Recently, Biotest and Testosterone magazine held their very first "No Holds Barred" bodybuilding workshop in Orlando, Florida. During the workshop, members of the Testosterone science team provided the audience with the latest and greatest information related to training, supplements, and nutrition to help them take their training to the next level.

One of the speakers was John Berardi, who presented a fascinating presentation on insulin and the insulin index. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and starches in the body, and it promotes muscle uptake of amino acids for making proteins.

Berardi is a scientist and PhD candidate in the area of Exercise and Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. As an athlete, he's been a successful powerlifter, former NABBA Jr. Mr. USA bodybuilding champion, and a member of nationally ranked rugby and track and field teams.

John is highly regarded for his expertise in hormonal regulation of muscle mass and body composition; the interactions between exercise, diet, and nutritional supplementation; methods of strength training and conditioning; and the testing and design of nutritional supplements.

He's currently conducting exercise and nutritional supplement research with renowned exercise and nutrition researcher Dr. Peter Lemon, one of the world's leading experts on protein. John's also famous for conducting experiments on himself and his friends to put his theories to use. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they go terribly awry, as former friend, Larry "Two Headed Freak" Dumbrowski can attest.

RW Thanks for your time John. First off, can you give us a brief background on yourself and what stimulated your interest in exercise and supplementation?

RW – So let's talk about insulin. What is insulin and why should athletes and those involved in health and fitness care about it?

RW – So how can one manage this hormone to promote muscle gains and fat losses?

RW – Please explain the difference between insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity?

RW – Does insulin sensitivity vary or change?

RW – So what are some practical ways to manipulate insulin sensitivity?

RW – How important is the insulin sensitivity to my progress as a "natural" bodybuilder?

RW – So what about the other step in balancing insulin? Controlling insulin release during specific times during the day, right?

RW – What's the difference between the well known glycemic index (GI) and this insulin index (II) you're referring to?

RW – If a natural bodybuilder is planning their nutrient intake around the insulin index, what foods would they eat and what foods would they avoid?

RW – So what times of the day should you increase insulin levels and what times should you concentrate on decreasing them?

1st 3 meals:

2nd 3 meals:

Post-workout meals:

RW – Are there any supplements that affect the release of insulin and if so, how are they beneficial?

RW – Thanks so much for this informative interview John. Is there anything you would like to leave the readers with?

RW – Thanks for your time, John.