Obesity and Lifting: Is It Safe?

Obesity and Lifting: Is It Safe?

Recent statistics have found that obesity affects almost 50% of Americans. Given the high number of people who struggle with obesity, this population must have their needs adequately addressed. Many doctors recommend obese patients to lose weight to improve their health, and one of the best ways to do that is through weightlifting. But is weightlifting safe for obese individuals? See below to find out!

The Benefits & Risks of Weightlifting

Research has extensively shown that weightlifting is highly beneficial for health. But like anything in life, it is not entirely devoid of risk. Let's begin by first looking at some of the many benefits of weightlifting below:

  • Improves bone strength
  • Builds muscle mass
  • Enhances sleep quality
  • Assists in weight loss
  • Improves posture
  • Increases metabolism
  • Reduces inflammation

However, weightlifting is not always safe, particularly if someone lifts a weight that is beyond their body's capacity. Some of the critical risks of weightlifting are that it can damage joints, cause spinal injuries, and even heart damage. That is why, regardless of an individual's weight, it is essential to practice weightlifting with proper safety measures in place and possibly with a personal trainer's guidance.

Weightlifting if You are Obese

Many obese people tend to be more cautious when approaching high impact forms of exercises, like weightlifting. But one of the key benefits of weightlifting is that nearly every person can do it, including obese individuals. However, it is important to keep in mind your body's endurance and lifting capacity and respect those limits. For anyone, if they push beyond their ability, this can lead to injury and adverse effects.

For obese individuals, weightlifting is a wonderful way to help them lose weight, build muscle, strengthen their bones, and improve their health. Since weight training also enhances metabolism, it can help balance your diet much better than other exercise forms. Weightlifting also directly improves many of the health issues that obese people struggle with, such as heart disease and diabetes.

One thing to keep in mind is that the BMI charts that categorize people as obese or not obese do not take into account muscle mass. A great example of this is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, at the peak of his bodybuilding career, had a BMI of 31, which technically put him in the obese weight range. Clearly, obese people can and do lift weights, and BMI is not a good indicator of health since it does not take into account muscle mass.


Weightlifting is an excellent way to lose weight and improve physical health, making this a perfect exercise for obese individuals! However, it is important to keep safety in mind when starting any form of exercise, particularly if you struggle with numerous health issues. So, try consulting with your local personal trainer or take some group classes at your local gym to help get you started on incorporating safe weightlifting in your life!

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