Weight and Resistance Training - Weird question? Lifting and blood donation

02-05-2008, 06:27 AM
Okay, please bear with me for this weird question, but I prefer to ask it to people who actually like lifting, rather than to people who'll give me one look, see a prone-to-be-fat girl, and semi-pamper me by telling me "it's okay hon" just because they think I'm lazy and just looking for excuses. Or give me wrong answers because they believe I won't bust *** and will be okay. :rolleyes:

Here goes: in two days, there's a blood donation organized on the campus, and I plan on going. I'll go around 10 am, will probably donate around 10:30, and then be fed as usual. The thing is, one of my planned weight-lifting session is on the same day at 4 pm. I know that you're not supposed to take part in 'violent exercise' after donating blood, but is lifting okay? (I can focus on working legs instead of arms, if necessary.)

Of course, I lift heavy (8 reps to failure on average), and not the 30-reps-with-itty-bitty-weights way. That's why I'm a little worried about that. The last time I've asked the doctors there, it seemed they didn't knew very well what "lifting heavy" implied, and all I got was rather of the "maybe yes, maybe no" kind. :|

02-05-2008, 08:36 AM
I know that when I give blood they have a sign that says no lifting for 24 hours. I've been too scared to test that theory but I don't know enough to know if it's a serious concern. Sorry I can't be of more help but no, I wouldn't do it, unless I was sure it was okay.


02-05-2008, 08:53 AM
You are supposed to refrain from exercise and heavy lifting after donation. I usually take the entire week off of lifting as I find I am not very strong afterwards anyway. If you don't want to do that, then I would wait at least a full day before lifting and try to lift lighter than usual. Good luck!

02-05-2008, 09:07 AM
Aw, crap. :( Well, okay, I guess I'll be careful then. (I'm bothered because I had to skip a session Monday due to work, so now it'll make it one session this week only. Oh, well.)

Thanks for the answers, in any case!

02-05-2008, 10:37 AM
Kery: I read anywhere from 4-6 hours of rest after donating to up to three days. :chin: seems that there is a lot of inconsistent advice out there so you posed a very good question. I would probably just wait 24 hours but pay close attention to how I felt during the session.

I know unplanned breaks are a bummer. However, you may find that because you gave yourself a little extra rest this week you may have one of your best lifting sessions next week when you go back.

02-05-2008, 10:50 AM
Hm, you may be right. Normally, my next session would then be on Saturday. I'll see how things are by then. I normally don't 'feel' particularly week after donating, but I've also already happened to faint a couple of times due to my own stupidity in the past, so I'll get prepared to take it easy if needed. ("My own stupidity" being stuff like "donating at 7 am, without having had breakfast, after 3 days of being on my period, and a whole evening spent at the karaoke bar"... Yeah, I know, silly. :rolleyes:)

02-05-2008, 11:03 AM
I tested this, and not only got very dizzy while lifting, but ended up with a massive, painful bruise at the donation site due to ripping the hole they'd made bigger. Follow instructions, says someone who is prone to test them to see if they REALLY need to be followed. They do.

02-05-2008, 12:36 PM
See? I knew that someone out there would have tested that theory! Now I know to wait the recommended 24 hours.



02-05-2008, 04:20 PM
I gave blood a few months ago, then worked out the next day. Since it was leg day, I thought it would be okay. I started with cardio and could barely do 10 minutes. Tried doing a few leg presses and that didn't work either. It took two days to get back to a regular workout. So when I next give blood, I'm just going to plan on no workouts for a couple of days.

For me, however, I had to "artificially" pump up my iron level to meet the minimum requirements (calcium blocks iron absorption). From what I heard while I was giving blood, you lose quite a bit in the donation process, which is why a person needs to meet the blood bank's required levels. Since I was at the bare minimum, I think after donation that my blood just didn't have enough iron to sustain any type of exercise.

Good for you for giving blood, BTW!

02-05-2008, 06:38 PM
I just sent one of my clients home because she donated blood this morning. I told her to wait until Friday or Saturday. This is a older (60 yr old) woman who is painfully thin, although strong and in good health. I felt she just didn't have any reserves.


02-05-2008, 07:28 PM
I had my blood tested last October for a physical. Trainer said to take the day off, I was too stubborn...he wasn't around...I thought just a little cardio...took it easy...no prob, then just as I was leaving I about passed out. All the trainers saw, helped, then tattled as they should. That's when my trainer realized how stubborn I really am. He realized too that like a child I needed to learn this on my own.

02-06-2008, 02:58 AM
Meh, so even Saturday would be a little early, then?

Good thing that I've asked this question. Because I'm so totally the type who would have tried this on her own as well. :o

But see, that's exactly the kind of thing a doctor probably won't tell you, or not every doc, at least -- they'll tell you "no violent exercise", but if you don't explain to me WHY this is not recommended and what exactly the risks are, you can be sure I'll do it out of stubbornness... :rolleyes:

Okay, time to whip out an extra ***-busting program for next week, then. In the hopes of catching back.

02-06-2008, 07:08 AM
Reason I did go exercise? My doc said "no reason you couldn't". PAH!

02-06-2008, 09:21 AM
Kery -- Could you workout at 9am before the donation? ... I give blood regularly and workout the next morning MOST times with no problem and SOMETIMES I am weaker than usual but still do my workout but lighter than usual...

02-06-2008, 09:52 AM
Kery, Ilene beat me to it. I was also going to ask if you could work out before you donate, which is what I always do. Conveniently the blood drive comes through and literally parks in the gym parking lot in my town, so I work out at my usual time after work (cardio and/or weights, I've done both), let my heart rate calm for a few minutes, and then go donate. Since I already have my water bottle and homemade protein bar I just whip those out when they try to feed me a sugary granola bar or donut when I'm done.

I've also done cardio and/or weightlifting within ~16-24 hours (the next morning or afternoon, never that day) and been fine. Of course, I've always had a very strong constitution, and rarely get faint. I would recommend bringing water and a snack in case you find yourself needing them.

02-06-2008, 10:25 AM
Actually, a student in my class phoned me this morning to tell that a class we were supposed to have was exceptionnally cancelled, so I got some unexpected spare time and decided to go today. This way, I can attempt to workout tomorrow afternoon; after more than 24h, I suppose I should be able to lift without too many problems, even if it means taking it easy. :)

But I'll still keep your advice in mind for the next donation. It's not like today was the last time (I asked about a potential genetic defect problem, but they said it was okay and shouldn't prevent me from donating, so yayh).

I couldn't have gone to the gym at 9, though, since I have classes from 8 to 10. Psh, annoying classes. ;)