I had a new online client start training with me recently (on my basic “Fitness Kick in the Butt” program.) After 2 weeks, she just emailed me, concerned that she hasn’t noticed any changes in her physique yet, including pics and measurements. Here’s my response. (Use these pointers for your own fitness results, too!)
Two weeks is an extremely short time in the scheme of things (I know, it might not feel that way!) I usually have my clients do measurements and pics every month at most, usually every few months, because change (especially lasting change) is slow. From your workout calendar I see you’ve done 6 workouts (which is great!) But 6 workouts alone won’t make much difference. 6 months of regular workouts, however, will.
So, here are 3 things that are gonna have the biggest impact to your physique, moving forward:
1. Getting more comfortable with and proficient at weight lifting.
You’re just starting out, so cut yourself some slack! You’re still learning the movements and your brain needs to figure out which muscles to use. We need to focus on increasing your weights steadily, while still maintaining perfect form of course. The types of weights that’ll really start to make a difference: 15 lb dumbbells for military press and Arnold press, 20-25 lb dumbbells for bench press, 25-30 lbs for bent over row, 40 lbs for sumo squat, 95 lbs (total bar weight) for deadlift, etc.
These aren't be-all, end-all numbers of course, and they’re not meant to discourage you. The point is: strength training is something we’re in for the long haul, making continuous improvements (and getting continuous results) even after we’ve been doing it for decades. So, keep being consistent with your workouts, and keep challenging yourself with the weights you’re using.
The easiest way for us to tell whether your nutrition needs any tweaks is to track it. I know it can be an annoying process, but it’s extremely useful. We’d need to make sure that your overall calorie intake is in fact a deficit (since your goal is to lean out) but that it’s still supporting your training (hence our 2000 calorie goal, but that can be tweaked if needed), that you’re getting enough protein to support your strength training efforts, and that your other macros (fats and carbs) are in balance.
Cardio conditioning can be an important piece of the fat loss puzzle - to complement your strength training. You seem to be going through your strength training workouts fairly quickly, so can we add 10 minutes of cardio (+ 2 minutes warm-up) at the end of each gym workout? Use whatever cardio machine you like (rower, elliptical, treadmill, bike, etc.) Warm up for 2 minutes. Then try 60 sec. at a very high intensity (8-9 out of 10 on the perceived exertion scale), followed by 60 sec. at a low intensity to recover (about 4 out of 10). Repeat for a total of 5 rounds; 10 minutes.
Note: My client's response was that she felt much better, knowing all this! She knows things will get better once she’s lifting more weight and giving things more time. Consistency, after all, is where it’s at.
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