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Can Fitness Programs Help Ozempic Users Keep Their Muscle?

Can Fitness Programs Help Ozempic Users Keep Their Muscle?

If 2023 was the year of Ozempic and rapid weight loss, 2024 is shaping up to be the year of safeguarding lean muscle mass.

The promises and popularity of weight loss drugs have caused shrinking waistlines and crippled junk food sales. Still, their effectiveness has come with one downside that has many fitness trainers and medical experts concerned: the potential loss of lean muscle mass. 

Although fitness and wellness industry leaders such as Xponential Fitness, Life Time and Restore Hyper Wellness have embraced GLP-1 services, others are signing on to support weight-loss medication users on their journey by encouraging strength-building and maintaining lean muscle mass.

Leading the way in 2024 is luxury fitness and wellness brand Equinox, which unveiled a personal training program for clients on weight-loss medications shortly after the new year. In addition to mitigating muscle loss, the new program will also help consumers build long-lasting health habits. 

Joining Equinox are several other well-known names in the health and wellness space, all aiming to counteract the unwanted muscle-loss side effects experienced by many GLP-1 users.  

Noom, FitOn Add ‘Muscle Defense’

Digital healthcare company Noom pushed into the market-disrupting weight loss medication space last year with the launch of Noom Med, an obesity care program that uses telehealth services to pair qualified patients with GLP-1 prescribing physicians. 

The digital health company has now expanded its approach, this time in a more holistic way — partnering with digital health and fitness platform FitOn to add a “Muscle Defense” component to its new Noom GLP-1 Companion. 

The program, meant to combat muscle mass loss, is slated to be available this spring.

Although Noom notes the effectiveness of weight loss medications, the digital healthcare platform warns of the problems that can arise if the medications aren’t used in tandem with muscle-building exercises and a high-protein diet.

“We designed Noom GLP-1 Companion with Muscle Defense to be the adjunct diet and exercise program that addresses key dangers associated with taking GLP-1s such as loss of muscle mass,” said Noom CEO Geoff Cook, who joined the company last year. “We believe prescribing the drug without such a program carries dangers, given the amount of muscle mass people often lose while taking a GLP-1 and the fact that most people will stop taking the GLP-1 and regain the weight absent of behavior change, which can potentially lead to future conditions like sarcopenic obesity.”

He added that Noom GLP-1 Companion with Muscle Defense offers protein-tracking, resistance training, behavior change, and expert guidance to promote a healthier outcome when taking GLP-1s.

“It’s critical we not leave people worse off than before they started the medication,” Cook added. “Healthy habits have never mattered more.”

credit: Noom

The new Muscle Defense program incorporates FitOn resistance training exercises that combat sarcopenic obesity and help prevent the reduction of important lean muscle mass.  

“This partnership with Noom combines FitOn’s best-in-class fitness content with Noom’s expert nutrition tracking and guidance to help people taking GLP-1s build muscle mass and set them up for a more successful long-term weight loss journey,” said Lindsay Cook, co-founder and CEO of FitOn.

Obé Fitness, Found Team for ‘MuscleGuard’ 

Streaming fitness platform Obé and Found, a medically-assisted weight care program, have partnered to launch MuscleGuard, a progressive strength training program for those experiencing rapid weight loss from GLP-1s.

Designed to prevent muscle loss and improve body composition, the new program includes the expertise of fitness trainer Melody D. and Dr. Rekha Kumar, Found’s chief medical officer and former medical director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

“If weight loss is a goal, regardless of the intervention, it’s crucial to have the best tools and the right information to ensure beneficial and lasting results,” Dr. Kumar said. “The last thing we want to see is people experiencing weight loss with medication while also losing muscle and decreasing their cardio-metabolic fitness in the process.”

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credit: Found

MuscleGuard is available on the Obé app or on the web. The new program breaks down its strength training and fitness guidance system into phases, suitable for those new to fitness and experienced fitness enthusiasts.

“Understanding that each individual’s fitness needs and preferences are unique, especially for those losing weight quickly, we’ve developed MuscleGuard,” said Ashley Mills, co-founder & co-CEO of Obé Fitness. “This innovative program is specifically designed to prevent muscle loss, helping people build strength and confidence.”

GNC Debuts Weight Loss Supplement 

Taking a different approach, health and wellness giant GNC has introduced Total Lean GlucaTrim — an over-the-counter weight loss supplement intended to maintain lean muscle mass while supporting healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.

“The team at GNC is hyper-focused on our customers’ health, recognizing the increasing demand for effective weight loss,” said Rachel Jones, MS RDN and senior vice president, chief product innovation and science officer at GNC. “GNC Total Lean GlucaTrim gives consumers an affordable, non-prescription, botanical-focused supplement that’s backed by a team of scientists and dietitians who are passionate about helping people reach their weight loss goals.”

credit: GNC

The health and wellness retailer says its new supplement incorporates a metabolism-boosting botanical blend, a leaf extract that balances blood glucose and insulin after a meal, Chromax to promote optimum glucose and insulin levels, and Berberine to help with blood sugar and weight reduction.

The caffeine-free supplement is meant to be taken daily before the two largest meals of the day, accompanied by a healthy diet and exercise plan.  

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