Some time back I made a post on CFS and ME and mentioned that I was doing a high intensity weight training (HIT) routine from a book called Body by Science, which you can also get free by picking through a series of articles here.
Well it's been going well and I joined Scalloway Weightlifting Club (only link I have here ) which is a great traditonal free weights and 'strongman' gym complete with atlas stones, logs, tyres and the rest. It's also a community run gym which is great to see.
Anyway I had a shock the other week when I decided to add up how much time I actually spent doing the weights that day... ONLY 5 minute 46 seconds, YES LESS THAN 6 MINUTES!
I only do this once a week, this week it was 9 days between work outs as I'd had a busy time with the garden and it took me 4 MINUTES 32 SECONDS!
Believe it or not this is enough to see my strength and weight lifted go up each time. Do you really not have time to exerise?
I've modified the way I do the routine a bit compared to the book in that the weight is heavy enough that I do each set of exercise for only between 45-60 seconds with an aim of between 3 and 5 good form slow repetions in the set plus going to failure, where I can not complete the move. Then I pause for a short while and usually squeeze out 1 more rep and another attempted rep (failure). I don't put the weight down between reps and I move slowly to protect the joints and prevent 'cheating' by using momentum, no jerking explosive moves.
It takes me more time to change the plates and racks between exercises than to do them!
Here's what I did today after a 9 day rest.
Trap Bar Dead Lift 130kg/286lb 5 reps plus failure in 53 seconds
Seated Row 60kg/132lb 7 reps plus failure in 75 seconds(weight was too light)Bench Press 80kg/176lb 4 reps plus failure in 45 seconds
Lat Pulldowns 60kg/132lb 3 reps plus failure in 52 seconds
Standing Front Press 40kg/88lb 4 reps plus failure in 52 seconds
5 exercises average of less than a minute each, once a week to allow plenty of recovery due to the high intensity and to prevent CFS/ME getting a hold again as I ready myself for a return to work. It's also good for your heart and blood pressure as you breath normally and the heart has to work very hard when muscles are worked to failure. Resting pulse rates commonly drop more than they would if you were running or the like.
Aerobic exercise leaves me very drained and the CFS/ME symptoms build up over time, but this short routine this is actually allowing me to build strength so that I can manage more walking and hopefully rowing at Vidlin Rowing Club. The original Body By Science routine was actually designed for rehabilitation of elderly people and prevention of osteoporosis, but it works for all and me and my ME.
If you are interested in talking to me about it or borrowing my book (in Shetland) just get in touch.
If you are thinking of doing it please consult your GP and take the time to read all about it in the articles first.