Rapid Fat Loss Without Weight Training – Q&A

Question: I’m beginning a rehab program for a diastasis recti. I’m male, 58. I’m in fairly decent cardio shape (resting heartrate of 52 and can do 30 second intervals at 85-95% MHR; I try to do 15-20 minutes of variable paced warmup followed by the intervals and cooldown.)

However, I’m significantly overweight (6′ 220; ~35% body fat by a cheap scale) which is obviously a contributor to the diastasis. You can see why the idea of rapid fat loss is attractive.  The thing is, for the first 6 weeks on the diastasis program, strength
training is out of the picture.  I’m doing my cardio on a VersaClimber, which at least works my legs fairly well.

Would the rapid fat loss protocol work OK under these conditions? It sounds as though to try it I would need to put in more time on the climber and skip the intervals for the duration.

Answer: The short answer is that, at your current body fat percentage, yes, the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook program can be done without weight training.  This is an issue that I discuss in the book as well as in the article Initial Body Fat and Body Composition Changes but, simply, the higher your initial body fat percentage, the less muscle you are likely to lose under any circumstances (and by extension the leaner you are the more muscle you tend to lose, although this depends on a host of variables).   The primary function of resistance training on any diet is to maintain muscle mass (as discussed in Weight Training for Fat Loss Part 1 and Weight Training for Fat Loss Part 2) but when the risk of muscle mass loss is reduced, the importance of weight training is lessened.

An additional factor, also discussed in the book is that there is often an increase in lean body mass (and this represents both muscle mass and connective tissue) when people gain body fat.  From the standpoint of obtaining a ‘normal’ body weight (whatever ‘normal’ means here) losing that ‘extra’ LBM is thought to be beneficial or necessary by some obesity experts.

Finally, at least in relative beginners, even cardiovascular exercise (and the Versaclimber is one of the rare machines that has both an upper and lower body component) has some effect on sparing muscle mass loss.  So the inclusion of that (although with volumes cut back to match the recommendations in the book) should be sufficient until you abdominal issue has healed and you can begin resistance training.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Comments

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8 thoughts on “Rapid Fat Loss Without Weight Training – Q&A

  1. Due to subject’s physical limitations I would think that a regime of high volume walking of one to three hours a day would be highly beneficial for weight loss with minimal risk.

  2. Hello Lyle,

    I don’t even know if you will see this post on an article this old but can you go into further detail regarding this part in your reply?

    “An additional factor, also discussed in the book is that there is often an increase in lean body mass (and this represents both muscle mass and connective tissue) when people gain body fat. From the standpoint of obtaining a ‘normal’ body weight (whatever ‘normal’ means here) losing that ‘extra’ LBM is thought to be beneficial or necessary by some obesity experts.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘411571586 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. 1. When you become obese, some of the weight gain is LBM in the first place. To reach a ‘normal’ weight may require losing that extra
    2. Not all LBM is muscle mass. Much of the LBM ‘gain’ with obesity is connective tissue, glycogen and water. There’s no reason NOT to lose that to get weight down.

    So many accept that loss as not only acceptable but also beneficial.

  4. Is there any quantification or research regarding the amount of LBM loss that should be expected and welcomed when dropping significant weight? I believe that I have lost 35 pounds LBM for 135 pounds of total loss (26% rate.) The initial water weight loss on keto is understandable, however any additional LBM loss is perplexing given the “muscle sparing” claims of the keto diet.

  5. Many researchers accept ~25% of the total weight loss as LBM as acceptable. Much of this is water, glycogen, mineraals but some of it is ‘inessential LBM’, essentially connective tissue, etc. that is gained during the development of being overweight.

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