SIIT and CMT

Here are some tips from our friend Steven Csorba about exercises that might be of special interest to CMTers and others whose neuropathy and fatigue may be caused or exacerbated by abnormal motility, fusion and fission of mitochondria.

🥘 Intermittent fasting and “paleo” or “keto” influenced diets can be helpful too.

Steven says, “By far the best thing to do to build mitochondria from an exercise perspective is something called Sub-maximal Intensity Interval Training (SIIT).

Not to be confused with Special High Intensity Training you may have received in your workplace, SIIT is just about moving for 5-10 minutes every hour (doing it on the hour helps) throughout the day during the 5-8 hour window when you’re active.

That means you’ll do a total of maybe 25-80 minutes of exercise.

The exercise can be anything: moderate strength training, jumping jacks, a quick trip on a bike, jump rope, pushups, or a quick hike up and down some stairs.

Look at it this way:

Sub-maximal intensity interval training (SIIT) is a fancy label for regular movement in daily life. One way to think of it is that SIIT is really just less sitting.

With SIIT, the key is to avoid pushing too hard and going on to muscle failure. So if you can only do 10 push with your maximum effort, only do 5-7 every hour and never more.

Repeat Training is a similar approach you can use as well. It is based on the same principle of “never pushing to failure” — i.e. never go longer than 6-10 seconds. But here’s how Repeat Training is different:

  • Power-based movements like heavy kettle bell swings, hard stationary bike sprints, swimming all out, and stair sprints.
  • Only 6-10 seconds all out – then stop and rest before the lactic acid kicks in. You should never feel the burn. 
  • One time period 15-45 minutes long. The first 6-10 seconds of any movement should feel like the last 6-10 seconds of movement in terms of effort.
    • E.g., do jumping jacks for 10 seconds and rest 50 seconds.
    • Repeat this interval until those 10 seconds start to feel harder than the first set. That’s when you’re done. “Every ten second interval should feel the same.”
  • Requires a solid foundation in fitness first.
  • Can be done 3-5 days a week since you’re never sore the next day.

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