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Man Loses 157 Pounds in 2 Years With One "Pain-Free" Exercise

The 53-year-old recently opened up about his weight-loss journey.

While it's no secret that exercise can help you slim down, the most effective workouts might seem too challenging for people trying to kickstart their weight-loss journeys. But you may not have to step too far outside your comfort zone to reach your goals. In a new interview with the South China Morning Post, a 53-year-old man opened up about how he was able to lose 157 pounds in just two years, and the "pain-free" weighted sled exercise that helped him get there.

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Dhruv Agarwala's commitment to getting in shape started in Oct. 2021 after he had to check himself into a hospital during a business trip because he thought he was having a heart attack.

"My heart was racing, I had palpitations. I felt I was going to die," the tech entrepreneur told the South China Morning Post. "I kept thinking 'One day I will lose weight, one day I will become fit,' until one day I landed in a hospital emergency room. I remember that moment clearly, lying in the hospital bed, when I resolved to take charge of my health."

While the "heart attack" turned out to just be heartburn, Agarwala said it was still the "wake-up call" that he needed after reaching his heaviest weight ever of 334 pounds in Feb. 2021.

He went on to lose 157 pounds in just two years, dropping down to just 177 pounds by Feb. 2023, according to the Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper.

So, how did Agarwala manage to shed nearly half his body weight in that amount of time? He turned to exercising, which he had stopped doing because he was working long hours in a stressful career.

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Working three times a week with trainer Ahmad Zaki at the fitness company Ultimate Performance, Agarwala started his strength-training with one exercise in particular: pushing a weighted sled.

As Zaki explained to the South China Morning Post, Agarwala used a weighted sled to help build conditioning and muscle mass. Also known as a "prowler," this exercise tool has been called "the best-kept secret for building muscle and burning fat, pain-free" by Men's Health.

You can push or pull prowlers and load them up with as much or as little weight as you want—making this exercise adaptable for all fitness levels. They're more pain-free as well, because they allow you to work out in a position that won't strain your joints or back as much compared to other strength exercises, like weight lifting, according to the experts at Rep Fitness.

Brandon Smitely, a former competitive powerlifter and the co-owner of Thirst gym in Terre Haute, Indiana, told Muscle & Fitness that weighted sleds are the "ultimate conditioning tool" because they can make such a difference overall without causing a lot of soreness.

"A couple of heavy 50-yard sprints or max effort 15-yard pulls will have you on the floor," Smitely said. "The nice thing, though, is that the contractions are concentric only, meaning you're only exerting force forward and there's no lowering phase. This means you'll have minimal soreness, as a vast majority of soreness comes from the eccentric muscle action of contractions."

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Alongside weight-sledding, Agarwala took up walking for his weight-loss journey. He started with 10,000 steps a day and then gradually increased it to 12,000.

"I started by walking along the river and soon I was walking everywhere, from running errands to helping around the house," the 53-year-old told the South China Morning Post.

Agarwala was able to lose almost 50 pounds after just four months of exercising, according to the newspaper.

"People could not believe I had lost so much weight. They thought I had undergone bariatric surgery or was on weight-loss diabetic drugs. I started receiving compliments and the more compliments I received, the more it egged me on to stay fit. It was a virtuous feedback loop," he said. "I feel good about myself. I have sustained my weight loss by raising the bar on my fitness levels."

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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