The Truth, When To Expect Real Results From Lifting Weights
February 20th 2020
You want to know how long does it take to see results from lifting weights.
For beginners, you can expect your physique and strength to increase in as little as four weeks of training. However, nearly all people who hit the gym seriously and eat correctly will see dramatic results by 6-8 weeks of strength training.
If you do not believe me, my strength is the product of over six, nearly seven years of strength training.
I have recorded my training progress through the years:
- Starting strength, during years 1-4
- Greyskull lp, during years 1-2
- 5/3/1 Forever, the last six months of 2019 to the present day
Do I wish progress could be faster?
But I also believe that everything happens for a reason and if strength were to be gifted to me without hard work or sacrifice, I would have not cared about it so seriously.
Now, strength and being powerful has become one of the core values of my belief system.
So, if you are waiting to see your strength continue to grow, let us go through a few checklists to make sure that you are strength training optimally.
Following a program, anything
Whether you created one or not, you need to follow a program strictly.
It is really the only thing keeping you on track.
Because if you do not really have a plan, how do know if you are working your way towards your goal?
You are not because you are not sure.
And why leave anything in this world up to chance?
That is one mistake I made when I was transitioning programs throughout the years.
I thought I understood strength training principles but whenever I tried to test my PRs and failed, I would get incredibly discouraged.
Did I just waste 12 weeks of time?
When in fact, everything I did was helping me build up my strength.
It was just at those very moments when I was testing my strength, something went wrong and I could not lift the heavier weights.
Whether it was technique or me manipulating my diet, I was experimenting with a lot of different things.
And it was my experimenting that got the best of me that time.
I was even ambitious enough to change the programming (NEVER do this).
And had the audacity of blaming the program for my lack of hitting any PRs.
So, learn from my mistakes and follow your programs.
And even if you do not hit any PRs at the end of some training block, ask yourself this before making any radical changes:
- Were you able to train injury-free?
- Were you able to move heavy weights?
- Did you have fun?
If you answered yes to all of this, did you not complete your goal of trying to grow stronger?
Continue your current program for another cycle and give it another shot.
Things are supposed to happen slowly and gradually
Results that come fast will not last.
And anything worth accomplishing will not be worth its weight in gold if you do not work hard for it.
Maybe this is the product of living in modern society.
We do not cherish or give value to anything we get for free:
- Our friends
- Our love for family
- Our relationships
- Our values and morals
- Our rights and freedoms
Yet, we chase and want all the manmade things that are worthless when faced in a crisis:
The same lessons can be drawn to strength training.
How long it takes for you to see results from lifting weights will be determined by several things:
- Your determination to get what you want
- Your genetics (your starting point)
- Your programming
- Your recovery
- Your health, hormones
- Your diet
And so many other factors.
And it is the accumulation of doing all the little things right that will create incredible results.
Know that for every training cycle you train injury-free, you are getting stronger even if you do not hit a new PR at the end.
As long as you are lifting heavy weights for a long period of time on a structured program, you will get stronger.
And I would love to see examples of someone who is strength training correctly who has been stuck on a plateau for decades.
There is zero.
- They will quit before finding a solution
- They are bold enough to figure out a solution and they are your current success stories about long term strength training
Learning principles and systems > chasing numbers
It is fun to chase training numbers.
It is short term, tangible and we can measure the progress.
What may not be so easy to understand is that by choosing your programs, you are following strength training principles that are designed to help you get stronger.
And depending on the scope of your program, this is either designed to last you a couple of months or forever.
And that is the beauty of strength training, even though it may seem that you are limited by rigid programs initially, they are learning tools for you to follow so that you can learn from them.
You are learning about different ways to manipulate intensity, volume, and frequency.
You are learning about your strengths and weaknesses for individual lifts.
You are learning how to overcome obstacles.
There is really zero downsides for following a program other than relying on one so much that you turn off your brain and do zero reflection on your progression.
Avoid the typical weight training timeline
The typical cycle for a lot of beginners is the following:
- Make some progress
- Get injured
- Rehab your injury
- Take two steps back
- And repeat
And usually, some people will exit this cycle because of their mindset limitations or injury that scarred them.
Unfortunately, a lot of athletes and popular fitness gurus will always point out that injuries are a part of this sport especially when you are pushing your body to the limit.
I am an optimist but lately, I am also being a realist.
Injuries do happen and it sucks that they do.
You cannot plan for them and they happen unexpectedly.
So, the best thing you can do is to train smartly.
How you deal with what you do not know will greatly impact your future.
You cannot plan anything in advance but you will be able to make decisions when an incident happens.
Usually, a lot of hardcore lifters are taken out of the lifting game as an athlete because they are blindsided by their ego, training, success, everything.
It makes it impossible for them to quit unless a big injury happens.
Also, another way to exit this timeline is when the lifter comes to the realization that they do not want to push their bodies anymore.
That after one more cycle or competition, it is time to retire and that would be okay with them.
Hopefully, this will shed some light on how long it will take to see results from lifting weights as well as how to transition to keeping your results for the long term.
I hate to see anyone who has been working hard to have outside circumstances derail their training.
Call it bad luck but maybe that is the exact event for them to wake up and realize how to fix their life, whether it is related to training or not.