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A Step at a Time: Entering the Positive Cycle

by Sports Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

Just when you think that life has run out of ways to be unfair, it shows you how "fast" some people can get fit, in comparison to your own efforts. It seems like it was yesterday when the new guy walked into the gym for the first time, and now he's looking trimmer than you, and lifting three times what you can at your most motivated. How can people do this?

Don't Try to Get Fast Results

The first thing that we need to know is that the guys who get results faster aren't looking for fast results, but the right results. The first mistake we make when we want fast results is trying to do everything - losing weight and building muscle - at the same time. A simple look at the science will make it immediately obvious why this is virtually impossible.


In order to lose weight and fat, we need to burn more calories than we take in. Building muscle, on the other hand, requires us to take in more calories than we burn and use it during the workout. Those of us who get fit faster, pick just one of the two, and focus all their energy on exercises that are the most effective in that respect.

The Hard Details

The first thing trainers always ask new gym members is what they want to happen to their bodies. Do you want to lose weight, increase bulk, or gain definition? Again, they can only focus on one to get any kind of result quickly. This isn't to say that trying to do things simultaneously is a bad idea, but the effects  will take longer to become noticeable.

In order to increase mass and strength, the body needs to build on the present size of its muscle fibers. You can do this by concentrating on lifting heavier weights with a small number of reps. It sounds painful, but this breaks the muscle fibers faster, prompting the body to try to rebuild them sooner and make them stronger as well.

Sculpting muscle definition, on the other hand, doesn't build muscle, but concentrates more on its form. Once you're satisfied with your level of strength and size begin lifting lighter weights with more reps. This strategy won't break any fibers, but allow the body to focus in the right places, leading to better looking muscles.

The Power of the Mind

The speed with which we can begin seeing results from our workouts depends entirely on the effort we bring to our exercises, which isn't totally physical. Our mental state plays a big role in whether we even want to get out of bed in the morning; we're going to need a lot of motivation to get on a treadmill, or do bench presses.

Motivation is directly proportional to results acknowledged. The less effort we put into our workout, the less effective it will be; the longer we wait to see results, the more discouraged we get and the less effort we put into our workout. We enter a vicious cycle when we set unrealistic expectations on our regimen.

The Positive Cycle

The good news is that incorporating the two aforementioned aspects of an effective workout into account - focus and motivation - into the regimen will only speed up the process even further. For example, we decide to get rid of belly fat first; the most effective burner for that area is planking. Instead of adding bicep curls and other muscle building exercises that would eat up our time, we can concentrate on doing planks, adding to the length of time with every session.

This allows us to devote more time and effort to the exercise, which accelerates the effects on that specific area. Results will come surprisingly fast, and that will feed our motivation to keep going. This is the positive cycle that may allow us to get results faster.

This is a simplified explanation, of course, as trainers will recommend two or three different exercises for each area of focus. Utilising various movements will keep your body from acclimating to the stress too quickly and force it to maintain the same level of performance in order to keep up.

Don't attempt to get fast results by trying to do everything at once. Take it one step at a time. Target and focus on what you want to achieve and the results will follow.