Need a reality check? What are realistic expectations? How long will it take me to build a better body?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2010 4:38 PM GMT
    Just started working out, have a solid routine, eat healthy......

    Just had my measurements taken at the gym - not great but they are reality.

    I work out 5 days a week (Mon, Tue,Thur, Fri, Sat) and do cardio 3 x week.

    I am seeing results. How long before I see substantial gains?

    I am thinking that it will take me about 1 year to transform my body to be the best that it can be.

    Am I unrealistic or overly optimistic?

    I am hoping that the men on this site can provide me realistic expectations of how long it will take for me to transform my body from what it is today to being an equal with most of the men on this site.

    Having realistic expectations will help keep me motivated.

    Thanks for all your help.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2010 7:40 PM GMT
    You should start to see some real changes after 3 months, more substantial after 6-9, after a year you should have different clothes sizes, but it will take 5-10 years to get where you can be, depending on how regular you are in your work outs and diet and your genetic potential. Some of us change faster, some slower. Some have got a lot of potential, others less. But the secret is to be constant. Take pics every 3 months. You will be pleasantly surprised by the changes and it will motivate you.
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    Aug 22, 2010 8:47 PM GMT
    Hey LostBoy:

    Thanks for the information. Really helpful in setting realistic expectations.

    Have read a lot of information on goal setting. Some information sources claim that I can become Superman in six-months if I follow their training program for only 4 payments of $49.99 while other information sources tell me that I cannot see any real gains because I am not 21. There are also some guys in my age bracket (40+) that claim the use of bio-identical hormones and anti-aging junk will make me feel like I am 21 again and give me the gains that I want. I have no interest in taking any of this stuff.

    Tons of misinformation out there. Thanks for your input. I will take progress pics every three months to motivate me.

    TKS!


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    Aug 22, 2010 10:05 PM GMT
    You're my identical size and weight when I started exercising last December. Got down to 185 by Feb, and have been holding that weight since then while building muscle to replace the remaining fat to prevent saggy skin.

    It can be done. It can be done quick. It can also be done too quick. Pace yourself and enjoy the ride. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 22, 2010 11:45 PM GMT
    I lost 18 pounds in 2 years. At 5' 11" (and shrinking) I went from 215 to 197. My routine and a pic done this month are up on my profile, so you can check it out. No stretch marks or sagging skin at that pace. The thing is, I set out to enjoy my time at the gym and to stay strong and healthy--no other end point in mind. That means I won't be "done" at some particular point and then stop going (or start pigging out on unhealthy food). I weigh myself because the gym has a good scale and I get curious, but no beating myself up over it when it doesn't go my way. I see my time in the gym as a life-long journey, not a destination.

    If you get over anxious for results, you may find yourself disappointed and that usually leads to slip-ups where you skip the training, eat or drink bad stuff, or all of the above.

    Remember, one small change can really add up over a year. An example of adding something bad for you: start eating a donut a day at work and don't change anything else and you will find an additional 25 pounds on your middle at the end of the year. An example of adding something good for you: I used to be an avid runner back when the joints could take it, and I just added a 0.4 mile jog on days that alternate with gym days. Don't know yet what all this will do for me, but I am enjoying it and looking forward to finding out.

    RJ is real motivation for me and can be for you as well. Keep reading and keep us posted.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2010 11:48 PM GMT
    My body type is in another extreme, but I agree with Lostboy that this is a long term project. I'm giving myself a 10 years deadline. I only update my pictures once in a year.

    I recommend this link if you want some info on how much muscle mass you can gain per week: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_truth_about_bulking
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    Aug 22, 2010 11:49 PM GMT
    It will take you longer, of course, than a 21-year-old. I know that I am as fast and strong as I was at 21, but the on-ramp is way longer.

    You don't need supplements or hormones; they are short-cuts, by the way, and not necessarily a bad thing, but they are expensive. You may also feel after using them that you haven't "earned" it in the same way that working hard and gaining it "old-school" will make you feel about yourself. However, that's a moral issue for yourself.

    You'll get serious muscle if you have serious contraction on serious weights. Have a trainer get you to the right spot, and warm up, feed, rest and hydrate sufficiently to stay safe and mobile. Starting slowly, with perfect technique, posture and stance will prevent the most injury and maximize the amount of time you can spend at it. Rushing will only cause injury, and at your age, heh heh, time isn't on your side, so use it wisely.
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    Aug 22, 2010 11:54 PM GMT
    ...there is some great advice here from other RJers

    - the good thing is that you are starting from a good base - you have the frame from genetics (broad shoulders, big chest, great legs) - to really build on.

    Nothing succeeds like hard work in building a healthier and more muscular body - and you sound really motivated.

    Exercise, diet, rest/sleep and keep hydrated - all these are important elements.

    A qualified personal trainer - even to get you on track so you minimise injury risk - is a good start.

    Good luck with it all..
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    Aug 23, 2010 1:22 PM GMT
    THANKS Everyone!

    Really appreciate the feedback and insight.

    Made me think about my approach, goals, the works....

    I'll put up a pic in three months and show you what i have accomplished.

    Cheers!
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    Aug 29, 2010 5:49 AM GMT
    I'd only add that all things healthy, you'd see results in a matter of months.

    As intangible as it is, think about how long it took you to GET out of shape? It takes roughly the same amount to get in shape.
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    Aug 29, 2010 6:18 AM GMT
    You don't look half bad now icon_smile.gif
    I suppose though if you're thinking how long till you look like some of those guys on your hotlist... a few years but if you keep up at your current pace in a year from now folks are definitely going to be commenting on the new you. And you know how fast a year goes the older you get, too fast, but in some cases that ain't a bad thing.
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    Aug 31, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    Beneful1You don't look half bad now
    I suppose though if you're thinking how long till you look like some of those guys on your hotlist... a few years but if you keep up at your current pace in a year from now folks are definitely going to be commenting on the new you. And you know how fast a year goes the older you get, too fast, but in some cases that ain't a bad thing.



    Thanks for the kind words!

    The guys on my hotlist are my long-term goals. Potentially I can look like one and maybe even have one!

    Take Care.
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    Sep 01, 2010 1:36 PM GMT
    ozmuscle2 said...there is some great advice here from other RJers

    - the good thing is that you are starting from a good base - you have the frame from genetics (broad shoulders, big chest, great legs) - to really build on.

    Nothing succeeds like hard work in building a healthier and more muscular body - and you sound really motivated.

    Exercise, diet, rest/sleep and keep hydrated - all these are important elements.

    A qualified personal trainer - even to get you on track so you minimise injury risk - is a good start.

    Good luck with it all..


    I've been doing this a little over three years, started as a kind of therapy to help get over some really serious, er, "bad lifestyle choices." Around the same age as you, and around 190-200lbs.

    I have to second the suggestion for a qualified personal trainer. When I started I worked with this guy who was into it like a science and from him I learned correct form and how to _feel_ that I was hitting the muscles I wanted with each movement. For everyone this is important; for guys our age it's critical. You start slamming around weights not knowing what you're doing and you're going to hurt yourself and it can take months to heal - or if you're unlucky it will be something in your shoulder or lower back and then you're basically fucked for the rest of your life.

    Because I was also able to cop the attitude of "whatever he tells me I can do I can do" I learned that where I would stop on my own, thinking I couldn't do any more for that set, was actually a couple of reps before I really had to stop. Since you make gains when you push the muscles to complete failure, learning that complete failure is not where you think it is will make a huge difference every time you work out.

    As far as having goals, for me that's never been productive. To me this is a lifestyle. I work out as often as my body will allow, I eat balanced healthy meals and make sure I get protein every two or three hours and my body responds the way it will based on my genetics. To be honest its unlikely that you will ever look like the two guys you list in your profile. You're not their age and you probably don't have their basic physical structure and shape. But you _will_ look good in a way that's natural for _you_ and watching yourself develop is (to me) fun. And it's just dealing with reality which means no disappointments.

    Good luck, you're going to enjoy it icon_smile.gif
  • jeepguySD

    Posts: 651

    Sep 01, 2010 1:52 PM GMT
    Lostboy saidYou should start to see some real changes after 3 months, more substantial after 6-9, after a year you should have different clothes sizes, but it will take 5-10 years to get where you can be, depending on how regular you are in your work outs and diet and your genetic potential. Some of us change faster, some slower. Some have got a lot of potential, others less. But the secret is to be constant. Take pics every 3 months. You will be pleasantly surprised by the changes and it will motivate you.


    I think Lostboy is right on the money here. I started working out in October 2006. I saw good gains in the first six months, and great gains by the 1 year mark. After that it slowed down. I continued to improve now, but much more slowly. See my embarrassingly "before" photo to gauge the changes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 01, 2010 3:45 PM GMT
    I lost 25 pounds (15% body fat to 5%) in 6 months. Also you can expect to gain 5 pounds of lean body mass a year, assuming you lift heavy and eat right.
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    Sep 02, 2010 1:34 AM GMT
    Thanks for all your advice!

    I have made significant changes to my approach based on the advice presented in this forum.

    I am no longer focusing on specific goals per say. Instead, I have adopted a lifestyle that will provide me the opportunity to build my best possible body based on my genetics.

    When I first started working out, I had hired a personal trainer but I was unhappy with him so I axed him believing that I could teach myself how to lift, train etc... by reading books, credible websites, watching videos (Ridgeline Fitness i really like) ... I am now searching for a knowledgeable trainer in the Metro Boston region.

    Have started to eat really healthy, just started on the 2100 calorie diet that I found on the RJ website/

    Doing cardio (treadmill) for 30 minutes....

    As for the rest - not happening - burning candle at both ends trying to re-launch my consulting business, teaching entrepreneurship .... I now know how important the rest component of my new lifestyle is so I am starting to make changes.

    Once Again - Thank you all for you advice, encouragement and insight. Much appreciated!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2010 1:37 AM GMT
    Never... there's no hope for you..... end troll/