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Building muscle on low carb

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by DavidGrahamJones, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Don't panic, I'm not thinking of entering the next Mr Universe or anything but I am hopeful of improving muscle strength in my legs.

    I did a lot of gym work before both of my knee replacements and from what I was told my recovery period was very good because I'd put some effort into it before the ops.

    Tomorrow I'm off to Sydney, Australia and I have always fancied walking over the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge, even though I've been told it's very over rated. Some months ago I decided to start walking "round the block" which in my case is 1/2 mile uphill, 1/2 mile downhill and 1/2 mile on the straight rather than my usual trip to the shops which is all on the flat. It's very obvious that my left leg is nowhere as strong as my right and as a consequence my back goes into spasm after about 1/8 mile. So Sydney Harbour Bridge could well have to wait until I win the lottery and visit again.

    I have been told that I need to consume carbs, as well as protein, to build muscle which makes sense but I'm wondering if anyone has more experience of building muscle on a low carb diet. I did try to find some of the threads that I vaguely remember touched on this subject in the past but can't see the wood for the trees. Any muscle builders out there?
     
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  2. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    Can't really contribute on the carb/protein muscle building advice, but I do want to wish you a fab time in Oz.
    Very envious. Even with the spiders.
     
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  3. steveis36

    steveis36 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Have a look at Jamie Eason live fit 12 week trainer on Bodybuilding.com.......i found it really interesting and informative.
    Dont worry its not just about body building but more keeping yourself strong.

    Good luck

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using DCUK Forum mobile app
     
  4. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    When my husband lost a lot of weight (via strict low carb) soon after diagnosis, over four years ago, he was found to have very little muscle left underneath it all. I joked for some years that he was a man who could barely lift his own brief case, never mind carry suitcases or the shopping, that was all down to me. Keeping to a ketogenic diet and with the assistance of a personal trainer, he soon began to build up some pretty good muscles for his age (mid 60's) just through appropriate exercise. (Our diet includes good quality proteins, meat, fish, eggs.) Some months later, I was astounded when he happily picked up a block of concrete, which had been lying around for several years after some building work, and carried it down the garden to a more convenient place. He's even put MY suitcase up on an overhead train luggage rack, a task which i wouldn't even consider!
    So, very low carb, good protein and appropriate exercise has turned at least one T2 middle aged male into someone who can carry out most reasonable activities, plus a few.
    Hope you enjoy your holiday,
    Sally
     
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  5. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    That's positive news, thank you. I'm more than happy on my low carb diet (40gms a day) and don't intend changing any time soon.
     
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  6. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    There a
    re quite a few keto body builders - Jason Wittrock is one, he of the 4000 cals a day challenge.. (he lost weight and body fat although he started from a different place than I'm at..)
     
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  7. Ann1982

    Ann1982 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am sticking to my low carb diet as well but seem to be developing muscles in my legs, (just ask my husband)! It is because I walk at least 2km a day, not too fast and at least twice a week I have been going for a short hike. Swimming can also help with the muscles in your legs and as you are supported by the water there is less risk of damage.
     
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  8. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Having worked with a PT who is reactive hypoglycaemic and at very low carb as a result, he certainly had no issues with gaining the muscle. The key is the type of exercise that you undertake. It's also worth bearing in mind that when people are put onto "Body Transformation" programmes, the first 3-4 weeks of these are usually done with a keto diet, as what they are trying to do is achieve body fat reduction alongside maintaining or increasing muscle mass.

    As a result, typically the training programme in a "Body Transformation" model is a lot of resistance training, weight lifting, etc, done in a way that also acts as HIIT, pushing the heart rate up.

    Although I'm T1, when I did such a programme, I was eating <30g carbs a day, and managed to lose body fat whilst gaining muscle, so it's eminently doable, it just requires the appropriate exercise.
     
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  9. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been building some muscle in my legs.

    Just curious, what is the best way to measure one's muscle/fat ratio?
     
  10. centaur68

    centaur68 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    hi David.
    firstly I'm not a qualified PT or nutritionist but yes it is possible to build muscle on LCHF..

    is it muscle mass or lean muscle you look to build?

    I stopped training several years ago family/work/ laziness etc) & was diagnosed T2 earlier this year..
    started LCHF, BG levels good , lost stone & half (was never big anyway) dropped trouser size & started exercising again.
    now 12 1/2 stone , fitter, stronger & leaner with more muscle definition than I had in my 20's (I'm nearly 50)

    low carb, more protein, GOOD quality supplements, whey/creatine/BCAA (hardly affect BG) with decent exercise plan should go well..

    I wish you luck with your holiday & your training
     
  11. ReducingTum

    ReducingTum Type 2 · Newbie

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    Hope you enjoyed Sydney. Lots of good advice given here already. But to be more specific, as part of my strength training I used a programme of leg presses, which had very positive results.
     
  12. Uncle_JT

    Uncle_JT Type 1 · Newbie

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    As a T1 and at the age of 75+ I do exercise regularly Every morning possible and this means I have only missed 2 in the last 6 months I do 1/2 hours exercise every morning.

    I have a cross trainer and I do 10 minutes on this and cover 3 1/2 km then I do a set of arm/ shoulder exercises for 10 mins with 2 1/2 kg in each hand normally 20 reps then 20 sit ups and 20 press ups. finally on most mornings I repeat the arm and shoulder exercises with 5 kilos in each hand.
    I feel fit and healthy at 12 1/2 stone 5ft 7 inch male.
     
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  13. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it's the best way, but the easiest and most easily available method is to buy some bathroom scales that also measure bodyfat%. There are lots for sale on Amazon or from Argos, ranging from simple and inexpensive to some that promise the earth and cost it too. Personally, I have had a set of the simple sort for decades and love them. When eventually they die. I shall definitely replace.
     
  14. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    I agree, single leg presses could be used to address the problem of the imbalance. Single leg squats would do this too, but if you can do single leg squats, IMO you don't have much of a problem! (I certainly can't.)
     
  15. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    All you need is a little bit of protein after the exercise, there is no need for carbs and there is now a move towards fasting before exercise so as to train the muscle to use fat better.

    To build up the leg, try walking up steps/stairs always leading with the bad leg, so forcing it to do most of the work.
     
  16. Larissima

    Larissima Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have built a lot of muscle on LCHF and fasting, by lifting heavy weights in the gym. I had a DEXA scan showing that my muscles were in the higher than average range (between 80-100 percentile), similarly my bones were stronger than an average woman of my age (I really do have big bones!), which is, of course, also attributable to weight training. Unfortunately, I still have too much fat, including the dreaded visceral fat, but that's not the topic here ;)
    The muscle building on LCHF and fasting is explained by the rise in growth hormone from this type of dietary intervention. I never really understood why carbs were needed for building muscles, which are made from amino acids anyway...
    Oh, and have a great time in Sydney!
     
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  17. Tannith

    Tannith · BANNED

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    I think they say you must eat carbs as well as protein because if you don't have enough calories your body will burn protein for fuel instead of using it to build muscle. Maybe extra fat would do instead?
     
  18. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Maybe if you eat plenty of protein it doesn't matter if some of it gets burnt up as fuel instead of carbs? You just don't want to get so low on fuel that you are cannibalizing your own muscles. But in fact I think that whenever there is weight loss, there will be some muscle lost alongside the fat.

    I believe a problem in doing aerobic activities on limited carbs, especially fast-paced ones, is that of the three nutrients carbs are the easiest for our bodies to burn. Maybe that extra effort counts for less in body-buidling. I know there are people running well on a keto regime, but I am under the impression that they are running long distances especially ultras rather than eg 5ks, which is more what I want to do.
     
  19. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that both fasting and LCHF encourage the formation of growth hormone? If so, that is exciting news and I'd appreciate more details (links?)
     
  20. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    The growth hormone is also responsible for triggering the liver to dump glucose when glucose in the blood stream is low. We don't want too much of it!
     
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