A common question I’m asked from potential client’s is, “how quickly will I see results?” This is a very important question. The answer can make or break a planned exercise program. The desire to see results is a positive feeling. We want to know that the hard work we are putting into our programs are paying off. Witnessing results will assist in adhering to an exercise program. So, when posed the question, “how quickly will I see results?” The honest answer is, results can be seen relatively quickly-relatively. [The relative quickness depends upon a persons fitness level. A person in a deconditioned state will see quicker results after starting an exercise program as compared to a fit person coming off a short hiatus.]
The moment an exercise is completed, [an example could be a bench press for 10 repetitions for 3 sets], the body begins to repair the tears in the muscle caused by the exercise. Blood has rushed to the muscle to bring the essential elements [it] needs to heal. This repair will cause the muscle to be bigger and stronger once it has mended.
How to Measure Weight Training Results
The scale! Weighing yourself can be positive and negative depending on your point of view. Not seeing the scale move can have a negative effect on a person. But there is something to keep in mind.
There's a saying you may have heard before: "Muscle weighs more than fat”. Seems confusing. Let’s think of it in the same vein as "What weighs more, a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks?" A ton is a ton regardless of the material. It is the volume that is different. A ton of feathers will appear larger than a ton of bricks. So a body that weighs 200lbs with a high fat to muscle ratio will look vastly different than a body that weighs 200lbs with a high muscle to fat ratio.
Let’s say its weigh in day. (Your last weight was 220lbs) You know you were diligent with your exercise program and diet. You hop on the scale and it reads, “220lbs”. You immediately scream, “How can this be?! No!! I worked so hard!”
Take a deep breath. Feel your body. Look at your body. Take measurements. You will notice your body has changed. It is the phenomenon of fat being replaced by muscle. The 5-10lbs of fat that has been lost and has been replaced by 5-10lbs of muscle.
The simplest way to see results is to track your progress. Before you begin your workout plan, create your goal with a goal tracker. Record your body weight along with some general measurements so that you know what your starting numbers are. Measure the waist, hip, arms, and thighs. Then periodically update the goal tracker to see results.
We tend to focus on the number on the scale. While I’m at the gym I see it all too often, people weighing themselves, daily. This, in my opinion, can be detrimental. Periodic weigh ins are fine. The focus should be on the whole body. We should concentrate on how we feel. Has my mood improved? Have my energy levels increased? Have my waist measurements decreased? The number on the scale shouldn’t be our only go to goal tracker.
Constant weigh ins and believing that the scale is the ultimate goal tracker has thwarted my progress so many times in the past. When I finally realized the scale doesn’t matter is when I began to move forward with my program successfully.
I instruct my clients to concentrate on feeling more than seeing. The feel of delayed onset muscle soreness. The heaviness of the muscle as it sits on the body. The feeling of the blood engorging the muscle during and after an exercise. The feeling of a once tight-fitting pair of pants now conform comfortably to the body. The absence of pain in the once swollen joints. The feeling of catching a glimpse of yourself in a store window and being impressed by the sight. Concentrate on the feelings and you will most assuredly reach all your fitness goals!