Hello I'm a 6 foot 8 inch
tall 210lb. guy with 12% body fat and I'm trying to build muscle.
I am diabetic and
have heard that this can be an advantage when trying to build muscle since I can
control my sugar levels.
However I have no idea
how this works are you able to enlighten me on this. Also is creatine a good
thing to try with my condition?
Jason Spencer, CSCS
Those are some very good questions you
have and I'm going to help you out with my suggestions... First off, anytime
the goal is to build muscle we're talking about using heavier more
challenging weights during our strength training, that will create a high
intensity stimulus for the muscles...
For example if you are used to lifting 20
lbs for a certain exercise and can do it many times (over 15 ), in order to
change to a muscle building response you need to use up to around 30 lbs or
even more to give yourself a more intense stimulus.
A heavier weight that will cause you to
struggle and push for no more than 8 - 10 reps. Forcing the muscles to
strain more is what elicits a muscle growth response as opposed to just a
toning response with the lighter weights.
Now, i have honestly not heard too much that
having diabetes is really advantageous toward muscle building so I won't
comment a whole lot on that point. I'll just say that it most certainly can
help contribute to it.
To what extent, i can't say... As a
diabetic you definitely have to be very aware and careful with your sugar
levels pre and post workout, as you know.
Where it can serve some benefit is that in
the case that you're usually at a slightly higher blood sugar level, you
have a very significant source of energy to use to perform your workout.
But conversely, the reason why you have to
pay attention to your sugar levels pre and post is because you don't want to
zap too much of your blood sugar level down from exercise and cause a
drastic dip in it.
This would be too much a shock to the body
and could be very dangerous. So basically as a diabetic you go about muscle
building the same way others do, just with added caution that your sugar
levels aren't getting too high or low. Whatever benefit you do get from your
condition I'd say are not hugely significant, although yes you would
probably have a very good base of energy to draw from with your tendency to
hold higher sugar levels.
As for creatine, i don't think it serves too
much of a purpose for you and your muscle building goals. Creatine is
basically a way to increase your energy for your workouts... It contributes
to increasing the bodies ability to produce the energy it needs to drive
your efforts and increase your stamina.
If you use it safely and responsibly it
shouldn't hurt you or have any negative affects in regards to the
diabetes, but it is most likely just not necessary for you considering the
fact that what it does is just something you don't really need. People who
would benefit most from creatine are those who might need to prolong their
workouts for endurance effects, which you don't with your muscle building
goals. Or, creatine is more useful for those who for whatever reason can't
maintain a high enough energy level on their own. But that also is something
you don't have an issue with. If anything, you would usually have almost an
excess of blood sugar levels. Or at least a sufficient amount.
John it's a pleasure to answer your fitness
question and I want you to feel free to check me out at my site for any
further concerns you may have in the future...
Read about me and get to know my
experience and background in the case that you might want to contact me for
additional assistance. Hope to possibly hear back from you. Thanks