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Thread: Weight Lifting

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Weight Lifting

    I've heard weight lifting can help with lung function and improving PFT scores. I'm just not sure what type of weight lifting exercises I should be doing...please help!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    I would look for a local weightlifting gym or program. You can seriously hurt yourself if you don't use proper form and finding a well trained/certified coach in your area would be best. If you're just looking to do resistance training type things you could look up a regular gym in your area--a lot of times when you join you get a free session with a trainer and they can show you how to use the weight/resistance machines properly.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    The best decision you will make in your life!

    Not just improve lung function but so much more. Much more oxygen efficient able body, healthier weight and appearance, self confidence, knowledge about nutrition, sense of accomplishment and the best antidepressant you can get etc. The list goes on and on.

    A public gym can be nice. Some people prefer some social interaction to help them stay motivated. Be warned though that the average fitness instructor is a complete moron that is often worse than useless if you want to do anything more than pretend to lose weight housewife style.
    So you have to educate yourself and read up as much as you can. Good thing nowadays there's a lot of great communities and sources of information online. The quality of information has really gone up over the years as the shared experience goes up and people have direct acces to scientific research.

    Depending on the severity of your CF a homegym might be ideal though, as it is for me. You can freely clear out your lungs and perhaps train with an O2 concentrator.
    Investing in a barbell, 2 adjustable dumbbells, a squat rack, bench and some 300lbs of weight will get you going for a while and probably <$500 if you are careful. That's only a few years of gym membership so it pays itself back eventually.

    To get started you can look into starting strength programs like Mark Rippetoe's. Those programs will focus on the big three. The Squat, the Deadlift and the Benchpress. The core exercises of strength athletes and learning them will quickly build you a bunch of strength, mass and technique. After a while you can start to add more exercises (weighted pullups, etc.) but the big three remain will the center of your attention.

    Feel free to contact and ask me anything.
    34 CF The Netherlands

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    If you can do some aerobic I think that would be more beneficial for PFTs than weight lifting. But weight lifting has many other great benefits that CF folks need as well (developing muscle mass, increasing bone density, increasing muscle efficiency, positive psychological feedback and improvement in body image). The times I've done best at sticking to exercise I haven't seen any increase is PFTs but I do just feel better overall.

    Are you starting a new exercise program from scratch? Or are you building on an existing live of fitness? If starting brand new, I'd start with a general beginners fitness class (or DVDs or an online plan). Something that is going gradually increase all areas of fitness (aerobic, strength, and flexibility). If you already have a base of fitness, a bodyweight exercise program would be a good place to start. Also I think Yoga is a pretty great strength and flexibility program for anyone.
    Thirtysomething Dad of three (IVFw/ICSI), Mormon, Engineer in Utah.
    I was dx at 1 yr (failure to thrive), D▲F508, FEV1~94%, PA and MSSA, PI.
    2 brothers w/CF, 3 siblings w/out. My wife and parents are saints.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethan508 View Post
    If you can do some aerobic I think that would be more beneficial for PFTs than weight lifting.
    Depending on where you are with your CF that's not actually true.
    <50% fev1 pretty much all you want to be focussing on is strength training ironically also to improve aerobic performance when needed instead of just desaturating, tiring the heart and getting no benefit for the rest of the body. Clearing out the lungs is just as effective with strength training as you reach near peak heart and respiration rate as well but then have the ability to saturate between sets and get the benefits for the rest of the body.
    34 CF The Netherlands

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I don't have experience at <50% but lifting weights does not do the same for me as a jog or lap swim when it comes to clearance. Granted if at anything quicker than a walking pace, a person can't maintain an appropriate O2 sat then I'd agree that strength training serves a dual purpose of strength and aerobic (or as aerobic as that person should be doing). Also note, that I am no weight lift expert.

    I have found that Yoga does provide a different type of airway clearance than the jog or swim. Something about slow controlled breathing while trying to maintain a pose reminds me of ACB. Do you suppose more focused/controlled breathing during a weight session would help with clearance? Or is it enough just to try to execute a lift with good form?
    Thirtysomething Dad of three (IVFw/ICSI), Mormon, Engineer in Utah.
    I was dx at 1 yr (failure to thrive), D▲F508, FEV1~94%, PA and MSSA, PI.
    2 brothers w/CF, 3 siblings w/out. My wife and parents are saints.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2016
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    Weight training with enough intensity will illicit more airway clearance than cardio. Slow steady state such as jogging or walking will make you cough at the end, but not really during as much as weights. Make sure you use enough weight to create an oxygen deficit - that will create amazing airway clearance.

    When it comes to cardio - interval training is best for airway clearance. For example, 60 seconds at 50% of your max heart rate followed by 60 seconds of 75% of your max heart rate. Repeat this for 20 minutes and you'll have amazing airway clearance.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Nov 2016
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    Hi Thisisme,

    I am a fellow CFer, new to this site though, work full-time, age 37, 5'10", about 148 lbs., about 45% FEV1 now, but have lifted weights since about 13 yrs old to help stay stable ... I haven't had a transplant but I at least can tell you the 30 min. routines I've done for about 25 yrs now (i'm not good on what exercises are actually called, just tried to describe them ...). It's a light version of a routine a bodybuilder friend gave me long ago. I stay with it by slowly trying to increase heavy weights but going slow! I don't do it to look like a bodybuilder or anything, it helps to strengthen your core, everything else so your muscles open up your ribcage and make it easier to breath ... although you can see a bit of muscle, which is nice :

    Monday: Chest and Arm day (6 bench sets including incline, decline, flat; 6 sets curls including hammer curls, incline, standard; 2 sets of 18 reps push downs at various angles)

    Tuesday: Leg day (3 sets squats, 3 sets walking lunges, 3 sets leg curls, 3 sets reverse curls - laying down flat on chest on machine and curl legs up to your butt, 3 sets calf raises)

    Wednesday: Rest day

    Thursday: Back day (2 sets pull downs, 3 sets lat seated row, 3 sets of lat work laying on flat bench with a weight held with both hands, arms overhead and curl it up and over to chest, 3 sets neck crunches - hold weights at side and lift shoulders to neck)

    Friday: Shoulders and Triceps day (3 sets tricep push down on machine, 3 sets tricep reverse curls - a weight overhead held with both hands with arms bent at 90 degrees and curl up over head, 3 sets shoulder curls - weights at side and lift to 90 degrees, 3 sets - weights held down in front of body and lift to 90 degrees)

    Saturday: Either run, yoga, stretch, or swim, ... something for 30 min ... swimming is just awesome if you have access, with a 30-minute sauna after (NOT steam though, too many germs)

    Sunday; Rest day

    KEY THING: between each set, only take a max of a 1-minute break ... treat it like circuit training, which makes it feel like a cardio workout in a way, especially to a CFer! At first, its tough to only take a 1-min break because you'll be winded but thats the goal to work to!

    After each workout I'm always sure to: 1) do about a 10-minute stretching routine covering all major muscle groups, 2) get about 30 grams of protein with about 700 calories (I drink "Boost - high calorie" made be Nestle and add about 12 oz of 2& milk and then have almonds, granola or healthy cereal)

    That seems to have helped me stay stable for many years. Of course, I've had my share of run-ins with the very nasty necrotizing pneumonia, a few hospitalizations, but overall feel pretty good ... even at about 45% FEV1 and living in Colorado!

    Hope that helps! If you want to know more I can definitely elaborate ...

    Peter

  9. #9
    I have been weight lifting over 5 years, and did compeitions in powerlifting and fitness/bikini compeitions. My pft's remain in the 70's. I'm 25y/o Female. It helps a bunch. If you have questions feel free to ask.

  10. #10
    delsonno9
    Guest
    My daughter started fitness/ bikini competition this year in May The Europa in Orlando, Fl was her first. Prior to that she did nine years of Travel Volleyball as well as played for her school while in middle & high school, she missed the competitive edge of sports while in college and that's how she started bodybuilding.

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