I have gone through the full cycle of my 3 way split since my last posting.  Here is what I did.

Shoulders/Arms:  MedX Overhead Press, Rear Delt Fly, Lateral Raise, Nautilus Plate Load Biceps, Nautilus Plate Load Triceps, EZ reverse Curl, Wrist Flexion (all done at UE)

Legs/Abs:  Calf Exercise, Leg Extension, Leg Curl, Leg Press, Hammer Clam Shell Abdominal (done at Fike Gym)

Back/Chest:  MedX Compound Row, SuperSlow Systems Neck Extension, MedX Chest Press (horizontal handles), Nautilus Pullover, MedX Chest Press (vertical handles while applying adduction force), SuperSlow Systems Neck Flexion, SS Systems Pulldown

Over the years we have had some fairly dramatic functional improvements with our clients at UE.  I had a colleague with severe COPD that came to the ER in respiratory failure who I had to talk into going on the ventilator (he initially refused, stating he wished to die).  After a month on the ventilator he was discharged.  I promised him that if he survived he could come be a UE client and that I would try to make him stronger.  He survived almost another decade, during which time he doubled his strength, lost his oxygen requirement and went on several cruises and vacations with his wife.  We have had several clients discard their walkers and canes.  We have provided pre and post chemotherapy conditioning for clients.

Some of our most dramatic improvements have been in patients with neurological disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease.  Ed has made reference to one of his favorite clients that came to us with fairly advanced Parkinson’s disease.  When she first came to us, she had difficulty navigating the threshold to our front door.  Now she brags about hiking trips and vacations where she carries her own luggage.  One of her proudest achievements was lifting her carry-on bags into the overhead bin (something she had been unable to do for years).  This is particularly meaningful to me as my father developed Parkinson’s when he was but 50 years old and suffered a gradual, but debilitating decline that finally took his life in 2004.  It is nothing short of amazing to watch someone with fairly advanced disease carry on as well, or better, than their age-matched cohorts.

The following article highlights the incredible impact that high intensity exercise has for those with Parkinson’s disease.

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2014 Jan 9. [Epub ahead of print]

NOVEL, HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISE PRESCRIPTION IMPROVES MUSCLE MASS, MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION, AND PHYSICAL CAPACITY IN INDIVIDUALS WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE.

Abstract

We conducted, in persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a thorough assessment of neuromotor function and performance in conjunction with phenotypic analyses of skeletal muscle tissue, and further tested the adaptability of PD muscle to high-intensity exercise training. Fifteen participants with PD (Hoehn & Yahr stage 2-3) completed 16 wk of high-intensity exercise training designed to simultaneously challenge strength, power, endurance, balance, and mobility function. Skeletal muscle adaptations (p<0.05) to exercise training in PD included: myofiber hypertrophy (type I:+14%, type II:+36%); shift to less fatigable myofiber type profile; and increased mitochondrial complex activity in both subsarcolemmal and intermyofibrillar fractions (I: +45-56%, IV: +39-54%). These adaptations were accompanied by a host of functional and clinical improvements (p<0.05): total body strength (+30-56%); leg power (+42%); single leg balance (+34%); sit-to-stand motor unit activation requirement (-30%); 6-min walk (+43m), Parkinson’s Disease Quality of Life Scale (PDQ-39, -7.8pts); Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) total (-5.7pts) and motor (-2.7pts); and fatigue severity (-17%). Additionally, PD subjects in the pre-training state were compared to a group of matched, non-PD controls (CON; did not exercise). A combined assessment of muscle tissue phenotype and neuromuscular function revealed a higher distribution and larger cross sectional area of type I myofibers, and greater type II myofiber size heterogeneity in PD vs. CON (p<0.05). In conclusion, persons with moderately advanced PD adapt to high-intensity exercise training with favorable changes in skeletal muscle at the cellular and subcellular levels that are associated with improvements in motor function, physical capacity, and fatigue perception.

KEYWORDS:

Parkinson’s disease, high-intensity exercise, mitochondria, muscle hypertrophy, resistance training

For now, comments will remain off.  I am currently busy with multiple projects.  I will turn comments back on at a later date.

Comments are back up.  Here is a photo from yesterday’s workout.

Calf exercise on the MedX Leg Press