Wouldn’t you love to just go to the gym once and walk away toned? Or run for the first time ever and boom you can take off with this awesome pace and easily finish a half marathon without huffing and puffing or training. YESS. But this just does not happen.
Truth is it takes TIME for any of this to occur. Bummer.
Consistency is key here. You can go to the gym 1-2x a week and it is going to take a LONG time for results to start showing. Which can be extremely detrimental to motivation. We workout to see definition within our muscles, to feel better about ourselves, and to de-stress and challenge ourselves. How good does it feel after you push yourself during an intense workout? AMAZING. You walk out feeling great about yourself and probably get a bit more excited to get back into the gym the next day. Your should be hitting the gym more than 3 days a week to see a difference. IDEALLY you want to get in there 4-5 times a week.
Also, whether your working out 3x a week or 5x a week make sure your struggling and pushing yourself. What I mean is if you are doing 3 sets of 10 weighted squats, that 8-10th rep should be hard and you should struggle. If you barely break and sweat and easily get through your workout you will not see changes within your body for a VERY long time, and the changes that occur will be minimal.
So how long does it actually take to see changes occur? Depending upon how often you exercise and the intensity of your workouts, anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Most of the time within 4 weeks we ourselves start seeing some changes. At week 6 there a bit more prominent changes and at week 8 others can notice differences as well. I actually had two women at work tell me my arms look so good. My eyes pretty much bulged out of my head I was so ecstatic. I do my arms (biceps/triceps) 1x a week and they are targeted some with back exercises due to a pulling motion. I am also at week 10 in my training program.
Now, here is the kicker. The scale. Women dread scales. Muscle weighs more than fat. And no matter how many times we hear this or know this if we see the scale increase it gives way to panic. This just happened to me yesterday. I went to the doctors stepped on the scale and saw 119. I nearly hit the floor. Before I really hit the gym and started training consistently with weights I weight 114-115. So yes, I know muscle weighs more than fat and I know my definition has increased and leaned out, but still. It comes as a bit of a shock since us women are focused on loosing fat and associate that to seeing lower numbers on the scale. So even for me this is something I need to get used to and accept. But I figure if my pants still button and aren’t tight I’m in good shape.