to be in top shape going in. Rose was looking to get in better shape and just enjoyed training.
When we met to discuss the type of training program I would implement for Josh, I made the mistake of suggesting to Rose that I modify some of the training since she wasn’t going through the test. This was a big mistake on my behalf as I was greeted with a vehement reply of “Oh No, I can handle whatever he can”. It was at this point when I realized Rose was a little nuts considering the intensity of this type of program. Needless to say Josh and Rose worked side by side and not once did she ever quit during a session. I threw every circuit and medley I could at her (after an appropriate buildup in training intensity and volume) and every time I asked if she needed to sit out or extend the rest period her reply would be “No” and would go right into it. Her hard work combined with a whole lot of stubbornness ended up paying off in a way that can only be described as life saving.
A little over a year ago Josh received word that he would be deployed to Iraq for a period of 400 days. He was set to leave sometime late in May 2009. This was upsetting news, knowing that Josh was heading overseas into a dangerous environment, so I could only imagine how horrified Rose was feeling when she found out. In the time leading up to Josh’s deployment they both continued to train and both were in exceptional shape. Rose was able to handle whatever was programmed in the workout and keep right alongside with Josh. Her diet was clean her health was perfect and she seemed to be handling the news of Josh leaving with a positive attitude. Life at this time for Josh and Rose seemed business as usual, laugh a lot and enjoy one another’s company.
A few days (and by few I literally mean two) after Josh’s deployment Rose was woken up by a tight feeling in her chest and pain between her shoulder blades. Figuring it was nervous tension and stress she got up at 2:30 in the morning and went out for a jog. After about ten minutes into her jog the pain had not subsided and she was becoming short of breath, so Rose walked home. Still thinking her problem was just nervous tension she began doing jumping jacks when pain began shooting down both her arms. It was at this moment that Rose realized nervous tension wasn’t causing her pain, a heart attack was.
She was admitted to the hospital where doctors inserted a stent to open up the blocked artery. When Rose spoke to the doctor who performed the stent he told her how baffled he was by her case. He went through every artery checking for plaque but found nothing. They were clean as a whistle. He seemed to think the stress Rose endured by seeing Josh leave caused her blood to become so viscous that the very little plaque she did have clumped together quickly and clogged her artery. He also believed the superior shape she was in helped prevent any scarring or damage to the heart. Fast forward one year later to a routine check-up and Roses’ cardiologist happily reported there was zero scarring from the incident and that she has a perfectly healthy heart.
Rose was able to avoid serious complications because she kept herself in great shape. She trained hard and didn’t limit herself to one particular style of training. The combination of strength training coupled with high intensity circuit training proved to be extremely beneficial in preventing further damage to her heart. To this day Rose and Josh, who is safely back home from Iraq, continue to train here at TPS and Rose is still just as stubborn when it comes to taking a rest.
This is proof positive that exercise, specifically strength training has many life saving benefits. Proof positive that no, one style of training is the answer. You need a balanced program (like the one that we PREACH here at TPS) consisting of limit strength, repetition work, flexibility, cardio-vascular conditioning, flexibility and a healthy diet to reap maximum benefits. You never know, it might just save your life. It saved Rose's.
Director of Strength and Conditioning
Total Performance Sports
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