Bodybuilding Tips: Should You Use Insulin?

This article is the sole opinion of Nick Trigili. Generation Iron Brands LLC does not condone, support, or advocate any form of illegal drug use.

Should you use insulin?

Insulin is commonly known as the most anabolic hormone in existence, but also deadly. To reiterate, this information is for entertainment purposes only and you should be aware of and follow the laws of your country. Prescription medications should be given by a licensed medical professional only.

Insulin is a peptide hormone that is naturally occurring in the human body. It is released from the beta cells of the pancreas in the abdomen. Its main role in metabolism is shuttling glucose (sugar) into muscle, liver, and fat cells. It gets converted to fat/triglycerides in fat cells and glycogen (stored sugar) in liver, mostly. However, the alpha cells of the pancreas release glucagon which is essentially a hormone that is opposite of insulin causing the liver, fat, and muscle cells to release stored sugar into the blood.

Basically, insulin is the body’s storage signal. It increases protein synthesis and fat storage. This can be a game changer when it comes to growing new muscle especially in the off season for physique athletes. Linearly, it can single-handedly cause someone to go from a small amount of lean muscle mass to a freaky amount. On the other hand, it can also kill you because of severe hypoglycemia. This is the caveat with insulin.

Since insulin causes your blood sugar to be moved into storage (preferably into muscle cells), it comes down to how much sugar you have in your blood. For the physique athletes’ goals, you want the minimum amount of blood sugar necessary for muscle growth and not for fat growth. But, if you “run out” of blood sugar, your brain and heart, which rely on sugar to function, can shut down and cause death.

Natural insulin can be capitalized on by consuming a caloric surplus with the majority of carbohydrates around your workout time. That includes having enough carbs before your workout to fuel your workout and enough carbs afterward to cause an insulin spike to shuttle carbs into the recently fatigued muscles.

Now that you’re familiar with the background, should you use it as a performance enhancer? The answer like almost all performance enhancing agents is, if you’re willing to risk the possible adverse effects, then moderate use could be very beneficial.

What is moderate use and what can you expect from it? Assuming pharmaceutical rapid acting insulin (Novolog or Humalog), high level competitors could benefit hugely from 5-15iu per workout day. When I say high level competitor, I mean year round <12% body fat and extremely intense, regular resistance training.

Sample protocol:

4 weeks on, 4 weeks off for off season

5-15iu rapid-acting insulin pre or post workout with 6-10g fast acting carbs/iu insulin consumed immediately after insulin administration

This type of protocol allows for sufficient time off, with moderate doses, to lead to maximal benefit with minimal adverse effects. Ideally, you’d be using a glucometer to measure your blood sugar to see how high and how low it gets with standardized insulin doses and carbohydrate amounts. This can allow you to consume the exact right number of carbohydrates to minimize fat gain.

Insulin is powerful tool in the physique athlete’s arsenal that should not be taken lightly. It has the potential for significant benefit including supraphysiologic muscle growth, but also the potential to cause death if misused. If you’re unsure if insulin is for you, I highly recommend hiring a coach to work with you on reaching your goals.

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Nick Trigili is a respected IFBB Pro bodybuilder and trainer. Check him out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more informative content. Also make sure to visit his official personal training website – World Class Trainers.

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