I am 27. I have a bad knee from doing dead lifts. Its osteoarthritis the doctor says, so not only did I give up deads but also am refraining from running or other such activities that take a toll on the knee.

I however do benches, OHPs etc which give a fair bit of fat burn but aren't at the level that deads and running would do. Bagwork too is so-so. May be I have to just give it time?

So, having eschewed some of the best fat burning exercises since past 6 months, what other exercise options do I have to get rid of the generous amount of fat thats hiding my big muscles by burning loads of calories? Any interesting circuits that has enough variety to not bore me?

I have a healthy balanced diet that I adjusted after foregoing deads and consume far less calories now. If I reduce it any further I might become tiresome I fear.


PS: I am not obsessed to have a single digit bf% but need to get rid of jiggly stuff and God do I hate those love handles!

5 Answers 5


I have had good success (60Lbs+ fat loss over a year or so) on a paleo lifestyle combined with intermittent fasting.

The paleo part basically means excluding all processed foods as well as sugar (any type of sugar, as well as artificial sweeteners), grains (and all grain products like bread, pasta, pizza, etc), seed oils, legumes, and dairy. So you eat foods that are naturally less likely to cause insulin spikes. You can further improve the fat loss by limiting nuts and fruits. A good resource for all things paleo is Robb Wolf's site . It's a naturally lowish carb diet. It's also anti-inflammatory, so it might help your knee over time.

The other protocol I've used in combination with the above is intermittent fasting. In short, I fast 16hrs after dinner (so no breakfast), and I train in a fasted state. The best resource to read more on this is Lean Gains .

  • 1
    I have had similar results on paleo and intermittent and I hardly ever run. I'm at 9% body fat and I have a 6 pack.
    – BradH
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 22:51

Sorry to hear about your knee . Cycling, elliptical trainers and swimming all burn calories. They can be used for interval training and are generally forgiving on arthritic knees.

Nordic walking poles can help you burn more calories than regular walking, up to 20% more calories according to the Cooper Institute. Each time you plant the pole you use large muscle groups of the trunk, abs, lats, shoulders and arms. Nordic pole walking is a good alternative to running as the poles help to reduce some of the stress on your knee joints.

You can effectively strengthen your large muscle groups and burn calories with resistance training without aggravating your knees. Here are some examples of ways to target your glutes without knee strain:

1) Using pulleys

2) Using a weight machine - unilateral hip extension or bilateral hip extension

3) Using bodyweight, and a stability ball. If you can tolerate kneeling this exercise also engages your core.

Strengthening and using your gluteus maximus will actually help to protect and improve your knees.

Additionally, you will want to strengthen the knee muscles (quads and hamstrings) to protect your knee joints, but you may want to consult a sports or orthopedic physical therapist to give you an appropriate exercise regime that balances out your strength/range and works on your lower extremity alignment.

As others have answered, diet is a key factor to weight loss. Hope this helps.

  • Or as we, in the north calls them: Walking poles
    – cbll
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 7:40

Healthy weight loss is 90% diet and 10% exercise. Lots of vegetables and protien.

First, you'll need to calculate your caloric needs. Once you have this number, you can subtract 500 to be at a small deficit that will equal 1 pound per week of weight loss. BTW, 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat. If you want to lose 2 pounds per week then go for a 1,000 calorie deficit per day.

Once you have the diet/calories down, then add at least some exercise daily. Resistance exercises to build/maintain muscle will help burn calories all day long and going forward, and cardio exercises will help burn calories when you exercise and improve cardio health.

  • The number I hear quoted most often is 500 calories below maintenance to lose weight; 1000 is a much bigger strain and it's consequently that much harder to stay motivated.
    – VPeric
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 14:30
  • @VPeric A 1000 deficit is too much. Too much of a drop in caloric intake and you tank your metabolism into 'survival' mode. A very low metabolism will make you gain fat not lose fat. Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 16:43
  • 2
    @VPeric Not really. It isn't a motivation factor. Your metabolism (daily caloric expenditure) will actually go down. So, if you had a 2000 kcal BMR before it may drop to 1600. Basically, once you go off of the diet you'll get fat again much faster. That's why most calorie cutting diets fail miserably. The law of thermodynamics is not the only factor to dieting. Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 18:21
  • 1
    @Evan Plaice, that's assuming the person isn't eating enough protein to maintain their muscle mass. BMR is tied to your lean body weight. Your body will attempt to adapt to the way it is fed. If you are getting enough protein, and balancing your remaining caloric intake between the carbs and fats then you can sustain a caloric deficit for a time without having too bad an impact on your BMR. Problem is, most people cut protein first because they want a lot of food on their plate. That's the worst thing you can do. Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 16:05
  • 1
    My comment had nothing to do with thermodynamics. The single most influential part of your makeup that influences BMR is your muscle mass. The only way to protect your muscle mass is to consume enough protein for that purpose (and plenty of water to help process it). In my weight loss journey, my BMR changed very little even though I had a severe calorie deficit. The diet was a ketogenic diet, which means virtually no carbs and sufficient protein from various sources. This affect was observed on several people who went through the same diet plan. Commented Jul 17, 2011 at 0:50

I have the same affliction. I chose to modify my squats (less ROM) and deadlifts (pin pulls) instead of foregoing them altogether. Also get a pair of sleeves for your knees, those will help a lot. I did quit running, but a modified diet can take care of that. My doctor was fine with this, saying that it is the repetitive pounding that will hurt me, not a few sets of squats a day. Also take lots of fish oil and chondroitin type supplements (I like the ones with hyaluronic acid), this will reduce swelling and make your knees feel much better. Overall diet is the answer, but reduction of 1000 calories a day is insane, try a couple hundred as it is much more sustainable.


In order to lose fat, you need to be in a caloric deficit, that's all & trainings should increase your total energy expenditure.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.