Exercise! - Will working out have a visible effect when there's still a lot of fat?

03-03-2012, 02:49 AM
Hey, ladies! I think I may have discussed this a little with some of you last summer, but I'm wondering now that I'm starting to work out again. So do you notice the effect of strength training when you're still obese? And if so, how long did it take you to start noticing?

03-03-2012, 04:27 AM
not a lady but I'll offer my perspective.

Been tracking my strength training efforts for a month now (photos and measurements).

Visibly there's not much change, I don't expect much gain, I do it more to prevent loss while I shed weight.

In terms of strength there are some interesting results
I do 6 strength exercises (using a 2 minute time frame for evaluation)
Pushups, dips, pull-ups, squats, situps and oblique raises

dips and oblique raises have gone from 30 to 90. I can only put that down to the development of underused and minor muscles actually starting to pull their weight so to speak (fixing weak links for what was already a pretty decent chain)
situps have gone from 50 to 90. still a good gain.
squats have gone from 56 to 67, Legs are already pretty well developed from carrying my weight so I don't expect massive jumps in this number.
pushups from 22 to 30. about 35% gain. seems to me this is slow enough to indicate gains in the primary muscles.
Pull-ups have gone from zero to 1. small change but infinite improvement, can't really evaluate either number though.

hope some of that helps

03-03-2012, 04:54 AM
That is a really interesting way to look at it. And that kind of result is totally worth it even if it isn't visible. Thanks for the info!!

03-03-2012, 06:27 AM
Still very obese, and most of the strength training I do is in the water (with water "weights" and other resistance equipment).

I don't think any of my efforts are at all visible or at least distinctly attributable to the exercise (I've lost several prominant fat deposits on my abdomen, but diet alone may have done that).

However, I have noticed incredible functional changes (and that's what I'm really after. I'm not terribly concerned with how my body looks, I just want it to function properly and less painfully).

I have so much more strength and stamina. I can do things I couldn't do just a few months ago (such as lifting heavier and heavier items to and from high shelves without pain or fear of dropping them on my head).

I also like that I can now feel more muscle definition under the fat in my upper arms and in my thighs and calves. It may not be visible, but I can feel a significant difference. It's kind of nice to know that underneath the squishiness of fat, there really is muscle starting to develop under there.

03-03-2012, 08:39 AM
I started strength training when I was about 200lbs. I noticed quite a few changes but only dropped enough weight to go down a dress size and I stayed that way for a few years before losing enough to get where I am now.

I didn't even lift all that heavy, but my body changed! Because of the upper body work I was doing (when previously my upper body strength was abysmal) I went up a size in bras (lol) so I went from a 40C to a 40D and I became close to an hourglass shape. I really saw this a few years later when I tried on my prom dress to wear to my college senior formal. It was tight around my bust and upper body, but loose around my lower body. I thought I had gained weight or something at the time (which I knew not to be true) but it's only now that I realize that strength training was the culprit.

As I lost the weight the strength training likely helped me keep some of my muscle mass, which is probably why people think I weigh about 90lbs all the time!!

03-04-2012, 12:36 AM
I started with a kettlebell a month ago. I don't SEE any difference yet, but I can definitely start to feel some muscles underneath the mush. :D Mostly my biceps and triceps, but amazingly a little bit in my lower backs of thighs and a spot on either side of my back.

I make my good friends feel my arms when I need a little feedback, :lol: