T Nation

Diabetic, Insulin and Bodybuilding/Strength Training


#1

Hi!

I have been working out pretty seriously for a couple of years, and I have very little progress in muscle volume or strength gains.
I am 6.2 @ 168 lbs and just under 10 % bodyfat.

As an example of slow progress, I spent almost 2 months going from 5x5 @ 165lbs benchpress to 5x5 @ 176lbs, an my weight gain is practically zero, even at 4000 calories a day.

I have diabetes with very low production of insulin, and I am not taking insulin (yet) to make up for my own low production.
So I wonder if this is what is holding me back, or can I make serious gains without a normal insulin production?

I feel I push myself pretty hard at the gym, and I have trained martial arts before so I know how I feel when my body is getting pushed to the limit.
But since this is subjective, I guess I need to know if my low insulin production is the culprit, or if I need to work more/harder.

Best regards
Gjermund, Norway


#2

[quote]oblivious wrote:
Hi!

I have been working out pretty seriously for a couple of years, and I have very little progress in muscle volume or strength gains.
I am 6.2 @ 168 lbs and just under 10 % bodyfat.

As an example of slow progress, I spent almost 2 months going from 5x5 @ 165lbs benchpress to 5x5 @ 176lbs, an my weight gain is practically zero, even at 4000 calories a day.

I have diabetes with very low production of insulin, and I am not taking insulin (yet) to make up for my own low production.
So I wonder if this is what is holding me back, or can I make serious gains without a normal insulin production?

I feel I push myself pretty hard at the gym, and I have trained martial arts before so I know how I feel when my body is getting pushed to the limit.
But since this is subjective, I guess I need to know if my low insulin production is the culprit, or if I need to work more/harder.

Best regards
Gjermund, Norway[/quote]

I am not qualified to give medical advice.

However I can tell you that insulin is one of the most anabolic and anti-catabolic hormone in the body, meaning that it plays a big role in building muscle and preventing muscle loss.

I can also tell you that many high level bodybuilders who aren’t diabetic use insulin to gain more muscle.

And from experience a very low carbs diet, which leads to low insulin levels, makes it VERY hard to gain muscle.

You do the math.


#3

Hi CT, diet question here but would really like your view.

In terms of a sustainable, long-term diet that’s conduscive to physique and performance, what are your thoughts on a paleo/some dairy + Plazma/MAG-10/ intra workout only?

Specifically, using fruits as carbs during other parts of day (e.g. pineapple, like Gironda’s Hawaian diet - only pineapple/papaya + meat = 1 lbs fat loss a day).

Maybe every other day refuel with white rice or sweet potatoes at night depending on leanness.

I know this approach has gotten me lean in the past (and feeling good) but my only concern is whether it stalls muscle gains. Muscle grows slowly anyways though right? And on a diet with lots of carbs, and even junk food, the full pumped look is short term and not really muscle…


#4

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
Hi CT, diet question here but would really like your view.

In terms of a sustainable, long-term diet that’s conduscive to physique and performance, what are your thoughts on a paleo/some dairy + Plazma/MAG-10/ intra workout only?

Specifically, using fruits as carbs during other parts of day (e.g. pineapple, like Gironda’s Hawaian diet - only pineapple/papaya + meat = 1 lbs fat loss a day).

Maybe every other day refuel with white rice or sweet potatoes at night depending on leanness.

I know this approach has gotten me lean in the past (and feeling good) but my only concern is whether it stalls muscle gains. Muscle grows slowly anyways though right? And on a diet with lots of carbs, and even junk food, the full pumped look is short term and not really muscle…
[/quote]

What does it have to do in this thread? Start a new one


#5

[quote]oblivious wrote:
Hi!

I have been working out pretty seriously for a couple of years, and I have very little progress in muscle volume or strength gains.
I am 6.2 @ 168 lbs and just under 10 % bodyfat.

As an example of slow progress, I spent almost 2 months going from 5x5 @ 165lbs benchpress to 5x5 @ 176lbs, an my weight gain is practically zero, even at 4000 calories a day.

I have diabetes with very low production of insulin, and I am not taking insulin (yet) to make up for my own low production.
So I wonder if this is what is holding me back, or can I make serious gains without a normal insulin production?

I feel I push myself pretty hard at the gym, and I have trained martial arts before so I know how I feel when my body is getting pushed to the limit.
But since this is subjective, I guess I need to know if my low insulin production is the culprit, or if I need to work more/harder.

Best regards
Gjermund, Norway[/quote]

I can only speak for myself, but I am a type 1 diabetic and the issue for me hasn’t been making progress but rather keeping the progress. I am not sure if it is related to the disease (I suspect it is considering everyone type 1 that I have known have had lightening fast metabolisms) but I require ALOT of calories to grow but when I do as long as I keep up with my eating I will make a ton of progress fast.

However if I fall off the eating wagon even for a week it puts me in a deficit that is hard to get out of without having to basically spend my entire days eating my way back up so to speak. On average it takes me 4600- 4800 calories to grow, but when I stop eating it takes up to 5000+ to get back up to a healthy weight for me.

The only thing to be aware of is when you start pushing it too far either diet wise, training wise, or stress level wise and you notice you need higher doses of insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels for the same number of carbs that you are eating. For me it means I am becoming resistant and usually when this happens the weight I am gaining usually turns out to be more fat than muscle. It’s not the end of the world, I usually just drop the carb levels down some and figure out what needs to be fixed.

Keep in mind I have been a diabetic for 14 years at this point, so I am more dry on my own insulin production levels, so none of this may apply to you. It may never apply to you. But in case any of it did I hope it helps!

Diabetes and lifting can make you want to pull your hair out sometimes, but be patient, put your head down and grind and you should be just fine!


#6

Thanks, that does help.

I am not using insulin now, but I probably will have to start with it soon as my own production is very low and getting lower by the look of my blood work.

I will keep this in mind if or when I start with insulin, maybe I will get some more out of my training.

Thanks again for the insight!