Why Do Athletes Have Large Hearts?




By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog

Athletes with large hearts are SICK.

Jim Fixx, author of The Complete Book of Running, is the most well-known case in point.


Athletes who are sick have ENLARGED hearts, not LARGE hearts.

It’s a medical condition called cardiomegaly, medicalese for “enlarged heart.”


The Flying Finn (Paavo Nurmi) dominated long-distance running although his heart was only half the size of a “normal” human being.


Roger Robinson (“The Mystery of the Flying Finn Paavo Nurmi is one of the greatest legends of running, but he left few clues behind,” Runner’s World, Jul. 10, 2014) wrote …

“Ninety years ago, in a July 1924 heat wave, Paavo Nurmi won five gold medals at the Paris Olympics, bestriding the distance races in a domination that has never been equaled. ‘The Flying Finn’ won the 5,000m less than two hours after the 1500m. His career total was equally dominating: Including cross country and team races, he won nine gold and three silver medals from three Olympics (1920, 1924 and 1928). He set 22 world records, from 1500m to 20K, and is the only runner ever to hold world records simultaneously for the mile, 5,000m and 10,000m.”


According to “Heartbeats in Movies,” Popular Science Monthly, May, 1929 …

“As a rule, the smaller the heart in proportion to the body, the more efficient it is; an enlarged heart usually means softened muscles. [Paavo Johannes] Nurmi [1897-1973], the Finnish runner, owes his great endurance, physicians say, to the fact that his heart is only about half the normal size and beats only fifty times a minute. A slow-beating heart generally lasts longer than one which pulsates rapidly; and in general, the muscular condition or ‘tone’ of the whole body is reflected in the heart’s structure. Soft muscles mean a soft heart, which is why violent exercise often causes the death of those unused to exertion.”


Dr. Leon Manteuffel-Szoege reported the case of a New Haven man whose venous circulation completely bypassed his heart.


The heart is an auxiliary organ for the pumping of the blood — the heart is not a pump.

Low temperatures “turn off” the venous pump responsible for most of blood circulation.

Having a “cold heart” is not the problem. Having a cold venous pump IS.

According to Adano Ley (Swami Nitty-Gritty) …

“A healthy heart is the size of your closed fist.”

'Why Do Athletes Have Large Hearts?' have 9 comments

  1. January 12, 2017 @ 2:17 pm Atom

    The heart is designed to burn sugar, not fat.

    Nitric oxide is the heart’s worst enemy, not cholesterol.



    • January 15, 2017 @ 6:44 am Vladimir

      If nitric oxide is the heart’s worst enemy so beets are bad for heart health?


      • January 18, 2017 @ 3:53 pm Atom

        A beet is not a beet is not s beet.

        Organic beets contain as much as 200 TIMES less nitrogen (nitric oxide, nitrites, and nitrates) as a non-organic beet.

        Beets are like bulldogs, not knowing when to stop eating.

        Feed beets nitrogen fertilizer, and they gorge till they’re not quite a beet anymore.

        They become SuperBeets, not anything we should be stuffing in our mouths.


    • January 16, 2017 @ 5:37 pm Vladimir

      If nitric oxide is the heart’s worst enemy so what about beets, are they bad for the heart?


  2. January 13, 2017 @ 11:13 am Atom

    The following article wrongly identifies 670 nm as near-infrared. (Visible red light ends and near-infrared begins at 700 nm). 670 nm is the secondary peak of photosynthesis …



  3. January 13, 2017 @ 11:15 am Atom

    Chicken brooding red light photo-rejuvenation works better than red laser of LED lights for wound and burn healing, skin rejuvenation, mitochondrial and collagen stimulation, acne, rosacea, poison remediation, etc.

    Broad spectrum low-level red light therapy is the highest choice — 570-1300 nanometers.



  4. January 13, 2017 @ 11:33 am Atom

    “Lipofuscin accumulation in the mesenteric lymph node did not depend on vitamin E deficiency.” …



  5. January 13, 2017 @ 2:46 pm Atom

    “The toxicity of unsaturated oils for the heart is well established, though not well known by the public.” — Ray Peat



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