Are Your Fitness Goals Realistic?
It's early January and hopefully you've come up with a set of fitness goals for 2017 and have already started doing the work.
But are your fitness goals realistic? Unfortunately, there's a strong chance they are not.
It's not your fault. The public is constantly bombarded in magazines, TV ads, internet ads and posts promising so many unrealistic, even outrageous, promises for weight loss and muscle gain that you come to believe them. Unrealistic has become the new normal.
These scammers promise you unrealistic goals because they know that's what you want to hear. Telling you what you want to hear sells! Never mind that most are load of road apples. (If you don't know, road apples are horse manure)
Unfortunately, setting unrealistic goals that are impossible to meet is probably the main reason people become discouraged and give up by the middle of February. The average New Years "Resolutionist" is gone after 55 days.
It's important to note that these numbers are based on people new to the gym. That matters because those new to fitness will make faster gains in the first few months than people who have been at it for awhile. As your "training age" (How long you have been training) increases progress will, over time, slow.
How fast can I build muscle?
It will take a minimum of 2-3 weeks before you even begin to notice any increase in muscle size.
If you have 13 inch arms now and want to add one inch to your arm size expect it to take at least 2-4 months of consistent workouts.
In terms of scale weight-an increase in overall lean body mass- expect to gain, on average of around 2 pounds per month at first.
It may come as a surprise to many, but women gain roughly the same percentage increase as men.
How fast can I lose fat? (fat--not weight)
This is very dependent on your current body fat percentage. Determining your body fat percentage accurately can be tricky. but some of the formulas for estimating body fat percentage are accurate enough for our purpose and accurate, scientific, methods are expensive.
HERE is a calculator used by the U.S. military.
The full formula to determine how much you should lose gets messy but you can use this formula to simplify things:
body fat % / 20=percentage of body weight you should aim to lose per week
So, using the calculator above, lets assume you body fat % is 30%.
30/20=1.5 pounds per week.
You can certainly aim to lose more than that but you'll almost certainly lose muscle in the process. You'll be thinner but you'll still be fat. It's called "skinny fat" and is, in some ways, more dangerous than being overweight.
Review your 2017 goals.
Are they realistic?
If you are serious about getting healthier adjust you goals and I'll still be seeing you in the gym after February.