How to beat exercise intolerance?

[T]oday I ran on the treadmill for 60 seconds. Awesome, huh?

I saw this piece in the New York Times about the four minute workout and decided it was time for me to try it out. So, 60 seconds of running at a 6.0 pace on the treadmill and it felt great. I haven’t run that fast for even 10 seconds since about 2006. It was fun even if I could feel how chubby I’ve become as I bounced up and down. I took two D-Ribose caps afterwards and stretched. So far so good.

This is a quote from the New York Times blog:

Thanks to an ingratiating new study, we may finally be closer to answering that ever-popular question regarding our health and fitness: How little exercise can I get away with? The answer, it seems, may be four minutes.

I noted this too, in the comments underneath the New York Times article:

The information in this article is not leading-edge.

If you google Phil Campbell and “Sprint 8” or “Peak 8,” you’ll learn a lot more about high-intensity interval training than is in this article. The best protocol is, on a bike or elliptical, three minutes of light warmup, then a 30 second sprint at maximum intensity followed by 90 seconds of very light “moving rest.” Then you sprint 30 seconds again, rest 90; and then do it again. After the eighth sprint, you warm down with 2.5 minutes of “moving rest” on your machine. The entire workout is 20 minutes, and it should be done three times a week.

What is great the Sprint 8 protocol is that it has been extensively researched down to the level of the mitochondria and, as Loeber writes, HGH. There is a (lengthy) interview of Campbell by an MD on Youtube that explains the test results and the remaining uncertainties. Nothing there contradicts this NYT article but that discussion goes a lot further; and it explains why intervals longer than 30 seconds, rests longer than 90 seconds, etc., are suboptimal.

I’m gaining weight and want to do something about it. Methylation and chelation protocols both call for exercise and I know it’s important to my recovery.  My exercise intolerance is pretty severe though – I crash right after exercising and am dragging the day after too. My dad has been sending me articles about the benefits of short interval training for years but until today that was sitting on the shelf.

According to Freddd, the carnitine and dibencozide I’m taking should be restoring my endurance. But, I don’t think it’s happened yet.

I like what Mark Sisson says about sprinting here (good) and cardio here (bad) – very consistent with the four minute workout theme. There’s some more support for this idea in the Tabata method too:

Tabata regime

An early version of HIIT was based on a 1996 study[6][7] by Professor Izumi Tabata (田畑 泉) et al. initially involving Olympic speedskaters,[8] uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). The exercise was performed on a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. Tabata called this the IE1 protocol.[9] In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state training (70% VO2max) 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 ml/kg/min), but the Tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 ml/kg/min). Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits.

I’m going to try Sprint 8 tomorrow and will post updates in the comments below.


I completed five days in a row using the Sprint 8 program on my treadmill to do an average of three 30 sec sprints and feel like it is going remarkably well. I took D-Ribose after each of my micro workouts and it really helps to clear my brain each time. Today, I came across this post by Alex on FDC:

D-ribose and normal sugar are completely different and don’t do the same thing in the body, if you do well on d-ribose then your krebs cycle has issues you are not recycling atp properly and this is normally due to magnesium levels in the body being too low, it can be low levels of some of the b-vits as well but it is more likely to be magnesium levels.

D-ribose is poor mans atp, it cannot be recycled in the body so it is a quick hit but used to work wonders for me.

An ATP profile test will tell you why your krebs cycle is not working, but rather than spend that money up your magnesium to much higher levels, I take 2gm per day and since I have taken than dose (more than 2 years) I have not needed d-ribose.

Some doctors believe that the core issue with CFS/ME is krebs issues, in my case I would agree, the other main area for me with energy levels is adrenal put krebs and adrenal issues together and you are basically in hell, been there done it, not a good place at all.

D-ribose should be a near instant hit 5-10 minutes used to see me going from lying on the floor asking my wife to make me a black coffee with d-ribose in it, to standing and able to talk properly again.

So I’m feeling better and better about the use of D-Ribose. Yesterday, I also used it after a 45 minute horseback ride and it was one of my most functional days ever, post riding. Seems to me that if I take the ribose before and during a workout it just encourages me to overexertion. So yesterday, I took one ribose before riding and five afterwards.

Today, I’m going to experiment with the magnesium boost Alex mentioned.


12 thoughts to “How to beat exercise intolerance?”

  1. The sprinting concept has worked out phenomenally well for me but, I’ve got proximal hamstring tendinopathy now so can’t use the treadmill or run outside now. Have been fighting it for a couple weeks by using an elliptical machine, and today I will go get a jump rope…

    Really wish I had a solution for my chronic muscle tightness. Neither magnesium nor potassium have done the trick…


    1. I just found your site a few minutes ago and am bowled over…OMG, I became exercise intolerant last year at the same time I became anaphylactic to things I had never had an allergy to in my life. It was determined that I have mast cell activation syndrome but I am only on the cusp of that as determined by all the tests..anyway, my Dr at Brigham and Women’s insisted that I had to exercise but when I do it triggers nerve pain in my teeth and such fatigue that the next day I feel like one of Dali’s melting clocks…ha..get this, I had just graduated with a fellowship in Applied Functional Science so that my “retirement age” job (I am close to 60) was keeping other boomers as fit and healthy as I was…something I could do into my 80’s or 90’s…..yes, life can definitely play some NOT so funny jokes.
      I can’t wait to read more (LOVE the 4 minute HITS idea!) but to answer your question about tight muscles. If you are in south FL then get yourself to Aaron Mattes who is THE stretching guru of all gurus, he’s in Sarasota, you might want to take one of his 3 day seminars..they are awesome. The people he has trained that work with him are excellent if he isn’t available. You will never be tight again after learning his methods, they have rescued me countless times when tight muscles were causing sciatica and unbearable agony, I can’t say enough about his methods, it really opens your eyes. This man works with presidents, professional athletes, movie stars as well as tons of regular folk, he is such a generous and kind man..the salt of the earth.
      Ok..I am so excited to have found your to explore it!

      1. I know the melting clock feeling! hope you will figure out the source of your problems soon… I live in Colorado now. Be well.

  2. The sprinting concept has worked out phenomenally well for me but, I’ve got proximal hamstring tendinopathy now so can’t use the treadmill or run outside now. Have been fighting it for a couple weeks by using an elliptical machine, and today I will go get a jump rope…

    Really wish I had a solution for my chronic muscle tightness. Neither magnesium nor potassium have done the trick…


  3. Just posted an update at the bottom of this post after reading something very exciting on FDC posted by Alex. As a result, I’m going to increase my magnesium today up to 2 g from 1.2 grams…

  4. You’ve picked my interest to see where I’m at tolerance-wise with exercise.  I’ve been doing a couple yoga poses and going to see if I can do a minute or two on the rebounder without having too bad a crash the next day.  That is, I should say, after I recover from this round…  Managed to finish the 5 days but it was a brutal one, with bad reactions for 3 days from some organic salad greens and an egg from the farmer’s market.  Must’ve been a certain herb in the salad mix and who knows what about the egg — last time I tried an egg it was a failure as well    😉

    1. Five days is so long.. I’m on day three now and always ready to quit at this point.

      Today I increased to 3 half minute sprints – pretty exciting because I almost broke a sweat today.

      Since you get lecithin with your vitamin C, you may not need to eat eggs much…

      When I read about the fast recoveries people like Patti had, I tend to think that people like you and I may have a larger basket of metals and toxins to clean out. my dose timer is ringing… see ya!

      1. Congrats on your sprinting success!  That’s awesome!  I surrender, on my end…  Two nights ago, I did a little yoga with my niece and nephew, and was a little more active than normal with them.  Nothing any healthy person would consider activity or exercise, but enough to knock my fatigue into full gear.  I was beyond exhausted yesterday, and today the fatigue was so heavy I kept falling back asleep and didn’t get out of bed until noon.  I feel like a bag of sand.  Heavy and completely wiped out.  I was going to try a minute or two on my rebounder one of these days, but forget that!  Not worth this…  For someone that hates tv, I’m sure watching a lot of it these days!

        The eggs I tried for some choline.  Is that in Non-GMO lecithin granules?  I don’t even know.  I don’t even remember why I wanted the choline.  I need to stop trying new things.  I always pay for it.  I need to give up with the farmers market too.  I just had yet another reaction, to the radishes I got there.  There hasn’t been much I’ve tolerated, which is disgusting, because I tolerate store-bought vegetables from who knows where, and not the local, organic stuff.  I soooo look forward to the day where I can eat a wide variety of healthy food, that nourishes my body instead of throwing it into panic.  I was just thinking today, I’m like a cross between a baby and an old lady:  I’m like a baby, eating a few bland, simple foods, sleeping, and going to the bathroom, but I’m like an old lady popping her pills around the clock.  What fun.

        But…  It’s all good.  I try to tell myself to enjoy not doing anything, because I think when I recover, I won’t want to sit down.  I’ll have lots of catching up to do! 

        1. Oh, that’s a tough break Tara. Sounds to me like chelation is going to be your thing for a while… I know that feeling of looking for something new and hoping that the next new thing will be the trick that makes everything work. I spent years goofing around with my diet and sleep even though I was just getting little improvements that didn’t amount to much because the main issue was metals. At the time I didn’t know about the metals but I still spent way too much time and energy mucking around with things that were a distraction.

          I think lecithin and choline are basically the same thing or very similar anyway.

          Yes, we will have lots and lots of catching up to do!

  5. Discovered that my wife’s treadmill has a Sprint 8 program, yehhaaa!! Set it on level 8 this morning and did warm up through the second Sprint. 2 D-Ribose caps before and after along with a little bit of yam before and after as well. Pulse got up to about 110 as measured through the palms. Felt brain fog coming on towards the end but cleared up afterwards with D-Ribose… Overall felt good.

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