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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious about some issues I have been having with working out and blood sugar and was curious if someone had answers. My son is getting ready for his freshman year of football. I lift weights with him and notice my blood sugar levels elevate after work outs and stay up until I take insulin (alot).seem to be getting weaker and experiancing joint and muscle pain. I started working out once a week figuring I needed more recovery time. But the symptoms stayed. And I Also I love to mountain bike and I have rode 60 miles in a day. I have a problem with recovery there also. The next day after a ride my legs are shot. But after a days rest I'm just fine. I should mention I am a 31 year old male and was diagnosed last year as a type 1 diabetic.
 

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...I lift weights with him and notice my blood sugar levels elevate after work outs and stay up until I take insulin (alot)...
That's not uncommon. Many people experience elevated blood sugar after weight training sessions, sometimes for hours. This is typically caused by the recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fiber to perform explosive movement - which the body perceives as similar to the actions involved in a fight-or-flight scenario.

You have two possible options here:

Option 1:
If you're doing weight-training to failure (the typical 3 sets of 10-12 reps until muscle failure) try instead doing less weight at higher reps (say 25-30 reps or so) but do NOT work until failure. This recruits more of your slow-twitch muscle fiber instead of the fast-twitch, and you may not experience the same elevations in blood glucose.

The key is to keep the overall weight lifted the same:

Say you do 3 sets of 12 reps with a 100 pound weight. That's 3x12x100 = 3600 lbs in total.

If you instead do 3 sets of 30 reps with 40 lbs, that's 3x30x40 = 3600 lbs in total also. You've done the same amount of weight during your repetitions, but recruited very different muscle fiber.

You'll still experience less size growth, but you'll experience both strength and endurance gains.

Option 2:
If you're not already doing weight-training to failure, or the changes given in option 1 don't work for you, the next option is to add cardio into your routine - moderate cardio immediately after weight training.

Doing moderate aerobic exercise (that gradually eases down to a real easy cooldown) after your weight training session will help the body to realize it's not in a fight-or-flight situation, and it will burn excess blood glucose in your system without (hopefully) triggering the release of much more from the liver.

Of course, there are some people that end up with elevated blood glucose regardless of WHAT exercise they do... But hopefully either changing up the weight training to lighter weight/higher reps or adding the moderate-to-easy cardio after the weight training will help the situation.

...seem to be getting weaker and experiencing joint and muscle pain. I started working out once a week figuring I needed more recovery time. But the symptoms stayed.
Again, changing to lower-weight/higher-repetitions may help the symptoms you mention.

And I Also I love to mountain bike and I have rode 60 miles in a day. I have a problem with recovery there also. The next day after a ride my legs are shot. But after a days rest I'm just fine.
That's not uncommon. 60 miles is a lengthy ride. On a mountain bike, even on the roads this would mean 3-4 hours minimum of riding (unless you're crazy uber-fit) and even more time if on trails or fire-roads, which would deplete your glycogen stores a great deal (if not entirely). And research has shown that many diabetics have reduced glycogen stores when compared to our non-diabetic counterparts. As such, 60 miles of biking will easily deplete your glycogen stores, and they do take a MINIMUM of 24 hours to replenish.
 

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Just a quick addition: Regarding FAST-Twitch muscle fiber - there are two types, often called Type IIa and Type IIb. (Slow Twitch fiber is the Type I muscle fiber.)

Type IIb are the muscle fibers recruited during heavy weight training and during cycling hill climbing or sprinting - their main fuel source is glycogen (primarily that stored IN the muscle being recruited) and they can burn through those stores quickly. FYI, glycogen stores can NOT be replenished during exercise. Things like powerbars, gatorade, sports gels, etc., boost your blood glucose (which is great for the slow-twitch fiber - as it can burn multiple fuel sources - glucose, fat, lactate...), but do nothing for your glycogen stores until after exercise, during rest.

Type IIa fiber is an 'intermediate' fast-twitch. This is what gives endurance athletes good strength, and they have the capacity for both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. Meaning they can be fueled by glycogen, glucose, fat or lactate. They have a low-to-moderate rate of fatigue depending on the energy pathway and the fuel source being relied upon.

It's both types of fast-twitch muscle fiber depleting your glycogen stores after a long day of cycling.

It's the recruitment of your type IIb during weight training that's likely causing the fight-or-flight response while weight-training and also might be what's taking so much time to recover after same. (Time to replenish glycogen, time to repair muscle tissue, etc., etc.)

BTW, do you take in adequate protein after weight-training to repair that muscle tissue? Most research suggests it should be ingested INSIDE a 30-45minute window to be as effective as possible when trying to make weight-training or similar gains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BTW, do you take in adequate protein after weight-training to repair that muscle tissue? Most research suggests it should be ingested INSIDE a 30-45minute window to be as effective as possible when trying to make weight-training or similar gains.

I hadn't been having protien after workouts. I wasn't trying to gain mass and the main goal was to lift with my son to keep him motivated and make sure he was safe. I would suppose protien may possibly speed recovery though? I really appreciate your response. I am glad to know why my body reacts to working out like it does. I will try higher rep workouts and or cardio. I wish there was some way to recover quicker.. Last weekend went to the CAMBA trails in Hayward, WI. I had one good day of riding and the next day wasn't so good. Thanks very much.
 
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