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by Craig Titus
Craig Titus

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I’ve seen quite a bit of information on the benefits of using insulin to promote muscle growth. I’ve also been told it is extremely dangerous…have you ever had and bad experiences using insulin? And if so, what exactly happened?

I’ve touched on the benefits of using insulin, along with the dangers that accompany its use in a previous question. Now I’ll share a nightmare that I personally experienced during my 2001 offseason mass building phase. You see, insulin is a very powerful hormone used to regulate blood sugar. And like I said in a pervious column, it’s extremely anabolic. The reason Bodybuilders use insulin is because it promotes the introduction of Amino Acids into cells, starting protein synthesis which causes genes to make more proteins. Insulin is also very dangerous and can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. A more severe negative side effect is insulin shock or in my case temporary blindness. Which I have no doubt was part of the insulin shock I suffered. The rule of thumb I used was the same as such bodybuilders as Jay Cutler and Chris Cormier. Immediately fallowing a training session and I mean just seconds after your last set, I would inject 10 to 20 units of fast acting insulin. Now keep in mind, for every 10 units of Insulin, consume 100 grams of simple sugars and another 100 grams of low glycemic carbs such as white rice. These amounts of carbs will certainly cover the amount of insulin you’ve injected and start instant recovery. The dangers come into play if you haven’t eaten the necessary carbs for the insulin to use. This when severe hypoglycemia can set in causing insulin shock which can result in death. On more occasions that I can remember, I’ve experienced low blood sugar, that’s really no big deal. Simply eat some simple sugars and some carbs and you’re all good. But, if you some how accidently inject insulin pior to going to bed for the night, you’ll have some real problems which is exactly what happened to me. I remember that day like it was yesterday, I was terrified!! I was in my kitchen having a discussion with a friend of mine in regards to how many IUs of HGH I should use in comparison to other pros in the IFBB. You never really know the dosage another athlete is using because no one wants to disclose that information…so really the dosage of GH you decide to use should be determined after several years of trial and error. At the time, I was administering 3 IUs of GH periodically throughout the day with injecting the last 3 IUs before bed time. Here it is, a few minutes before I hit the sack, discussing the benefits of HGH with my buddy, and inadvertently pick up the insulin bottle thinking it was GH resulting in me injecting three times more insulin I would use even after training!! Keep in mind I’d eaten no carbs let alone enough simple sugars and carbs to covers 30 units of insulin…not good! I go to bed and about four hours later, Sometimes after 1am, I wake up in a puddle of sweat that literally soaked the pillow and sheets through to the mattress. I was instantly over whelmed with fear and utterly disorientated not yet knowing what was happening. A few moments passed and I realized I was experiencing severe hypoglycemia only to find that I was also blind in my right eye. I knew the only thing that could cause these symptoms was insulin…I ran down, or rather stumbled down to the refrigerator confirming my fear that I accidently inject insulin instead of my HGH…I was in insulin shock! Immediately I picked up the phone only to find out my speech was slurred and becoming instantly worse! My friend rushed back to my house and he began feeding every simple sugar and fast acting carbs that was in my kitchen. After drinking a half gallon of orange juice, my eye sight was restored but remained slightly foggy. I was eating sugar filled cereal and fruit and honey eventually.

bring my speech back to normal. Then finally the color came back to my face and felt much better still woozy. I can honestly say, that was one of the scariest nights of my bodybuilding career. Keep in mind, all the pros are using insulin. My only advice is to be extremely cautious and highly respectful of this very powerful hormone. I could of slipped into a coma that night but was lucky enough to wake only because of a feeling of being submerged in water. To this day I’m absolutely convinced that my impaired sight in my right eye was caused by my misuse of insulin.

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Craig Titus

Craig Michael Titus was born in Wyandotte, Michigan on Jan 14, 1967. The eldest of Michael and Sandra Titus’ three children. In high school, Craig wrestled for his school team at 132lbs. After graduation, decided to put on some muscle via weight training. When Craig graduated from high school he was 5’6″ and 140lbs. By the age of 21, he was 5’9″ and 185lbs. Once he started weight training and seeing results, he was hooked. Craig’s first bodybuilding show was the 1988 Houston Bodybuilding Championships in which he won the Men’s Open middleweight class and the overall title.

Competitive Record

2002 Mr. Olympia – 11th
2002 Night of Champions XIV – 5th
2002 Southwest Pro – 7th
2001 British Grand Prix – 9th
2001 Mr. Olympia – 12th
2001 Arnold Classic – 6th
2001 SAN FRANCISCO GRAND PRIX – 2nd
2001 IRONMAN PRO INVITATIONAL – 5th
2000 Toronto Pro – 1st
2000 Arnold Classic – 10th
2000 Night of Champions – 11th
2000 Ironman Pro Invitational – 8th
1996 NPC USA Championships — 1st Heavyweight and Overall
1995 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC National Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1993 NPC USA Championships — 4th Heavyweight
1991 NPC Ironman/Ironmaiden — Overall
1990 NPC Tournament of Champions — 3rd Heavyweight
1990 NPC Western Cup — Overall
1989 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships — Overall
1988 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships — 1st, Middleweight and Overall

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