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Maintaining Muscle Mass on Ozempic and Other GLP-1 Medications: A Beginner’s Workout Guide

Ozempic and Exercise


For those taking Ozempic and other GLP-1 drugs for weight loss, it’s important to remember that these medications should be taken under the advisement of a doctor, while also maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle. 

At Planet Fitness, we love when people prioritize their health. But taking weight loss medication is only one piece of the equation on your health journey. It is not a substitute for working out or lifelong wellness changes. 

Taking Ozempic or other GLP-1 drugs alone can lead to rapid weight loss, which can sometimes mean the loss of muscle mass. Working out in tandem with your Ozempic or GLP-1 treatment can ensure you are maintaining your physical strength and fitness throughout the process. Exercising while taking GLP-1s can also promote a balanced approach to weight loss and ensure your overall wellness. 

Below, we’ll explore how healthy habits like regular exercise can complement and enhance the effectiveness of GLP-1 medications as well as offer tips to ensure you maintain muscle mass throughout your weight loss journey.

How Do Ozempic and Other GLP-1 Medications Work?

Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is primarily prescribed to adults to help them manage type 2 diabetes. 

Ozempic's effects, combined with exercise, can promote weight loss and overall metabolic health. Its role in stabilizing blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity contributes to the body's efficient use of sugars during exercise. What does this mean exactly? It means you’ll see heightened energy levels and endurance during your workout.  

An Overview of Ozempic and Exercise

Ozempic and exercise work hand in hand, promoting weight loss and overall health. This complementary combination enhances various aspects of well-being, such as better blood sugar control and improved cardiovascular health. By incorporating exercise into your Ozempic or GLP-1 treatment, you can unlock a range of benefits. 

So, which types of exercise are best for folks taking Ozempic? Which exercises will continue to support your weight loss journey and maintain or build muscle throughout? Let’s explore these questions below.

Best Exercises for People Taking Ozempic and Other GLP-1 Medications

To elevate your fitness and boost your overall wellness, here are a few of our favorite types of movement designed to target key muscle groups, enhance strength, and build or maintain muscle mass.

  • Free-weight training: A strength exercise that builds muscle mass, boosts metabolism, and enhances functional strength for daily activities using equipment like dumbbells or kettlebells. Incorporating free-weight training into your routine can also increase bone density and improve overall body composition. 
  • Smith machine workouts: Smith machine exercises are versatile and the machine provides a controlled environment for strength training, making it suitable for beginners and seasoned fitness enthusiasts alike.

For visual guidance and written instruction on free-weight and Smith machine exercises, browse the Tutorials section of the PF App.

It’s not just about weight training! There are effective, low-impact options to keep you moving.

  • Cycling:low-impact exercise that strengthens leg muscles and improves endurance, whether you’re outdoors or on a stationary bike at Planet Fitness. Cycling is an excellent option for those looking to enjoy the outdoors while getting a great workout. To explore workouts using a stationary bike—or some of your other favorite PF cardio equipment—check out our Find Your Cardio Match workout series.
  • Yoga: A low-intensity workout that promotes flexibility, balance, and relaxation while improving strength and posture for both physical and mental well-being. With various styles and levels available, yoga offers something for everyone, whether you're a beginner or an expert yogi. Not sure where to start? The PF App has Yoga workouts for all fitness levels.
  • Pilates: Enhances your core strength, stability, and body awareness, improving flexibility and muscle tone without putting excess strain on your joints. Pilates exercises—like those in the PF App—focus on controlled movements and proper breathing techniques. But don’t let the pace fool you; Pilates is still a challenging and effective workout!

Try them all and see what works best for you on your unique fitness journey. For more inspiration, there are tons of workouts available for free in the PF App.

If you’re just starting out, check out this simple strength routine we’ve curated specifically for beginners.

Strength Routine from Planet Fitness

Another great tool for your new fitness regimen is a simple, go-to strength routine to pepper a few times throughout your week. And if you need some inspiration for a simple routine to get started, here’s a short workout, perfect for beginners:


Warm-up: 5 minutes of light cardio (e.g., brisk walking, cycling, or dynamic bodyweight movements)

Strength Training:

Easy as 1, 2, 3!


1. Dumbbell Goblet Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps

Dumbbell Goblet Squat

2. Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps


3. Dumbbell Alternating Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps per arm

Cool-down: 5 minutes of stretching exercises

It’s not just about the workout! Don't underestimate the importance of stretching—it's an investment in your future self. Tomorrow, you'll thank us for taking the time to prioritize flexibility and mobility in your workout routine. 

Now, let's shift our focus to the critical role that proper diet and nutrition play in achieving your fitness goals. Fueling your body with the right nutrients can significantly impact your performance, recovery, and overall well-being. 

Let's explore what habits you can adopt to create a balanced diet and make informed nutritional choices that can contribute to your long-term fitness success.

The Role of Nutrition in Maintaining Muscle Mass

A nutritious diet is another key element of nourishing your body from the inside out—and optimizing your fitness journey. Don’t overthink this, though. Just try small ways to incorporate more whole foods into your diet. Throw some kale in a smoothie, or add some fruit to your morning oatmeal. 

Small changes can add up quickly! Foods rich in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, provide sustained energy and support muscle recovery. And don't forget, staying hydrated is critical for happy muscles and recovery. Water helps make sure the nutrients you need move throughout your body and removes any waste you don't want.

Gone are the days of recommending restrictive diets or extreme eating patterns. Opt instead for something more sustainable and less overwhelming—mindful eating habits that prioritize overall health and well-being. By concentrating on nourishing your body with wholesome foods, you can enhance your physical performance, improve your overall health, and maintain a sustainable approach to nutrition.

Your Fitness Journey

By prioritizing nutrition alongside your exercise routine, you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term success and maximizing your potential for achieving your fitness goals. While Ozempic and other GLP-1s aid in weight loss, their effectiveness is notably enhanced when combined with consistent physical activity and proper nutrition. Embracing a well-rounded approach that combines medication with lifestyle adjustments makes for the best health outcomes. 

Planet Fitness is always here to help support your fitness journey, providing resources and facilities to help you build healthy exercise habits and achieve your wellness goals. Find a club near you, or get started now for free on the PF App.