T Nation

Coronavirus - What Happened?

Thank you very kindly sir. Stay away from this stuff!

This I might be able to do. I know I’m in trouble when neither A. Conan Doyle’s compendiums, Lord Tennyson’s poetics, or Sir Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples can hold my interest for more than a few minutes.

Maybe junk food books are the solution! I can’t bring myself to watch TV.

1 Like

That’s the plan, but we all know no plan survives contact with the enemy.

Good lord, this is serious. Popcorn fiction is the order of the day.

1 Like


This is just a guess, but perhaps your father in law may look into to doing some basic resistance training (body weight or otherwise). The intermittent nature is easier on the lungs, and besides the obvious strengthening effect training the body to function in a temporary oxygen debt may help restore abilities more quickly.

I have noticed this effect on several people who came to see me with congestive heart failure, which presents with many of the same symptoms that the after effects of covid do.

I have been advocating for this for years and doctors always opposed it, but research is consistently continuing to come to light that suggests patients with CHF benefit more from resistance training or interval training than from steady aerobic work. It seems to improve heart rate reserve and overall work capacity to a much greater degree (or a combined regimen). Some few doctors are finally getting their head out of the sand about it.

Thoughts with him.


I am afraid so :joy:. The standard remedies have failed thus far. Popcorn it is!

What’s that the eminent sage Mike Tyson once said? “Everybody has a plan til they get punched in the face.”


A.C. Doyle has a therapeutic effect on me. I know pretty much the entire SH canon by heart (yes, including the Valley of Fear) and whenever I’m feeling down I dive into the familiar pages, almost like a meditation, rereading the sentences I know by heart.

Perhaps you could consider rereading your favorite works? It won’t strain your mental faculties and may provide a soothing effect.

Thank you for your suggestion. I’ve given him a very light elastic band and he’s doing some basic upper body exercises under medical supervision. Whenever his lower body is involved (climbing stairs) the HR goes through the roof but in general his RHR has dropped down significantly from 130-140 bpm he had during the ICU stay.

But enough about that old fart, the important thing is that you’re doing ok.


Indeed. A man of fine taste. I fully agree with you, and often spend hours with a glass and A. Doyle when needing a reprieve.

Sadly these mentioned ARE some of my favorite works and they’re not holding interest…which is unthinkable. I blame cabin fever, where earlier I would have killed for a two week vacation.

I have found some Scotch that is aiding and abetting my literary pursuits at the moment. I have managed some adhesion on a volume of Churchill’s (The Hinge of Fate).

With enough books at hand, one only has to find the correct antidote.

Holy hell. I’m glad his heart survived the strain. I am in fact better, though still isolating. Good enough to drink Scotch… Or at least bored enough lol.

Lower body work always spikes heart rate… Lunges are the worst for myself, even over high rep squats.

@Aragorn Forget the highbrow suggestions…

You need James Bond escapism - not even the books, the movies!


I am a strident fan of the movies, Connery or otherwise…great idea haha

1 Like

20 rep squats. The only routine during which I’ve thought “fuck, I think my heart will explode any second now”

Actually, now that I think about it, two people I know who have (had?) high aerobic capacity and low RHR but went through hell with Covid before recovering - one a Crossfiter and the other one a triathlete.

I know that they’ve both talked about having very severe symptoms (including high RHR) and experiencing HR spikes from even low exertions after recovering.

Not exactly a massive sample (n=2) but I guess old meatheads were right - don’t do cardio.


I’ll co-sign this in its entirety.

I was talking with my doc yesterday and told him the exact same thing about the CHF->'Rona analogy.

Also have realized tremendous benefits of exercise exactly as you described. Starting with cardio and weights in cardiac rehab, then moving more toward hiit and lifting in the hypertrophy range, to my more recent regiment of rope jumping combined with CAT/Olympic style lifting.

The only catch has been on recovery. I’ve noticed a sharp drop off on over working with weights. Like, once the oxygen debt exceeds my aerobic capacity to recover from, I’m freakin toast for 3-4 days.

1 Like

Good Lord yes. The only workouts I know that were comparable were the Litvinov workout Dan John wrote about (which is the closest I think I’ve ever come to actually dying) and a modified Death March complex (Glenn Pendlay). Modifying it was a terrible idea on my part.

Hah! Honestly it makes sense to me, but avoiding all cardio is probably not ideal either lol.

I’m glad other people have seen this too. I feel there’s a strong parallel in certain respects.

And I will 100% agree with your sharp drop off comment too. I’ve seen that in the few CHF clients I’ve helped, but do notice that over time they get significantly better at tolerance levels (though probably not near what you describe as your current regimen, since they’re older lol).

I feel that lactate tolerance is probably a very overlooked aspect of training with direct benefits to people in this category.

1 Like

I’d err on the side of you being right about that too.

I tried some circuit conditioning for a little while but early on was Super trigger shy about hitting it with enough intensity and overshooting my max heart rate at that point.

I still need to get one of those cool monitoring units. The old fingers on the neck and trying to read time while you’re nearing your exertion limit on an airdyne–it’s just too much.

1 Like

The good news is those things are a lot cheaper and more readily available these days. Just make sure the watch or wristband is secured tightly since the LED will give trouble otherwise. You can also use the camera lens/flash of your smartphone with an app. Finger on the flash/lens, and app will read out.

For those who feel comfortable with a chest strap the Polar H8 and H10 sensors are extremely good.

I might look into those. I’ve run into a few problems at work with over exertion + heat a few times now.

One with an alarm that can be set to go off when vitals reach certain limits would be awesome.

1 Like

Hope all is well! Just saw this.

You too @loppar. Prayers for you and yours!

1 Like

Probably best looking at optical wrist monitors then. I know many of the models have adjustable alarms and/or connect to smartphone apps that can do the same. Polar, Garmin, and Fitbit all make versions. I wouldn’t bother with something crazy expensive like an Apple Watch unless you actually use the other things on it… I never would.

Thanks sir!

Seems mask advocates were right. You risk your health if you are not wearing a mask all the time.

More that you will catch a punch to the face than COVID though…

Nah. I can’t wear watches. I’d be wearing it at work, which means 100% chance it would be destroyed. Probably within hours.

Thank you for the direction. This will definitely come in handy.

1 Like

Alas, poor gym, I knew thee.