Getting Weak of Just Can't Gain Strength- How to Reverse Frailty
Dec 12, 2010
I am a 53 year old male. I have been positive for over 10 years. I have never had any infections. My CD4 is in the 500's, which is good for me, and my viral load is undetectable. I have started taking Testim as well. I try to get plenty of rest and eat healthy. So, why am I unable to make any gains in strength at the gym. I do my best, but I seem to go nowhere. I can't go up in reps or weight, and sometimes I feel like I'm sliding backwards. It is incredibly frustrating, and I'm kind of ashamed at how weak I am for my size (6 ft, 4 in, 200 lbs). I know it could partially be my age, but could it also be due to muscle atrophy or some form of weakening from being positive for over 10 years? Any tips or ideas on what to do?
Response from Mr. Vergel
There is some data on increased frailty in aging HIV+ people. A study found that our level of frailty is similar to the one of HIV - people 15 years older than us.
This is I would do to reverse some of the frailty, if possible:
1- Make sure you are sleeping well and at least 7 hours a day. If you snore a lot, you may have sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor about a sleep study if so.
2- Go back to your doctor and ask for a thyroid function test and to recheck your free and total testosterone. Total testosterone should be above 500 nanograms per dl to 1000 ng/dl. If testosterone has not gone up to that range, you need to increase the gel's dose or concentration. If your thyroid is low, you may need to take thyroid medication.
4- Eat a light snack like peanut butter on a banana or multigrain toast 20 minutes before exercising to make sure that you have given your muscles enough glycogen for the work out.
5- I am a true believer in carnitine as a muscle catabolism (destruction) preventer. 2000 mg per day is a good dose. Coenzyme Q10 is essential if you are taking statins for cholesterol to avoid muscle problems. Statins lower coenzyme Q10, which is responsible for heart muscle strength and proper mitochondrial function in your organs and muscles. Call the folks from the New York Buyers Club for recommendations on brands, etc. Their contact info is on their web site : New York Buyers Club
6- I drink two cups of green tea also 1 hour or so before working out. As long as your blood pressure does not sky rocket after you take it and work out, green tea can give you energy and there is some pilot data that showed that it may be help fat burning.
7- Use machines at the gym until you feel you are getting stronger. I love cable machines since I have back surgery.
8- Make sure that your bones are strong. The new bone guidelines recommend bone density scans in any HIV+ person above 50. Also, get your vitamin D blood levels checked in winter and summer. Most people have to take at least 2000 units a day of Vitamin D to bring levels up to suggested ranges for bone health.
9- Oxandrolone or nandrolone along with testosterone replacement could improve frailty in those that do resistance exercise. So you may want to talk to your doctor about the use of those anabolics. Oxandrolone is available by prescription as Oxandrin and nandrolone, also by prescription, can be compounded in pharmacies like collegepharmacy.com, apsmeds.com and gotocompoundingshop.com.
10- Remember to eat enough lean protein: fish, chicken, eggs, yogurt, cheese, grains, nuts, tuna, cottage cheese, whey protein shakes (I like Isopure since it is very light), and all color fruits and vegetables.
I think this information should help. Please let me know what works. I hardly hear from people that get my advise about what did and did not work for them. It would be great to have that input so that we can help from your experiences.
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