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Does Weight Loss Equal Strength Loss?

Find out through this coach’s personal experience.

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Does weight loss equal strength loss? That is a valid question and one that Alan Thrall hopes to answer using his own experience.

Alan Thrall is an accomplished strength coach and owner of Untamed Strength, a 24-hour access gym in Sacramento.

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Does Weight Loss Equal Strength Loss?

So, if you ever wondered: does weight loss equal strength loss, then check out what Thrall said on the matter.

He is a 6 feet tall (1.82m) American who competes at Strongman events, powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting. He shared a video talking objectively about his cutting phase in which he lost 48 pounds (21 kilos). When first asked if he lost strength due to getting leaner, his answer was “probably yes,” but now he wanted to see it with sure parameters and answer the question once and for all and to what extent.

Source: Julia Larson / Pexels

“Being heavier helps you lift more weight on most exercises,” he says. “A thicker waistline, bigger arms, bigger chest, bigger lats, bigger legs, bigger knee circumference, these things are advantageous to your leverages on most barbell movements.”

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Thrall poses good questions as well, besides the ultimate “does weight loss equal strength loss.” For example, are we measuring strength in absolute numbers, or relative to your body weight? If you can squat 300 pounds, but only do 3 pull-ups, are you stronger than someone who squats 200 pounds, but does 10 pull-ups?

Although it all depends on someone’s fitness goals, Alan Thrall says that he did lose strength while losing weight. “My low back bar squat was less, my bench press was less, and my deadlift was less.”

Source: Roman Odintsov on Pexels

However, he also notes that there were more variables other than weight loss that could have affected this outcome. He stopped following a strict diet to increase his 1RM, he had his firstborn child and the lack of sleep meant he wasn’t training as hard as he used to.

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On the other hand, since losing weight, he says he also got new PRs and got stronger in different measurements of strength. “I deadlifted 500 pounds for four reps on an axle bar without straps,” “I clean and jerked on an axle 315 pounds, I one-motioned a 315 pounds stone to 50 inches, I front squat 405 pounds, I got first in Winter Warrior Strongman Competition in 2019,” and more.

In the end, Thrall believes he lost strength not because he lost weight, but because he stopped focusing on training as he used to. For him, if you want to lose weight and keep your strength, you can’t go wrong with training hard and consistently, eating enough protein, sleeping enough and managing life’s stress.

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So, does weight loss equal strength loss? In a way, yes, but it doesn’t have to be, at least for Alan Thrall. Click on the video below to see his full explanation of the subject.

VIDEO – Does Weight Loss Equal Strength Loss?

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