Weight and Resistance Training - New Rules for Lifting: Does it apply to the obese?

Alana in Canada
10-07-2009, 04:08 PM
According to the author, I'm not eating enough calories to weight train. (1600).

He is quite adamant that it is "illogical" to cut calories while trying to build muscle.

I can see his point if I were, say, at goal, (140 lbs,) and trying to build muscle and become "more defined."

But that's not my goal. My goal is to lose a big bunch of weight and keep most of the muscle I have. I want to be strong and firm at the end of this journey: not, as I've said many times, skinny and squishy.

If you were/are an obese person and weight training--how many calories are you consuming? Would you suspect 1600 to be too low?
What would be your advice?

I'm wondering if I should just start the program and do as the author says: re-evaluate how I feel 4 weeks later. (But stick to 1600.--and maybe add the shake post work out?--I don't know.)

Need some help thinking this through.

10-07-2009, 04:29 PM
I'm eating about 1450 right now and I do a variety of workouts and not completely dedicated to weights. I'd say 1600 is fine for you unless for some reason you find yourself drained or something then maybe you'd go higher.

Alana in Canada
10-07-2009, 04:47 PM
Thanks Nelie! It was probably you who recommended the book!

I think they key may be protein intake: that ought to be high for building muscle (but as he says elsewhere the body is omnivorous: it can make what we need from almost any of the macro-nutrients)

And things just may be different for obese women. Here, on p. 62,
discussing how to calculate the number of calories you need, he says:

The number you get by using the formula isn't pulled out of thin air--the Owen equation ranked as best for normal-weight women in at least one study. But there is no single measure that works for all women. Other formulas are considered better for obese women, for example.... (emphasis added)

So, anyone have any ideas what this formula for obese women may be?

10-07-2009, 05:37 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. I think you are probably good where you are at. I don't even worry about protein intake because it seems like protein recommendations are always automatically higher than you really need. If you focus on a balanced diet, then you should be good.

10-07-2009, 07:12 PM
Hi Alana,

I'm having the same issue with wanting to get lean and not skinny squishy, which I am right now. After a lot of thought, I've decided on a clean bulk to really build up my cal intake and train heavily at the same time. I'm aiming for at least 2000 calories but am finding it hard getting past 1700 so I'm getting a protein shake tomorrow to bump it up. I'm not at goal yet but I lost a bunch of weight through nothing but cardio and killed my muscle so my plan is to bulk, build muscle and then cut. Trial and error, I guess!


Blaze Driscoll
10-08-2009, 11:44 AM
I know I am really late to the party here but I just had to chime in.

You can build muscle while cutting calories... especially if you have not lifted weights for a long time or not at all. It is a good idea to use supplements such as a good multi vitamin... be sure to seek professional advise before jumping into supplements.

The most important thing I see here is why are you at 1600 calories?

Did you just pick that number out of the air or do you really know how many calories you burn in a day... and the 1600 calories you eat is between 500 and 1000 calories less then you burn daily. If you don't know how many calories you burn in a day your chances of long term weight loss in near zero.

The cheapest way to find out how many calories you burn in a day is to document every calorie you put in your mouth... if after 2 weeks you do not gain or lose weight that is the number of calories you burn in day.

if you gain or lose weight in that time frame adjust accordingly.

10-08-2009, 12:50 PM
Hi Alana --

I'm certainly no expert, but I have been weight training since March with a personal trainer. He is certified in all the right stuff. He had me start out at 1900 calories. I was doing weight training with him 2x/week plus cardio 4x/week and not losing any weight. I soon cut my calories to 1550 or thereabouts and am now consistently losing 1-1.5 lbs per week. He is good with this number of calories. He says I have a slow metabolism, but it should increase at least somewhat as I add muscle weight.

I am also eating "lowish" carb, usually under 100 grams/day. I do find it important to eat at least 20-30 grams of carbs a couple of hours before my weight training session, otherwise I don't do well. He also has me eat a banana (fast-acting carb) + protein drink immediately after the weight training workout.

Blaze Driscoll
10-08-2009, 01:45 PM

Perfect! You support my comment exactly... start out at a guess of what you think you should be burning in a day, if nothing changes then you know that is the number of calories you burn in day, drop the number of calories you eat by 500 per day and you will start losing one pound of fat a week.


Alana in Canada
10-09-2009, 04:01 PM
Blaze: have you noticed my ticker? I have lost 40 pounds in the last 18 weeks eating 1600 calories/day. I keep track using a portion control/exchange system. It is working well for me--except lately. I do not want to lower my calories, so I've been reading up on exercise as there seems to be a lot of conflicting opinions about it out there.

NROL4W is NOT a weight loss program, however, so it is a bit of a question whether it will be compatible with the goal to lose a significant amount of weight.

There are different indexes for estimating caloric needs, so I'm wary of using any sort of "on-line" calculator type thing--even the one in the book. (The author explicitly states it is for normal-weight women.)

10-09-2009, 09:43 PM
Lou Schuler posts on a fitness forum I am a member of and states that your protein should be higher and you may be too weak once you get further along than Stage 1 to do the workouts properly. HIIT is also added in Stage 2. These workouts are tough once you get past Stage 1-maybe add a protein shake after your workout on the days you lift in addition to your 1600 cals if you can't do the the workouts properly or are tired or weak.

10-13-2009, 03:39 AM
I did stages 1 & 2 on about 1200-1400 calories per day (1000 cal/day deficit). It was tough but not impossible.

My problem is that I injured my knees during stage 2 and so have put aside the NROL4W program for now and returning to a general resistance training program with more emphasis on upper body to give my knees time to recover.

I'd say give it a try and see how you do. Don't be surprised if you don't drop any weight for awhile after starting the program though.....from what I've read (on the JPforum) and experienced personally, it's typical to drop FAT but not necessarily weight - at least for a month or so.

Alana in Canada
10-13-2009, 07:20 PM
Thanks, everyone. I guess the best thing to do will be to take my measurements, just in case the scale doesn't move.