Where Should I Concentrate my Efforts?

I am planning on doing a TT, BA, and Lipo (flanks/back) in November. I am 5'6"-195 lbs. I am working out and eating well. I anticipate to lose 40 before surgery. Where should I concentrate my weight lifting efforts. I thought I would work my legs (large muscles) some back strength exercises, and arms because the rest of the body will be managed by the surgery...( and lots of cardio) or should I concentrate on ab work intensely to support the outcome of the TT?

Doctor Answers 19

Before Momy Makeover Concentrate On Weight Loss, Muscle Strengthening and Cardio

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Thank you for your question. All of the efforts you describe will help improve the results of your Mommy Makeover.

Over all the most important goal should be accomplishing your ideal weight. If you lose weight after your Tummy Tuck you will lose skin tone. Figure out a program of exercise and balanced nutrition that maximizes fat loss and improves muscle tone and bulk. Be in your best shape possible before your Mommy Makeover

Mommy makeover preparation

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A mommy makeover is a pretty big hit (especially the tummy tuck part) and I recommend that my patients train for surgery as if they were training for an athletic event with good nutrition and a good combination of aerobic exercise and strength training.  I like my patients to be weight stable for about 6 months before surgery.  There are few things more depressing as a patient or surgeon than post tummy tuck weight gain.  You really need to be committed to a healthy life style long term before undergoing body or breast contouring surgery. 

After surgery, you need to "cool your jets" and that can be really, really challenging for someone who works out a lot and is used to that endorphin rush.  I encourage patients to get on a walking schedule within a few days of surgery to get some fresh air and to keep from getting the post surgery exercise withdrawl blues.  And once it's okay to start pumping iron again (usually about 6 weeks), it's important to start slow and to build up strenth and endurance gradually.

So...............take the long view and get into a fitness and health routine you can stay with.   It's a marathon, not a sprint. 

Best of luck!

Exercise program for tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question about your exercise program for your tummy tuck.

  • I would start with aerobic/cardio exercise before your tummy tuck.
  • Your muscle plan is good. Add abs as well.
  • Weight control - which will follow the cardio, muscle buidling and diet control
  • Stretching - very important as muscles will get tight after the tummy tuck.
  • Hope this helps. Best wishes!

Getting in shape for your tummy tuck

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Hi 50 going on 35

Good work on recognising the importance of being in great shape for your procedure.

The most important thing that you can do to get in shape is to lose fat. This is most closely related to calories spent being more than calories eaten. Your diet will have the greatest impact on your weight loss as almost no-one has enough time in their day to use enough energy to burn off a bad diet. As you exercise more, you will get hungrier and it is important to keep yourself fuelled so that you can train effectively. Make sure that you work on eating quality foods that replenish energy/protein/vitamins etc without adding in more energy than you need. Seeing a dietitian is a helpful step.

Whilst weight training is important, you should prioritise cardio work. The more muscle that you have, the more calories that your body burns by itself. However, with limited time until your planned operation date you should work on burning as many calories as you can by yourself.

Invest in a heart rate monitor and watch, use it to track your calories burnt and what your heart rate is doing doing your exercise/training - I use a Garmin for my training. Once you understand these numbers, you will come to the conclusion that there is no substitute for running (but some boxing sessions will come close). Try to find a way to incorporate a solid run into every second day (so you can recover) and make it fun - hit the trails, or the footpath around the harbour, and use the treadmill when needed to avoid dark/rain etc. Consider entering some fun races such as Warrior Dash to help make running fun.

As for ab/core work - this does need to be incorporated but don't go too crazy on this. A consistent finding in my practice is that patients who have a strong core often have the toughest post operative course as the stitching of the muscles in the midline is constantly being pulled on by the tension in the obliques and transversus. You can always hit the gym after your recovery period (6-8 weeks) and work harder on this.

Bank on working hard on the weights after your procedure, that is when you will get most dividends.

Good Luck - I'm sure you will get a great result if you stay committed to the plan.

Dr Gavin Sandercoe (and Triathlete)

Getting in Shape Before Mommy Makeover

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Dear 50 going on 35,

A Mommy Makeover is a wonderful way to transform your physique. For optimal results, you should be as close to your goal weight as possible at the time of your procedure, ideally with low bodyfat. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle after surgery is important for maintaining your results.

With respect to weight lifting, I would suggest focusing on overall fitness (ie. a balance of good cardiovascular fitness, good overall strength, and flexibility), which might include strengthening any problem or weak areas.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD 


Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Where Should I Concentrate my Efforts?

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          As a bodybuilder, I have all kinds of things that could be recommended for an individual to improve the physique.  A lot of this depends upon more prominent muscle groups in an individual and the location of fatty deposits.  The most important aspect will be to lose a significant amount of body fat.   Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of breast augmentations, liposuctions, tummy tucks and mommy makeovers each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Workout Prior to Mommy Makeover Surgery?

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Any combination of cardio and weight lifting that you ENJOY  will be where you should concentrate your efforts;  enjoying your workouts will make it more likely that you will be able to achieve your long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with the planned operations. Exactly what body part you concentrate on will not matter. Continue your good diet as well.

A few words of advice  I give to my patients prior to undergoing mommy makeover surgery may be helpful  to you:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this helps.

Exercise before a Mommy Makeover

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I would not suggest targeting any one muscle group to assist with your recovery.  The (relatively) short term discomfort of recovery is not lessened by having strong muscles.  On the other hand, weight loss before surgery is something that will really improve your long term results of the surgery.  Rather than weight lifting, spend your time on cardio exercise to assist with your weight loss.

Plan to prepare for MOM

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I would concur with your all of the above approach. Continue exercises and focus on dietary change with balanced nutrition. Once you've lost your weight, please see a board certified PS who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to learn more about your options.

Best wishes!
Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Get into the best shape possible!

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Going through the rigors of surgery requires the utmost health.  A good diet and exercise plan is essential to enhance your result, tolerate the surgery and recovery phases, and to maintain good overall health!

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.