weight routines for an obese to burn calories/fat

a friend who is 30 stone has asked for some assistance at the gym. he's too big to do enough cardio to really help at this stage.

i suggested he lift weights to build muscle (which will help metabolism) and do burn calories or fat.

are there any specific methods that would be particularly useful, such as periphery heart action?

i was going to start with some simple compound exercises after a warmup, back squat then stiff legged deadlift. follow that with clean and snatch, finally super-set a push and pull exercise, like reverse grip bent over row and pushups.

need to break him in gently initially just to shift some weight and make him a little stronger.

any help would be much appreciated!


Clean and snatch are awesome but are you sure your mate can handle handle that movement what about his muscle coordination and flexibility, also you mentioned he is obese, me I would start with large and small muscle group combination and muscle isolation such as curls for the girls and large movement like squat and build from there also keep in mind that you can develop his skills in the clean and snatch so eventually his workout can be base off these movements one other thing keep in mind what HE wants to accomplish and set some goals short term and long term Phone Post

"Clean and snatch are awesome "

****lol @ recommending this for an obese guy.

Obese people usually have very limited mobility-however it usually doesn't take much to make them start breathing hard. As rediculous as it may seem, simple movements, such as kicking one leg up at a time to a post at or just below waist level,in alternating fashion can be effective. 60 strikes per minute tempo for 5 minutes, and the sweat will be pouring off him like a fat girl hopped up on speed.

Basically anything that makes them breath harder (but not too hard- you dont want to give him a heart attack) will be effective. You can even do "cardio-kickboxing" - even if his feet only get 6 inches off the ground, and his punch form is awful, if it makes him breath hard it's working. If you have access to one of those plastic adjustible stepping platforms, that would be good too.

 I agree with the idea that the O-lifts (and their derivatives) are not the best choice at the moment.

Keep it (his program) as simple, and low skill specific as possible (for now). Movement and calorie awareness are the most important factors.

Try something like my Workout in a Hurry, New Years Plan. (adjust it so that your friend can accomplish it).


Remember, there is nothing wrong with using machines. As someone who is a beginner, and or severely detrained, using simple machines is a great place to start. As he gets stronger, he will feel better and success will breed further confidence and inprovement.



Taku is dead on with this one... movement, movement... movement! Remember when obese people are exercising they already know they are obese and are self concouis about it. So complex movements that require a certain aspect of coordination and skill might want to be avoided especially in a public gym. Low impact movement would be a good start, to avoid excessive joint pain..

BTW Taku I checked out your BlackJack fitness.. good stuff man!

Can he walk? Have him take very long walks - 60min+. Ideally with a few hills in the way.

Have him primarily focus on fixing his diet. There's no 'workout' alone that takes some from 400lbs to normal without serious dietary intervention.

I would focus on lifting weights to build/maintain strength while aggressively dieting the weight off. Having the mindset that weightlifting itself is enough to change bodycomp for an obese person could create the wrong expectations.

 Does he have an interest in boxing? Hitting the heavy bag or doing some pad work was how someone I know who was close to the same size started. 30 minutes on a low setting on the treadmill is a good place to start and being that big, he'll break a sweat and get his heart going

 Hey Shortkick,

Cool man, glad you enjoyed it.


GingerWhinger -  Does he have an interest in boxing? Hitting the heavy bag or doing some pad work was how someone I know who was close to the same size started. 30 minutes on a low setting on the treadmill is a good place to start and being that big, he'll break a sweat and get his heart going

Great advice!

This is what i did to lose weight two years ago.

On the last day of July i weighed 20 stone 6lb's. And then in the first week of September i weighed 19 stone on the dot.

That was soley pad work and hitting the bag four times a week.

Boxing TORCHES the fat off of you.

thanks for the tips! taku, i will have a good read of your workouts.

i suppose to begin with i'll stick to machines and simple movements. i hadn't even thought about the self-conscious element of workouts that require a lot of movement.

should a focus be on full body workout with weights through compound exercise? that way he can begin changing body composition and burning more calories.

i will suggest walking when not at the gym or hitting a bag, i'm sure that would be to his interest.

NRallen.. I have a health/fitness studio, alot of our clientele are people who are obese. What I have found is that for people that size first and foremost is educating them about nutrition and portion sizing. Like a few of the above post recommends diet is key.. But have them treat it as a "meal plan" as obese folks have been on a million diets and can have an effect on their outlook on what they are trying to accomplish,

Make sure they have realistic goals.. That stuff you see on the Biggest Loser is not real life.. Have him shoot for 2lbs a week

Exercise for obesity is going to be dependent on the individual, find something that interests him, something that he can physically do or work up to doing quickly, remember there is a reason your friend is in the condition he is in. With concerns to exercise like said above by many folks a combination is best.. Although remember his joints and ligaments/tendons aren't in the same condition as a healthy weight out of shape individual.. Use caution, lastly consistency is the key, and make sure he can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also kudos to you for taking your time to help your friend, a support system is a key element in a permanent life change..

Taku, I'm in the same business you are, and I always enjoy checking out what other people are doing... Hybrid is a great website, you folks are on point!! I actually became a member.. Phone Post

Sorry about my spacing above... Still getting te hang of posting from my IPhone Phone Post

okay, finally getting him into the gym tomorrow, he's avoided it so far. he has been eating healthy though, in the past 3 weeks he's lost 1 stone.

going for pha training; compound leg exercise, push exercise, compound leg exercise, pull exercise then abs/cardio.

the idea is 8-10 reps, 30 seconds rest between exercises and 2 minutes between groups/sets, going to push for 3 groups/sets to begin.

that should be more than enough to begin with and beats doing lots of cardio.

if this is a bad idea please let me know because i'm just trying to help, don't want to kill him!

the exercises are not set in stone either, just the movement. so i can get him to use machines for some as it will be far easier - i.e. lat pulldown instead of barbell row or should press instead of military press etc.

Good job on getting him this far!! I would really stick to higher reps.. Such as 15 to 20, just for the first 4-5 weeks. I would also suggest some things such as using machines with things along the lines of curl/press ( using dumbbells) with a light enough weight that he can maintain stability.. Stay away from things like planks and stuff until he loses alot more weight, want to strengthen the core and lower back, not hurt it!

Once again, great job helping your bro, him sticking with it will probably be due to your support! Phone Post

Also wouldn't use to large of "group compound sets" until he is in there for a bit.. Watch his heart rate, also make sure he hydrates before, during, and after. Since he is a bigger guy he will prob sweat buckets.. Phone Post

One more thing.. If he is so sore he can't move for days more than likely he won't go back to the gym. In the beginning less is more

Sorry I get passionate about this because my business focuses on obesity Phone Post