Barbell Shrugged

Can You Maintain or Even Build Strength While Losing Body Fat?

Doug Larson

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  • I am in the process of dropping body fat now and I can day from experience that it is EXTREMELY hard to keep the strength along the way. You hear stories about people saying how they lost weight and got stronger at the same time, but I have a feeling those are newcomers to Crossfit or weight training. Everybody get stronger when you have never lifted before.

    My experience – On New Years Day my maxes were 510 on dl and 405 on back squat. I was also 280 lbs (at 6’4″). I am currently at 250 lbs and just retested those lifts. My DL has gone down to 465 and my back squat is now 390. That being said, I have also dropped 25 seconds off my 2K rowing time so there has been a good improvement on my cardio. I have not changed my workout regimen except for adding some additional cardio in the way of sandbag sprints and sled drags. My weight loss has been purely through nutritional changes, and I met with a dietitian to formulate a plan before I started.

    Long story to get to the questions, but here we go: At what strength levels can you expect to still be able to increase or maintain strength while losing weight? While my numbers may not be elite, they are certainly higher than most people. Can I honestly expect to even maintain high power lifting numbers while creating a caloric deficit? I have about 30 lbs to go, and while being skinnier is certainly awesome, so is deadlifting 500 lbs.

  • […] Can You Maintain or Even Build Strength While Losing Body Fat? That is the question posed by the most recent blog post on Barbell Shrugged. Now, of course they are trying to sell a program to get you lean and muscular, but the facts still remain. It is possible, but it’s hard. […]

  • Bedtime alarm!! That little nugget will iron out me being lazy about getting food prepared for tomorrow.

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