Ahh…the age old question, “How long do I have to workout to see results?” Yes, we are all very impatient when it comes to seeing results.
The truth is, the weight didn’t come on overnight, so it is going to take you longer to see the results you want see than you think it will. The good news is that by eating healthy and exercising, you can maximize fat loss and produce the results you want to get your best body ever.
Measuring & Tracking your Results
The scale is not the only way to measure your training results. In fact, the scale is likely one of the worst ways to measure your results. If you are weighing yourself everyday to see if you lost a pound, you are only fooling yourself. Water retention can cause your body weight to fluctuate by 2-3 pounds daily!
Methods to Track Results
- Take pictures: This is my personal favorite when it comes to tracking your workout results. I took pictures on a weekly basis when I began Brazil Butt Lift, and the pictures kept me motivated in a couple of ways. I knew I had to take pictures on Sunday, which led to no skipping of the workouts or cheating on my diet. I also could see the weekly changes in my body (sometimes when I felt like quitting) and having that proof your workouts are working can be a real motivational factor and make you stick with it…like it did for me.
- Tape measure: Taking body part measurements will also let you know your body is getting smaller, even if your weight goes up. This means you are building muscle.
- How your clothes fit: If you’re trying to lose weight, fitting into clothing that you once outgrew not only proves you are lost weight, but for some reason just feels like a really great accomplish. I love putting on my size 8’s and having them slide off my hips :)
- Go to the doctor: Exercising and eating better will not only affect the way you look on the outside. Have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked to see how much lower they are now from when you were sedentary. You just might be amazed by the improvement.
- Improvement in daily activities: Where I work, you can take the stairs or opt for the elevator. At one point in my life, I used to only go for the ride. Then one day after working out consistently for three weeks, I decided to take the stairs and was absolutely amazed at how my cardiovascular endurance had already improved!
- The mirror: Seeing is believing, and the mirror is a fantastic tool to measure your workout results.
- The scale: While I am not a big believer in the bathroom scale to track results, it can be nice to see you have lost a pound or two. However, try not to weigh yourself more than once a week and don’t be depressed if you have not lost weight every time you step on the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat, so going up in weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve gained fat…that is why the others ways to track your results are much more accurate.
Now that you know a few ways to track and measure your results, let’s take a look at how long it takes people on average to gain muscle, lose weight, improve cardiovascular endurance, and improve flexibility.
How Long Does It Take to Improve Flexibility?
Everyone can benefit from increased flexibility; it lowers your risk of injury and has been linked to increased life expectancy. Flexibility will increase greatly when you work at it, and most people report feeling more flexible within just 7 days.
How Long Does it Take to Lose Weight?
When you first start working out and eating better, you will likely see a big loss of weight within the first week as your healthy diet cleans out the toxins and water weight you have likely been holding on to. The most weight you ever want to be losing per week is two pounds. One to two pounds of weight loss is optimal - if you are losing more than this amount of weight in a week, you are way more likely to keep it off than people who drop a ton of weight quickly only to put it back on when they start weaning themselves back to normal amounts of food.
How Long Does it Take to Gain Muscle?
This question is much more difficult to answer and depends a lot on your genetics. But for the most part, men can expect to gain two to three pounds of lean muscle mass monthly with proper exercise and nutrition.
Unfortunately for us, women won’t put muscle mass on as fast as men do. We simply do not have high enough testosterone levels to build muscle quickly. Women can expect to add about one pound of lean muscle a month while weightlifting and eating healthy. Hear that ladies? You really have no reason to worry about building big bulky muscles!
How Long Does it Take to Improve Cardiovascular Health?
The improvement you feel in cardiovascular health once you begin exercising is my favorite. Cardiovascular health improvement comes quickly once you begin to work out on a consistent basis. Most people will see an improvement in cardiovascular health within one week of starting their workout program and very noticeable improvement within just three weeks time.
When Will Other People Notice My Results
If you are exercising regularly and paying attention to diet, other people will start noticing a change in you around the three week to one month mark. After about three months,you will start getting questions about what you’ve been doing and when people will really begin to compliment you!
Everyone and every body is different. Some people lose weight faster than others, some people put weight more easily, some people build muscle much easier than others, some have super fast metabolisms, and some people are hard gainers in general. The most important thing to remember is that, in the end, it doesn’t matter who you are or what your metabolism is like, you can achieve your weight loss and fitness goals by taking it one day at a time and sticking with it! Remember, the scale isn’t the best measurement of fitness success.