What results can a month at the gym bring?

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With rows and rows of cardio, strength and aerobics training equipment, the large corporate gym is a one-stop shop for all your fitness needs.

Of course, the results you see depend on a few things:

  • what exercise do you do
  • how hard do you push yourself
  • The consistency with which you show up and put in the work

But assuming you’re ready, willing, and motivated to put in the effort…

…after a month of working out, what results can you expect from the gym?

For most beginners, the biggest results of working out in the gym after the first month aren’t physical. While you may notice physical improvements such as a 2-6 lb weight loss and rapid strength gains, the improved focus and improved mood are dramatic and incredibly motivating.

Gyms give you a lot of freedom compared to group fitness classes, but for many fitness beginners, it can be intimidating.

So, with the help of a fitness pro, let’s take a look at what you can expect in your first 30 days in the gym, and provide plenty of tips for getting the best and fastest results along the way.


lose weight

If one of your fitness goals is fat loss, exercise is only one piece of the puzzle.

Making sure you’re eating in a calorie deficit is crucial to seeing weight loss results at the gym.

This means eating fewer calories than your body burns throughout the day, forcing it to use fat reserves for energy.

If you exceed your daily calorie needs, you cannot override a poor diet.

If counting calories isn’t your thing — which can be stressful for some people and lead to other problems — eat nutritious and fresh foods instead. Try to limit the amount of processed and sugary foods you eat each day.

This naturally lowers your calorie intake without having to keep track of every snack and every meal.

The gym is a great place to burn calories and help create a daily deficit.

You can choose from a large variety of cardio equipment, such as treadmills and ellipticals.

But how much weight can you actually expect to lose in the gym after a month of working out?

“For my weight loss clients, I usually plan for them to lose about 1% of their total body weight per week. That’s 1.5 pounds per week, which for a 20-pound person is closer to 150 pounds in three months.

While you can see results in fat loss pretty quickly, you should also pair your cardio with some strength training.

Studies have proven that increasing muscle size can increase the number of calories you burn during the day.

Plus, building and/or maintaining muscle while losing fat will help you develop an impressive physique.

In fact, if you eat well and train in the gym regularly, you can safely lose 2-6 pounds in your first month in the gym.


strength and muscle gain

Maybe losing weight isn’t your main goal at the gym.

Maybe you want to add some muscle and strength for a more athletic and powerful look.

If so, most gyms can accommodate you — but some are better for lifting weights than others.

However, most gyms will at least:

  • Resistance machine
  • light to moderate dumbbells
  • Smith Machine (Power Rack with Guided Barbell Track)

If you’re just starting out, even this basic gear is enough to help you really improve your strength.

And soon.

As a beginner, you can enjoy the so-called “newbie benefit “.

This term refers to your body’s rapid response to muscle and strength building in the beginning stages.

Strength coach Alex Parry recounted the experience, stating:

“Beginners are actually very sensitive to muscle gain in the first few months. It’s not uncommon for complete beginners to gain quite a few pounds/kg of muscle in the first 2-3 months of weightlifting.

However, this rate of improvement won’t last forever, so don’t expect to be the next Mr. Olympia within a year!”

It’s not uncommon to gain 5 or even 10 pounds per workout (think your bench press or squat) at first.

After a month in the gym, you can increase your bench press from an empty 45lb barbell to over 100 lbs!

But again, this rapid progress won’t last forever. After a few months, you won’t notice much change in your muscles.

While you can lose a few pounds a week, the same cannot be said for building muscle.

So, in most cases, you should only expect to gain 1-2 pounds of muscle per month during the first few months of training —even if your strength skyrockets.

The longer you lift, the slower and harder it is to put on new muscle.


cardiovascular endurance

Treadmills, stationary bikes, stair machines, and more—the gym is the perfect place to improve cardiovascular endurance.

However, the most critical factor in improving your endurance is how hard you put in those workouts.

All cardio equipment is programmable, allowing you to choose just the right amount of resistance for your fitness level.

Unfortunately, these settings can also be a downside, as the lowest settings pose little challenge for many bodybuilders.

For many people, the time they spend at the gym is more important than what they’re doing.

While you might think that spending a few hours in the gym will bring more improvement, many fitness experts believe the opposite is true.

After you reach a certain point during your workout, the benefits you get will start to diminish dramatically.

Your body needs time to rest, and pushing it too far can backfire.

“If you work hard and use your time efficiently, it doesn’t take a lot of time in the gym. 30-45 minutes can get you a good workout.

Sticking to a schedule is also an important factor in helping you improve your stamina and overall health.

Alex Parry added:

“Do you consistently stick to your program and recovery plan? As a coach, I can assure you that persistence/consistency is often the biggest factor in one’s success.

Rest days are also one of the basic things that should be included in your daily life.

As a beginner, your body is less used to the stress of frequent, intense cardio. Therefore, a day of rest between workouts is generally recommended.

As you continue to use a variety of cardio equipment, you’ll notice your fitness start to improve.

For example, treadmill settings that were once too fast are now available for you to manage.

It’s hard to measure your fitness like you measure strength, but as a complete beginner, you’ll see progress in the gym fairly quickly.

For example, if you’re starting from scratch, it may take as little as 2 weeks to run a mile or as long as 9 weeks.

If you want to see improvements in your aerobic activity, remember to keep increasing the intensity, but be sure to do it slowly if needed.

Pushing yourself too early can lead to injury and push yourself back into progress.


Agility, mobility, and flexibility

For gyms offering group classes, teaching yoga, Pilates, or ballet classes, flexibility will be an even greater focus.

However, flexibility and mobility are often afterthoughts in many people’s fitness routines.

While you may not be focusing directly on improving your flexibility, some of the exercises you do will indirectly help your mobility.

For example, Pilates instructor Gemma O’Hare mentioned the mobility advantages of going to the gym, saying:

Beginners may see improvements in mobility and technique as they begin to master the basics of the hinge and squat movement .”

To reduce your chances of injury and feel better overall, spend some time at the gym stretching and moving.

If you avoid flexibility training, your body will become stiffer as you add more muscle.

Your stretching routine doesn’t have to be in-depth, but taking 10-15 minutes after your workout can keep you injury-free.

Plus, if you take a group fitness class with an experienced trainer, you’ll notice an improvement in your mobility.

Mobility and flexibility are not easy to track for improvement in most cases.

However, you may notice that you can perform certain exercises more easily, or that you no longer need to use aids during fitness classes.


Thoughts, emotions and overall energy

While you’ll notice physical improvements if you stick to your fitness routine, you’ll notice mental benefits as well.

No matter what type of training you do, you’ll start to feel more energized and improve your mood.

Pilates instructor Gemma O’Hare mentions how the mental benefits of exercise can help people stay motivated, which can be difficult for beginners:

“While it may take a while to see physical changes, internal changes can make a huge difference in staying motivated. Beginners can begin to experience positive changes in their physical health within a few weeks.

When you combine exercise routines with a balanced diet, you’ll notice the biggest improvements in your focus, energy, and how well you feel each day.

Your physical progress will also increase your confidence and self-esteem.

If you choose to take a group fitness class hosted by the gym , you will also enjoy the benefits of being part of the fitness community.

A community setting improves your discipline and makes you look forward to your next class.

You’ll even notice the benefits while you sleep after a rigorous workout at the gym.

The quality of your sleep will improve, which means improvements in every area of ​​your life. Sleep is crucial in fitness and helps you recover from strenuous exercise routines.


Summarize

Gyms are open all day (and sometimes overnight!), and anyone can find time to work out a few times a week.

Not to mention, the large gym gives you a lot of flexibility and all the equipment you need to build strength, cardio, athleticism, or whatever your goal is.

As for the results, you’ll see when you go to the gym for a month (and beyond)…

As a beginner, you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week and only gain a few pounds of muscle per month. If you’ve been sedentary before, your mood, sleep, and energy levels will improve almost immediately.

In the end, the most important part is to be consistent and look for long-term results, not quick fixes.

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