“You’re never going to be the same, but you can still be a better version of yourself.”
“Getting back into the gym was an adjustment; it was scary for me,” says fitness expert and heart attack survivor Bob Harper. “All I wanted to do was to get back to my old routine. I wanted to be my old self again.”
When doctors gave Harper the green light to start working out again after his near-fatal heart attack on February 12, 2017, he says he had a full on anxiety attack. “I was the guy that had the heart attack in that gym and people were looking at me—it just made me very uncomfortable.”
To regain his strength and confidence, Harper knew he had to make some adjustments to his famously intense fitness routine. Before his heart attack, the former The Biggest Loser trainer was that guy you’d see at the gym every single day doing high-intensity workouts. “I’ve always been a CrossFit guy, so my workouts have been very intense—that has changed,” says Harper.
Harper’s workouts today are longer, and more mid-level intensity. “I’m doing a lot more yoga, I’m doing cycling classes, [and] boxing. I don’t rely on those high-intensity, shorter time domain workouts anymore,” says Harper. “Fitness is still super important to me, but it doesn’t define me the way it used to.”
After recovering from his heart attack and making some serious changes to his already-healthy lifestyle—including a post-heart attack diet makeover—Harper wanted to use his experience and learnings to help others. Harper teamed up with the awareness and advocacy cause Survivors Have Heart (supported by AstraZeneca), which helps educate other heart attack survivors on the importance of working with their healthcare provider, and staying committed to treatment and the lifestyle plan prescribed by their doctor.
Before getting back to the gym, Harper just wanted to be his old self again, but that’s changed too. “I think that a lot of people think that after you have a heart attack, you can never go back to doing the workouts that I did, or you’ll never be the same. You’re never going to be the same, but you can still be a better version of yourself,” says Harper.
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Getting back into the gym,
it was an adjustment.
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It was scary for me.
00:00:06,943 --> 00:00:13,191
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All I wanted to do was just
get back to my old routine.
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I wanted to be my old self again.
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I was always the guy that needed to
be in that gym every single day.
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It was a driving force of mine.
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I've always been a CrossFit guy, so
my workouts have been very intense.
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That has changed, and
I have found out through my cardiac rehab
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that the stress that my heart went
under during that heart attack,
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there's a way to build
that strength back up.
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When I was finally cleared to go into
the gym, I had a full-on anxiety attack.
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I think what made me
feel back to normal was,
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a really good friend of mine that
I work out with all the time.
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He was there with me the day
of the heart attack, and
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he was just as uncomfortable as I was.
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We decided that we would start
working out on our own in the gym, and
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just kind of build my confidence again.
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And not have all those eyes on me, I was
the guy that had the heart attack in that
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gym, and people were looking at me, and
it just made me very uncomfortable.
00:01:27,360 --> 00:01:30,320
Fitness is still super important to me,
00:01:30,320 --> 00:01:33,320
but it doesn't define
me the way it used to.
00:01:33,320 --> 00:01:38,420
Now my workouts are much
more mid-level intensity,
00:01:38,420 --> 00:01:43,178
longer time domains,
I'm doing a lot more yoga,
00:01:43,178 --> 00:01:46,939
I'm doing cycling classes, boxing.
00:01:46,939 --> 00:01:53,471
I don't rely on those high-intensity,
shorter time domain workouts anymore.
00:01:53,471 --> 00:01:57,219
And I think that a lot of people think
after you have a heart attack you can
00:01:57,219 --> 00:02:02,210
never go back to doing the workouts
that I did, or you'll never be the same.
00:02:02,210 --> 00:02:06,916
You're never gonna be the same, but you
can still be a better version of yourself.
00:02:06,916 --> 00:02:12,265