4

votes

Weight-Loss stalls dramatically when adding strength exercises.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 20, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Question for everyone. Does anyone else stop losing weight/fat when they start adding strength training exercises to their routine? If I stick to walking, sprinting, and no strength work my body seems to drop weight. However, after a couple of weeks of strength training I always fill out pretty quickly my arms are fuller, my legs have always beeen strong. My end result is I start putting on some serious strength very quickly, today I tried on a shirt and the arms where tight on it again. The downside is my waist sits still, and my stomach stops decreasing.

Its like my body is one or the other. Either I add muscle or I burn off fat. The choice is yours.

Maybe I just need to hold out a little longer and it will kick back up again.

828429fe885f42968c0519d5b84cec40

(608)

on November 15, 2010
at 07:43 PM

I did body by science for about 6 months and saw very good gains. I wanted something more and am now doing Crossfit 4x a week. It's my first month and I like it a lot. The OP issue could be cortisol? Depends on time frame too....

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:03 PM

My opinion is to carry the muscle that you don't have to stress to maintain. Your body will regulate your muscle just like your fat as long as you use it, you'll only lose what your body doesn't feel you need. Don't stress, overwork, keep it fun

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 20, 2010
at 07:32 PM

I may start a new thread for this... do y'all think 5'9" and 190 is sub-optimal for long-term health? I think I could easily gain 20 lbs. of muscle from my current 172 and be pretty healthy....

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on October 20, 2010
at 07:14 PM

6'1" visible abs popped at 185 and nice at 180, but back up to 200 and still nice, they say 5lbs/inch so I'd say 190 ripped. I'm 31

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 20, 2010
at 06:56 PM

That's fantastic: your change in size shows loss of fat. Sadly though, the poster says his fat loss stopped. He's asking about a fat-loss stall, not so much a weight-loss stall. So are you doing the BodybyScience/SuperSlow/PowerofTen protocol?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 20, 2010
at 04:08 PM

I agree, but he should see it in his waist size.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 20, 2010
at 04:07 PM

Wow. I'm at 5'9" and 172, inching toward a goal of 185-195. Talk about different goals.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on October 20, 2010
at 04:03 PM

@MikeD: Rats, I'm about 5'8" at 157 and didn't think I'd have that much further to go :(

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 20, 2010
at 03:00 PM

i bet you'll be sub-200 for a six pack, speaking from down here at 5'8" and 155 with my six pack still hiding.

D25307ea58300b9569b5a130444f7e14

(247)

on October 20, 2010
at 02:20 PM

5'10" 264Lbs. 43" Waist, 46.75" around the navel. 47"chest. Overall I have lost some stomach size, down 3" actually :) But its stalled since I started lifting again. I'm a large built guy anyways, everyone always thinks I am wearing shoulder pads when I am not. I am 29 as of Sept 2010 and my slogan is 6-pack at 30. I don't know what weight range I will need to be at. If I could come in at 200lbs and ripped that would be great. :)

D25307ea58300b9569b5a130444f7e14

(247)

on October 20, 2010
at 02:15 PM

I think part of it is water as well.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on October 20, 2010
at 01:57 PM

Agreed, check your diet, I dropped fat superfast when I starting lifting heavy.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 20, 2010
at 01:44 PM

Interesting. Please post your height/weight/waist measurement stats. What are your goals (weight, strength, general fitness)? What do you eat, and how much? What kind of strength training are you doing?

  • D25307ea58300b9569b5a130444f7e14

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10 Answers

4
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on October 20, 2010
at 01:38 PM

I am also stripping down and strength training actually upped my fat-burning capacity. i train heavy as hell- only 5-6 reps per set- and do at least one powerlifting exercise each session. i started off about 27% bf and have stripped down to about 20- all while adding significant muscle(i'm 6' 254lbs). my waist has dropped 3 inches and my chest has dropped about 2 but i've gained significant strenght in my squat and deadlift and have held court on my bench. The place you may need to look is your diet. when i stalled out about a month ago, i realized that my omega 3/6 balance was screwy because i was inhaling about half-lb of almonds a day. once i cut that out, i went back to losing 1-2 lbs a week. look at your diet and see where it may have a hiccup... hope this helps.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on October 20, 2010
at 01:57 PM

Agreed, check your diet, I dropped fat superfast when I starting lifting heavy.

3
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on October 20, 2010
at 01:34 PM

You're replacing fat with muscle. Weight should not be the #1 indicator of progress. My weight loss has slowed down dramatically, however I can see progress after implementing more resistance exercises.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 20, 2010
at 04:08 PM

I agree, but he should see it in his waist size.

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on October 20, 2010
at 07:15 PM

Besides toning in diet, check your rest/recovery and sleep, stress stalls as much as diet

2
828429fe885f42968c0519d5b84cec40

(608)

on October 20, 2010
at 02:20 PM

Exercise, especially with weights is a (ugh, I hate this phrase) "game changer."

You will have body recomposition but sometimes not weight loss- and even weight GAIN. Once you introduce exercise to your regimen you need to look for inches and not so much weight.

I am 5'4 125lbs and have been for about a year or more. However, I started a once a week very intensive heavy weights workout around 7 months ago. I went from leg pressing 70 pounds to 230 pounds and chest pressing 48 pounds to 102 pounds. My a*s, if I may say so myself, is amazing. My arms are toned and I am down a dress size (currently holding steady at a size 5 jrs and a size 1/2 women's).

However....not one ounce lost. Not one. It sucks, but I have to focus more on the fact that I look better (tighter). That's really what matters.

If you are not losing/gaining both weight AND (more importantly) inches, it may be time to re-evaluate your diet. Some of the main culprits are:

Too much fruit, especially dried and high GI

Too many nuts

Too much cheating

Too many frankenfoods (shakes, bars, processed jerkey etc)

Too many carbs

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 20, 2010
at 06:56 PM

That's fantastic: your change in size shows loss of fat. Sadly though, the poster says his fat loss stopped. He's asking about a fat-loss stall, not so much a weight-loss stall. So are you doing the BodybyScience/SuperSlow/PowerofTen protocol?

828429fe885f42968c0519d5b84cec40

(608)

on November 15, 2010
at 07:43 PM

I did body by science for about 6 months and saw very good gains. I wanted something more and am now doing Crossfit 4x a week. It's my first month and I like it a lot. The OP issue could be cortisol? Depends on time frame too....

1
8636140c81618c3ce1a85c2af48de366

(65)

on October 21, 2010
at 01:16 PM

I went from 266 to 208 (as of today) between May and now. For a 1 month period I experienced the same thing you are talking about. While some people said I was in that fat burning sweet spot (burning fat, gaining muscle) I agree with some of the comments from above about tweaking your diet some. I've tried to really be more aggressive in limiting the amount of fruit I take in (either 1 serving a day or none) and also really monitoring nut intake (less so than fruit though). I made those changes and 10 days later with no real change to the workout regiment I dropped 8ish lbs.

1
1dd5986edc44148c39247cfa61fbe881

(300)

on October 20, 2010
at 03:16 PM

I would say that you need to do some specific data collection to get a grip on the situation. Start measuring weight and body fat% at least weekly. FOr body fat%, I personally use an omron device once a week, which, while not EXTREMELY accurate, allows me to see trending. I also use a more accurate means less often for calibration - I used a BodPod for the first time a couple weeks ago, I recommend it. Measure at the same time on the same day, preferably immediately after awakening (fasted state) for the most accurate results.

Next, journal a weeks worth of food and exercise. And I mean JOURNAL! If you bite it, write it, if you drink it, ink it. This includes ANY supplements or para-foods (shakes, bars, etc). This is important as you might not realize a subconscious increase in volume of food to support an increased volume of work, and because of this aren't being as clean as possible. From a supplement standpoint, it's important as if you decided to start using creatine, for example, you are likely to see a quick spike in weight and then a plateau as your body stores more water while taking it.

I recently went on the Whole30 challenge (day 23 right now) and have lost a consistent 3 pounds a week while changing noting else. This includes 5 days of CrossFit a week I've set four PRs in the last 10 days, so I'd be interested to know what your volumes are and what you are actually eating.

1
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on October 20, 2010
at 02:11 PM

Unless you are doing some pinch measurements or doing an immersion test, you really have no idea if your strength training is stalling your fat loss.

If your body is storing more glycogen (for exercise purposes), you'll also gain some water weight as well.

1
Bebc8909d95205d0f266c839304c7d3c

on October 20, 2010
at 02:00 PM

Yep, replacing fat with muscle will definitely up your weight. Also, putting stress on the body (including healthy exercise stress) will make your body retain some "emergency" fat.

1
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on October 20, 2010
at 01:34 PM

I think I notice something similar too, though even when my weight is stalling, I'm still noticing things that I take as my indicators that I'm continuing to lose fat - I see more vascularity in my arms and hands (which have always been covered by at least a thin layer of fat).

I just don't see any progress in the place I'd most like to, my stomach. But I imagine as it's the last vestige of accumulated fat, it's just harder to see the miniscule progress that I'm most likely still making.

Do I think I'm building as much muscle weight as fat weight I'm losing? I strongly doubt it. Maybe the strength work is causing my muscles to retain more water?

D25307ea58300b9569b5a130444f7e14

(247)

on October 20, 2010
at 02:15 PM

I think part of it is water as well.

0
F1e5ff10797e0e35cda081a4221cb614

on October 25, 2010
at 02:06 PM

The folks from this study (below) by Ballor et al. (1996) actually gained weight, even as they lost body fat. The reason was that they followed a strength training while maintaining a mild caloric deficit. Check the graph with the body composition. The group doing strength training ended up with much better body composition; the other group lost fat and muscle!

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-lose-fat-and-gain-muscle-at-same.html

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