Exercise Goals Before a Body Lift?

I am a personal trainer who has a client that has lost 100+ lbs through hard work and weight loss surgery. She is 31 , 5"5 , 162 lbs and is in good health. She is planning on getting a "body lift" (several procedures including a tummy tuck) in October. What goals should I have for her training routine leading up to the surgery? More weight loss? Increase muscle mass?

Doctor Answers 4

Physical Conditioning Before Body Lift

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Glad to see a trainer here !  I enjoy and encourage my patients who have trainers to get involved before and after surgery.

Cardio conditioning (decreased resting pulse rate, shortened recovery) is probably the best thing I have seen patient do before surgery.  Surgery is a stress and the physiologic response to training and conditioning can go a long way to counteract blood loss.


I have seen my 50 year old "spin class queens"  recover from body lifts way faster than 25 year old couch potatoes !

Good abdominal muscle tone is helpful but not a  requirement.

Remember that patients are going to be limited physically for a while after surgery, and will lose some muscle mass as they heal.  

Active involvement in getting non-protein calories during this phase is important for recovery and healing.

A lot more to say on the subject but hope this helps !

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Exercise Goals Before a Body Lift?

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I think remaining fit is a great goal in itself, and will help toward an easier recovery. The one other thing that will help both surgeon and patient is to get the patient as close to her desired weight as possible.  That more than anything else will determine that the correct amount of excess tissue will be removed, and that the correct amount of abdominal wall tightening is done. 

Thanks for your question, and for your concern about your client. 


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Body Lift Preparation

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I recommend that your client see a Nutritionist as soon as possible before her surgery.  Also, she/he should have a complete physical with EKG and Labs.  As for exercise, your client would benefit more from a cardio workout at this time. 

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

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Preparation for Body Lift

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Thanks for your question.  The best thing you can do is to encourage your friend to optimize her nutrition.  In fact, it would be helpful for her to see a nutritionist.  Protein supplementation ( to improve healing potential) and multi-vitamins would be helpful.  In addition, cardiac exercise will also better prepare her for surgery as well.  

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.