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Building Muscle With Type 1 Questions?

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I am looking to start building up a fair bit of muscle with weights and such but before I get too involved I have a few questions.


Am I suddenly going to see my insulin ressistance reduce very soon?


How fast can BG drop from weight training?


How often should I test after I finish lifting?


Any suggestions on what my BS should be before I start?


Any other input would be much appreciated, thanks!

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It's something that you'll have to find out for yourself some.


If you have some insulin resistance, you should see it drop some as you make your muscles more active.


As far as immediate impact on blood sugars, it's going to depend. Some find that weight training will cause the blood sugar to spike up some, I don't seem to get that from strength training.


You probably would like to see your blood sugar be between 100 to 150, 5.5 to 8.3 when starting out. Ideally, you just want to make your metabolic function like a normal human being's metabolic function.


You also say you want to build some muscle. That's an excellent goal. My first piece of advice to you is don't expect your muscles to begin popping out immediately. The big secret to any sort of fitness program yielding results will be your commitment to it. There's no getting around that, there's no magic food to eat, no magic exercise that'll take the place of putting the effort in. Sometimes it's great, you've got a workout scheduled and you'll be psyched up for it and it goes great. But there'll also be workouts where it'll feel like you have to drag yourself to it to do it, then drag yourself through it to get it done. That's the way it is. It's challenging, it's fun, it's work, it may even be some heartache. I'm just trying to give you some heads up on what you might have to go through.


Now you're young, which will be a big help for you to build muscle. I'm a fair bit older than you, have always been a skinny sort, but I've been able to put on around 8 to 10 lbs of muscle so far this year. I haven't taken any supplements or anything, I've just followed two basic principles --


1. Lift big

2. Eat big


I suppose it's worth offering some more definition of those principles. By lift big, I'm suggesting if it's at all possible, go someplace where you will have access to free weights and where you can learn the compound lifts. Definitely learn to squat. Squats are huge, with them you'll be moving a lot of weight and giving your body signals that it needs to grow to handle bigger weights. Deadlifting is another good big exercise and well worth learning.


For the upper body, overhead presses are a good pushing exercise. Barbell rows, pull ups and chin ups are good pulling exercises. Try to remember the idea of keeping a balance between pushing and pulling strength.


It'll be important for you to learn good form with the lifts. You might want to find someone who has experience and can teach you proper form. If you do seek out someone you have to pay some money to, I'd suggest that you'll only get your money's worth out of someone who will teach you lifts like the squat, deadlift, overhead press, etc.


Eat big is the basic way of saying that if you want to build muscle, you're going to need to provide protein. Milk, beef, chicken, tuna, you need to eat. But eat your vegetables too. Diet is important, you start putting stress on your body, you need to feed your body good food so you can recover.


I'd also advise that you consider keeping some sort of log. Write down what you did, make notes about how you felt. Keep a record that you can look back at, gauge your progress and look for patterns, because ultimately there is a fair amount of individual variation to what will work. What works well for someone else might not work so well for you. The best way to figure out what works on you is to keep records.


Here's one good free bit of reading that you can do. It's by Dan John who could chuck a shotput pretty good and he knows a fair amount about lifting.


From the Ground Up


With much greater detail and more explanation, he will communicate the ideas I have tried to introduce.

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Scratch has some really good advice for you. As a diabetic, you can only benefit from more muscle. As a type 1, you are not inherently insulin resistant, and in fact you should find that exercise and muscle mass improves your insulin sensitivity.


I also concur with Scratch's recommendations on a program. I think compound movements give you the biggest bang for the buck. You don't have to be complicated about it and you don't have to spend a lot of time. You don't get strong from lifting weights, you get strong recovering from lifting weights. As a beginner I would recommend Starting Strength (2nd edition): Mark Rippetoe, Lon Kilgore: Books. At 19 years old, if you eat right and follow this program you could gain 20 or 30 pounds of muscle in six months and become a different person.


On the blood sugar thing, you will have to see how you respond. Don't exercise with your blood sugar too high (> 200 mg/dL). I find that weight lifting actually raises my blood sugar, usually by 50-100 mg/dL. Aerobic exercise at lower levels drops my levels. I would plan on starting with simple sessions, no more than 45 minutes in the gym. Test before, test in the middle and test after your session. As Scratch suggests, write it down in a log. You may or may not need to bolus for the session, it really depends. Post exercise effects will also vary. As a type 2, I am more insulin sensitive after a session, although my elevated blood sugars may persist for a few hours.

Best of luck

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Don't forget to take it easy at first.. warm up AND stretch. I don't know about you but my experience with D has been that everything takes longer to heal even the smallest cut. My understanding of muscle-building is also that it is a recovery process of re-building damaged muscles fibres with bigger ones. Keep the weight controlled at all times... no fast or jerky movements :)

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