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Immunity Boost Training Program

The EGYM Immunity Boost Training Program was developed to strengthen your immune system in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Intensity and progression controlled exercises that increase your immune defense.

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About 10 Min


Switch your muscles into an immune booster!

During training, your muscles produce messenger substances: The so called myokines. Myokines protect you from diseases and act like a “charging station” for your immune system. The Immunity Boost program has a unique intensity and progression tailored to release myokines, while also preventing you from bringing your body into a state of stress which could put you at a heightened risk of infection. This way, your muscles can be great protective organs. Empower your muscles to become the ultimate immune booster with the EGYM immunity boost training!


 

Your immune system can be trained

The immune system is the body's defense against infections and attacks germs and helps keep us healthy. A strong immune system decreases the risk of infections and also helps your body to fight diseases so that the course of disease is less severe. A healthy lifestyle can have a great impact on the efficiency of your immune system. Exercise is together with nutrition one of the most important levers to boost your immune system (Nieman 2020). 
An important part of your immunity is the lymph system. The primary function is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. Muscle lengthening and contractions act like a lymph pump and increase the lymph flow (Havas et al. 2002). 
Strength training releases myokines which are hormone-like messenger substances that have a protective and rejuvenating effect on the immune system (Nieman and Wentz 2019). The higher the intensity of the training the more myokines are released. A strength training with the right training stimulus also increases your muscle mass, more muscles can release more myokines!
But exercise can also cause the so-called open window effect where the immune system function is weakened shortly after the training. A higher training intensity also comes with a greater open window effect. A cool down containing light cardio exercise can help to reduce this effect and to accelerate the regeneration (Hooren and Peake 2018). 

High age and a bad lifestyle have a negative effect on the immune system. The right amount of exercise improves the defense against viruses. 

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254620300600 (Nieman 2020)
 


 

The EGYM recipe to boost immunity

The EGYM Immunity Boost program balances training intensity and progression to release as many protective myokines as possible without bringing the immune system into a weakened state.

Each workout contains a warmup, a muscle strengthening part and a light cardio cool down. During the warm up which includes stretching exercises for an increased lymph flow and improved breathing capacity, you activate your immune system and get prepared for the following strength training. The muscle strengthening part is designed in a way that your muscles release as many myokines as possible without being too strenuous. In the cardio cool down your body accelerates the regeneration and reduces the open window effect. 
 


Optimal strength training 

Muscle strengthening is the main part of the program and follows the EGYM principles to provide an effective, safe and standardized training which results in reproducible and predictable results. The best outcome can be achieved when the training is conducted with EGYM Smart Strength equipment.

EGYM Intensity control: There is a risk of overloading and by that prolonging the time window of the immune suppression. Especially “boot camp style” training programs, that push towards your limits may be risky. EGYM automatically sets the training weight based on an isokinetic strength test which is repeated every six training days. This allows very precise training stimuli that boost myokine release and muscle growth without weakening the immune system almost impossible to achieve without EGYM tools. Additional training principles like short intra set pauses after a few repetitions allow the muscles to “breath” and lower the perceived exertion. With EGYM Smart Strength training a high myokine release combined with a low perceived exertion is achieved. 

EGYM program standardization: The workout is completely standardized and the execution is controlled through the live feedback, the EGYM curve, making it super easy to follow the program for all kinds of user groups, but especially 50+ users. The system ensures that every repetition, set and progression follows exactly the training principles. The compliance of members to the unique program is much higher than with any other conventional prescription from a trainer via paper or an app only.

Unique program design: The strength training is designed for 12 weeks with a training frequency of 2 workouts per week. It contains four main phases each lasting about 3 weeks that create an intensity progression which optimizes the adherence to and efficiency of the program. 



Immunity boost training phases

Unit

Design

Explanation


Warmup
FLEXIBILITY


Week 1-12
Duration: 6min
Exercises: 4 chest and core exercises
Stretch: Hold each for 30/30 sec with 20 sec rest in between

Diaphragma release. Stretching of the chest and core muscles releases tension in the diaphragma which facilitates better breathing. The blood and oxygen flow through the whole body is increased which activates the immune system.  

Increased lymph flow: Muscle contraction and stretching increases the lymph flow.


Core
STRENGTH


Week 1-3
Method: Regular
Volume: 1 set x 5/5/5 reps with 4s breaks 
Intensity: 42% of 1RM

 

Week 4-6
Method: Regular
Volume: 2 sets x 5/5/5 reps with 4s breaks 
Intensity: 42% of 1RM

 

Week 7-9
Method: Negative
Volume: 2 sets x 8/8 reps with 4s breaks at 
Intensity: 36/55% of 1RM (concentric/ eccentric)

 

Week 10-12
Method: Negative
Volume: 2 sets x 9/9 reps with 4s breaks at 
Intensity: 36/55% of 1RM (concentric/ eccentric)


Gentle progression. Progression is adapted to the needs of the target group (50y+) and for an immunity boosting program.  


Let muscles breathe. This program is designed to push more oxygen through the muscles with short rests (4s) after a couple of repetitions.
This is based on the fact that blood and oxygen flow in muscles is stopped above about 30% of maximal contraction. Which means in a conventional training set with 15 repetitions without rest there is almost no blood exchange during the time under tension. With the EGYM Immunity boost strength training the muscles can “breath” in between a set. This results in lower lactate levels which limit the immunosuppressive effect and makes the training more tolerable for beginners.


Control intensity. Additionally, there is the intensity control that only a minimum necessary training stimulus is achieved, in contrast to a maximum stimulus. Based on internal tests this is achieved at 42% for that specific training design.

Advanced training types. Starting from week 7 the muscles are already used to strength training. In order to still create a training stimulus we are progressing with a variation of the training type, the “Negative” training, which places more emphasis on the eccentric phase of the movement. The purpose for this progression is to keep an effective training stimulus with greater training experience and by that to prevent a training plateau.


Cooldown
CARDIO


Week 1-12
Typ: Low Intensity Hill
Duration: 12 min
Intensity: between 20-40% of VO2max

Accelerated Regeneration. Cooldown with low intensity accelerates the regeneration of muscle training, which means it also reduces the time window of the immune suppression after the training.

 

 

References

The Journal of Physiology: Lymph flow dynamics in exercising human skeletal muscle as detected by scintography

Sports Medicine: A Narrative Review of the Psychophysiological Effects and the Effects on Performance, Injuries and the Long-Term Adaptive Response

Journal of Sport and Health Science: The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system

Physiotherapy: Does Intercostal Stretch Alter Breathing Pattern and Respiratory Muscle Activity in Conscious Adults?

Journal of Sport and Health Science: A tocsin to our aging, unfit, corpulent, and immunodeficient society