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Diabetic Weight Lifting?

I’m a type 2 diabetic, and i’m trying to find out the best way to work out. The local trainer at my gym has me on a program with 4 working sets of 20/15/12/8 reps with weights that allow me to hit thos reps but the last few on each set is a struggle. He says the best way to work out for me as a diabetic is for hypertrophy, to help lower my numbers as they run high. While I get a very good workout with the higher number reps, i’m not improving strength wise like i would like. i would like to have strength gains like a tactical athlete. Even the diabetic muscle and fitness guide book a bought is a bit confusing as it talks about strength being one of the prime points for a goal but then talks about high volume training in the same chapter. so i’m a bit confused on what is actually best. Any help would be great

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That makes little to no sense at all and there’s no valid reasoning behind his advice. Basically, the dude doesn’t know what he’s talking about and if he keeps giving this level of advice to people with serious medical conditions, he’s going to hurt someone eventually.

As a diabetic, you need to be 100% on top of your nutrition, including workout nutrition during sessions to avoid a problem. The training itself should simply match your goal and it isn’t significantly affected by your condition.

I’m not totally sure what that means, but 4x20,15,12,8 is a kind of old school bodybuilding pyramid. It’s neither tactical nor particularly athletic.


a tactical athlete is a soldier, or emergency services or a martial artist, which i want to start the latter, martial arts. i’m not looking to be a competitive bodybuilder at all, that doesn’t interest me in the least, but i do want to improve my strength more than i have been lately.

There are plenty of more efficient ways to do that than what you’ve been doing. 5/3/1 is sort of a default program when strength is the top priority because it’s so versatile and definitely effective, but because it’s relatively open-ended, there are a lot of ways to screw it up.

There are tons of options that can also work, from basic Starting Strength to stuff from Chad Waterbury or Dan John to plenty of others. What are your current stats - height, weight, bodyfat, current best lifts?

Out of curiosity, what kind of martial arts are you looking at? You might want to check out the Combat forum where guys talk about their training: https://forums.t-nation.com/c/combat

i should also state that my numbers run high as a type 2 so i think i need to train in a way to bring those numbers down.

i was practicing jiu jitsu off and on but i’m nowhere’s near flexible enough to do that. i was looking into kick boxing

i’m 6’2", currently at 230lbs, as i’ve only been starting out at lifting, my actual workout program has changed up a few times, but if you mean the big 3 powerlifting moves, the bench i’ve hit 135 for reps, including the bar, same on squat, but deadlift i’ve moved 275.

I’m a type 1 diabetic and all of my compound movements are in the 3-5 rep range for strength. Lifting for hypertrophy can burn through more muscle glycogen and increase your insulin sensitivity for 12-24 hours post workout. I also do cardio 4-5 times a week to help keep insulin sensitivity high.

If you want to focus more on strength, then tell your trainer that.

so do you train hypertrophy for accessory exercises or just in the strength range 3-5 reps

Exercise Physiologists are university-educated health professionals trained to deliver exercise to people with health issues, like T2 Diabetes.

See if you can find one in your area, if not just for an initial consultation to discuss realistic goals and any considerations/contraindications for your weight training


Does this trainer have formal qualification to be working with individual with pre existing medical issues? You might ask for a resume before hand . But you obviously don’t take his advice at face waste since your on here asking.

There is no obstacle to train in a scheme that gives it more strength and more volume.
8x3x100 /With weighting for about 5 repetitions maximum/is the same as 3х8x80, but the training session has undergone a much higher intensity.
After all, I’m not a specialist, and I don’t give advice. I’m just saying that volume can be achieved in high intensity.


…just so you know, boxing that requires you to use your feet kind of requires flexibility too…


Pictured: Not boxing. Lol.

Plus, Bob would disagree. He gets get kicked like a bitch, and very little flexibility is involved.

Translation: kickboxing

Yeah, I was just being a dick.

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Flexibility, like any other physical attribute, improves with practice. If you want to train Jiujitsu, go for it. Your flexibility/mobility will get better over time.

That’s cool too. Just understand that it’s going to have a big cardio component, so you’ll likely spend time sucking wind on the bags, sparring, etc. Again though, that’s something that improves as your body gets in better shape.

Sort out your weekly schedule (how many days you’re training vs how many days you’re lifting) and then you can put a plan together. Even something as basic as two days a week with a simple lifting plan will build strength and complement your other training.

The biggest thing, again, is to dial in your nutrition, especially around workouts, to avoid any problems.

Me too!

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Look man, i’ll give you the long and the short of it.

Short version: any type of resistance training for an untrained diabetic will be helpful in both sugar control and muscle building.

Long version: Resistance training induces increased expression of sglt4 (a glucose transporter) on your muscle cells. Therefore, more muscle mass means your muscle can suck up sugar in your bloodstream better. So, in theory, resistance training, along woth other exercise, is specifically good for diabetics by helping them add lean body mass. The only issue is that in order to build kuscle effectively, you need to do whatever resistance training you “like” the most, because that is probably what you will be most consistent with. Consistency builds muscle, not specific workouts. So although your trainer is right that putting on “more mass” should be a priority, it misses the big and important topic of what you are interested in doing the most, ergo, what you will likely be most successful and consistent with that will lead to muscle growth.

Any way dude, best of luck. You actually sound like a poster who gives a s***, meaning you are likely to be succesful however you choose to go about it. Enjoy the gainz and have fun!


its actually funny i should get all these posts, i’ve found something i’m willing to try from here, starting next week. its a 10 week program where i flip flop every 10 weeks, one phase is for strength endurance, and the second phase is for brute strength. basically a 5x5 program. looking forward to trying it, and i found said program here on t nation

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