Paul Coker ( talks to Georgia Thomson about Managing Diabetes before Weight Training

Hi. Paul Coker here from For those of you that don’t know me, I marked 40 years of living with type 1 diabetes by running 40 half-marathons. Now, I’m on a mission to create a great resource for people who have type 1 diabetes to learn how to manage their diabetes while they’re exercising.

Today, I’m here in Cardiff for Athletic Creations with Georgia Thomson. Georgia is a phenomenal athlete, and she does a lot of weightlifting and work in the gym. She’s going to be talking to us about how she prepares for her diabetes and perhaps her diet before she goes for a gym session.

When I go to the gym and I know that I'm going to lift weights so, obviously, the first starting point for me is to test my blood sugar. If you don't know where you're starting, you can't react. When it comes to managing my blood sugars around my training, I always prefer to be proactive, rather than reactive, if that makes sense, so I prepare, rather than react to my blood sugars going wrong later. If my blood sugar is a bit too high before I train, I will correct, but obviously that ... I know my body now enough to know how much to correct by.
I will always test during my workout; always, always, always. It might be once, it might be twice, it might be three times. I'm in the gym, a light session will last an hour and a half, two hours for me, and to have that much strain on your body, and that is going to affect your blood sugars. There's adrenaline going through your body as well, and if you don't know what your sugars are doing, like said, you can't react to it. So I always, always test throughout my workout as well, and I will react if my blood sugars need reacting to.

So do you need to make any modifications? Do you need to eat more carbohydrates before you go to the gym? Do you need to make modifications and have onboard?

If I'm doing cardio, then sometimes I'll eat before I go if my sugar is too low. It's like we were saying, this is just what I do.
I am the kind of person that can train on an empty stomach, I know that a lot of people can't, so I don't necessarily always eat before I go and train. I don't need to. I will always eat carbohydrates after I trained and protein, of course, but, yeah, I don't find that I have to necessarily adjust anything, if it doesn't need adjusting.

So your simple messages are to test before you go for a training session. Make small adjustments, if necessary. But if your blood glucose level is in range, you don’t need to make any adjustments to your insulin or to your food.

That's where I come from, yeah.