Weight Loss Support - Strength? Kinda random question...




Serbrider
07-22-2010, 06:02 AM
Ok... so... my family and I have been moving house... meaning... moving 100+ lb furniture up and down stairs and in one bedroom and out of another, etc.

And... I got to thinking. I'm pretty strong. In gym class, I was the one who would use the 10-20 lb weights... whilst everyone else used 5 lb weights. It's not because I'm more fit... but because I always had more strength... and I guess that's because of mass ratio. 10 lbs is far less weight to a 200 lb person than it is to a 100 lb person.

So... if I get down to 140... will I lose my strength? I know I know... keep working out and lifting weights... but you can't deny the mass ratio of a 50 lb bag of dog food (which I'll be lifting fairly often, or 50-100 lb dogs, which'll most likely be a daily thing) makes it harder for a 150 lb person (however fit) to lift than a 200 lb person. That's just basic physics.

It's not something that'll keep me from wanting to lose weight... just an honest question... is it possible to retain that strength after weight loss? Even though you're smaller and weigh less, can you still pick up the same things with just as much ease?


I dunno... I think up random questions sometimes. :p And drive myself nuts. For example... I almost went CRAZY last night trying to figure out how things get cold. I just couldn't understand the physics of it. :o

So yeah... thoughts?


SCraver
07-22-2010, 08:46 AM
I have always been freakishly strong. Even when I was thin in high school, I still had big arms. My sister and I are both just strong. When I graduated from high school, I was 150 lbs. and I got a job at PETCO (where the pets go) and slung around 40lb bags of dog food like it was no biggie.

I would guess there is a great chance you will not lose your strength as you lose weight. Especially if you continue to exercise while your losing. If you were unhealthfully losing weight rapidly - that would be a different story.

JayEll
07-22-2010, 09:53 AM
It doesn't quite work that way. Someone who is bigger is not necessarily stronger. However, it is true that if someone carries around 200 pounds of body weight all the time, they are working harder than someone who carries around 110.

You won't lose your strength if you lose weight, especially if you exercise regularly. In fact, your strength will improve if you are someone who has not exercised before.

I think in your case, Serbrider, your strength is a result mostly of your being young. And also, you are probably fairly athletic, if you ride regularly.

Jay


gardenerjoy
07-22-2010, 09:55 AM
Good question! (and I'm glad to see you back on 3FC)

So far, I've notice more ability to lift things as I lost weight but gained strength through exercise. But, I don't know if that will continue. And it is a rather important part of my identity as a strong, sturdy woman. My husband and I can lift 200 pound objects together and I like knowing that I can do my share of that.

I look forward to hearing the answers of others.

carter
07-22-2010, 10:04 AM
If you lift - and don't be afraid to lift heavy - while you lose weight, you might find yourself getting functionally stronger as you get smaller, even though, as you point out, you have less pure mass to throw around.

The reason is that being overweight really taxes your joints. Getting that everyday stress off your joints while exercising to build strength and flexibility in the muscles that support those joints will leave you functionally stronger than you are as a strong overweight person.

By the way, I am strong too - I am built like an ox, or a wrestler. And I never see another woman at my gym lifting - I mean, really lifting, not swinging dinky neoprene-covered weights around. But when I heft that 50lb dumbbell and do a set of goblet squats, it feels pretty good. And I do feel the benefits in functional strength when I'm hauling that 40lb sack of cat litter up the stairs at home. :)

bronzeager
07-22-2010, 11:18 AM
I have always been pretty naturally strong too, although I never was an athlete. (In college I was in a bone-density study where I was in the weight-lifting group -- pretty much the only time.) I had big sturdy shoulders from carrying around big boobs, and still have them 6 years after a breast reduction, and big sturdy calves which are still mostly there, from carrying around my own mass. Although I did not train, I could lift and carry heavy things around when I had to, that other thinner people could not. I think some women are more prone to develop muscles than others, and I am one of them.

But I did notice with my weight loss that I lost some strength -- accidentally when I tried some pushups doing an exercise video and found I could not do them, where I could do 5-10 before I started the weight loss. So I took up heavy lifting again and things have improved. And my arms and thighs look much better. I think the strength loss was partly my age -- I am 42.

Petite Powerhouse
07-22-2010, 11:58 AM
I use a 35-pound weight in each hand for biceps. I can do three sets of 15 pull-ups each and 3 sets of 25 chin-ups each (unassisted in both cases). I squat much more than I weigh, and I squat all the way to the floor, which is more difficult. And so on and so on. And I weigh 108 pounds. I am stronger now than I was at 129.

The key is just to keep using your muscles as you lose weight: focus on fat loss while avoiding muscle loss as much as possible.

Beach Patrol
07-22-2010, 12:26 PM
I started lifting weights in college (about 25 years ago!) and gained from 103 pounds to 115 pounds of muscle. I was able to press almost 3x my weight with my legs. I was a lifeguard, swam a lot, and combined with the weight lifting, I was very strong.

FF to now. Through the years I have lifted on & off. Of course I'm always "stronger" when I'm lifting. But age has slowed me down, LOL. (Wait, that ain't that funny!) However, I have been lifting again for the past 2.5 months, and yes, I am stronger.

Of course, as a woman, you will begin losing muscle mass the older you get. But correct me if I'm wrong, Serbrider, but you're still a teenager. You have at least a decade to go before starting to lose it. And even tho you will lose weight, you should maintain your strength as long as you "work it, girl!"

That's the trick! - never STOP moving.

Shmead
07-22-2010, 01:56 PM
I honestly suspect, Serbrider, that your ability to lift more that your peers is rooted most in your willingness to try than inherent strength: lots of girls have no concept of how strong they are, and are never encouraged to find out, since a man intercedes every time something heavy needs to be lifted. I'm always appalled at how many of my fellow teachers will ask for a "big strong boy" to carry a 20 lb box for them! They could certainly carry 20 lbs in both arms, but they don't think to even try. I really admire girls such as yourself that aren't afraid to test their capacity.

luciddepths
07-22-2010, 07:49 PM
LOL not to sound strange but...

your a farm kid.. doing different types of chores all through our lives has made it so we just "DO IT" haha.

Lifting weights is VERY different to lifting pails of feed.. you know?

Serbrider
07-24-2010, 04:19 PM
Haha... funny you should mention the "farm kid" thing luciddepths... because I've never lived on a farm until this year. :p I did work at a vet clinic for one year (and never had any troubles carrying the bags of feed, and... while I COULD have carried 2 50 lb bags... I never did... because they were always too big and cumbersome). I've just always never had a problem carrying something... unless it truly was too heavy... and then I'd ask for help. :p

Maybe it is just my youth, or my mindset. I do have a set of weights (just a very basic $20 set I got at walmart), and after reading all this... I'll definately use them...

Thanks guys... nice to know that I won't lose my strength if I keep exercising and lifting while dieting. My strength has just become so much a part of me that I'd be terrified if I lost it. I was always the one trying to move the chairs and tables (and being almost literally torn away from it by guys feeling... "inadequate" or something I guess), lifting up heavy things just because... etc. :p

Haha... thanks guys. I feel better now. ;)

Magrat
07-25-2010, 08:43 AM
Haha... funny you should mention the "farm kid" thing luciddepths... because I've never lived on a farm until this year. :p I did work at a vet clinic for one year (and never had any troubles carrying the bags of feed, and... while I COULD have carried 2 50 lb bags... I never did... because they were always too big and cumbersome). I've just always never had a problem carrying something... unless it truly was too heavy... and then I'd ask for help. :p

Maybe it is just my youth, or my mindset. I do have a set of weights (just a very basic $20 set I got at walmart), and after reading all this... I'll definately use them...

Thanks guys... nice to know that I won't lose my strength if I keep exercising and lifting while dieting. My strength has just become so much a part of me that I'd be terrified if I lost it. I was always the one trying to move the chairs and tables (and being almost literally torn away from it by guys feeling... "inadequate" or something I guess), lifting up heavy things just because... etc. :p

Haha... thanks guys. I feel better now. ;)

Serbrider you sound like me. I've been naturally strong all my life. My parents both had health problems so from the age of 10 onwards I did all the heavy lifting around the house. Now, in my forties, I have a husband with major back issues so I still do all the heavy lifting around the house. I've always had jobs where heavy lifting is a regular part of the job. When I worked at a kennel one of my jobs was unloading pallets of dog food and carrying the bags two at a time up a flight of stairs to the storage loft. On my current job I often have to move heavy furniture and 150 pound wooden crates with a two wheeled hand truck. I work mostly with guys and although some of them try to step in and help me, most of them know that if they try that they will get a no thank you and a dirty look from yours truly.

You won't lose your strength as long as you keep lifting heavy things on a regular basis.

JayEll
07-25-2010, 09:03 AM
This is just a side comment or two on the issue of lifting heavy things.

I'm pretty strong, too. When I was younger, I also used to bristle a bit when men would want to lift things for me. However, with age comes a certain perspective. These days, if a guy wants to lift something for me, I let him and I thank him for it. I'd rather save my back for another day...

But can anyone tell me why at the grocery store, the baggers seem to think that I can carry 30 pounds with one hand? Just because my grocery bags can hold that much doesn't mean I want them to!

Jay