When you start a workout routine it can be incredibly tough to keep yourself motivated, to stay on track and to maintain regular exercise. When you’re used to looking at your body in the mirror every day, it can be difficult to see changes in your physique and you might not notice your fitness improving gradually. It can be disheartening to feel like you’re not seeing results, but trust us, if you put the work in then good results will undeniably follow. Your body will reward you for working hard, and you’ll see changes.
To help you see if keep track of your progress, Personal Trainer, British & National Wrestling Champion and Owner of Right Path Fitness, Keith McNiven, has given us 5 signs that your fitness level is improving (and none of them involve the bathroom scale!):
1. ENERGY LEVELS
One of the best things about consistently working out is that it gives you more energy every single day and can help you feel fantastic. Exercising not only releases endorphins which make you feel on top of the world, but it helps to refresh your energy levels and keep you energised throughout the day. You’ll be able to tell that your fitness levels are improving as waking up in the morning becomes easier, you’re no longer desperate for that extra cup of coffee and you find yourself feeling less and less tired throughout the day - especially on days where you’ve managed to fit in a workout.
2. MANAGE MORE REPITITIONS
Whether you’re squatting, bench pressing, sprinting or doing stomach crunches, you’ll notice that as your fitness improves, so will your repetitions. Whilst you may have struggled to manage one burpee at the start of your fitness journey, a few weeks down the line you may find yourself managing 5 with ease. Fitness is about marginal gains, consistent work and pushing yourself. Be sure to notice when you’re managing that extra repetition in the gym and to give yourself a pat on the back, because that means your fitness level is improving.
3. LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR WORKOUT
Exercising can be a daunting task for absolutely anyone - let alone those who are relatively new to the world of fitness. There are so many different machines and exercises, combined with plenty of people in the gym who seem to know exactly what they’re doing, so it can be intimidating. However, once you get into a routine and figure out what works for you, what you like to do and how to workout to suit your body, you’ll begin to look forward to your workouts. You’ll start to associate working out with feeling great and seeing results - and that’s when you know you’re getting fitter.
4. HEAVIER LIFTS
We’re sure that you’ll have come into contact with some form of weights in the gym. Whether you’re using weighted machines, free weights or a barbell for more complex weightlifting moves, it’s incredibly common to implement some form of weight training into your workout. As your fitness level improves, you’ll notice that you’re lifting your usual weight more easily, and you might even need to lift or work with heavier weights to feel the same tension that you’re used to from your workout. This is an amazing sign and it means that you’re getting fitter - rapidly too!
5. LONGER WORKOUTS
Cardio is a great way to really see your fitness levels improving. From power walking to jogging, rowing to working on the cross trainer, there are a number of ways to implement cardio into your routine. To put it simply, when your fitness levels are improving, you’ll be able to engage in cardio exercises for longer than you could before. You’ll find yourself able to run 5 minutes instead of 3, row 10 instead of 8 or perhaps climb 40 floors instead of 30 on the step machine. What was once a struggle will suddenly become a little easier, and you’ll find yourself pushing harder to maximise your workout.
When your fitness levels are improving, you may also see some changes in your body. Whether your clothes fit a little better or your colleagues notice a glow about you - be sure to applaud yourself for every small change associated with your hard work. Fitness journeys aren’t easy, but they sure are worth it - so stick with it, be consistent and most importantly of all, have fun.
About the Author:
Keith McNiven has been involved in sports and training for over 18 years. He is a highly accomplished freestyle wrestler – previously winning both British & English Championship titles. He is the Director of Right Path Fitness.