Seeing results from your workouts are one of the main reasons why many people start exercising in the first place, but how long does it take to see the results that you desire?
Can you really see a difference in one week or will it take a month, two months, six months, a year? And the answer to that is…it depends. It depends on what your starting point is, how often you work out and what your goal is. It can also depend on your height, age and gender. Not only this, but all body types are different. Some lucky people will be able to see faster results than others. And different body types means that workout results will show up in many different forms.
There are also many people out there who become discouraged and disappointed that they are not seeing the same results as they have seen advertised on social media. Therefore, I would like to remind you to be aware of the fakeness around social media.
We all get inspired by other people, and you might aim to have a bum like so and so, or abs like her, or arms like him. But when you workout and do all the exercises that you think might help to create that round bum, or chiselled abs, or beefed-up arms, what you might not realise is that the ‘inspiring’ photos might and could be the result of some subtle photo editing and sometimes the help of a doctor. So, if you want a bum like Kim Kardashian, remember even she didn’t achieve that by doing 100 squats a day, and neither will you.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Although one size doesn’t fit all, you can normally see changes within 3-8 weeks of consistent working out, and real, noticeable results in about 8-12 weeks. If you are a beginner, you will probably see ‘faster’ results than someone who is more intermediate or advanced.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO SEE RESULTS?
To see results you need to be consistent and train for around 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise. If you want to lose weight you might even want to stretch this to 1 hour. You should still remember to take it slow at the beginning and work your way up. Slow and steady wins the race. If you do too much, you can burn yourself out and cause an injury. Your body needs time to adapt to your new exercise routine and it needs time to recover.
STRENGTH TRAINING & CARDIO
The best combination to have in order to see faster results is to combine strength training with cardio. Strength training will increase your muscle mass which helps to boost your metabolism and get those defined muscles, and cardio increases your heart rate and burns those clingy calories. You can also incorporate HIIT (High intensity interval training) into your routine to get a good workout session in a short burst of time.
To see faster results, you must think about diet too. Make sure you have enough nutrients, fats, carbs and especially protein in your diet to see better and faster muscle gains. If you’re aim is to lose weight, be sure to have a calorie deficit of 500-1000 calories from your starting point, to help you shed those pounds.
For progression, remember to challenge yourself and set new standards every month or so. If you are a complete beginner it’s okay to do a lot of the exercise using your bodyweight alone, but you must increase your weights and resistance levels so your body can see continuous change. If you stay on the same level your body won’t find it challenging and it won’t grow any further. Think about increasing your weight by about 2-4 kg or going up to a higher resistance level every 3-4 weeks so you can continue that progression climb. You must only increase this, once you can do your exercises in good form, if it’s been 4 weeks and you’re still not able to complete all your sets in good form, maybe wait a while.
However, we sometimes all get hit by a progression stall, so try out new exercises and routines and see what works for you. Also, revise how best to complete each exercise; how to have the correct form; when to breathe and what to engage. You might have formed a bad habit of not doing your exercises correctly which might have hindered your progress. Go ahead and retrain yourself and make every second count.
No matter what you’re aiming for and where you are now, you can do this! Just think about the end result, you will be glad you started once you get there.