One of the biggest workout mistakes people make is giving up when they don’t see results fast enough. I know it’s hard when you’re putting your all into your workout every day, and you’ve been sticking to it and doing your best, and a whole four days in you don’t see the ripped abs and plumped up booty you were hoping for.
It’s important to realize that you are simply NOT going to see dramatic results in days, no matter who you are. Think about it – it didn’t take your body days to get into bad shape, so it’s not going to take days to get it in good shape either.
Everyone is different, and you may notice someone else’s results long before your own. Working out with a friend and they’ve lost 10 pounds and look fab and you still feel like you’re getting nowhere? Remember not to compare yourself to others and to just stay focused on yourself and your own goals.
With strength training, one of the most likely reasons you’re not seeing results is because you’re not challenging yourself. Progressive overload is the key here. It’s necessary in order to build muscle. If you’re lifting weights that are too light, you’re not challenging your muscles and as a result, you won’t continue to get stronger. You won’t make any more progress. That means no consistent gains in muscle mass. It’s that simple.
In order for your muscles to grow, you need to almost constantly increase the demands you are placing on your body. You can do this in a number of different ways. The most common way is by increasing the amount of weight you’re lifting, for example switch from 40 lb dumbbells to 50 or 60 lbs when you no longer feel challenged, or adding a couple 10 lb plates to your barbell.
There are other ways you can force your body to improve and adapt, so you can continue to gain more muscle and strength. Changing the number of reps and sets in your workout is a simple way of keeping your body challenged and preventing a plateau. As long as you’re constantly making your body work harder, your muscles will need to keep up and your fitness will only continue to improve and advance as a result.
There is no exact answer to how long it will take you to start seeing results from your workouts, but typically, you should start to see small changes in your body at least within four weeks. If not, chances are there is something you’re doing wrong. Whether you’re taking in too many calories, not taking in enough calories, overtraining; there are various possible reasons you’re not getting the results you should be, but the most important thing is to ensure you are doing things right, and then stick to it. Go over your diet and fitness plan and make sure everything is planned properly, with realistic goals. The good news is – as long as you’re doing these basic things right – with an implemented effective workout routine and clean diet, you WILL see results, no ifs, ands, or butts (except a nice one of your own) about it.
If you’re not seeing results, try tracking your calories. You may be taking in more calories each day than you realized and this could be stalling your progress. Make sure you have proper form with your exercises during every workout, not just to ensure you get the results you’re after, but also to help prevent injury. Of course with strength training, make sure you’re using enough weight that you’re actually challenging yourself, a weight that is light enough for you to handle, but enough that you feel like you couldn’t do another rep at the end of your sets. Then, once you’re no longer challenged, increase the weight, and so on.
The most important thing to remember is that results will come, and you will be so glad you stuck to it. A year may seem like a far time off from now, but by the end of that year you can have your body completely transformed, and that is a pretty incredible thing. Keep challenging yourself, feed your body wholesome, nutritious foods to fuel it and give you energy to keep up with your workouts, and your strength training workouts will help you achieve your best body, inside and out.