Going intermediate early due to diabetes Going intermediate early due to diabetes

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Thread: Going intermediate early due to diabetes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Default Going intermediate early due to diabetes

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    Hello SS team!

    For context, I have been an intermediate in the past (about a year ago). Unfortunately, I had some life priorities take over, and stop training about a year and a half ago. In the interim, my Type 2 diabetes has gotten worse, and eating like mad doing a Starting Strength LP to this point has elevated it even further. I made the mistake of thinking I could eat whatever I wanted to achieve my calories and weight gain, Alas I was wrong. I now need to dial my carbs WAY back. Through experience, I can not gain weight without at least 4k calories (hard gainer). Here are some stats for context:

    Before I stopped, these were my stats. These 1RM's were actually performed.

    37 Male 1RM @212 lbs BW:
    SQ 410
    BP 230 (bad shoulder)
    OHP 125 (same)
    DL 485

    Two months ago I resumed using a NLP to get back this. Eating around 4500-5500 (200g+protein) calories a day to get weight back up from an untrained 189 lbs. I take creatine, BCAAs (at a Jordan recommended interval of 2 hours after every meal, before and after training), and beta alanine.

    I am mediocre with recovery; my job has me traveling 3-4 nights a week (hotels), and I have trouble sleeping longer than 6 hours a night even with taking Meletonin and Calm (a magnesium supplement).

    38 Male 1RM@205. These are projected 1RM's based off 5 rep work sets:
    SQ 330
    BP 175 (medium grip and only 1x a week to help with shoulder issues)
    OHP 120
    DL 400

    The last two weeks have been Advanced Novice style progression/HLM on squats increasing the weight on Day 1, with a light day mid-week (80% 3x5), and medium day end of the week (80% 5x5). This style of training came as a recommendation from a SS Coach Nick on these forums. I'll be honest, I do not feel as steady lifting 285x3x5 now as I have lifting much more in the past.

    Here are the questions:

    1. Should I just continue to run out weekly progression as long as possible even though I'm changing to a much more restrictive diet? My last run of LP, I did not stall until 30-40 lbs higher on my Lower body lifts, and about 20 lbs. higher on my upper body. That being said, I feel more beat up this run. This is likely a combination of age, lack of recovery, and high blood sugar levels.

    2. I've downloaded Garage Gym Warrior by Andy Baker, but curiously enough it seems extremely "light" from a volume/intensity perspective vs. traditional HLM. I am not sure about running it as I've lost months of training time in the past running 5/3/1 (BBB) and detraining from lack of frequency/intensity. Andy Baker is the man though, so if this gets a green light I'll load it up and get to work.

    3. If not a full Intermediate program like GGW, then what?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Stay Strong!!!

  2. #2
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    Default

    How tall are you? Insulin status? A1C?

  3. #3
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    Nov 2017
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    Mark,

    I am 5' 10". Horrible genetics for lifting (my writs are 6 inches, my father weighs 145 lbs, mother 98 lbs.), but have overcome some of that through sheer determination. Family history of diabetes. Current a1c is 12. Checking this past week my average BS is around 300, fasted high 200's. Yes I know that's high, but I've had higher, and have brought it down in the past to non-diabetic levels consistently with diet (paleo), which I'm starting now. Metphormin and I do not mix well. I have never injected insulin. This is 100% self-induced by abusing my diet to gain weight and get stronger. I will have to more strategic from here on out, hence the thread.

    Getting the calories has always been a struggle when removing carbs. As has continuing to add weight to the bar.

    Let me know if you need any other info. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

  4. #4
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    You are a full-blown uncontrolled Type-2 diabetic, and are therefore outside the scope of this forum.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2017
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    Mark,

    I have controlled my diabetes through lifting (exercise is one of the highest recommended treatment to regain insulin sensitivity) in the past, combined with eating correctly. Just in the past three days, my average BS has dropped 70 points fasted upon waking. I respond extremely well to eating low carb. If eating correctly does not bring me to acceptable levels (low 100's), I will seek medical intervention (Metphormin).

    Are you saying that because I have high BS it is not possible to recommend if I should alter my program from ALP to intermediate?

  6. #6
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    I am saying that you need a medical consult, not a training consult. You are fucking around with shit that needs to be addressed elsewhere than on this board.

  7. #7
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    Mark,

    I appreciate that advice, and I respect your opinion. So I will seek a consult at the earliest possible time. The problem is, I live in CA (yes I know :/). Doctors aren't scheduling in-person visits here unless you are dying. I understand that my levels can potentially kill someone, but I have no symptoms (ketoacidosis, neuropathy, pain in extremities, loss of eyesight etc), so in person is a no go for something that is typically maintained with metformin. Other than difficulties attaining previous PR's, I feel strong as an ox.

    In the interim of a doctor's appointment (could be months), the advice would be to eat better, take metformin (which I've started today), and exercise to increase insulin sensitivity. I don't plan on stopping lifting and losing my hard regained strength as I can't see how that would help the situation (maybe I can be enlightened). I can't find anything on these boards or elsewhere that says that lifting is a detriment or dangerous to a type 2 diabetic. So the questions posed stand. I could have just asked about GGW and early switching without mentioning diabetes, but I believe honesty is the best policy. If there really is a danger, I'll obviously consider holding off.

    If the issue is an aversion to what could be construed to be medical advice, I can understand that as well. I have seen many diabetics post here though, so I'm not sure if that's it. If so, I hereby state that any advice given here is free of liability. I'm pretty sure you have something similar stated when joining these forums.

    Either way, I appreciate you giving a gut check to this old man who just wants to stay semi-strong and get stronger.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate35 View Post
    Doctors aren't scheduling in-person visits here unless you are dying. I understand that my levels can potentially kill someone, but I have no symptoms (ketoacidosis, neuropathy, pain in extremities, loss of eyesight etc), so in person is a no go for something that is typically maintained with metformin. Other than difficulties attaining previous PR's, I feel strong as an ox.
    You're good to go. Your governor and his health department analyzed the situation all the way back in March and determined two things:

    1: You don't need to see a doctor because the act of doing so could kill someone.

    2: If it was a problem, you'd need to see a doctor. See Rule 1.

  9. #9
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    May 2020
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    One thing that I think is often missed by those of us with diabetic related conditions, is that increasing our metabolic health will actually increase our capacity to lift heavy things. So if "not dying from diabetic complications" isn't a good enough motivator (I get it, it didn't used to be for me either), maybe "your capacity to perform athletically will be much better if all your body's resources aren't constantly diverted to trying to keep you from being poisoned by high blood sugar" can be a good motivator.

    One of the biggest eye openers for me in this regard was the Peter Attia Drive podcast, episode #85 – Iñigo San Millán, Ph.D.: Mitochondria, exercise, and metabolic health. They talk about how, specifically, high blood sugar hurts your mitochondrial function.

    FWIW, I have had zero problems with achieving linear progression while following a strict ketogenic diet. Quite the opposite, my recovery suffers more when I let my health slide and those carbs creep up. Mind you, I've been keto for 2+ years, and anyone who lowers their carbs or goes completely keto will see a hit to their strength for 8 weeks or so as their body adapts. Don't get me wrong, for normal healthy humans lots of carbs when lifting are ideal. But we aren't normal healthy humans, so we need to balance competing priorities.

    Tl;Dr: my unqualified advice is to put diet/blood sugar control above lifting. Don't stop lifting. But prioritize health first, and over the long run you'll find your ability to gain strength increases. You seem to know what you need to do to get your blood sugar under control. So do it. And if that means you don't recover as well for a little bit, ok, reduce the intensity or increase the recovery time. Just because you aren't lifting "as much" doesn't mean your body isn't getting an effective adaptive stress relative to your current (reduced) capacity.

    Also, UCan Super Starch preworkout will be your friend. It's a zero glycemic carb source.

  10. #10
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    May 2020
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    starting strength coach development program
    PS I never really understood the difficulty getting calories in without carbs. Fat is more calorie dense so in theory it should be easier. Although it does require a bit of mental rewiring to just make yourself eat a bunch of fat.

    But bacon and fatty meats are your friend.
    You can easily pack 500+ calories into one coffee by blending it with protein powder, MCT oil, canned coconut cream, heavy cream, or butter.
    You can use lettuce or roasted veggies as a conveyance device for at least 4 tbsp (500 cal) of olive oil. (Although the Primal Kitchen dressings taste a bit better).
    I bought myself a whipped cream maker on Amazon, dump a carton of heavy cream (or canned coconut milk for Paleo) in there and eat the whipped cream with a spoon as a dessert.
    Handfuls of pecans for snack.
    There's a Paleo low carb bread called base culture that's like 400 calories a slice because it's made with pureed nuts.

    You don't have to choose between reducing carbs *or* keeping calorie/protein intake high. You just have to work harder at it.

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