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seeking advice on gentle strength training

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by anniekim, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    I suspect you may need to redefine "exercise' as any physical activity if you want to be able to manage PEM better (surprisingly this includes shopping lol)

    Any physical, mental, emotional or enviromental strain/exertion uses energy so will affect M.E. - depending on your particular makeup/status will determine how much of an impact each of them has at any particular time.

    So yes grief would have a significant effect on ME IMO
     
  2. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Hollie, I am so sorry you lost your husband. Stress can affect everything, certainly CFS.
     
  3. river

    river

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    I'm still bedridden because I can't walk without feeling lightheaded and falling or without feeling the legs collapsing under the weight of my body.
    But I can stand upright with some support and even leaven the bedroom if I sit on a chair.

    I have started exercizing with weights.
    Weights are a pair of dumbbells with 8 pounds plates each.
    And this is what I do:

    Chest presses
    I just lay on a carpet on the floor, bend my legs with my feet on the floor and push the dumbbells above my chest and then lower till my elbows touch the floor
    10 times

    Then I feel my heart and I rest till the heartrate is normal again.
    In other words I don't keep exercizing when my heart is still beating fast.

    Then I sit on the floor, with legs bend and feet on the floor and my upper body upright.
    Starting with the dumbbells at the side of the neck I push them up above my head and then lower them till they are again at the sides of the neck
    10 times

    Again I rest till my heartrate is normal again

    Then I lay on the floor on my feets and hands and bring a dumbbell from the floor to the hip and lower it to the floor again. This is actually a back exercise
    10 times. Rest till my heartrate is slow and the 10 times the other side.

    Finally I ask a friend to assist me as I squat leaning on the wall with my back and holding weights in my hand.
    15 seconds and the I rest.

    So far I didn't experience any PEM or burning, except for the next day that I feel my muscle are a bit sore but there's no other way to decondition yourself
    and build a few pounds of mass. Resting between sets is what allows me to do this without PEM and it's actually the best way to build strength or mass.
    I think the "secret" is all in the heartrate. That's why I don't tolerate cardio, because I would be exercizing when my heart is beating fast.
     
  4. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    given your stated condition I'm not convinced this is a good idea for you at the moment - but I've mentioned my concerns to you a few times in the past and it's your decision - so a few bits of advice

    1. if it's not too uncomfortable with all the dumbell exercises where the weights are above your body if possbile then hold them so your palms are facing outwards - the idea being if your grip fails then the dumbell should fall away from you not on top of you - being smacked in the head by a falling weight isn always fun

    2. grip the dumbell handles firmly at all times

    3. a squat held for 15 seconds is a squat stretch not a squat so the weight isnt really productive as anything other than a grip exercise - whilst squat stretches are a useful thing for those wanting to squat who dont have the flexibility to do so they arent the same as a squat - if you want to do extented duration squats then google "third world squat" - apparently very good for you but initially very demanding for those of us that grew up with chairs

    4. a certain amount of muscular discomfort is normal for the first week or 2 if you've been inactive - unusual and generally weird sensations abound and are normal - the muscles feeling 'ill' isnt - lacate 'burning" is normal for certain types of training but should be avoided as IMO these types of training are bad for pwME

    5. muscular and joint pain should not be ignored - it's a sign your technique is wrong or your doing too much - as are headaches, dizziness etc.

    6. 2 or 3 sets of 5-6 reps is more beneficial than 1 set of 10 reps and less likely to cause lactate issues

    7. weight training combined with adequate diet and rest should help you sleep - if your sleeping pattern becomes worse it's a sign your doing to much or not resting/eating enough - however this shouldnt be an issue initially - if it does then you shouldnt be training as your body doesnt have the reserves required to cope with it.

    8. overhead exercises are very demanding/risky - for the first six months or so I would crash every time I attempted an overhead press with more than just the bar - it took me that long to figure out how to avoid it and it's still by far the most problematic exercise i do - so be very careful with them

    far from exaustive and I'm sure I've missed something important but already a lot longer than I had planned so it will have to do atm

    good luck and be very careful

    Dave
     
  5. river

    river

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    Good advice, I'm not alone though... my father is there to spot me as I wouldn't even venture leaving the bedroom in this moment if there wasn't someone to keep an eye on me

    I googled the third world squat.
    That's interesting and even looks like something that could soothe POTS
    But should I use weights and for how long without I maintain the position if used as an exercise?

    But if even such a low impact, short and low intensity workout like this is supposed to cause some discomfort because of lactate burning, how could one avoid it except never doing any activity in the first place?

    But if the weight is low are 5-6 reps enough to get any beneficial effect?
    And at this time I can't afford new plates or other equipment except my adjustable dumbbells.

    Do you know the reason why these kinds of exercises are so demanding and lead easily to PEM?
    If not overhead shoulder press, what safer exercise can I do for shoulders


    Thanks a lot Dave, I will
     
  6. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    normal squats can use weights, or not, and are down then up - explicitly with no pause at the bottom (there are reasons for this but basically it's because doign them this way puts less strain on the joints and allows use of a stretch reflex to assist with the up movement)

    an extended squat ie sitting in the bottom squat position is a different thing and isnt an exercise persay - however once mastered (which I havent incidentally) is supposed to be good for flexibility and general strength - the assertion being that the way most of us sit is actually bad for our bodies and the third world squat is, because it's the way we were "designed" to sit, corrective - given this assertion no wieght is required or desirable -a few seconds to a few hours doesnt matter as once mastered it's supposed to be a more natural (and presumably more comfortable) position for the body than sitting on a sofa - so far this is not my experience lol - if your goig to try it I'd suggest short duration (a few seconds) a few times a day, on the odd day, until it becomes comfortable - which could take a while

    in short a squat and an extentended squat are different things, one is an exercise designed to build strength and muscle and the other is a sitting position that incidentally improves flexibility and may increase the strength of some muscles - or at least make them more in balance with oposing ones

    the muscular discomfort/stiffness you may experience initially shouldnt be lactate burn - and unlike lactate burn it shouldnt occur whilst exercising - it's called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and will normally occur the next day or at least a few hours after exercising - it's not a result of toxic buildup in the muscle cells it's supposed to be caused by minor damage to the muscles basically because they arent used to the work - unless working out at high levels this should stop being a problem within a week or two - whilst in most cases DOMS arent a reason not to exercise (in fact exercise can actually help as exercise increases blood flow and more bloodflow should equal faster healing) obviously personal judgement needs to be used - little bit of discomfort fine, more than that or actual pain - different thing entirely

    DOMS should not feel like PEM - the words used to describe it may be the same but it shouldnt feel the same - if it does it's probably PEM and should be treated as such - watch out for neurological issues increasing as these are a form of PEM and should eb treated as such - simply because physically you feel fine/better than you did doesnt necessarily mean you arent overdoing it and gettign PEM'd

    if your getting lactate isssues caused then it might be a good idea to stop and reconsider/rejig how you do things to try and avoid them - because the damage you can cause can easily outweigh the benefits if this isnt done - a mild exercise induced crash will remove around 40% of my strength but almost all of my endurance until it's 'over' - yes I'm that stupid that I've measured it (ie where before I could lift a certain weight 3 or 5 sets of 5 and then move onto the next exercise when in a mild crash I can lift at best 60% of the previous weight once - and thats it - I'm done, no energy left, it's go lie down for quite a while time) - unless you can afford to lose 40% of your strength and reduce endurance to virtually nil then very cautiously learning what types of discomfort/pain/sensations mean back off and what means stop now - and what is uncomfortable/painful but is ok as far as ME is concerned - would be a good idea - from how you've described it your starting off from a postion that I wouldnt train at all in - so extreme caution should be taken

    weight training isnt in general done for endurance purposes (although wieghts can be used in endurance routines thats not the same thing) - so 2-3 sets of 5-6 reps equals more work than 1 set of 10 - higher reps per set builds endurance, lower reps build strength - fair enough you are using light wieghts but the same principles apply - along with the fact that higher reps mean more lactate - which is bad lol (the pause between sets allows the lactate to be disappated - if it isnt rest longer - if it still isnt then stop and ebay the weights) - for pwME IMO lactate=bad, not being able to clear lactate from cells (in a reasonable timespan) = very bad

    I've seen hypotheses for why overhead activity (any overhead activity) may be bad for pwME but I dont know - in my case it just is - I still do overhead lifts, and brush my teath, comb my hair (other dodgy/risky things) as I havent found an alterative - however I now do it explosively (ie no strainign at all) with comensurate weight - if I cant lift it like that then it;'s too heavy - and will cause issues - compared with my other lifts my OHP is pathetic but as I only do it for balance (to stop my shoulders having issues due to the muscle strength not being even push/pull wise) this isnt an issue for me.
     
  7. river

    river

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    I'm not feeling pain or a burn while I do the exercises, is that a good sign?
    I only started feeling some pain and burning sensation the next day.

    Also, now I understand why using the hairdryer or picking up objects in the shelt from the bed is so painful to me.
    Anytime I put my arms above my head I feel the most intense burn and it's like they just want to fall and can't sustain being up there. And this happens even when I'm not bedbound and feel a tad better.
     
  8. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    yes - the fact it's happening the next day means it's probably DOMS and not lactate pain - it should subside after a few sessions - if you can tolerate them then a general NSAID should remove most of the discomfort

    if it starts being PEM like then I'd advise you dont train until it's cleared and you feel 'normal', do a minimial session and then wait a few days to see if the PEM reoccurs, if it doesnt then gradually over a couple of weeks work back up waiting with each increment to see if PEM comes back - and set your training level below the point this occurs

    if it does reoccur after the minimial session then give up on wieghts for the time being - if you still want to try again if/when your health improves

    all of this is just how i would do it if I was in your position (and decided to train with wieghts), it's not how I actaully lift and to a certain extent is supposition, it's backwards extrapolation using the experince I have gained in the last year or so and I believe if properly self-monitored would be safe(ish) for me if I was in your condition.

    however you are not me - and IMO it's unlikely you have even the limited awareness I've aquired regarding all of the many indications and interactions that tell me things are going (or have gone) wrong - you cant afford to lose much more functionaity so please if you start experiencing any issues you arent used to, or if existing issues get worse, stop and re-evaluate - dont just tough it out - I've got into so much trouble on some occasions because of that approach it's not funny

    most issues apart from total failure can be worked round and at the end of the day your attemptign this to improve your ability to function - continiueing to do something that deminishes it without addressing why is counter productive
     

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