Exercise is a lot of things. It's stress-relieving, energizing, and empowering. It's therapeutic. It boosts mental clarity and self-confidence.
What is exercise not? It is often not simple, and not easy. It often does not come naturally. Most of all, exercise is not a quick fix or a source of instant gratification. There’s no fast-forward button for fitness. As much as we’d like to morph into a sculpted hardbody after a couple weeks of HIIT sessions, it just ain’t gonna happen.
So what is a realistic expectation about when in your exercise journey you will start seeing results? We’ve got the skinny on just what you can expect to see, and when.
Two to four weeks of consistent effort. When you put stress on your muscles in the form of asking them to lift or support weight, they get damaged, but in a good way. As you rest and recover after a workout and your muscles heal, your muscle fibers band together and become thicker. Going slightly heavier with weights each time or every week forces your muscles to continually respond to the stress being asked of them, and they’ll grow bigger. (So when our trainers tell you to go a little heavier on that kettle bell, they know what they're doing!) Generally speaking, if following a strict workout schedule, men can add about ½ pound of muscle a week, and women can add about ½ pound every two weeks.
- Better mood:
This one comes as close to “instant gratification” as exercise gets. Got 10 minutes? That’s all it takes of moderate exercise to boost your mood temporarily. Image the exhilaration you feel after 36 min of hard HIIT workouts. If you’re looking for something more permanent, look to a 1999 Archives of Internal Medicine study in which a 16-week exercise program was measured against a popular antidepressant to treat depressive symptoms in 156 men and women. In the end, the majority of all participants experienced relief from depressive symptoms, regardless of their method of getting there.
- Smaller figure:
Losing weight is a frustratingly exact cause-and-effect science. If you burn more calories than you take in, your body will respond by losing weight. To lose one pound your body must burn 3,500 calories, either through increased physical activity, reduced caloric intake, or both. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a loss of one to two pounds per week for long-term success. So, if you have six pounds to shed, you can expect results in three to six weeks of consistent effort.
Bonus tip: As you increase your muscle mass, you’ll burn calories a bit faster. Ten pounds of muscle, for example, will burn 50 calories in a day while at rest, while ten pounds of fat will only burn 20 calories
- Greater stamina:
In two to three weeks, exercising a few times each week, you’ll notice that you’re huffing and puffing less. When you perform aerobic exercise, your body responds by increasing heart rate and blood flow (remember your first HIIT session? Whew!). As you keep at it over time, your body begins acclimating to the exercise by forming new capillaries in your muscles, allowing for greater blood flow to the tissues, which can help improve aerobic endurance. Celebrate every time you are able to push a little harder or complete a set that you couldn't do last time. It's working!
The takeaway? If you work it, the results will come. Your fitness goals are within your reach with persistence and patience. At FIT36®, we are committed to helping you succeed. While our HIIT workouts are designed to bring about the greatest results possible, we also strive to make your journey a fun, challenging, and rewarding one.