Iâ€™m two weeks into my boot camp commitment. If youâ€™ve been reading for a long time, you know that I have always struggled to do any type of strength training regularly. Cardio? Give me cardio! I can do it all day long (metaphorically speaking, of course). But lifting weights? Crunches? Squats? UGH. I would rather run another mile.
Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m so excited about this boot camp. I LOVE IT. For the first time ever, Iâ€™m actually looking forward to strength training. We do a mix of activities â€“ body-weight workouts like push-ups and squats but also dynamic power moves that require weights and sand balls and other fun pieces of equipment. The classes are so hard, and Iâ€™m always left dripping sweat. Plus, the atmosphere is great. I was really hesitant to try this boot camp; for years, Iâ€™ve watched the classes from the sidelines and (for some reason) assumed it would be super cliquish and that the instructors would be unfriendly hard asses. But itâ€™s anything but! The people are all so nice; everyone introduces themselves to people they donâ€™t recognize, and we all cheer each other on. It is great!
I am really excited about becoming stronger, too. â€œStronger every dayâ€ is my current mantra, and I try to use it to guide everything I do, both fitness-, diet-, and life-wise. What makes me stronger? What helps me get to my goals? Even if I can only do something small, what positive efforts can I make? I really enjoy this mindset because it keeps me focused without feeling overwhelmed.
Anyway â€“ on Wednesdayâ€™s class, I asked the instructor, â€œHow long does it take to see results?â€ If Iâ€™m going to do 100 weighted squats, I want to know when Iâ€™m going to start seeing â€“ and feeling â€“ the benefits! She paused, thought about it, and said, â€œIt takes most people 3 â€“ 6 months to see a real transformation.â€ She wasnâ€™t just talking about weight loss; she was talking about strength and power, too.
Ever since then, Iâ€™ve been thinking about how long it takes to see results using a lot of different measurements. Here are different ways to measure progress â€“ which have you tried?
How your clothes fit â€“ pants around the waist, arms of sweaters, whether your rings get loose
How many modifications you have to do to get through a workout class
How many sit-ups, push-ups, or squats you can do in a row
How heavy your weights are
How many miles you can run / laps you can swim / etc
How fast you can run / swim / etc
Whether you need to take breaks during your cardio or not
How hard every day activities feel â€“ going up the stairs, unloading groceries, picking up your kids
Iâ€™m currently using the â€œhow hard every day activities feelâ€ and â€œhow many modifications do I needâ€ gauges. I canâ€™t get through an entire boot camp without some changes, especially when doing ab work. Iâ€™d love to be able to rock out the moves just like our instructors do! Maybe in a few monthsâ€¦
What other measurements are there to track workout progress? Why do you like using that measurement technique?