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Fitness & Health

13th Mar 2019

Gaining muscle mass reduces your risk of developing diabetes by 32%

According to new research, gaining just a moderate amount of muscle mass slashes your chances of contracting diabetes by 32%

Alex Roberts

Over four million people in the UK suffer from type 2 diabetes

That’s around six per cent of the population. But don’t stress. Brand new research suggests gaining muscle mass can slash your chances of contracting diabetes by 32%.

You don’t have to harbour aspirations of becoming the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, either.

Conducted by Iowa State University, the study focussed on over 4500 people. It was found that just moderate amounts of muscle gain were enough to considerably boost health.

The study’s authors said even small amounts of resistance training are helpful in preventing type 2 diabetes due to an increase in muscle mass.

What is type 2 diabetes – and what causes it?

Type 2 diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to become very high. According to the NHS, it generally stems from issues with the hormone insulin. The condition often arises out of obesity or leading an inactive lifestyle – another reason why it’s recommended to regularly hit the gym.

It can cause excessive thirst, tiredness and frequent trips to the toilet.

How do you gain muscle mass?

People involved in this study had their strength monitored through the bench press and leg press.

To go about getting stacked, there are two main principles you need to prioritise. Firstly, get stuck into resistance training. At least three sessions of weight lifting per week are optimal.

Compound exercises provide the most bang-for-your-buck. These lifts work multiple muscle groups at once, and examples include the bench press, leg press, deadlift and pull-up.

Hitting each muscle group at least twice per week is sufficient volume for new muscle growth.

Secondly, pay attention to your diet. To gain muscle, you need to gain weight – but that’s not an excuse to get sloppy and eat as much as you can.

Work out how many calories you need to sustain your weight, then add an extra 10-20% to that figure. This new surplus will help you gain muscle mass without too much fat being accumulated.

Build your own muscle gain workout plan with this easy-to-understand template.


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