Rapid weight loss. Need to gain muscle during surgery rehab. Is it possible?

Hi MFP
I'm a 48yo man 5ft 7. I lost a little more than 100 lbs in 10 months. 270s to 170s. Exercise has been aggressive walking. Now I have injured my foot and will be down for eight weeks. I should have been adding muscle all this time, but I would like to start now. Any suggestions on how to add and ramp up strength training while healing from foot surgery will be appreciated. Any advice on a routine to help with loose skin after the 8weeks are up is welcome. Thanks!!

Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,929 Member
    Congratulations on the stunningly successful weight loss!

    Loose skin advice I've got, but not muscle gain advice (not my wheelhouse, once we get beyond "good progressive strength program, good nutrition (especially but not exclusively ample protein), small calorie surplus, patient persistence).

    Loose skin can really only start shrinking once fat from an area is depleted. Then it takes time. Mine kept shrinking at least well into year 2 of maintenance, even at age 60. The long term results weren't terrible, IMO. (I don't think I look lots worse now than a similar woman who'd always been slim, unless a person knows what to look for.) If someone gets out a couple of years post-loss, isn't happy, there's always surgery ($$$$).

    Beyond that, as far as how to minimize loose skin, here's what I think: Genetics matter, and likely age does, too. That's the hand we're dealt, and it's unpredictable and pretty much unchangeable.

    Beyond that, skin is an organ. The things that keep other organs healthy will also tend to keep skin healthy, which means elastic and more willing to adjust. These include:

    * avoiding fast loss (because it's a physical stress to lose fast),
    * getting good well-rounded nutrition (macros and micros, especially but not exclusively protein),
    * getting regular exercise (both cardiovascular and strength),
    * managing all-source life stress,
    * hydrating adequately (not crazy much, but enough),
    * avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol,
    * specific to skin, also avoiding tanning.

    People will say all kinds of things about creams, dry-brushing, etc., but personally I'm inclined to thing those are mainly ways to pass the time while skin does pretty much what it was going to do anyway. Help a little? Maybe. Big help? I doubt it. But it can feel good to feel like we're doing *something*.

    Just my opinions, though.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, and good progress!
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,483 Member
    edited April 2
    Congrats on the big loss! Better late than never with the strength training.

    If you post your planned number of days per week lifting and what equipment you have access to (gym, or if home gym then what equipment), we can get into more specifics.

    I think you should be able to do all the upper body work you could want, and even some lower body if you have gym access. For example you can probably still do leg extension for quads and seated leg curl for hams. The leg extension would usually be far from my first choice here, but I'm not sure what else you could do for quads with an injured foot.

    Do increase your calories above what you think your maintenance level is, while healing. And since you can't do cardio to warm up the body before lifting, do consider some dynamic stretching and more than usual warmups before each body part, i.e. gradual loading of the exercise you intend to do at higher weight/reps.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,376 Member
    First of all: Give your body time to heal. Healing takes a lot of energy, and depending on the surgery you had you might even lose a bit by just eating at maintenance. Thus eat enough for the time after surgery for your body to heal. Don't run a deficit just now.

    Then look at what you can do. Even upper body strength training requires good stabilization, and feet to to do this. Even with leg curls you'll probably put some stress on your foot. Are you getting physiotherapy? Then discuss with the pt what you can and can't do.

    Wishing you swift healing!
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,483 Member
    edited April 2
    You're right that planting for stability is some stress, but I was thinking with seated options and if they put more force on the good foot, that should be minimal, especially since as a new lifter the weight won't initially be that high. So there's bench press, db or machine fly's, chest supported row, lat pulldowns, seated curls, skull crushers, etc. etc.
  • jcx13
    jcx13 Posts: 15 Member
    Checking in to thank everyone for their support and insight. Several things I have never thought about. I appreciate the help. I'll post the requested details after I can think about it. Thanks for the hope!!