You just started working out. When can you expect to see some results?

Hey, there! How are you doing on that New Year’s resolution to get in shape? Maybe you’d been telling yourself for weeks, months, even years that you have to start working out.

You finally make the commitment and less than two weeks in, you’re wondering why the only thing you notice is sore muscles.

Just how long do you have to bust your butt before you see some results? Here’s what my strength coach Andy Wight from AW Strength & Conditioning says:

I usually tell people it takes four to six weeks to see results. The first two to three weeks there’s generally a lot of soreness for a few days after a workout. A week or so later, the soreness isn’t as bad and you can recover more quickly. That’s also when people start feeling stronger.

They may also start to see some weight loss. It’s not so much losing pounds, but their clothes feel different — they feel a little bit looser, that sort of thing.

What ever you’re doing, the most important aspect of fitness is consistency. The more consistent you are and the more you do on a regular basis the more likely you’re going to succeed.

When they’re trying to do it on their own, people generally give up after three to four weeks. It’s a shame. They give up right at that turning point where they’re going to start to see some results.

I urge people not to get discouraged. Getting in shape is a process that takes time and practice. It’s not going happen overnight. Nobody ever got fat from eating just one candy bar and nobody ever lost weight just eating one salad. It’s consistency and it’s time.

I can vouch for what Andy said. I started working out with him in January 2017 and the first few weeks, I was sore. Week four, I came up with multiple excuses not to exercise. I simply didn’t feel like making the effort. I’m so grateful I stuck with it because I feel so much stronger and better.

The thing is, every now and again I’m a slacker. Over the holidays, I showed up once, maybe twice. Weeks flew by and then one day, I stopped what I was doing and texted Andy for an appointment. Here I am the very next day, so happy to be back on track again.

Diane working out

You go, girl. I am so proud of you!

Moral of the story, never give up on yourself. So what if you lose a few days, a few weeks, whatever. Take a deep breath and get back in the game. You won’t regret it.

You can do nothing better for yourself than be active. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy doing it and please, especially don’t ever give up before you’ve barely even started.

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.