Posted on Leave a comment

Is strength training beneficial to diabetics?

Is strength training beneficial to diabetics?
Is strength training beneficial to diabetics?

It is possible to manage diabetes using a variety of tools. Physical activity is important because carrying more weight can cause more insulin to be needed. People with type 1 diabetes can benefit from strength training by building muscle and reducing the risk of low blood sugar during an exercise session.

Some of the benefits of strength training are:

Benefits of strength training for diabetes 

People with diabetes can benefit from strength training :

  • Lose weight
  • Enhance the system’s use of blood sugar
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease 
  • Reduces cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Improved insulin response

A study indicates that strength training can boost your body’s ability to use insulin. Researchers recommend that people with type 2 diabetes engage in aerobic and resistance training for better health outcomes and glycemic control. They also recommend strength training. Moreover, a diabetes patient exercising 150 minutes a week has better glycemic control.

Where to Begin Strength Training

Before you begin strength training, ensure it’s the right thing for you. If your doctor approves, you can do these exercises with your body weight or small dumbbells at home. Starting with light weights after you build your strength and increasing it as you become more powerful is an effective way to build strength.

Perform 2 sets of 8-12 repetitions of these basic strength training exercises:

Wall Push-Ups

Wall Push-Ups strength training
  • Stand facing a wall. Increase or decrease the distance until you reach the level of difficulty you desire. The closer you are, the less intense it is.
  • Your palms should be flat and face the wall. As you bend your elbows, lower your chest toward the wall to maintain a strong plank position.
  • Slowly straighten your arms to return them to their starting position.

Side Raises

Side Raises strength training
  • You can stand or sit with your arms at your sides and a weight in each hand.
  • Hold your elbows slightly bent sideways and reach shoulder height with your arms in a T shape.
  • Bring your arms back to their original positions.

Bicep Curls

Bicep Curls strength training
  • Hold a weight at your sides with your palms facing you in each hand.
  • Hold the weight with your palm facing you while bending one arm.
  • Once you have completed one arm, repeat with the other.

Triceps Extensions

Triceps Extensions strength training
  • Holding a weight in one hand, raise your arm above your head until your elbow points to the ceiling and point your weight backward toward the ground.
  • Protect your elbow by holding your arm by the other hand as you move your arm.
  • Lift the weight above your head while straightening your arm. Then lower it again.
  • Similarly, do the same for the other arm.

Chair Raises

  • Place yourself at the front of a safe chair. If your furniture is on casters, make sure they are locked.
  • Cross your arms over your chest while bending your back.
  • Sit up straight, hold your arms straight, and stand up straight with your upper body facing forward.
  • Sit down again.

Considerations

If you have diabetes type 1, you should periodically check your blood sugar levels. You may need to modify your carbohydrate and insulin intake during and after a workout.

Final words

These simple strength training exercises can control your diabetes and increase your overall strength. Exercise increases bone strength, helps you lose weight, and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

If you have diabetes, consult your doctor before starting exercise training. Ask about any restrictions or special instructions. Consult your doctor about the best exercises to lift weights.

Posted on Leave a comment

Intermittent fasting and anabolic window 

Intermittent fasting and anabolic window 
Intermittent fasting and anabolic window 

Currently, most overweight individuals are overfat rather than overmuscled. Because of this, most intermittent fasting studies have focused on weight loss. Several studies have shown that intermittent fasting effectively loses body fat and gains muscle mass.

If you’ve been training for bodybuilding for a while, you may already know about bulking (anabolic) and cutting (catabolic). Bulking causes people to gain more weight than their target weight. They burn the maximum fat during the cutting phase without losing muscle mass. There may be several weeks of anabolic and catabolic periods during this cycle. The ultimate goal is to maximize muscle and reduce fat at any given time.

The anabolic window and catabolic cycle are compressing on an intermittent fast day. Evidence shows that restricting your eating window can improve your body composition, even if it may not be the best solution for competitive bodybuilders

Extensive fasting enables one to secure an anabolic window, which lasts for almost 8 hours in total. As a result of fasting, the body’s metabolism is stabilized, protecting it from fatal medical problems like heart problems and high cholesterol.

To understand their relationship, let’s first discuss “What is intermittent fasting and what is the anabolic window?”

Anabolic window – what is it?

During the anabolic window, muscles heal and grow themselves after every workout. This appears to depend on the body’s anabolic response. The duration is 35-40 minutes. During this time frame, carbohydrates and proteins help catalyze this process. This is important for us to realize that there exists a particular state in which an individual does not eat anything after eating dinner since his last meal corresponds to this window.

Benefits

Throughout this window, a person can benefit from fasting primarily by building up their protein levels. To boost protein production, a person must consume protein-rich foods and carbohydrate-rich supplements.

After a strenuous workout, the person benefits from this window since it accelerates protein synthesis, alleviates muscle protein loss, and compensates for the body’s glycogen demands.

Intermittent fasting, what is it?

In intermittent fasting, a person eats and avoids certain foods by a set schedule. Food type is not significant during this fasting, but the quantity and timing of the meals are. Unhealthy food is easily accessible and deliberate today, contributing to its requisite trend. Because of this, the obesity rate has risen over the past few years. Different religions practice similar rituals during sacred months to help people improve their health and control their weight and diet. 

Benefits

With intermittent fasting, you can gain numerous health benefits, such as preserving your heart from heart problems, lowering cholesterol levels, improving your mental and physical performance, and maintaining a healthy weight with good fats. It may also protect you from neurological conditions such as dementia.

The Intermittent Fasting-Anabolic Window Relationship

Fasting for 18 hours packs anabolic processes into a single day, according to multiple types of research. This may not suit ambitious bodybuilders. Research has shown, however, that eating within several hours can assist in maintaining body composition and shape. 

There is a specified time for the anabolic window, starting right after the workout. The body is believed to be in its ideal state within that timeframe to accept nutrients for health. 

In the same way, when you fast for 16-18 hours, the body is in the best condition to accept food and fulfill its needs. At that moment, the body consumes the nutrients it needs and converts them into energy that helps make muscles and create new tissues, and it achieves all the necessary reactions. Anabolic window and intermittent fasting share similar factors in the post-workout phase.

Although fasting is believed to decrease muscle mass, studies show that it increases growth hormone (GH) production, preventing muscle loss and encouraging fat loss. Increased GH stimulates fat burning by increasing adiponectin, activating AMPK, and influencing other genes and hormones. Insulin, blood glucose, and inflammatory markers were also reduced. Overall, these results indicate that metabolic health has improved.

Conclusion

Both intermittent fasting and anabolic window are optimal phases for the body. They are equally important for health. To achieve better results, both have certain terms and conditions.

Posted on Leave a comment

How To Grow Calves in 12 Weeks

Ok ok, so below your knee resembles a chair leg and no matter what you do it isn’t changing. Will you ever grow calves? Never fear all is not lost, however this is an issue that has been plaguing bodybuilders for decades. Calves are one muscle whose natural shape and size is heavily determined by genetics, the main factor being where the insert of the soleus and plantaris begin. Some people’s calf begins right down near the ankle, a very low insert. Generally, a low insert means a much larger calf muscle to begin with. For some the insert will begin mid-way up the lower leg, or even higher. The higher the insert the less muscle you have to begin with. This is something you cannot change.

Grow Calves

I should start by explaining that I myself am an amateur bodybuilder and my calves have always, well… sucked! For many years I ran with the excuse that I’m genetically disadvantaged and so I shouldn’t be expected to grow calves. But as my knowledge of the human body and mechanisms for muscle growth increased, I realised there is no reason why they shouldn’t grow. SO I have high inserts, it doesn’t mean I can’t optimise the muscle that is there, I can add size and density. With the right stimulus and progressive overload every muscle MUST grow.

This next part is more my own personal theory about the calf muscle. Kind of anecdotal, but it seems to be working for me so here it is; I thought about the calf and how it differs from other muscles, we have been using it every single step since we took our first. It has taken us up hills, huge inclines and mountains. It has taken us on treks around shopping centres and tourist attractions for hours. It has driven us through sprints and helped us perform in countless sports. This is a muscle that has been under constant stress forever. Its is tight, tough and sinewy, it is a little workhorse and it knows how to take torture. How could I use this information to help me grow calves?

Grow Calves

How do you create microtears in a muscle that is solid as a rock and can take a beating? For me the answer was enormous volume. Even though I had told myself I’d trained my calves forever I could never really remember a time when they got sore like my other muscles. I had stuck to my standard bodybuilding style, 4 sets, 8 reps, heavy weight. For me, that wasn’t doing it.

I decided to form a program based on my theory. I believed my calves would need far more regular punishment than other muscles and I believed the only way to sufficiently torture them for soreness (microtears) would be massive volume. I would complete 2 exercises on calves every second day for a rep total of around 400 per session, however I would exceed that if I hadn’t hit failure on the final set of each exercise.  These calf sessions would be completed before my regular workouts. The workout structure I used is shown below:

Day 1 (Before my regular workout)

Seated calf raise machine –       

3 sets 50 reps (choosing a weight that would start to cause immense pain by 30 reps and forcing to 50)

4th set to absolute failure hitting a minimum 50 reps (increasing weight on the following Day 1 cycle if I exceeded 60 reps)

Toe Presses on Leg press machine-

3 sets 50 reps (choosing a weight that would start to cause immense pain by 30 reps and forcing to 50)

4th set to absolute failure hitting a minimum 50 reps (increasing weight on the following Day 1 cycle if I exceeded 60 reps)

Day 2 – Rest Calves (Still complete regular workout)

Day 3 (Before my regular workout)

Standing Calf Raise Machine –    

3 sets 50 reps (choosing a weight that would start to cause immense pain by 30 reps and forcing to 50)

4th set to absolute failure hitting a minimum 50 reps (increasing weight on the following Day 3 cycle if I exceeded 60 reps)

Donkey Calf raise Machine (or Donkey Smith Machine)

3 sets 50 reps (choosing a weight that would start to cause immense pain by 30 reps and forcing to 50)

4th set to absolute failure hitting a minimum 50 reps (increasing weight on the following Day 3 cycle if I exceeded 60 reps)

Day 4 – Rest Calves (Still complete regular workout) REPEAT

 

I noticed that although I could get that blistering soreness in my calves, they recovered much faster than my other muscles. If I wanted to grow calves, It was very important for me to hit them every second day. After 12 weeks on this program, not only was I experiencing that soreness I knew was so crucial to growth… My calves had noticeable changes. I could see a separation in the two muscles of the calf and from a front view there was a small sweep on both the inside and outside of my lower leg. For myself, I had cracked the Davinci code of calf growth.

Grow Calves

Posted on Leave a comment

BodyBuilding at 40

There’s a lot of controversy being thrown around about BodyBuilding at 40, lets throw all that negativity out the window today and talk about all the BENEFITS of getting that Body you’ve been dreaming of and maintaining a healthy lifestyle after you hit the big 40.

Body building isn’t just a game for the young bucks to play, it’s something we can all achieve, and while our body does start to deteriorate with age, getting healthy and working out can help slow down that process. Have you ever seen somebody BodyBuilding at 40 that isn’t living life to the fullest? I sure haven’t.

Let me give you some must Do’s and Don’ts

BodyBuilding at 40

Start it Slow

Starting at 40 isn’t always easy, make sure you give yourself enough time to start your workout with some solid stretching to get those muscles ready for the pain you’re about to put them through.

Start it Light

EVERYONE starts slow, don’t jump straight into 40kg dumb bell bicep curls just because they’re there, start yourself off with light weights and high repetitions so you can get your form right.

Keep it Simple

There are so many PT’s out there creating elaborate workouts for people to follow…. You don’t need it. Start off by building solid proficiency in all your base movements functional movements, like push up’s, pull ups and squats, when you’ve mastered these then move into new and exciting things. If you keep up with your foundation exercises you’ll most certainly notice a difference in how you look and feel.

BodyBuilding at 40

Work Hard

No matter what age you are, you need to feel that strain when working out, if it doesn’t feel like you’re working, you’re not working. Getting and maintaining fitness isn’t something that is handed to you, it has to be earned through hard work and effort.

Fuel Your Body

Eat the good stuff, eat the salad, smash the chicken, ingest the beans…. Your body will thank you for it.

Be Consistent

Don’t talk yourself out of training by thinking too much, a lot of people will meticulously work out what they want to do and when…. And then miss a whole week because the missed one day, then that week can turn into a month and longer from there. Keep it simple, if you didn’t go to the gym yesterday, make the time today.

BodyBuilding at 40

Don’t Expect to See Results Overnight

Everyone hopes for a quick fix in your appearance, if you spent the last 40 years eating wrong and remaining mostly stationary, getting to where you want to want to be is going to take some time. Take it slow, eat right and train hard and you’ll notice a difference in how you feel and eventually how you look.

Don’t Dwell on Your Age

Your age doesn’t make you who you are or define how hard you work, don’t destroy your self esteem by saying “I’m too old for this”

Don’t hibernate

Sure you need rest, but you don’t need as much rest as you think you do – no one needs 10-12 hours of sleep per night or a nap during the day.

BodyBuilding at 40

BodyBuilding at 40 The Final Say

Hitting 40 is most definitely not a reason to give up on achieving the body you want. While things can get a little harder as we age there are some simple things we can do to achieve the absolute best results possible. Throw away those thoughts of being old and useless. You are whatever you believe you are and from now on it’s “That hot 40 year old with the amazing bod.”

Posted on Leave a comment

What Comes First, Weights or Cardio?

Weights or cardio… So you’ve started reading this article because you NEED to know the best way to set out your workout in order to get maximum results, am I right?

But what first? Do I lift first and compromise my running, or run first and compromise my strength training?

We’re here now to help you answer that burning question.

At this stage you know what you want, you want to be lean, you want to be fit, you want the benefits of cardio and strength training all rolled into one package, that package being your body. You know that to be fit and fast you need to get the ball rolling on cardio and you know that strength sessions can help build up your physical and mental endurance. However, when time comes into play, it’s hard too do these two things separately and you’ve thought to yourself, how do I lay out my session, if I want to roll cardio and strength training into one session?

Weights or Cardio?… PUMP IT UP!

The answer friends, is strength training. There are multiple studies that have direct links to weights being more beneficial to you than cardio first.

Have you ever suffered painfully through a strength session after busting out a 5-10km run? It’s the most tedious, mind-numbingly painful thing.  You’re putting in little effort, your lifting shy of what you normally would and can’t bust out as many reps as you usually would. It. Is. Painful.

On the other side though, have you ever done a solid session of strength at the gym, and then found yourself energised and ready to knock some KM’s under your belt on the treadmill? I certainly have.

Weights or Cardio

What are the benefits? And why?

If you’re wanting to look ripped, is it going to be weights or cardio? you need to use your stored body fat as fuel for your work-out, this can only be done by utilising your glycogen store first – by strength training. Studies have found that there was more fat burned during a cardio session for the first 15 minutes if you did it AFTER your strength session, how great is that!

There is a definite increase in fat burning potential after a strength session, research has shown that energy is elevated for up to 24hrs after strength training which increases the percentage of fat being burned.

The increase in this energy expenditure is generally equal too or better than performing steady state aerobic exercise.

So there you have it, pump out some weights, THEN go for you run. Why not give it a go and leave us some feedback on how you think you performed?

weights or cardio