It’s natural when you first start an exercise regime to expect immediate results. However, this isn’t always the case and many of us are left frustrated and demotivated when we haven’t achieved our dream body in 3 months. Ha. Real Talk. Do you really expect a complete change in your body after it took “X” amount of time to get you where you’re currently at?!
So how far into your training program should you expect to see results? Well unfortunately, that question is not as straightforward as you think.
There are other numerous factors that you need to consider that affect weight loss, fat loss, strength gains, etc:
Every individuals body is different from the next. Genetics and gender will play a major role of when you will see results. Ever wonder why someone can look so fit, yet they drink Coke and eat chocolate chip cookies on the regular? That my friends is called genetics… or just being male (for those fortunate ones). Not to mention, some may do the absolute minimum and can walk around with a six-pack, whereas the rest of us have to work 10 times harder just to maintain what we have! In general, men build muscle and lose weight at a faster rate compared to women because of higher testosterone levels, more muscle mass and a higher metabolism. You can thank our ancestors for that. So ladies, don’t get frustrated when your husband is seeing results into his 3rd workout, whereas you may be going on your 3rd month and finally noticing that little “jiggle” go away.
Genetics and gender have everything to do with results, so don’t base your success on someone else’s results. Again, please keep in mind that some may see changes in just a few weeks, others after a few months, and for most it could take longer than a year to see any visible progress. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Your starting point affects the rate of your results. Reference – The Biggest Loser. If you are overweight and not used to exercising, you will likely notice progress at a faster rate than compared to someone who has less body fat and is at an intermediate training level. The reason being is that if you are a larger person, your body requires more energy to move and in turn you will end up burning more calories as compared to a person with less body mass.
Different goals. Different time frame. Your journey should consist of your personal goals, not the goals of your pal. If you strive for a healthier and stronger body, understand that this will take longer than someone who is seeking rapid weight loss. It’s not uncommon to see a noticeable difference on the scale in the first week for someone who cuts calories, carbs and goes to the extreme. Participating in a well-rounded strength training program will increase your muscle mass and bone density over time, so if you don’t see that immediate drop in the scale IT’S OK because the scale can’t differentiate between fat and muscle.
Consistency and Intensity. The key to long term results is consistency. The more consistent you are with your daily habits, the more likely you will see visible results over time. In terms of intensity; this simply applies to the amount of effort you are willing to put into your program – from the foods you eat to the way you train. The more focused you are on your goals, the more you will progress.
So what can you do to stay on track?
#1 Follow a well-balanced nutrition program that supports your personal needs, training regime and goals. Training alone is not enough. Your success is at least 75% nutrition and 25% exercise.
#2 Respect the recovery period. You need to give your body a sufficient amount of rest in order for it to recover and build new muscle. Rest includes adequate sleep, reducing stress, stretching and including actual days of rest between training days.
#3 Look at the whole picture. Don’t just rely on the mirror or the scale to measure your success. If your perception of success is just based on visible results, you may likely be disappointed at some point or another. Pay attention to how you feel on a regular basis. Think about the daily functional achievements you are able to accomplish like lifting heavy boxes, keeping up with your kids, or even being able to reach your toes. Maintaining a positive attitude and embracing the change will keep you headed on the right track.