Split/Training Routine for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

No I don’t. This is something you should discuss with your physical therapist. I’m not comfortable giving you advice on this subject when it comes to training. For nutrition I would focus on consuming enough foods rich in silica, calcium and selenium as these micronutrients are highly involved in tissue repair like cartilage and ligaments. Chrondoitin and glucosamin are two substances you can supplement with but I’m not entirely sure about how effective they are. I have never used them myself.

For your vitamins/minerals/supportive phytonutrients with antioxidant qualities I would recommend to rely more on consuming fruits/veggies instead of taking a multivamin. Unless, due to dietary restriction, you can’t consume fruits. Then you can use a multivamin but make sure you buy one with a good absorption rate. Omega 3’s from fatty fish and vit E from extra virgin olive oil are also great options to add to your diet. As a matter of fact, these are always great dietary options, despite the situation you find yourself in.

If you took a smart approach to your diet (not cutting out entire food groups, mixing various plant protein sources to get a complete amino acid profile, getting ample good dietary fats and enough veggies/fruits) and you haven’t been in a caloric deficit for a long time or super stressed out, than chances are small you will be deficient in nutrients.

Creatine supplementation is not mandatory for health. If you have been taking it for a while and all of a sudden stop taking it then yes, it can be a normal thing to lose some weight. This drop in weight should eventually stabilize if you’re not purposely trying to lose weight. I wouldn’t worry about it.

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Thank you. I have to Google silica rich food

Hey, i did some progress in the past weeks and saw that a period of 4 weeks of progression is perfect (last time i did 8 weeks, but that was too much for me). I think mesocyclus of 4 weeks will be the future!
I dont like to do whole body training, it limits my success. Due to my kneeproblem and fatigue i want to do a upper lower (upper twice a week) and I am not sure how much volume i have to do for a leg day? 10 sets per muscle is impressive and really hard to tolerate.
But will i lose muscle while cutting, when i do less volume?

I do a deload now


Legs are comprised of several muscle groups so it’s ok to hit them with a bit more volume. If you want to use an upper/lower split for your fat loss protocol, I’d recommend doing somewhere between 12-15 worksets for legs (you can use the same volume for upper btw). If you’re training 3 times a week, which is the frequency I’d recommend when you’re still dealing with fatigue, you could do upper body twice and lower body once to promote better recovery.

The reason you could do more volume for legs is that they are not a single muscle group. You have hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves (and even tibialis if you like to train that little muscle on the front next to your shins) so it’s absolutely not an issue to go with the same amount of volume that you would use to do upper.

Just divide the worksets wisely and spend more work on muscles that need more development. Agreed, it is hard to build muscle in a fatloss phase as an experienced lifter but you should still strive to grow. That mentality will help you to keep training hard when the going gets tougher.

However, you don’t have to try and grow every single muscle, that would be too much. 10 worksets PER MUSCLE GROUP is something I would recommend when you’re trying to grow and are eating at maintenance or above. Otherwise just stick to one lower and one or two upper body muscles that get a bit more work than the rest.

You can maintain muscle size with as low as 25% of your usual volume. If you want to be on the safe side, stick to 50%.

As long as you are:

  1. Not dieting for too long (15+ weeks or longer without breaks)
  2. Not below 8% BF
  3. Training HARD 2-3x/week (mostly 1-2 reps shy from failure, sometimes 2 on the big compound lifts if you’re feeling fatigued)
  4. Eating mostly quality nutrition (fruits, veggies, potatoes, (glutenfree) grains, herbs, wild foods like berries and maple syrup, lean meats, fish and poultry and quality fats like coconut oil, olive oil and avocados) to support performance and R&R
  5. Eating 1.6g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight or higher
  6. Not stressed out to the max all the time
  7. Sleeping somewhere between 7-8 hours a night

You probably won’t lose much muscle mass when using a lower volume approach. Btw, 12-15 worksets per session is actually better imo to maintain and even grow muscle than doing a shit ton of volume. Especially when you’re trying to lose fat because you have less available resources when you are in a caloric deficit and the more volume you do, the more muscle damage you inflict and the more resources you’ll need to allow for complete recovery and not feeling tired and shitty all the time.

You naturally will lose some muscle when you’re dieting down. It’s pretty much impossible to not lose lean muscle mass when you are a in a deficit for extended periods of time. It’s not a lot though as long as you’re doing things right.

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Thank you for your answer, is it 12-15 worksets for the whole leg day or per muscle group (i used to count so).
If its per muscle group, its difficult in one workout day (because Quads+ Hamstrings only means 25-30 Sets → 2hours, without calf)


I do have another option: Volume progression and 4 days (2 lower/upper).

week 1: 8 Sets/ muscle group (i can also start with 10 sets? I am conservative here)
week 2: 10
week 3: 12
week 4: 14
week 5: deload/5 sets or reload (walking)

It means more stress, and i also have to be careful about leg exercises - but in my point of view (relating to stress) the trick is to limit the cyclus and the cns has to be somewhat active.

In the last months I practise your advice and did cardio 3-4x/week

It’s for the whole leg day. 12-15 per muscle group is pretty high volume and honestly not necessary unless you need more sets because that’s how you love to train. I would not say it is the best way to train, certainly not for fat loss.

This is a sound approach but imo it only works well:

  1. for hypertrophy
  2. as a targeted specialization approach for 1-2 muscle groups that are lagging. Using volume step loading on each and every muscle group is too much.

You could use step loading for fatloss but only on 2-3 exercises and with smaller jumps, for example:

Week 1: 3 worksets on first 2 exercises
Week 2: 4 worksets on first 2 exercises
Week 3: 5 worksets on first 2 exercises
Week 4: deload or move to next phase

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Thank you

Just jumping on to say “ditto”: @lou_smeets is way on point, in my humble opinion. I think you can prioritize one or two body parts in a fat loss phase (I’d pick “illusion of size” body parts, like shoulders) and go to maintenance (which is a lot less volume than you’d think) for everything else.

Yes, i try just low volume in the first 1-2 weeks, because i choose new exercises and my MRV is low after the deload. I did not plan to go high with volume. I plan 3 full body workouts (2 sets/session at the beginning, hitting 3) doing high reps 12-15 - for three weeks…, then switching to upper/lower, keep volume almost the same (do more, if i am not progressing), and change the range (8-10), maybe i raise calories here also. I have the strong app and track the volume/exercise, i try to be better from week to week. I still am unsure how to progress really (intensity/low volume, more volume/moderate intensity), but for my condition i guess the second one is better. I also did the first one in the past, so it might be just “variation”.

I am confident with my training - allthough knowing there are many possibilties/philosophies. I think the variation is safe.

Weight loss 1%/week, and then a little less. I am afraid how long this cyclus will last, i hope longer then 4 weeks but i have to be confident to stop, if its not going well (deload).


Yep, that’s always what I do before photoshoots


hey guys,

6 weeks of straight Training, the first 3 full body, and after that upper/lower split, but still conservative (beginning at 3 sets and add sets when i cannot overload). No i am at the 10 sets/musclegroup target for the week and still feel “ok” :grinning:

My cousin is also in the gym now and i am highly motivated (he has a lot more mass then me), but its lets say 30-40% welness also. Maybe you know “Holmes Place”. So after a upper workout at 6 am we were swimming and in the sauna.

To my excuse i love those dirty little gyms, but it was a birthday present from my crazy brother. 15 months.

Form gets better, I am at 12% BF now. Still its just an estimate (caliper says 11, navy 10, but i am critical here).

My health is also much much better (or lets say i feel much better!), i am not exhausted that much. Tomorrow my doc take blood, but i think everything is great.

I plan a maintenance cycle in a month or so (with low volume HIT Training and maintenance calories), and after that a mass cycle what we were discussing before, so progressing volume/Sets and calorie +

But i think i will limit the sets and do not go as high like young men in the 20s with 20-40 sets a week :wink:



That is wonderful news David, keep it up!

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Thank you !!

I love your advice, and I am allready done. Form is good right now, but the last % are disturbing my mind. I did 1 dirty cheatday yesterday *had vaccination. Today and tomorrow i eat maintenance calories. And after that i decided spontaniouly to do two weeks of protein modified fast. But to keep things fun i want to change our upper lower split and do chris 6x /week push pull. No cardio at all, besides swimming after lifting, but only 10 minutes, easy, or sauna, something like this. Activity very easy, maybe 1/2-1 walk, everything relaxed.

My question here, no problem with his low volume high frequency plan? Or is low frequency full body a must on this “shit” diet?

ah i forgot one thing, my cousines arm (biceps to shoulder) is stressed, we have to deal with it. He had a little pain on incline bench


Not at all, it’s a nice change of pace and a means to keep motivation high. You need to be able to train hard and be consistent with your training and effort. You can only get so far on discipline. Your program will work better when you are highly motivated and focused on making progress every single workout.

High effort is especially important when using a low volume approach. In fact, the lower the volume of your workout, the greater the effort needs to be (at least under training conditions where your goal is to gain muscle or trying to prevent muscle loss during a fatloss program because the high training effort sends a strong signal to the body that it needs to preserve its muscle mass for future demands). The only exception to this is when you are using low volume as a deload or when you are chronically ill/stressed out.

Just remember though, not a single training program will be optimal on a shitty diet. You might get away with it at first if you’re young or a newbie but after a while you’ll start to notice that ‘cleaner fuel’ makes ‘the machine’ run better.

Just make an effort to get back on track with your nutrition so you have both your training performance and recovery covered. Having a cheatmeal or a bit of unprocessed foods here and there is not an issue. As long as the bulk of your diet comes from (minimally processed) whole, nutritiously dense foods.

I don’t know anything about a modified protein fast but I would recommend that you keep your carbs, if you can have any on this fast, around the workout and in the evening so your performance and sleep don’t suffer.

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edit: Plan works fine for me, since i did reload week. But cousin did not. He will switch to his oldschool high volume plan, no matter what. In the meanwhile i changed some exercises, but maintain 80% of the plan (Or its more 90% or so), since we do not have a reverse hyper or ghr, so i do good mornings and hyperextensions with a dumbell, mtor style), and also i do leg press with one leg mtor today on saturday, but changing the reps (higher). Thats spontanously since i am a little bit sored and have birthday tomorrow.

Overall the techniques are very good and the benefit of chosing those plans is to keep the raisins for the future and to adapt (mtor and rest/pause for example - we both loved it. Me personal i hate drop sets). Also i feel the spirit of the plan, when doing so. So the principles, therefore its like understanding the priority, and exercise selection is last (but variation, like angles is very important to hit most of the muscle fibers - and also those basics compound exercises etc. pp)!

That gives me comfort. But above all is my body reaction on it. So its like a priority pyramid. I would say its a good 8,7 from 10 (i guess its also because of the reload, sensibilization of muscle fibers).

I dont know if its the best damn workout plan, since classic upper lower is also good - but i think i will add part II of it, so completing a cycle of 12 weeks, with 1 week reload in between after 6 weeks. But i dont feel fine to do cardio afterwards training. I had to be careful.

Form is good and i keep working out.

And i also want to share my traningphilosophy, just switching plans/techniques/exercises every 4-6 weeks (because i saw how my body reacted over time, its like my body code). Also to write plans is the very easy part for me, i chose plans from other people who are creative and just do it, without analyzing, because i know everything works. THe reason is curiosity and fun.

And i hate to write plans on my own, because of perfectionism. Also i know my plans are sufficient.

and the second thing i learned from experience, are the reload weeks. I did it before i read christian article, but in the past i thought its wrong (i have to do “deloads”), allthough it felt wrong.

the third is to have low volume phases, and maybe volume progression when calories are sufficient.

forth minicuts here and there (esp. with the age) and to do most things with intuition, esp. adapting a plan structure, to fill it with “life”. Intuition is some kind of knowledge to.

So if i had a time machine, i would tell this my pastself and to stop google :wink:

Also i want to share my cure for cfs. I bought cistus incanus (its new) and take vitamin c and magnesium twice a day. Doc says 3x. But i want to take it 3-4 hours apart from training.

My good blood work the last time was a combination of stressors like Cardio, Sauna (!), lowering body fat, intermittent fasting/ good nutrition. but i think esp. Citrulline/creatine. Its difficult to say, but i feel its the citrulline. Took it every day, 10grams/day for almost 3 months or so.

Ahhh i have a weighted blanket since two weeks or so and took it with melatonin. My sleep is nice, and the difference melatonin/no melatonin (but only with this combination) is my brain is clear in the morning. so i keep it. Good regenation.

Why cistus incanus?

I hope this is ok, since i want to help people who not only suffer cfs, but also other fatigue related illnesses or other stuff. I will keep you updated, how i progress. I drank coffee and go to gym yet. its 3 minutes by feet from my bed ( i lie there).

Nice saturday guys. And thank you so much for helping me - i did a transformation in the last weeks and months, and you helped me to be there, and its still going. Im a little bit overmotivated, but its normal (the gym is new, and also the plan). So new things are at least good for my mind. To keep things updated/fresh, so its part of my core principles / training philosophy (for psychological reason, not only physiological).

I allways forget that psych. gives you power input to (physical energy)

Hey @Tcrazyjam,

First of all I want to congratulate you on your progress and your courage to ask for help when you needed it most. That in itself is a sign that you were ready to grow as a person and based on your comments it looks like you really made a giant leap forward from where you once where. So for that I applaud you!

Second, while I personally enjoy your enthousiasm to share your experiences and your motivation to keep going in the right direction, I do want to mention that this is still CT’s forum page where lifters come to ask questions/read topics related to training.

It’s wonderful that you found a passion in writing down your personal growth both in and outside of the gym but after a while it becomes a little bit inappropriate to keep doing here on CT’s forum.

Don’t take this the wrong way, it’s nothing personal. It’s just that not everyone who visits this forum is interested in reading your stories.

So may I suggest you keep sharing your thoughts and experiences in your own training log?

Good luck on your journey and stay the course mate!


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Thank you for your post, you are absolutly right, i will! Have a good day