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FES Bike finally approved!

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    FES Bike finally approved!

    After two years of battling what seems like everyone, I have finally been approved for a new Stimmaster. I guess now I need as few pointers. Any suggestions on how to get the most out of this? Also what things do I have to look for so I don't kill myself Thanks in advance.

    Vike - I think you get a training video, don't you? If I were you I'd search this forum and read everything you find on FES. We've been posting our experiences with lots of tips for some time now.

    The main strategy is to try to reach 60 minutes of pedaling. This gives you the best cardiovascular workout. In the long run, cardiovascular health is the most important reason for using the bike.

    Begin at 0/8 resistance. Assist your legs by pushing on your knees with your hands as required. In a short time your legs will become stronger. And so will your heart and lungs. When you are able to pedal for an hour unassisted then increase the resistance to 1/8. I normally increase the resistance after pedaling for an hour without difficulty three times in a row.

    At 1/8, 2/8, etc resistance, the bike will automatically adjust itself lower if your rpms drop down to 45 or lower. This is normal and happens when your legs tire. When you can pedal for 60" at 1/8 resistance, without the bike auto-adjusting down to 0/8, then it's time to consider going up to 2/8. Each increase in resistance feels like a big step at the time. But you'll be amazed at how much stronger and stronger you will become.

    It took me forever to get beyond 3/8 resistance. I did it by adding strength training to my regimen in addition to the constant endurance training. Basically, I would pedal at much higher resistance, 5/8 to 7/8, for short periods of time [legs tire quickly, anyway]. I often did this after completing my sixty minute endurance ride and resting for a while.

    I think you'll find that the warm-up time is very important. Curtis and I both try to extend the one minute warm up by assisting with our hands for several minutes in the beginning. Sometimes I'll pedal at a lower resistance for ten minutes. Then I'm able to increase the resistance and my legs will respond better. It's the same concept.

    Congrats on beginning your FES voyage! There's nothing else like it for SCI health. I feel soooo good. I feel healthy like I had never felt in twenty years since my injury. It helps in so many categories of life. Many more than I could list here. All I have to say is go for it! The effort you put in to be disciplined and pedal absolutely every other day will come back as bountiful rewards. You won't be sorry! [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
    ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~