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From Irving, Texas, USA:

Before I got diabetes 10 years ago, I was be very big into weight training. Since that time, I did not pick up a weight until six weeks ago, and it feels good to lift again. Is there any way or any program that I can use to build size and mass (bodybuilding) that is safe and healthy?


First of all we need to distinguish the difference between strength training and weight training. There is a difference between the two. By definition, strength training is a planned and progressive means for exercising with appropriate resistance, in which an individual gradually increases as the musculoskeletal system becomes stronger. Strength training can be performed with a variety of equipment (i.e., resistance machines, free weights such as barbells and dumbbells elastic bands, or body weight alone). A properly designed strength training program should be enjoyable so that an individual gains strength and experiences success in a safe environment.

On the other hand, weightlifting is a sport in which the individual works with heavy barbells and attempts to lift maximum weight loads (i.e., clean and jerk, and the snatch) in competitive events. Athletes with diabetes have achieved remarkable success in the competitive sport of weightlifting, power lifting and body building.

In general, weight training involves short, powerful repetitions of a specific movements that utilizes anaerobic energy sources (stored phosphagens and muscle glycogen by way of the lactic acid system). Circuit training usually emphasizes a greater number of repetitions with lower resistance and is slightly more aerobic in nature. However, it is still primarily anaerobic. You may need to make changes in insulin and/or your food plan to maintain normal blood glucose levels due to the intense nature of the activity/sport. Keep in mind that a prolonged weight-training session (powerlifting) may result in significant glycogen depletion, thus increasing the risk of late onset hypoglycemia.

The intensity, time of day you choose to exercise and circulating insulin levels at the time also affect blood glucose levels and maintenance. Human Kinetics, a publisher for Sports and Fitness, has a number of resource materials that may help you out. This publisher has a Sports & Fitness 2001 Catalog. Look under the section called Sports Training. There are a number of books in reference to strength training, power lifting and bodybuilding.


Original posting 24 Feb 2001
Posted to Exercise and Sports


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:18
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