Over the last few days we’ve discussed one of your body’s most critical hormones—insulin—and how improving your sensitivity to insulin will ultimately help you AVOID storing the carbs you eat as fat (and instead shuttle those carbs to your muscles to be used as energy).
One “tried and true” way to improve your insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate tolerance is to participate in high-intensity, high-volume resistance training. Numerous studies have shown that training with weights can have a profound impact on insulin sensitivity, with the most beneficial effects seen with protocols that incorporate many sets and many reps, such as 5 sets of 8 repetitions per body part, repeated for a total of 3 exercises per body part.
These high-volume strength training workouts deplete stored carbohydrates in muscle tissue (again, known as glycogen), and increase insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in muscle to replenish these depleted energy stores.
One particular study conducted by Dr. Laurie Black of Arizona State University and published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that multiple sets of 6 to 8 repetitions per body part performed with a heavy load were able to significantly improve insulin sensitivity and fasting blood glucose levels in 17 pre-diabetic test subjects.
While these findings are extremely promising, they are dependent upon performing bodybuilding style workouts with heavy loads for 60 minutes daily, which we understand may not be practical or even desirable for most. That said, if the above exercise trick sounds too hard or too time-consuming for you, don’t worry, there’s a much EASIER way to improve your insulin sensitivity and it only takes a few short seconds to execute each day.