August 28th, 2007

Previous Entry Next Entry
11:32 am - on fitness and weight loss...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Sitting at home working out and watching TV, and I am struck with a question. This isn't meant to offend anyone, so I'm going to break character and lose my normal mean spirited tone that I write with here, because I'm really curious.

Do obese people who go on super fitness diets and lose hundreds of pounds end up being extremely strong? I mean, most weight loss plans involve strength and muscle building anyway, of course. But for instance the woman on TV right now went from 527 lbs to 162lbs. Even assuming that she lost half of her muscle strength since she's no longer carrying around 365 lbs of what she used to on a daily basis, that still seems like she should be much stronger than average. I know I can't go very far with 180 extra pounds strapped to me.

So does anyone know how that works? Does anyone know anybody who's lost that large an amount of weight?

I'm really curious here.

Wow, that's probably the least offensive I've been in a blog posting in years.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

on fitness and weight loss... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

• Recent Entries
• Friends
• Archive
> ChrisMaverick dot com
• profile

Art & Photography
> 365 Days of Mav
> Mav's Flickr Stream
> MavTV (youtube)
> Party Nook

> International Males
> IWC Wrestling
> BDW Wrestling
> CWF Wrestling

> Mav's DVD Library
> Verdandi (currently down)
> Mav's Schedule (currently down)
> Mav's MySpace
chrismaverick. Get yours at


[User Picture]From: viscous Date: August 28th, 2007 - 04:22 pm (Link)
Huh. That's a damn good question.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 28th, 2007 - 04:49 pm (Link)
thank you
[User Picture]From: eriktheplaid Date: August 28th, 2007 - 04:40 pm (Link)
[As I understand things, based on limited research and my own limited experience, IANA{D,N}]

I don't think it is possible to lose a large amount of weight without also losing some muscle mass. "Healthy" weigh-loss programs try to minimize the sacrifice of muscle mass (since muscle mass factors very heavily into metabolic rate, which obviously factors in to rate of loss).

The rule of thumb I've heard is that > 1.5-2 lbs/week is the golden number. If you go above that, your body starts cannibalizing muscle to keep up.

I don't think my 70 lb loss qualifies to answer the question, but I don't feel particularly stronger (well, except when I climb Potrero Hill in my middle ring).

On the other hand, every once in a while you'll run into someone who lost hundreds of pounds and is now "bodybuilder strong." I happen to think that's an over-compensation on their part, and independent of the weight loss (well, obviously, they couldn't have done it without also losing the weight)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 28th, 2007 - 04:58 pm (Link)
yeah, the most I've ever lost is about 30lbs. And while I was definitely stronger after the loss than I was before, I'm certain that it was more through muscle building than the muscles already being there under fat. For starters, most of the fat was in my stomach and yet my biceps and chest were noticably bigger after the loss.

I'm quite certain that you have to lose some of the muscle mass during the weight loss. Not only due to just burning it for energy (cannibalizing as you say) but assuming you walk 1 mile every day, in the beginning you're walking 1 mile carry 527 lbs, but at the end you're walking 1 mile carrying 165 lbs. So its going to be easier and not give you as much of a workout and not give you the same strength training. That said, I have to believe that your muscles can't have entirely atrophied. So there would have to be some bonus power, right?

Another way to look at it, what happens if you get liposuction? If you drop 365 lbs overnight (or I guess in a couple months, since I would assume it would take more than one treatment), wouldn't you still have the extra muscle mass?
[User Picture]From: jacquez Date: August 29th, 2007 - 02:23 am (Link)
I have always wondered this myself, but I am guessing the answer is "no", because of a couple of factors. (I am assuming in this that the person losing the weight is exercising as part of their weight-loss program.)

one, if you are that heavy, your muscle is probably to some extent marbled with fat, so in with the weight loss your muscle is going to get reconfigured as that marbled fat is lost, and there's no reason for it to reconfigure to carry the extra weight around if you no longer have that extra weight.

and two, i bet the type of muscle needed to support and move a very large body around is different from the type needed to support and move a smaller body, so again you end up with a lot of muscle reconfiguration.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2007 - 12:04 am (Link)
yeah, I certainly don't think they'd be possessed of superhuman strength or anything like that, but the muscles must be hardened and strengthened over time, and I just imagine that can't just go away to nowhere. *shrug*
[User Picture]From: firimari Date: August 30th, 2007 - 02:59 am (Link)
Tender, marbled fat is best for the grill, though.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: September 2nd, 2007 - 06:13 pm (Link)
yes, I suppose if you're looking to cook a person, that's true.
[User Picture]From: ouchfest Date: August 30th, 2007 - 01:03 am (Link)
I have lost 90 pounds, 30 in the last year. Eating less is the biggest part of weight loss, and the body does cannibalize the muscle a bit, even when going slowly. I've been working out regularly over the last year, but I still lost about 10% of my upper body strength. I'm not too heart-broken about it, though, because my tone and definition are so much better now that I look much hotter.

The biggest muscle loss was in the legs. Especially the calves. My calves were enormous and rock hard back when I was 285 and was walking 2-6 miles per day (no car). People tell me that they are still impressively large, but they seem quite atrophied to me. I miss what they used to be. Time to get a weighted vest.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: September 2nd, 2007 - 06:14 pm (Link)
so given that you didn't weigh 900 lbs, you're arguing that you did lose some muscle but still have more than you would have had you not been overweight?

• Go to Top