I have been extremely consistent for about 11 months, however no ever looks at me and says ‘Oh he probably goes to the gym’

Several reasons

1)Poor starting point

Had a lot of fat and almost no muscle, overweight

2)Trash program

The coach in the gym directly put me on machines without squat bench etc, 20sets per muscle group

  1. (Probably) poor genetics

Barely saw any ‘rapid’ progression on my lifts in the start, took me weeks to increase weight

4)Obsessed with losing fat/fatigue from cut

Ended up cutting way too long, I wanted to get ‘lean’, but since I had no muscle, never lost my gut, just looked even worse ‘skinny fat’

However I seem to have fixed all the issues on my end, and am seeing slow but steady increase in reps and weights, it’s still kinda demotivating when my friends say that they can’t see progress but ofc they don’t know how bad I fucked up and ngl I am actually getting a little excited with everything coming together, and was wondering how long did it take y’all to start looking good

  • @grasshopper_mouse
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    212 months ago

    I tell you what my personal trainer told me about weight loss: When it comes to losing fat, you have to view it as you would see a puddle drying up. The areas of water on the edges will be the first to go, then slowly it will dry up until the center is left, that being the deepest part of the puddle. That’s how fat loss goes. The area with the most fat will be the last to go. You cannot target special areas for fat loss, so if you think doing more sit-ups will make your gut magically disappear, sorry, it’s doesn’t work that way.

    • @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      I had already internalised the fact that it’s not possible to target areas for fat loss, but this analogy is really helpful to me. I used to be much stronger and leaner than I am now, and I think this framing will help me because at peace with my puddle as it shrinks. Thanks for sharing.

    • @fastandcuriousOP
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      22 months ago

      …but if i put some ab musculature on there, shouldn’t the fat be less visible, I know you can’t spot reduce, but I thought if you had low muscle, the fat is just gonna be more visible

      • Fushuan [he/him]
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        2 months ago

        To summarise, musculature won’t hide fat because the fat layer of the belly is on top of the abs, fat hides abs.

        I’ve been a rower in the past and some of my colleagues were able to show abs easily. Others like me, literally had to follow a very harsh routine for a 17 yo kid to even be able to. I was plenty healthy, I just wanted to get abs because of course a 17yo wants to.

        The issue? Genetics. Some people accumulate fat in the belly first, so it will be the literal last place where it will go away. This means that even though I was the strongest of the club, with best times on competitions, I had a (very minimal) fat layer on top of the abs I obviously had given the competition results, and it covered the abs themselves.

        Now, this is an extreme example, but I think that it shows why sometimes we must accept that “taking out the belly” is a marathon, not a sprint. And it does not really matter which part of your body you exercise in regards to weight loss, since your body moves fat around to compensate for it. Yeah, you will build muscle and volume in the places you exercise, sure, but that won’t make belly fat go away by itself.

        For example, I recently started exercising and dieting and went down from 128kg to 114kg, aiming to be back at 95ish. My belly has reduced a lot, fat too, all around my body. All I did was some intense static bike and dieting, no lifting until a while because I felt embarrassed with my body. In any case, it worked, literally anything works IF you keep up with both diet and exercise.

        • @fastandcuriousOP
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          12 months ago

          Thanks a lot! I think maybe not just abs but just generally having bigger muscles will still make your belly look better, you see dudes with a high amount of body fat but they still have some abs poking through and in general look way better than your average fat guy

          Anyways, good luck on your journey!

          • Fushuan [he/him]
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            22 months ago

            Thank you too! About the feel you have that you “wasted” your time, don’t think like that, you created a habit of exercising and conscious eating, in the long run that’s the hardest part. As others have said, maintaining those habits and slowly increasing the intensity as you feel comfortable with it will always yield results, albeit slowly. For faster results you should go to trainers for sure though. Best wishes with your journey!

  • @givesomefucks
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    132 months ago

    What?

    You “cut” after you “bulk”…

    If you start out and immediately “cut” you’re just trying to lose weight.

    “Bulk” is where you just build muscles. It’s hard to do because muscles are ridiculously inefficient which is why we need to lift weights to get a lot. We have to trick our body into thinking it needs huge inefficient muscles.

    Once you have them, losing fat is easier because every small movement wastes a shit ton of fuel. And fat is fuel.

    Like, it sounds like you picked up some buzzwords, but don’t understand them.

    What/who is your “coach”? Like, are you in a CrossFit gym? Are you a kid doing school weightlifting? Is it an employee at a gym you go to?

    Either way, your best advice is probably whatever you coach says, start listening to them.

    You didn’t even give people your age. No one is going to give as good and relevant advice as the coach who’s already helping. You say you’re really out of shape, which is why the coach put you on machines rather than stuff like bench/squat. You need to build support muscles and get technique down on machines before you hurt yourself on weights.

    If it was fast and/or easy, everyone would be jacked. It’s going to take a while and be difficult

    • @[email protected]
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      82 months ago

      Good Intel here but a super negative vibe. Dude is just asking some questions and he doesn’t need this heat.

    • @fastandcuriousOP
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      52 months ago

      Sry, yeah I was trying to lose weight, but tbh I have always heard people use the term ‘cut’ when giving advice to people who are starting fat

      That being said, if I get literally close to 0 results in 8 months despite working hard and eating well, then I can be sure something is wrong with my training

      Also I had to start on ground zero anyway when I started those compound movements, my form was shit, I might have had the strength (spoiler alert I didn’t) but it didn’t transfer over

      • @KillerTofu
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        42 months ago

        IMHO stick with the compound movements. Read mark riptoes book, pretty much the standard on terms of beginning weightlifting. 5x5 strong lifts is a watered down version and easy to understand and stick to. Take progress pictures for yourself.

      • @[email protected]
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        22 months ago

        Sounds like you haven’t been very clear with your goals.

        What results are you going for? What have you been tracking? What’s your diet look like? What’s your workout routine like? What’s your base caloric needs?

        • @fastandcuriousOP
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          12 months ago

          Honestly my goal is to just get in better shape, yeah getting ripped might be cool but its just too far off, I atleast wanna look fit, the reason I use my strength as an example is because you can be sure that someone who cant bench 60lbs (about 5 months in iirc) confidently isn’t gonna be very good looking, and I am a male

  • @Carnelian
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    132 months ago

    For me it was about 2 months to start seeing subtle changes. After like 8 months I think I was starting to look somewhat “fit”, then after like 1.5 years I think I started to have that “muscular” look

    It sounds like you pretty much figured out what was holding you back. It’s frustrating to feel like you have wasted time, but good on you for pushing through! This stuff is genuinely hard to learn, lots of conflicting advice out there

    • @fastandcuriousOP
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      42 months ago

      Its less frustrating and more disheartening tbh, so much effort for nothing, but I try not to think about it and focus on the present

      • @[email protected]
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        42 months ago

        It’s not for nothing.

        You are piloting a wildly more able, and healthy body now. Fitness health and mobility are a gift. Looking a certain way is just the bow on top.

      • @[email protected]
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        42 months ago

        I’ve been in a similar place with respect to lack of progress and feeling disheartened. Something that helped put some more sweetness into the bittersweet experience of having built a habit but it doesn’t feel like it’s working, is knowing just how significant exercise is for human health.

        My field of study isn’t fitness, but being a scientist and also a nerd meant I rabbitholed into the whole fitness thing when I got frustrated with inaccurate or misleading “bro-science”. There’s a lot we’re still learning about how fitness works, but it seems like something that is basically true (as close to a medical consensus as I’ve ever seen) is that pretty much all humans are healthier with exercise, whether you’re fat or thin or fit or unfit. What exercise level is appropriate varies person to person, obviously (people who are overweight may find swimming easier than running for example), but basically everything you’re doing is fucking gold. My actual field of research is in biochemistry, so I’m most interested in the remodelling that happens at a cellular level, but I cannot state enough how significant getting up and about is. This kind of progress is even harder to measure or notice than muscle mass or body shape, but know that it is happening, and that your efforts aren’t for nought.

  • @Delphia
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    2 months ago

    There’s a lot of really good advice here, even the stuff that seems a little mean. Mine is this… Go full nerd on this shit for 5 months.

    Calculate your macros, weigh your food and track your weight, take a month to figure out your maintenance calories. Then do a 2 month bulk cycle, drop back to maintenance for a few weeks, then a 2 month cut cycle. Take pictures too.

    Supplements in general are a waste of money. The notable exceptions are Creatine, its one of the few ones that show tangible benefits and a good preworkout (I’m up for work at 4am, gym is at 4pm… I need that serious jolt or I’m dogshit) I will say Ive fucked with some PEDs (not steriods but still… I couldnt pass an olympic piss test) but I’m not going to endorse them. Ill give you some candid advice on it if you want to reach out for more info privately.

  • @anarchyrabbit
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    92 months ago

    It depends on your goals. 5x5 is a pretty good program for muscle gain. Nutrition is super important to take in enough and the right stuff.

  • ComradeSharkfucker
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    2 months ago

    <1 month to notice changes but i was underweight when i started and was going daily and developed a schedule with my best friend who is a professional body builder so i think i had an advantage in that regard. Its been roughly 6 months now with some breaks here and there, i look significantly better than i did but realized i wasnt trying to look like my roommate and slowed down to a more reasonable pace for my goals. I started with a massive head start so i’d say you’re probably doing fucking solid for where you are at.

    Dont let other peoples perspectives get to you so much. With consistency you will make it to where you want. Its just a slow process especiially if you’re over weight

  • @[email protected]
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    72 months ago

    I don’t know when I started to look good. It was tricky for me because I had a long history of on again, off again anorexia and bulimia. In practice that meant my default state was quite overweight, and whenever I tried to diet, even if I started out sustainable and steady with the progress, I’d always succumb to the toxicity of my brain. I think in hindsight, the reason why I was never happy with my body when I did lose the weight was because of lack of muscle.

    So that means that when I did actually start lifting, my only goal was to get stronger. Eventually I found myself losing weight because I was in a better headspace and able to improve my eating habits, but that was probably at least a year after I started. I was never able to cope with the bulk/cut cycle, that feels like a fairly advanced “technique” to get right. the weight loss I experienced was in part due to increased muscle mass and activity levels increasing my needed calories and my actual intake being fairly stable, combined with trying to eat more home cooked foods.

    Another thing that delayed my actual strength was that I had a lot of weaknesses in various supporting muscles. It’s probably something you’ve experienced too, if you were on machines for a while. I think I loosely followed strong lifts, but I’m not sure. I had help from the powerlifting society. I had to put a lot of work into flexibility and stability, because it was like I was starting from the plateau, but once I started making proper progress and I understood good form, I improved quickly.

    If I had to give advice to anyone wanting to get strong, I’d say to be stern with yourself about form. Yes, it’s satisfying as hell to see the number go up as you get stronger, but doing it properly is way more efficient in time and effort than letting oneself off with half reps or bad form. It’s one reason why I liked barbell exercises so much, it was much easier to make adjustments to target different muscle groups - little things like having a wider stance for squats, for example.

  • @[email protected]
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    2 months ago

    Honestly the best thing you can do for yourself is cooking and eating a ton of protein and veggies. Every period I’ve made significant progress it’s when I’m cooking stir frys for dinner every night and drinking a ton of milk and eggs and regular protein shakes. Once you gain some muscle, it’s pretty easy to just switch to intermittent fasting or something and shed weight since you have so much base muscle burning calories, but eating enough good, nutrition filled, food to gain that muscle in the first place is the hardest part and the biggest limiting factor to overall progress in my experience / I think that’s probably true for most casual lifters.

  • @[email protected]
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    52 months ago

    It take around 1 year to see any noticeable results. I’m not talking night and day results, just some growth. The result is going to vary depending on where you start and also depends on genetics. Some people build muscles faster than others.

    Results also do not need to be strictly physical, they can be mental as well. As change can be the mentality of managing your health, feeling like moving around is much easier, less pain, etc. The end goal really depends on the program that is set.

    Since your starting point was “a lot of fat” it may be hard to notice physical changes (muscle growth) within that time span. The most obvious changes will be fat lost if dieting and exercising consistently. You may also feel moving around seems much easier. Just keep at it and the results will come as long as your body is being pushed.

    Machines are not a bad starting place, especially if you do not have form. They restrict movement to just focus on the targeted muscle. This can help teach and show you the forms for training each muscle. Form it very important in lifting, more so than weight. This will prevent injury and make training more efficient. Once you are comfortable with the forms then free weights can be an option. Free weights will use more supporting muscles to maintain form, not always the most targeted for specific muscle.

    As for weight lost. Slow and stead is much better in the long run than rapid weight lost. This usually equates to changing how you eat and your habits. Doing so will help you keep the weight off in the long run. A rate of 1 or 2 pounds a week is pretty good.

    Cutting is more so for leaning out fat to make muscles more definitive. You need to build muscles first before you cut. Right now it seems like you are more in the state of getting to a sustainable body weight and forming muscles as you go.

    Growth is always must slower than people make it seem. Its the consistency and hard work long periods later that tends to get notices. Keep it up and before you know it you will get to a more noticeable “he goes to the gym” look. More importantly is you improving your overall health. Best of luck.

    • @fastandcuriousOP
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      2 months ago

      Thanks a lot, I definitely have lost a lot of fat, I look quite skinny with a loose shirt on (my preferred way)(in a surplus rn), however If you look at my arms, you don’t really see any muscle ‘poking’ through, it just looks kinda slappy and I still have a significant belly

      As far as Machines vs free weight compound movements, I like free weights because it generally just feels better to me, and maybe I would have progressed faster, I would have loved if he actually made me just try once

      • @[email protected]
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        2 months ago

        It may not be very noticeable but you are building muscle. Body change is slow but you will get there. Don’t be discourage, you already made gains from weight lost alone, just keep at it and you will hit your goal. It took me a while to see growth in arms but it will come.

        At this point, I will say go try free weights. You have been using machines for close to a year so you should have the general motion down for each exercise. You can try pushing back with your trainer/coach and insist on starting some free weights.

        When using free weights, start light, get comfortable with the motion, then move to more heavy. Try to restrict any extra motion outside of the movement you are working on. If you need to do extra motions to move the weight, go lighter or try negatives. Negatives are the motion of slowly relaxing the muscle. For example, when doing bicep curls, there are two motions, a pull towards you (contracting the bicep) and a release down (relaxing the bicep). Negatives are the relax part of the motion but you relax as slow as possible, let the weight go down as slow as you can. Negatives can help build strength without going through the whole motion.

        Negatives really help with pull ups if you can’t do any. Grab hold of a bar at a high position and as slowly as you can lower yourself down.

  • @Krudler
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    2 months ago

    My personal experience:

    I just took a look at my “Before & After” pictures that span May-Nov 2019. I lost 57Kg of fat and put on about 13Kg of muscle. It was interesting to look back at the slideshow just now!

    Although it is difficult to distinguish the muscles growing vs. the fat shrinking, it looks to me like my increase in muscle mass started to be noticeable from around the 3 month point. By “noticeable” I mean that the “definition lines” started to be visible although major increase in mass isn’t apparent.

    The increase in mass looks like it started around the 4-5 month point, at which point I had progressed past the “do my best” beginner workouts, and had established the required strength, endurance and range of motion to take the next steps, so to speak.

    So I first noticed my strength, endurance, range, and muscular definition increasing, and later noticed the size increase.

    I would like to encourage you to keep at it, and don’t chase results. Do what you’re doing with the goal of being happier, having fewer health complications and pains, a little bit of vanity which is totally fine, and let the rest take care of itself.

    One of the things that can be very defeating is to assume you will have reached an arbitrary goal by an arbitrary time-frame. Try to shift your perspective to realize that you’re doing all the right things, perhaps there’s some efficiency tweaks but that’s another story. Keep going and don’t measure your progress against anybody else but you!

    (I want to acknowledge that my story is not normal. Nobody should ever lose 10Kg+ a month. I’m one of these a__holes that has to do 50% of what most people need to get the same results though and that’s a blessing. I also have digestive and nutrient-absorption issues but I’m not sure how much that plays in.)

  • @[email protected]
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    42 months ago

    What helped for me was to just focus on consistency of activity first and foremost. Making sure I have a consistent 1hr a day fitness plan that I don’t hate, and use a fitness watch to look at streaks over time so you don’t want to break them. For me upper/lower splits every other day helped make sure I get enough core/legs in because I was always skipping leg day. I try to do the major compound movements and supplement with additional stuff if there is time… Pushups, pullups, squats, deadlifts. I’ve also been doing intervals on the exercise bike so 3 min of bike for every 7 minutes of lifting

    I started to see results after a few months, but it’s only recently that I’ve started to pay more attention to what I’m eating. I think it’s good to get the consistent activity down first before you worry about cutting and calorie deficits. That way whatever you’re doing, mentally you know you can do it even if you feel more physically fatigued.

    I also didn’t realize just how much protein I really needed, didn’t see much in the way of results until I started to eat around .8g protein per pound of body weight. Chicken, salmon, low-fat Greek yogurt, egg whites, and some protein bars/shakes… I found it wasn’t that hard to stay around 2000 calories and still eat 160+ g of protein.

    I’m probably going to eventually get a fitness and nutrition coach because my health insurance will likely cover it, just to have additional confidence in what I’m doing.

  • ℕ𝕖𝕞𝕠
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    32 months ago

    After about six weeks I was noticably happier and more energetic. That’s all I needed from it.

  • Monkey With A Shell
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    32 months ago

    Base body shape plays a part, I’m exceptionally tall with a somewhat bell shape to the ribs so unless I was to go full roid monster I’ll probably never look ‘big’.

    More important though is if you carry yourself with a level of self assurance. When I was much more consistent there may not have been the big striated muscles, but I simply felt sure of things. That sense of ‘it may not have happened today, but that next PR target WILL happen’.

    Getting a bit older now has mandated backing off some, things popping that really shouldn’t be, but just personally knowing you’ve put in the effort has a notable impact on other people’s perceptions.

  • daddyjones
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    32 months ago

    I have a weird body where most of my fat is on my torso/face and my limbs are very lean. This means that I see results in my arms quite quickly - they start to develop nicely after not too long. It also means I can train for a long time and see very little benefit in my chest/back/abs because they are covered in stubborn fat.

    I’ve seen significant results in terms of strength gain, without those muscles appearing very different at all.