Weight Lifting and Strength Training After Bariatric Surgery

Weight Lifting and Strength Training After Bariatric Surgery

Alex Brecher

If you have committed to bariatric surgery, chances are that you are all in. You may be eager to do everything possible to lose weight and get healthier. Did you know that weight lifting may be part of that plan? Here’s what you should know about reasons for strength training after bariatric surgery, tips for doing it more safely, and how BariatricPal Protein ONE can be part of your plan.

Common Concerns About Strength Training After Bariatric Surgery

Is it okay to lift weights after bariatric surgery? Should you do resistance training? Is it safe? Or is it counterproductive? 

The goal after bariatric surgery is to slim down, right? So why would you do something, such as resistance training, that bulks you up? Actually, strength training is not likely to make you look like a bodybuilder unless you train like one. 

Reasons to Lift Weights After Bariatric Surgery

Rather than making you big and bulky, resistance training can do the following.

  • Help reduce the loss of lean muscle mass as you quickly lose body fat after weight loss surgery.
  • Increase metabolism throughout the day, as muscles are metabolically active tissues that burn calories at rest.
  • Give you a toned look.
  • Improve strength and balance to make daily life easier.
  • Reduce injury risk.
  • Burn calories and improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol.

In fact, resistance training can help you reach your activity and weight loss goals. Plus, it can make your exercise program more interesting so you stick with it!

Ways to Strength Train In and Out of the Gym

The popular image of weight lifting may be in the gym, on big machines or with heavy barbells. That can definitely work to build muscle and maintain muscle. But you don’t need a gym or weight machines. 

These are some other forms of strength training you can try.

  • Using dumbbells or a kettlebell.
  • Doing exercises with your body weight, such as planks, sit-ups, lunges, wall sits, squats, and push-ups.
  • Using resistance bands.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure you use proper form. It may help to ask an exercise physiologist if you are working with one after bariatric surgery. Other options include the following.

  • See if you are entitled to demonstrations at your gym.
  • Hire a personal trainer for a few sessions until you learn proper form for the exercises you will be doing.
  • Sign up for group exercise classes and ask the teacher lots of questions.

Before you get started, get your surgeon’s go-ahead and be confident that you know which exercises to do.

Precautions for Strength Training

Strength training can get you injured if you are not careful, but simple precautions can lower the risk. These are some smart tips.

  • Find out when you can get started after weight loss surgery. Your surgeon might ask you to wait a few weeks before starting your resistance training program.
  • Learn from your surgeon or an exercise expert which restrictions you have. You might be allowed to lift only a few pounds to start, or you might have to be careful with your balance.
  • Only use proper form. You may need an expert to help you. Otherwise, an injury or muscle imbalance is likely, or you may not get maximum benefit from your efforts.
  • Warm up before you get started, and cool down when you are finished.

You can also support your efforts with a healthy lifestyle.

  • Get plenty of sleep, especially when recovering from surgery and when you increase your training load.
  • Take rest days, such as every week or so, to let muscles recover. Never work the same muscle groups hard two days in a row.
  • Increase your weight and repetitions only gradually.

Importance of Protein for Weight Lifting

Getting enough protein is important after weight loss surgery. It is even more important if you are very active, such as when you are strength training. For bariatric surgery patients, adequate protein supports normal recovery and muscle function.

It can be hard to get enough protein after weight loss surgery, especially during the liquid and soft diet post-op phases, and when you are on the go or busy often. BariatricPal Protein ONE Meal Replacement Shakes can help.

Protein Supplementation While Strength Training

BariatricPal Protein ONE Meal Replacement Shakes have 27 grams of medical grade whey protein. You can take them anywhere. Just mix a scoop into water or another favorite beverage after a workout or before a workout or for a snack or meal replacement. 

They have only 150 calories and 3 grams of net carbs, so you can enjoy them anytime. Plus, they have 5 grams of dietary fiber to help stabilize blood sugar and delay hunger.* BariatricPal Protein ONE Meal Replacement Shakes come in delicious flavors.

They come in 15-serving tubs and there is also a Variety Pack.

Nutrition for Healthy Muscles

BariatricPal Protein ONE Meal Replacement Shakes also have 28 essential vitamins and minerals, including several key nutrients for building and repairing muscles, allowing muscles to function normally, and maintaining normal metabolism.* These are some examples.

  • Iron, which is needed for having normal energy levels and healthy red blood cells. 
  • Magnesium, which you need for normal energy production and muscle relaxation.
  • B vitamins, which are needed for metabolism and healthy red blood cells.
  • Calcium, which is necessary for proper muscle contraction.

Strength training after weight loss surgery can have a lot of benefits if you have a smart training program and take precautions. BariatricPal Protein ONE Meal Replacement Shakes can give you more protein and other nutrients, without fuss, in a delicious and easy-to-use formula. They’re another way that the BariatricPal Store is working to keep you on track to hit your weight loss and health goals.

*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. BariatricPal Store products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.

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