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Obese - trying to build strength while losing weight

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  • Obese - trying to build strength while losing weight

    This will be a little long and winding, but I want to provide as much info as possible. I posed this question on another board and I felt like it wasn't addressed well. I am 41 years old and 6'2". I used to be about 265lbs. I ran 4-5 days a week. I did 5k's and 10ks. I felt great. Slowly I started gaining weight. I noticed it happening and even started cutting back on calories. I saw an endo who told me my problem was excessive overeating even though I provided a flawless 30 day food diary to the contrary. Fast forward to the tail end of 2018 and I was 450lbs. I got so heavy I could no longer run and even walking hurt. I looked at strength training because, while intense, you don't move a whole lot. I hoped that maybe getting bigger muscles would help me lose some weight by the simple process of them needing burning more calories. I was taking in 2200 calories a day. I know muscle needs calories, but I figure being 450 lbs, if there needs to be more calories, it can pull them from my fat. I fell in love with it right away. I also lost over 50lbs. I felt great because, not only was I losing weight, but my body was looking better overall. I had better posture and going down the stairs didn't hurt so much. Even the edema in my legs was going down. I was able to do LP for almost 3 months. I got up to a 375lb squat workset and could deadlift 355 (though I have to do it sumo because I cannot get into correct form because of my abdominal area being so big. Then one day it started going south. I started to feel like I was getting the sh|t beaten out of me every morning instead of the usual sensations after lifts. The lifts started suffering too. I couldn't advance. Even after a deload, I was having a lot of trouble. Throughout all this I had been working with a better doctor (not the awful endo). He was happy to hear about lifting and noticed the changes in me. He ran a lot of tests and labs and I found out my thyroid is basically not working. I've started taking a thyroid medication and it is amazing because I feel so different. I no longer need to take 2 naps every day just to get through the day. I also found out my testosterone levels were in the trash. My testosterone level was 125, my estrogen was high, and I had a poor free T value (the value escapes me at the moment). My PC said it wasn't in his wheel house and referred me to a doctor who specializes in that sort of thing. So I will be working to normalize those numbers. This brings me to my questions. I want to lose weight. I want to be back to 265lbs. I want to wear XL shirts instead of 7XL shirts. Can I continue to strength train 3 days a week and do something for weight loss the other days? Do I have to abandon strength training? I have so much weight to lose that I don't want to give up lifting for what will inevitably take multiple years to do safely. Currently I'm still keeping to 2200 calories. Is that too little, too much? I've got access to my own gym in my barn where I can do just about anything barbell related. I've got a treadmill as well as wonderful trails near me. I look forward to your advice.

  • #2

    Thanks for the post and I hope you're doing well.

    I think the LP is no longer a viable program for you given your other needs, re: weight loss, and that you should pursue that immediately. If you can comply with 2200 kCal -as evidenced by weight loss- then that is fine.

    Yes you can strength train- I would have you do the bridge and do conditioning 3x/wk to start.

    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
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    • #3
      Ok I'll start working on the bridge. Thank you for taking the time to read through it all. I look forward to reporting in with some updates as time goes on.