March 2, 2014 by Erin C
For the best of us, time is limited. That said, if we do manage to fit in some kind of physical fitness routine (or especially if we are just starting one) then we want to know when are we going to see results darn it!
Luckily, in my former life I was a personal trainer and got an undergraduate degree in Exercise Sport Science so I have a little street cred on this topic. On average (in my personal experience) it takes between 4-8 weeks to start seeing some serious results and body changes when starting a new program. Of course, there are lots of factors that influence your outcome.
What I know for sure? Here are 3 things:
1. Body Fat % is a Key Issue
It’s so much harder to see muscle definition when there are still fatty tissues covering your muscles. So, even though you may have some serious guns, you may need to be patient to start seeing the definition you want. Be careful to stay within your healthy body fat range for your height and level of activity. The average woman is about 25-30% body fat and an average more fit female comes in at about 21-24%. Anything lower than that and you better be a professional athlete.
2. High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT)
It’s probably the best thing going in terms of burning fat. As I mentioned above, the lower your body fat, the easier it is to see definition. Scientifically, when you force your body into high intensity/sprint situations it taps out the carbohydrate fuels that are readily available in your muscles and gets to the fat stores more quickly. The good news? HIIT workouts tend to be only about 20 minutes long and are primarily plyometric exercises you can do anywhere and with your own body weight.
Here is the HIIT is use which is a combination of the one’s I’ve tried. Nothing too complicate here:
3. Diet is Key
When it comes to muscle definition and building muscle in general it really is all about science and not just “calories in vs. calories out” as some will have you believe. Your muscles require a certain amount of protein in order to build themselves up so make sure you are eating enough to make a difference. Check out this resource on Live Strong to learn more.
In the end, it’s all about consistency. You don’t need to be perfect. 4x week this week, 2x the next it’s all good. Just stay active, be reasonable about your diet and you’ll get where you want to be.
Do you have a HIIT workout that you love to use? Share it in the comments section!