Can a diabetic person train bodybuilding professionally?

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Many people suffering from a disease such as diabetes wonder if they can train bodybuilding.

It is worth realizing that in this case, training plays the role of a tool to reduce the adverse effects of glucose on proteins and increase insulin sensitivity. This directly translates into the ability to build muscle mass and shape the physique.

Training with diabetes – the most important information

Properly tailored physical activity is able to help maintain glucose balance in the body. Interestingly, exercise can also have a compensatory effect when there is low activity or no insulin receptors. The right combination of exercise and creatine intake can translate into better absorption of glucose from blood by muscle fibres. Consequently, training here will have a health-promoting effect by helping to reduce blood sugar levels.

A diabetic should consult a doctor about the decision to train at the gym. This is due to the fact that in the case of advanced diabetes, the disease process can negatively affect other tissues of the body. An extremely important issue here is also an increased susceptibility of muscles to fatigue. A person with diabetes should not train in the same way as professional bodybuilders. The techniques used by them may turn out to be too intense.

As your level of training increases and insulin sensitivity improves, it is acceptable to perform slightly more intense activities such as fast intervals. However, too high intensity may directly translate into an increased risk of injury. You should be aware that diabetics regenerate much slower than healthy people

It is equally important to take care of slightly longer breaks between individual series and to rest between workouts. A fully sufficient load will be 2-3 workouts per week. Before starting your adventure with bodybuilding it will be necessary to measure your blood sugar. In this way you can effectively protect yourself from hypoglycemia

If it turns out that the glucose level is too low and does not exceed 100 milligrams, it is necessary to consume a meal rich in carbohydrates and fiber, for example, in the form of wholemeal bread or pasta.

Optimal type of training for diabetes

What kind of training is best for people with diabetes? For starters, exercise is a great way to both prevent and control type II diabetes. They help to improve the body’s metabolism. Short-term, intense exercise leads to an increase in glucose uptake in skeletal muscles. When it lasts for a longer period of time, it contributes to an improvement in mitochondrial function and an increase in their biogenesis, as well as an increase in the expression of glucose transport proteins.

Aerobic training is indicated in people with diabetes. In combination with a properly composed diet, it is able to deepen the energy deficit and reduce the level of body fat. This type of activity should be combined with strength training, namely resistance training performed 2-3 times a week. It is best if it is of moderate intensity and the load should not exceed 75% of your RM

This is a proven way to reduce hyperglycemia. A single resistance workout can reduce it by about 35%. For moderate intensity aerobic training, it is about 33%. Since weight training is designed to increase muscle mass, it can contribute to reducing hyperglycemia in the long run. Diabetics can supplement their training with a HIIT session.

Main photo: Nigel Msipa/

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