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Hi! Long-time lurker, first time poster. I'm Tanner, and I'm on a long-term quest to lose a lot of weight I put on during a challenging time in my life. Picture Thor, halfway through Endgame, beaten, broken, lost his hammer, lost most of his emotional support system, hit some major failures, surviving on a diet of Cheetos and self-loathing. While my mental health and personal life are in a much better place now, I'm still working on the midsize-child-worth of sad-Thor weight I'm carrying around.

 

So far I'm focusing on diet, with a mix of Peloton spin (I know, cardio is heresy, but my endurance really needs work) and barbell training for exercise. My biggest challenge is that I've got a pretty serious chronic pain condition that rules out most upper body exercises. Inverted rows are ok, but any pushes like overhead or bench presses make my chest feel like fire for days. Anyone else dealing with some major limitations? How do you compensate for imbalances? Is it dangerous to deadlift and squat heavy if you can't train your upper body?

 

It would really help to know some other people, particularly young people, facing down what feels like an insurmountable challenge by making themselves stronger.

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Cardio isn't heresy. We are built to do lots of different things. Cardio is great. It gets a bad rap because to be a strong durable human you need balance. Cardio + barbells is a great way to go. Not everyone has to specialize, especially if you're just beginning your journey.

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On 11/5/2019 at 1:42 AM, KelOfMindelan said:

Is it dangerous to deadlift and squat heavy if you can't train your upper body?

 

 I can't see why it would be. I don't think developing your lower body can do any harm. If anything, I'd be more worried about the ratio of press and pull movements, because the ratio of development of the chest and back impacts our posture. But usually the problem is people having tight chests and weak backs from too much sitting/too much focus on the pressing exercises. I never heard of someone having a back that was too strong. In any case, imbalances take time to create, so I think you should do what you can and see how it goes. You can always stop or scale back the exercises if necessary, though I doubt it will be. 

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So if your back got too strong you would do abs and core to balance it out. MFH runs into this sometime: he’s a climber and auto mechanic, so his job basically overtrains his back. But that’s an edge case. 
 

I completely agree though: make sure to balance pushing and pulling exercises. Do you have access to a rowing machine?

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