“A man of my size should have a heart that weighs approximately 300 grams, his heart weighed over 700 grams,” said Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz on the autopsy of Alex Kube.

Kube, a former NIU linebacker and East High School coach, died unexpectedly in February at the age of 29.
The cause of death has been confirmed to be cardiac arrhythmia from an enlarged heart.

“Cardiac arrhythmia is different from a heart attack,” Hintz said. “Where a heart attack is an actual physical damage to the heart, it’s almost like you unplugged the battery. It just stops beating,” he added. Hintz says the enlargement of Kube’s heart, specifically the left ventricle, caused the arrhythmia.

“You can have high blood pressure. You can have what they call athletic stenosis, where your athleticism, your workout regiment would make your heart that much bigger,” he said.

Heart problems can potentially happen to even the most fit athlete. Kube’s death came not too long before ‘The Biggest Loser’ host Bob Harper, also a well-trained athlete, had a heart attack last month.

Hintz recommends that in order to understand or prevent heart problems, communication with a doctor is critical.

“Being in communication with your physician, letting them know any symptoms that are out of the ordinary that you might feel is definitely a good place to start,” he added.