T Nation

Just Got Type 1 Diabetes and Need Help


I am 32 years old and I just got type one diabetes about 6 months ago. I was doing Stronglift 5X5 before the diabetes and it was working vary good. I was at 10% BF and felt good. Then the diabetes hit and that was it. I had to start on insulin and my workouts suffered. So I still do stronglift but my BF is up to 20%. I lost a lot of strength because of the diabetes and it sucks but for now I really need to find a good program for losing the fat but not losing the muscle I have now. If there is any one that is also a type one and can help me out.


Honestly, you might be better off being recommended to a poster who actually has diabetes and has seen gains or consulting a doctor about what physiological changes have impeded your progress. A lot of what you might get on a general thread like this may end up being idle speculation for someone in your position.

Good luck, and I'm sorry to hear about your condition.


Ok, you will probably need to give more info. I know adults can get type 1 diabetes even though it is typically considered childhood onset, but that really sucks and I am sorry.

Part of the 20% is likely diet related. Type 1 is a bitch, and does cause problems, but at the same time there may be things you can tweak with your diet as well.


I would also agree with 3Commandments--it is much more likely a doc can refer you to some people who have experience with diabetes and fitness/weight training to get useful information, even though we would like to help.


Do you get a hunger spike post insulin?


6 months and a 10% bodyfat change? Is that normal?


That's very normal, the main thing right now is to get your bloodsugars in check before you start worrying about progressing more (it will come in time). When I was diagnosed I was 6'2" 125 and gained a solid 40-45lb of fat withing the first few months back on insulin. You have to remember your body has been in starvation mode for a long time.

Look into getting an insulin pump, if you've had it for 6 months already talk to your doctor. They usually advise you to wait at least a year but you're 32 years old, tell them you need the freedom back (and it does give it trust me).


Just want to let you guys know that I am doing much better now. 3Commandments I have talked to doc about my training and they don't know what they are talking about. I think they are use to talking to older people about working out. I went from squatting 300lbs at BW 180 5X5 (ATG) three times a week and most doc don't understand that type of workout.

Whitetiger711 I have been on the pump for about 4 months and it is a hell of a lot better then shots every time you eat. For now my sugar is in really good check. My first A1C was 13 but my last A1C was 6.3. I really don't know any one that has type 1 diabetes (except my dad who got it at 35 and does not take care of himself) and lifts. If you have any advise on working with the insulin and working out. It really feels like my recovery really sucks now. I really want to get to where I was before so any help would be helpful.


Diabetic about 9years (Type I) FWIW.

? Anaerobic: blood sugar generally rises during (bearing in mind volume and intensity)
? Aerobic: blood sugar generally decreases (bearing in mind volume and intensity)
? So test before, during and after sessions to get a better idea of what happens

Specific to me, just so you get to see an example (carb amounts are to illustrate - obv you need to work out for yourself)

Anaerobic - tends to elevate BS or slight drop vs normal (I'm on WSFSBIII and use about 1/2 resting insulin levels with about 30-40g carbs before I start). Post workout and first meal after I need lower insulin:carb ratio

Aerobic activity - need to take carbs before as BS drops rapidly about 30min in (45min 130-150BPM I'd take 20-30g carbs before/during with no insulin). Post workout & first meal after ratios would be approx same as normal levels

When diagnosed I was down to about 64Kg BW, now upto about 90Kg about 12-14%BF. For me focusing on higher volume of weights 3-4 day a week led to better control (increased insulin senstivity for 24-48 hours after - JoeD BLAB program was the best I found due to the combination of weights + complexes). Steady cardio work doesn't do that (I only do minimum to maintain heart health). Nutrition - precision nutrition template but additional carbs (20-30g) with meals if I need it. As I've gained mass controlling the Blood sugar has become harder due to increased carbs in the diet - so be prepared to keep adjusting/monitoring what you do.

Oh and the "health professionals" you get to see won't know jack - I went on a course for controlling diet and insulin and because I was an S&C coah they were asking me the questions, lol.

Any other questions let me know


You were 6 foot 2 and weighed 125lbs?

Did you mean 225?


Thank you and I will have to test this out the next time I workout. What is JoeD BLAB program? Also I only wish I could do WSFSB but I am not skinny and I now put on weight really fast. What I would really need help with now is if it is normal for my recovery to not be so good now. For the past 10 weeks I have been doing the following and I have lost some fat but not that much and now i am not losing any more.

Chest and Back (Wed)
A1. BB Bench press (4-6 reps, no rest)
A2. Inclined Bench Press (6-8 reps)

Take 2 minutes of rest, and then get back to A1. Perform each superset 5-6 times.
B1. BB Row (4-6 reps, no rest)
B2. Chin-ups (6-8 reps)

Take 2 minutes of rest then get back to B1. Perform each superset 5-6 times.

Deadlift 1x5 135lbs, 1x5 225lbs, 1x5 275lbs, 1x4 325lbs, 1X2 335lbs

End with doing the bike for 6 intervals, 30sec at 4 then 30sec at 12. Do the same for Quads and Hams.

Quads and Hams (Do not do at all due to doing SL 5X5 for 6 months and my legs got huge)
A1. BB Squats (4-6 reps, no rest)
A2. BB Lunge (6-8 reps)

Take 2 minutes of rest, and then move on to B1.
B1. RDL (4-6 reps, no rest)
B2. BB Reverse Lunge (6-8 reps)

Lactate-inducing workout (Mon & Fri)

CIRCUIT A (12-15 reps per set)
DB Bench press 13, 13, 13 35lbs
BB Squats 13, 13, 13 85lbs
BB Bent-over Row 13, 13, 13 85lbs
DB Reverse Lunge 20lbs (Did not do due to pulled muscle)
Plank (35sec)

No rest between exercises within the circuit (or as little as possible). Perform the circuit three times. Rest 1-2 mins before moving on the circuit B.

CIRCUIT B (15-20 reps per set)
BB Shoulder press 15, 12, 10 85lbs
RDL 15, 12, 12 85lbs
One Arm Row 35lbs 15, 15, 15 (Each arm)
BB Front Squats 15, 12, 12 85lbs
Rev Crunch 15, 15, 15

No rest between exercises within the circuit (or as little as possible). Perform the circuit three times. Rest 1-2 mins before moving on the circuit C.

CIRCUIT C ? Optional (15-20 reps per set)
DBB Hammer Curl 15, 10, 8 30lbs
DB Calve Raise 15, 15, 15 50lbs
BB Skull crushers 15, 10, 8 30lbs
Power Cleans 10, 8, 6 85lbs

Ended with 20minutes walking at 8.0 incline at 3.5mph..

Let me know on what you think and thanks


once you get your blood sugar levels under control and learn what effects them better, you will be able to control bodyfat levels better. i know a few that have diabetes and lift.

Now the good part, no dr. will tell you this, but the fact that you have to take insulin, not only will that not hurt your bodybuilding gains, it will greatly improve them. insulin is the most anabolic hormone there is. once you get to know it, learn how to use it. you will make the greatest gains of your life. but you might want to control your carb intake for awhile till you learn a bit more.


those that take insulin, im a tad surprised your not telling him how anabolic insulin is. and please don't tell me its not.lol. you should at least tell him everything. yes, you have to be careful, cause you can gain fat quick, but the muscle and strength you can gain from insulin is incredible. its just not something any dr. will talk about. they probably dont know, lol. but guys that take it, should know, maybe they just don't want to say.


I did look into that a little when I first started it but I really couldn't find any really good info on it. I guess mostly I am really scared that I will be gaining a lot of fat. I have noticed that the fatter I get the harder it is the control my blood sugar. I have two little kids to take care of so it is not good for me to have high or low blood sugar. Right now I just want to get back to being lean but I am sure that as soon as I do get lean I will want to get big again.


Do you know of a good site that has info on this?


This has been discussed before on this site. Search for type 1 diabetes/diabetic, insulin, "to my advantage", and some similar stuff, you should find something at least.


there are some great supplements that will make your insulin work better. this new supplement from this site they are coming out with works with insulin. I don't know all the dynamics of how it works though. google cinamin extract(is a great insulin supplement) the more fat you gain, the more insulin resistant you become and you will need to take more insulin to control your blood sugar levels. but your A1 levels are in the 6's, that is just about normal levels.

first thing is to cut back on the carbs. cut out all soda and even juices like orange juice. obviously keep some in case your blood goes low. that should help you lose the fat. but, even though your blood sugar levels are under control, you could still be taking to much insulin. so, by cutting back on the carbs and increasing the protein, you shouldn't need as much insulin to control your sugar levels and that will help you lose fat. once you get down to where you want, then you can throw more carbs in and see how it effects your body.


IMO Your recovery is not good because your training is too high volume from what you can recover from (a function of your current work capacity, nutrition quality/timing and sleep) vs. because you are necessarily diabetic. With out more info its hard to say what it is but options:

  1. Reduce your volume to what you can recover from, sort your diet and insulin for that level; once sorted then slowly increase the volume of training back up and then adjust the diet and insulin as needed.


  1. Sort food timings: I found that with hard training sessions, having more carbs and protein immediatly after helped my recovery loads (about double a precision nutrition post workout meal) - to stop fat gain I then reduced the carbs during my other meals. So like I said similar to precision nutrition.


  1. If you are training hard and restricting calories you may be struggling to cope due to the lack of nutrients so deloading &/or having a moderate cheat day once a week etc may work. If you cant push yourself because you are too fatigued then maybe thats why the weight loss has slowed

Joe Defranco Built Like A Badass program - similar to WSFSBIII, but %based for ME and conditioning at end (you can buy through his website or just adjust WSFSBIII). Ignore the name of WSFSBIII - primarily your nutrition is what determines if you lose weight. You can drop weight by using WSFSBIII with shorter rest times &/or superset more of the exercises &/or add in sprints at end + a reduced diet. (I'm not trying to plug the program, just saying - obviously do what works for you)

FWIW I emailed John Berardi for specific info and he said he can only deal with Type I's on an individual basis so you may want to email him yourself and see if he can help if your really stuck (you'll prob have to pay). The other person is Shelby Staines who is working with a type I bodybuilder (check his log on elite &/or email the elite Q&A your questions). Or post a 4 day typical nutrition plan with amounts, timings, work out times etc and I'll see if anything seems obviously wrong


Just wanted to let you guys know that I found out why I was having such I hard time losing fat. when i was a teenager I use to sleep walk and eat a lot of food and not remembering it in the morning. will I have been going through PB really fast at home and I just thought it was the kids eating it. I asked them about this and they have not been eating it at all. So I was like what the hell is going on. Then that night my wife saw me down a whole jar of PB and then went back to bed. When i woke up I remembered nothing.

So now I need to look into why I am waking up and eating again. Most likely it is the same thing it was the last time this happened (School stress).
Also today was my first day doing Real Fast Fat Loss by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury. Dam that was hard but I liked it.