Surely you’ve wondered when you will start seeing the results of your workouts:

Generally you can expect to notice results after two weeks. Your posture will improve and you’ll feel more muscle tone. It takes three to four months for the muscles to grow.(1, 2)

But this is all theory. In reality, there are a lot of factors that have a direct impact on the success of your workouts. The suggestions below will help you reach your goals faster:

1. Start slowly

Since people are generally very motivated when they start working out, the tendency is to overdo it. Training too much or too hard might feel good at first, but this will drain your body of energy pretty quickly. The result is a drop in performance, which will affect your motivation and make your workouts less fun.

Fact Check:

Your circulatory system needs time to adjust to changes in your workouts. This can take days or even weeks, depending on the intensity. Your muscles adapt in about the same amount of time. It only takes a few minutes or hours for neurons to adapt their ability to transmit electrical impulses between the brain and muscles. Tendons, joints, and ligaments, however, take months to adjust to new training stress. Give your body the time it needs!

Man with a smartphone

2. Set goals

When you set a goal for yourself, it helps to have a specific target in mind. It might be a race, but it could also be feeling better in your body before your next vacation. The important thing is to also plan medium term goals. These will motivate you along the way and you can keep an eye on your current fitness level. Participating in races throughout the year is a great strategy to keep you motivated and help you stay focused on your goal.

The goal you set defines your training:

Lose weight, gain muscle, or improve endurance without losing muscle mass — the training method or combination of workouts you choose depends on your goal. Don’t forget to pay attention to your nutrition. After all, how you fuel your body has a powerful impact on your progress. You can find loads of helpful nutrition and workout tips on our blog.

These 5 tips can help you set your personal goal:

3. Make a long-term plan

You have set a goal and reached it. The training plan is finished, but you are not. In order to avoid falling back into bad habits, start thinking about what you will do afterward while you are still in the first training phase. Changing your diet and setting new goals can help you maintain the progress you’ve made or move things up a notch.

Find a plan that works for you:

Don’t get discouraged if your friends lose weight or gain muscle faster than you. People often respond differently to the same exercise program. No matter whether your training is focused on strength, or endurance: long-term goals have to be right for you.

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Find your personalized training plan in the Results app!

4. Work out regularly and continuously

There’s one question you should ask yourself right at the start: how much time and energy do you want to invest in your training? Your success will depend on the answer. Make a realistic plan for the scope of your program. There are always interruptions, but try to avoid them with careful planning.

If you are a beginner, you’ll see results relatively quickly. Your long-term commitment determines whether these results will last. The more advanced you are, the harder it might be to see a tangible improvement to your performance. Don’t get discouraged!

A man and a woman working out together

5. Apply training stress and respect your recovery phases

The right loading stress followed by appropriate recovery phases help you get the most out of your training. The supercompensation model leads to a drop in performance, and then your body regenerates during the recovery phase. If you don’t give yourself time to recover, you will end up overtraining, which has a negative effect on your results.

Increasing repetitions is not the only way to apply training stress; adding variety to your workouts is also effective. HIIT training can really push your body to a new level.

Remember:

Start slowly and give your body time to adjust to new training stress.

6. Use the right technique

Fast, hard, and frequent — these are the words often used to describe what people imagine to be the perfect workout. But if you have poor form when you do the exercises, you can injure a muscle instead of strengthening it. Problems that arise from improper training are only noticed later on. By then, you may have already learned to do many exercises the wrong way. In order to get the results you want, you have to do the exercises correctly.

A young guy is running

7. Physiological differences between genders

Many think that women should train differently than men, but there’s actually no reason for this. Men and women both burn fat by building and maintaining muscle mass. The main difference is that women don’t tire as easily(3) and recover faster than men. This is partially because women have less body mass, which means their muscles can be supplied with oxygen more efficiently. According to one study, estrogen may have protective effects on skeletal muscle.(4) This speeds recovery.

Good to know:

Women shouldn’t worry about bulking up from strength training. Genetically, women have more body fat and lower muscle mass than men. Men also have more than ten times as much testosterone. When women workout, the fat-burning process is stimulated, while muscle growth is activated for men. You can read more about muscle growth in women on our blog.

It’s up to you how successful your training is. Think about the factors above and you’ll see how you can influence your results based on your training goals. The key is to assess how much time you are prepared to invest in your workout.

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