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Thread: Improving stamina

  1. #1

    Improving stamina

    I posted previously as I began weight training so that I can continue to play w/c BB at the advanced age of 55. I believe I have gained some strength already, but stamina for prolonged periods just isn't there. Other than a Colorado cycle or just pushing, how can you improve your stamina. If I lighten up on the weights on the machines and do more reps, will that help? If so, what machines should I use? Will swimming help? I've never really had to train before other than to go to practice and play the games. I'm determined to be competitive with my younger teammates, but I'm not sure of how to get the best results for my efforts. Age is definitely a factor, but it can be overcome, IMO.

  2. #2
    Well, I haven't seen musclebeach post for a while, so I'll throw in my .02. For stamina, you need cardio strength. You need to work your heart for extended periods of time. Lifting weights, unless done very rapidly, without breaks, etc. is not going to improve your cardiovascular system. Your heart rate goes up only temporarily while you are doing the reps, then immediately goes back down during breaks.

    To improve your cardio for stamina, you want to get your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes, sustained.

    You mentioned the "Colorado cycle." Are you using one? I have a Schwinn Windjammer stationary bike and had a Powertrainer before that. The Powertrainer was a piece of crap, but the Schwinn is GREAT. I hit that 5 times a week for 35-40 minutes. That really gets my heart rate up. I don't do w/c basketball or any other w/c sports, but I'd like to think that just from having been doing cardio with a stationary bike for the past five plus years I would be at an advantage over someone who hasn't.

    Besides doing some stationary bike work, I would recommend going to the gym and just plain wheeling. Have you ever seen basketball players doing "back and forths"? They start at the baseline and sprint to the foul line, touch the line, and go back to the baseline, then next to the half court line and back, then to the opposite foul line and back, then to the opposite baseline and back (all continuously with no breaks, obviously). Do that over and over and you'll develop your stamina better than with any machine. You're actually be developing the muscles you use when wheeling. You'll also be developing your balance because you'll be turning around quickly at the lines when "sprint wheeling" back and forth.

    Aside from that spring work, I think it would be good to just wheel, fast, around the perimeter of the gym (or go out on the street or wherever). Get your speed and heart rate up and keep it up. Wheel for a half hour straight as fast as you can. That will help with your stamina, too.

    I haven't swam post-SCI, but just from memory of the good ole' days, I know swimming is good for cardio, too.
    Last edited by Rock517; 08-31-2006 at 08:16 PM.
    6/18/00: T-5 complete

  3. #3

    Thanks, Rock

    I used to have a Colorado cycle, but it was just cluttering up the house. There's a chance the gym I use will get one. How many days a week should I do the cardio for the sustained 20 minutes? It was the "back and forths" at practice that convinced me that I need more strenuous workouts. I felt like I was going to pass out. I have access to an indoor pool, but the gym is too crowded for regular pushing. I'm going to try to implement your advice. I'll get a good workout at practice. What kind of regimen will work in the pool? I didn't realize I was in such poor condition, since I feel great and I always keep my weight down. However, I'm determined to do this. Any additional input will be appreciated.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by tasty
    I used to have a Colorado cycle, but it was just cluttering up the house. There's a chance the gym I use will get one. How many days a week should I do the cardio for the sustained 20 minutes? It was the "back and forths" at practice that convinced me that I need more strenuous workouts. I felt like I was going to pass out. I have access to an indoor pool, but the gym is too crowded for regular pushing. I'm going to try to implement your advice. I'll get a good workout at practice. What kind of regimen will work in the pool? I didn't realize I was in such poor condition, since I feel great and I always keep my weight down. However, I'm determined to do this. Any additional input will be appreciated.
    I do cardio 5 times a week - I would suggest 4 at the least and 6 max. And 20 minutes would be the least amount of time. The little booklet that came with my Schwinn said something about 20-45 minutes per session.

    If the gym is too crowded, you could always do it on your driveway or some other area if you're that dedicated. But like I said, lifting weights won't really help a lot for cardio; there's a reason they had you doing back and forths!

    As far as the pool, I'm not really sure. I haven't swam in six years... I guess set a goal of doing X amounts of laps back and forth. Swim hard, get your heart rate up. See if you're tired at the end of those laps. If you're not add a couple more. Keep track of your laps every session, then try and add to the number the next time. Or swim for time. But make sure you can still get out of the pool...

    I did a Google search for "cardiovascular training." Not sure how many apply to us, but I'm sure you could get some helpful info from some of the sites. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...cular+training

    Good luck. It sounds like you're dedicated. That's the most important thing.
    6/18/00: T-5 complete

  5. #5
    Find a park in your area and start wheeling your chair around. Or on some safe streets. Gloves help a lot and will protect your hands. Each day you'll probably be able to go a bit farther and with more ease. You'll be using a chair in WC BB so it's what you want to start increasing your indurance with.

    This is coming from a lazy smoker who hasn't done any real wheelchair pushing for years, just the bare minimum to get by. But back in the early 90s (I was around 35 then) I got into it for awhile and was surprised how easy it got after just a few weeks. Of course I had to stop every mile or so for a cigarette break!

    I lost extra weight and my stamina really increased. One push of the rims/wheels at a time. Get a dog and take him or her with you... it'll make you feel like you're doing something. The leash tends to get tangled a bit until you both get it figured out.

    Good luck old man. I'm a not so spry 51.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  6. #6
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Pushing is the best way to build the endurance needed for pushing. Swiming will help.

    Being competitive also means practicing your BB skills. What age takes from your physical skills (mostly quickness and vision, though most lose the fire) can be compensated with increased mental skills.

    What's your bb classification? What conference do you play in? If you've been ballin' for a long time, we might have played against each other.

    I'm still good to go, just too far to travel to a team.
    Last edited by Foolish Old; 09-01-2006 at 11:27 AM.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  7. #7

    Good points

    I think we have the beginning of a plan here. The goal will be Rock's 4 cardio sessions per week, at least 20 minutes of continuous movement that will push the heart rate. Games are not nearly as strenuous as these workouts, as breaks are built in with time outs, fouls, and foul shots. Besides, I won't be playing more than 20 minutes over the course of the game. We have lots of good players. Aging well with SCI is a balancing act. You have to push the envelope to stay healthy, but you can't try to push through it or you'll end up injuring yourself. I love competition in a team environment. BB works for me. A sedentary lifestyle is the enemy of living well. The best to you all. Keep the thread alive if you have something to add. It's interesting reading your POV's.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by tasty
    You have to push the envelope to stay healthy, but you can't try to push through it or you'll end up injuring yourself.
    Tell me about it - I started lifting weights about 6 months post SCI. Nothing much, just started messing around seeing what I could do. I was really active pre-SCI with jogging, calestentics, weight lifting, mountain biking, basketball, swimming, golfing (God I miss that), you name it. Spring 2001 I got into a regular, hard workout routine - lifting three times a week for two hours. I also got a Powertrainer stationary cycle for cardio and hit that 4-6 times a week for 35-45 minutes. By 2004 I was benching 250 pounds, doing lat pull downs of 200, curling with a 50 lb dumbbell, etc.

    Then, July 2005 I woke up and my shoulder hurt. I thought I slept on it wrong, but after a week it still hurt. After an MRI I found I had some minor tears in my right shoulder rotator cuff... Nothing that required surgery and thank God it didn't affect my wheeling, but it hurt with certain transfers and movements, and it hurt to sleep on my right side. I stopped some exercises and changed the weights I did with others, started stretching properly, etc. A year later it has healed pretty much, but can still hurt from time to time. Oh well, I'd rather have an injury like this from being active versus getting a bed sore from lying around all day getting fat...
    6/18/00: T-5 complete

  9. #9

    Foolish Old

    I'd be surprised if we hadn't played against each other. This is my 34th year in BB. I played my entire career in the Mid-Atlantic conference, but played against the old Ft. Lauderdale team, Orlando, and Jacksonville. There are probably others, but I don't recall them now. I'm a class II, a real one. I don't ambulate at T11. I can't believe some of the guys that get classified as II's. They ambulate, some without orthotics. That's just the way it is. My skills are still there, but you have to get in position to execute. With all the back-picking in the game now, you'll get very tired, if you're not in great shape. BTW, my home gym is a 90 minute ride one way. If I had a gym closer to home I could complete several workouts a week and get in extra shooting. This may be the most talented team I've ever played on, and we went to the Final Four in '76 and '77. Yeah, tell me about it. That was a long time ago. This is my last go-round, and I'm going to make the most of it.

  10. #10

    Rock

    I'm truly sorry about your injury. SCI gets everybody, somewhere, eventually. I'm somewhat paranoid about my shoulders, so I quit with the slightest pinch or weird sensation. My worst problem is in my hands; carpal tunnel, arthritis, and something called "trigger finger". Thank God for Celebrex. As long as I can do the things that I enjoy; I'm alive. Once you get relegated to a fully sedentary lifestyle, all kinds of problems set in. I hope I blow-up before I rust out.

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