Week 14: The Heart, Cardiac Output, and Physics of Blood Flow

by | Lessons


1. Physics of Blood Flow: 4DMRI

2. Demonstration: Directly measuring O2 removed from blood: Week 12 Lecture in The Physical Rules

3. Stroke Volume, Cardiac Output, and Calculating VO2 Consumed per Minute: Week 12 Lecture in The Physical Rules


1. How can a ‘strong contraction’ of the left ventricle improve flow, reduce friction, and reduce ‘clogs’?

  • vortical flow or spinning blood reduces friction, charges the vessel wall, which in turn repels calcium away from the wall.

see: Fred Kummerick, Riddick, and Steiner

  • A strong contraction and a fuller volume of blood go together. Starling’s Law.

2. How does fat(ty acid) figure into the 3 phases of ‘oxidative stress’ or ‘free radical chain reaction’?:


– Initiation



  • Oil painters,wood deck varnish, gummed carb, ethane pentane gas, more

Q. What makes a strong muscle weaken?

overuse. Heart stats:

6Kg ATP/day (20-30 x its own weight)

10 tons of blood/day

100,000 beats/day


Feed cells specifically for their particular energy need (Heart, Nerves (Brain), Skeletal Muscle, Gut cells, etc

Energy Starvation Model:

The failing heart is an engine out of fuel


Demonstration> 2.Demonstration: Directly measuring O2 removed from blood

Props needed

1 Mason jar

20 marbles or beads

100ml Water

1 Spoon.


Illustrated here


Calculation of (a-v) O2 difference:

Assume we extract a wad of freshly oxygenated arterial blood (100ml) the moment it leaves your heart.

  • This blood holds 20ml of dissolved O2.

Oxygen is removed as blood circulates.

Now we measure the O2 remaining in blood just before it returns to the heart.

At rest: 8ml O2 is removed during aerobic metabolism.

  • a-v O2 diff = 12. (20-8 = 12)

At max intensity: 16ml O2 removed

  • a-v O2 diff = 4. (20-16 = 8)


3. How to calculate cardiac output.


Ice Breaker: What Comes Around Goes Around

Stuff you learned earlier – but did not connect to ‘deeper’ or ‘more complete’ thinking – because you could not until you were exposed – as below.

1. Why work a muscle hard?

What would you tell a client who asks, “What happens physically to a muscle when you ‘work’ it?”

What do you tell them? What does working a muscle ‘hard’ mean?  Can you describe the physical characteristics and mechanisms – e.g. the ‘right dosage’ for training and not damaging a muscle vs. the reps/sets schemes that damage or overtrain the muscle?

  • This is the same question above from week 4. I applied it to max carb intake. It can be applied to the muscle (heart) failing energetically due to chronic, long term overtraining / depletion of nutrients / lack of recovery. Hence the ‘energy starvation model’. Same as ‘brain’ cell nutrient starvation due to lack of assimilating nutrients. Starve the cells or fail to feed cells properly results in cells failing to function, i.e. work, produce energy, be ‘healthy’.
  • Performance is in the cell…. and so is health!

Heart Failure: Fatty Acids are Preferred Fuel for a Healthy Heart