Lifting After VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy)

Yep, lets get it out of the way first - I’m a fat bastard, I hate it, and I’ve been trying to change that for years with varying degrees of success, but in 18 days I’m under the knife for a VSG alongside my wife, who is having a similar procedure done the same day. Full disclosure, I’m working with a Nutritionist and Psychologist alongside the Surgeon and his team, to ensure the best results possible.

I’ll get full clearance from the team I’m working with prior to beginning any exercise routine, but it’s been stressed to me several times that after the appropriate healing time (say 3 months or so), exercise and weightlifting are highly recommended for increasing loss and maintaining muscle mass, before transitioning into some muscle growth after the weight is lost (6-12 months).

My experience with lifting is limited, having only really done 5x5 or 5/3/1 before and the longest I successfully followed either program was 6 months using a rack at home. There’s a really great weightlifting gym where I live that I’d like to start training at as soon as I’m cleared for it, but my question revolves around how exactly I achieve the best results while being in a significant calorie deficit for an extended period of time.

Do I pick a program/routine - start light (obviously), and just work until failure, deload and repeat? Or is there a better approach to this that I’m not aware of? My current stats are short and extra fat, 177cm and 128kg.

Thanks in advance.

Without question, the best program is the one you most enjoy doing, as that’s the one you’re most likely to stick with. Because with regard to the likelihood of long-term success, the particulars of a program matter far less than if/whether you actually do it. Best of luck to both you and your wife re the surgeries.


…or 5’10 and 280lbs. Yeah you’re definitely overweight but nowhere near the extreme situation of needing stomach surgery.
You are not short either/over the average height for an American adult male.
We sometimes have guys come here who were 350+ and got down to low 200s over the say 18months through hard training + clean diet. etc

Basically this is ridiculous and your doctors are bordering on gross negligence. There are several medical and fitness professionals who post whom I’m sure will chime in and have things to say.

No, you need to learn good eating habits/break bad habits/ eating like an asshole, that got you here in the first place. Then do .restrictive diets for limited periods to lock things in.

use the info on this site and you can get down to say 220 in 6 months no crazy interventions needed.
Specifically, ask the training pros(Wendler, Thib Etc) for guidance in their subforums.
Training wise do something like these…

Also read 10 Dan John articles

Diet: Do this

then down the line try this…

Hi Badger, while I appreciate that your comments come from a good place, stick to the original question.

I’m not here to debate or justify the decision that I’ve made, in conjunction and with the support of my personal GP, Surgeon, Nutritionist, and Psychologist that have a much fuller picture of events and my history, so I consider them qualified to support me and take their advice to heart.

Let’s be honest, if I came here and told y’all that I was ignoring the advice and recommendations of those people, you’d all call me an imbecile.


Not starting a pissing contest, but, for some reason, I feel compelled to say I think this is unfair. I’m not opining on whether or not the patient needs surgery, but his BMI is over 40; he’s qualified according to any literature.

OP, I think your question is twofold (correct me if I’m wrong):

  1. Can lifting be extremely simple and still effective?
  2. Can I lift in a deficit and still see strength/ muscle gains?

To which I’d answer:

  1. Definitely.
  2. For sure to strength; in your situation, very likely for muscle - you’ve got enough stored to fuel the metabolic processes for a time.

Thank you T-Pain!


Shit, I never thought of calling him T-Pain…now I’m reading all his comments in autotune and it’s great.

OP - best of luck. Fat to jacked comes quicker than skinny to jacked. I like that you’re working with a psychologist, as I’m sure you’re aware that the obesity is just a symptom of your habits and thought processes, and it can come right back regardless of what you do. You’ve got a few suggestions here already, I won’t add to the pile.


One of the few nicknames I hope sticks

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