Posted by: stormtrooper | 2004/11/04

can't train as I used to....

I'm 21, male and trained fine for three years but I suppose I did battle to keep my rest periods in between sets short enough. The reason I did this is because I knew that if my rests were too short I wouldn't be able to do the required reps or try to improve on old achievements. After each set I noticed that I was a bit more of breath compared to other people and I fixed this by making rest periods longer. I probably felt out of breath because I hardly ever did cardio because I find it boring and I wanted to gain weight.

Then I was in a car accident and I didn't really train at all for about a year and a half.

Started again and things were okay for a while. Obviously I couldn't lift same weights and stuff like that, but I could still train.

Over the last four months, I've gotten worse and worse and I'm actually losing weight rather than gaining. I can't get stronger, I get weaker. Before my muscles get tired in a set my cardio system, from what I think, gives up. I take huge rests between sets because I'm completely out of breath and my heart pumps so hard. It also seems to not be able to return to resting quick enough. I feel dizzy after each set and my body shakes a little bit, but hands shake a lot. It's almost like having a panic attack. I do the cardio first which is only 10 minutes on pretty high intensity and after that I am just pouring with sweat and it takes ages for my body to return to normal. I think maybe I have asthma or something, because I'm breathing heavily but don't feel like I'm getting enough oxygen. I eat really healthy with very little fat and plenty of grains and natural foods.

Sorry this is a bit long...
Here are the probs in short:
1. Can't seem to get stronger and can't finish programme from biokineticist because get too tired.
2. Shortness of breath during and after sets.
3. Even through the years of good training, battled terribly to put on muscle mass and just can't look normal and I hate being so skinny.
4. Heart rate doesn't seem to recover.
5. Get weaker and weaker with time instead of stronger. Maybe this is due to me losing more and more muscle mass at the moment.

My theories:
1. Hyperthyroidism ( can't put on weight, sweat like crazy after cardio and eat like a madman).
2. tachycardia - is this just a fast heart rate or is it a heart rate that battles to come back to resting heart rate? I could have this, because an increased heart rate would require more oxygen, therefore shortness of breath for me.
3. anaemia - lack of oxygen in red blood cells equals faster heart rate and increased respiration rate because body is trying desperately to give muscles adequate oxygen.
4. Sweaty bum - Not nice to smell and increases heart rate cause worried other people may smell my sweaty bum. Increased breathing rate because trying to get adequate oxygen after respiration of carbon monoxide. I'm just kidding about this one!!!! hehe

Thanks for any help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

HI there

It's a very detailed email, I can tell that you have given it a lot of thought, and I think that some of your theories are quite plausible. I'm not as sure about the anaemia, because most people are not deficient in iron, although there are conditions that can cause this. It would be very easy to check out through a simple blood test though, which I would recommend.

The hyperthyroidism is an interesting one, and again, something for which there is a definitive test, so that you don't have to guess but can know for sure if you have the test performed. I don't think that tachycardia would account for it - it's not really a condition, but rather a symptom of having a high heart rate, and so perhaps the tachycardia is just pointing to something else.

The other options that I think of right away are a viral infection - there are some viruses which can cause excessive fatigue for months as a result of recurrences - malaria, eppstein-barr virus are two that come to mind. You might want to check that out. There are other conditions that we don't know too much about at this stage, where the body seems to develop an 'intolerance' to exercise, and this is something that you might have, though I doubt it because of your age and your previous training history. I think that the virus idea might be worth looking into, together with the hyperthyroidism. I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but it sure does seem like a medical consideration, and so perhaps seeing a doctor for some comprehensive tests is the way to go.

Good luck

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