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Do exercise reps need to be close in time to have an effect?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Sasha, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I'd like to strengthen my core muscles to see if it helps with my OI, and I've heard that stronger muscles use energy more efficiently than weak ones, so maybe some of my other muscles would benefit from beefing up a bit.

    However, like many here, I'm very limited in energy, struggle with basic self-care most days, and have a pretty low PEM threshold. I will need to pace somehow.

    So, instead of taking the normal approach in exercise of doing several reps of an exercise in one go, I'd like to know: physiologically, is there any difference between doing 10 reps of an exercise in one go, or a rep every hour for ten hours? Should they be equally effective in building muscle? Should the latter course be less likely to provoke PEM?

    I asked a physio the first question some years ago and she didn't know.
     
  2. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    It's more effective to do the reps consecutively. 10 reps can be difficult though, as higher rep counts rely more on aerobic metabolism. When I work out, I try to aim at 5-8 reps.
     
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  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Is there hard evidence for that, though? Or some theoretical rationale?

    I'm always confused about the aerobic/anaerobic thing. Isn't exercise aerobic until you go over the aerobic threshold and then you're anaerobic? Or is it the other way around?

    @Scarecrow, we were talking about this the other day.
     
  4. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    This is textbook stuff. Cumulative fatigue builds more muscle and endurance. Using a muscle once isn't "exercise", it's just everyday activity (although that will still help).
     
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  5. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Bummer. I'd hoped to cheat. :(
     
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Are there any 'rules'? For example, that if you don't feel fatigue in the muscle, you haven't done enough to build the muscle?
     
  7. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    Yes, that's my understanding and the more intense the activity is - e.g. sprinting - the quicker you move into the anaerobic zone.

    I used to do 'aerobics' while I was on the gradual decline downwards - before I fell off the cliff with a respiratory infection - and the name always confused me. Anything but aerobic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
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  8. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    You have a habit of turning one question into ten :p

    You need to stress the muscle more than it is accustomed to, for adaptation to occur. You don't have to continue until total fatigue.
     
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  9. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Guilty as charged. :)

    Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
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  10. MEMum

    MEMum Senior Member

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    Thanks! :thumbsup:[/QUOTE]

    Hi Sasha
    Betsy Keller seemed to be saying that people with ME seem to be nearly always exercising anaerobically ie have a different physiology.
    She was also stressing that it was better to prevent PEM where possible. Hence leaving as long as you need between repetitions.
    I don't think standard exercise physiology of as many reps as possible can be applied. I think ten or two or whatever number of contractions over several minutes/hours is a good rate to begin. Then, if that doesn't aggravate symptoms, you can increase slowly.

    Good luck
     
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  11. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Actually that's an interesting question - if muscles need to be fatigued in order to build, what if they're already fatigued before you start? Mine are sore with lactic acid without doing anything.

    I think that's certainly true that we shouldn't do maximum reps. Hard to know whether a rep an hour will do anything, though - which was my original question, I guess, and which @adreno answered but I hadn't thought about the differences between healthy physiology and ours.
     
  12. SOC

    SOC

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    There are two anaerobic ranges. We need to exercise in the lower one.
    As I understand it, the anaerobic threshold talked about in athletics and ME is the threshold between aerobic glycolysis and anaerobic glycolysis. CPET testing in PWME seems to show that we move very rapidly from ATP-CP anaerobic metabolism to anaerobic glycolysis, suggesting that the aerobic system in between, which should be carrying most of the energy production load, is not functioning effectively.

    There are overlaps. We start with ATP-CP energy then add in aerobic energy production until we're mostly using aerobic. Then anaerobic glycolysis adds to aerobic glycolysis. AT is the point where anaerobic glycolysis is the predominant energy production. It is at this point (or very close) that lactic acid starts to build up in the bloodstream because it's being produced at a faster rate than it can be removed.

    Many of us try to function routinely below the aerobic (not anaerobic) threshold of healthy people. That is about 65% of the estimated maximum heart rate for a healthy person your age.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactate_threshold
     
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  13. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    Very interesting post @SOC. I wasn't aware of the phosphagen system before. Now I understand why anaerobic respiration is used both during short burst high intensity exercise such as sprinting and lifting heavy weights (phosphagen system) and during endurance exercises such as distance running at intensity, like football of the soccer variety, (anaerobic glycolysis).

    Respiration at rest is by aerobic glycolysis. Aerobic respiration is going on all the time, otherwise we wouldn't need to breathe. So isn't it the case that the other systems supplement aerobic energy production depending on what we are doing in terms of duration and intensity? And that in pwME, the aerobic system isn't stepping up as it should to meet increased demands, assuming it's even functioning sufficiently at rest, which seems not to be the case for some?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
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  14. SOC

    SOC

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    That's the way I understand it, but I admit my knowledge is limited. :) I don't really understand why we refer to "aerobic exercise" when it seems that simply living requires aerobic metabolism.
     
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  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Most power lifters would train within their phosphate system doing 1 to 3 reps at a time. Watch these guys train and they train hard and struggle but rarely out of breath training in that 1 to 3 rep area.

    It does help build strength and i think exercising like this can help some muscular aches and pains. Doesnt have to be hard though.

    eg with squats. Just do 1 or 2 than sit down listen to some music and when breathing and hr feel almost normal do another 1 or 2. Concentrate on using good technique. It can be possible to increase resistance within reason without crashing your body?
     
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  16. Aurator

    Aurator Senior Member

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    Yes, but the rep count is as low as this because at each rep they're lifting extremely heavy, sub-maximal weights. The idea is that in competition, when only one "rep" is required, they will be able to lift above the training weight.

    For Sasha's one-rep-and-then-rest method to have any appreciable benefit, the single rep would have to involve far more effort than each individual rep in any appreciably productive ten-reps-in-one-go method involves.
     
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  17. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Agree but for many with ME 1 rep is enough and i also think better than nothing. And its a starting place to work on.

    I did a work out yesterday well within my immediate energy levels and hopefully avoid pem. I have a reasonable home gym with weights on bar set up to go. I did some warm up movements with a broom handle than sat on my phone surfing the net until everything settles. Than did 2 reps of squats than surfed the net again for 3 sets. It would have been several minutes between sets. Than i did 3 sets of stiff leg dead lifts in same fashion.

    Its more a maintenance thing and blowing some cob webs out. I also have lower back problems and find these exercises help with back pain, improve flexibility etc. Im still working which requires lifting sometimes so need to keep some type of strength going?

    I know it doesn't sound like much and many gym junkies would laugh at it. I know i would have pre cfs. But personal experience i have found thos helpful. My goals aren't to be like arnie but to maintain some level of strength??
     
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  18. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

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    Doing anything is better than doing nothing. If it doesn't improve your strength, it may at least maintain it.

    I sometimes have to pause in the middle of a rep, but only wait a few minutes between reps.
     
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