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Strengthening exercises: Does it matter how far apart?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Sasha, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    On one of my many, many threads on orthostatic intolerance in ME/CFS, one of the things we've been discussing is how to get the best out of combining Staci Stevens' approach to limiting your exercise in the light of CFS people's problems with aerobic functioning on the one hand, and Dr Benjamin Levine's (too gung-ho for CFS people) exercise programme for those with pure OI/POTS. That thread is here.

    Dr Levine's approach includes a recommendation often seen for OI/POTS generally; that you should increase your core muscle and leg muscle strength in order to help your body pump your blood to where it should be when you stand. Of course, that will involve exercises. Oh dear. :worried:

    Staci Stevens' advice on exercise for CFS involves very low numbers of reps for very short times (<30secs, acc. Staci) with long rest periods inbetween (90 to 180 secs, acc. Staci) and keeping your heart rate below your anaerobic threshold (i.e. low intensity). Lesley posted on our discussion thread that under Staci's advice, she started off with 4 sets of 4 reps, having established a non-push/crash baseline through pacing over previous weeks.

    My question: is there any reason not to space strengthening exercises throughout the day? For example, calf raises are recommended for OI. Is there any reason I shouldn't do one an hour for a total of 16 a day? Is that for some reason not as good as doing 4 sets of 4 in a single session (albeit with recovery periods of several minutes between)?

    Anyone with knowledge of exercise physiology/training from a previous incarnation who can answer this?

    :Retro smile::confused::Retro smile: (An attempt to make my confused face look happy, in the absence of the appropriate smiley! Actually, having just seen the result, it looks more miserable by comparison. Oh well.)
  2. Lesley

    Lesley Senior Member

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    Just to clarify what was recommended for me, I was to do 4 different exercises, 4 reps of each. They were all done lying down, which is good for OI. They were bicep curl and chest press using 2 pound weights, and leg press and toe press* with an exercise band. After each exercise, I was to rest and do deep breathing. One day off between sessions. A minimum of 2 weeks before adding an additional rep. I don't see any reason not to spread it out throughout the day.

    *The toe press was the equivalent of calf raises lying down.
  3. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

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    I was out to Costco briefly today - I'm a glutton for punishment and Costco is one of the worst stores to be in when you are having OI problems. I must look like I've been on a 3 day bender, staggering around that store - but that's another story. I was looking for one book but found another.

    I bought the Women's Strength Training Anatomy by Frederic Delavier. A simple little book with very nice detailed illustrations of exercises to stengthen the abs, back, legs and butt. There are a variety of exercises that can be modified and done laying down. I did similar ones in a specialty yoga class a few years ago, but seemed to forget a majority of them. I find if I don't have some sort of specific 'guideline' to follow I don't remember to do things. Hopefully getting the book out will help with that.
  4. Lesley

    Lesley Senior Member

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  5. fingers

    fingers Senior Member

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    Hi Sasha - so it's aerobic exercise then, not anaerobic as previously advised?

    Haven't had response from SS yet to clear this up. Also haven't caught up with the other threads lately, so maybe something there?

    Best wishes,

    F
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Eeurgh... good question, fingers! It's so long since I listened to her very long podcast (of which I think my attempted explanation was a partial summary) that I don't remember enough to know if I've made a mistake. Sorry! Certainly my memory is that for general day-to-day management she recommends being below the AT but for the short bursts of strengthening exercises, she's aiming for anaerobic which by definition is above the AT.

    I've been pretty wiped the last few days and I'm unlikely to be able to cope with checking - too brain foggy. I've kept an eye on the Levine thread and the weight-lifting thread and haven't seen any further clarification on this from anyone. I think our best bet is to wait for a reply from Staci to your query. Thanks for helping to get this clarified (particularly given that I seem to have been contradicting myself!).

    Thanks also, Lesley and Kerrilyn for the info about the exercises. I'm going to look at those sources and put something together to suit my energy levels.

    One day, we'll all be upright!
  7. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    Hi Sasha

    Until I get a HR monitor (at least a month away) then I cant really tell you what my HR is during a lift - afterwards maybe but not during - or if there is a cumulative rise etc (ie the effect of rest periods bweteen reps or sets) - I'm not likely to be lifting for a week or 3 anyway atm

    however it mght be handy if you could PM me details of a cheap one that works (if such a thing isnt allowed on open forum)
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Wonko - see my post #10 on this thread. I've recommended all sorts of things on the forum with links to suppliers and it seems to be OK - I think it's good to provide that sort of stuff to save people tiring themselves out searching so fingers crossed I haven't broken any rules (can't find any such in the forum FAQ).

    I should mention that when my monitor arrived it wouldn't work so I phoned the manufacturer - they reckoned that the chest belt battery was flat (perhaps had been stored in the warehouse too long) and send me a complete new strap with battery installed, free of charge, which fixed the problem. Might be good to order from them direct. I don't know if you'd call it cheap! I may be paying more to have a vibrating rather than beeping alarm (my aim is to keep my BP below a certain limit while out in public so I want discretion!). Others on the thread also discussed their own heartrate monitors.
  9. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

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    I didn't know there was vibrating ones - very smart. That would be better.

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