There are a mind-blowing number of factors in play when it comes to results. I could subdivide the answer to this question about 400 times in order to properly explain it, but for ease I’ll briefly talk about the Big Five factors that generally determine how quickly you’ll see results across all goals.
1) Genetics – I am actually in the minority of people who usually calls “bullshit” on the genetics excuse, ahem, factor. THere is no doubt that genetics can play a huge role in all aspects of your physical existence, but it should only be used as a guideline to shape your training and lifestyle. Most basically, if you have “good genetics”, you might see results quicker and easier. If you have “bad genetics”, I say prove them wrong. Genetics will never stop you from achieving your goal.
2) Diet & Nutrition – Proper diet & nutrition are essential not only in training, but in life. Without the proper fuel for building and repair, your body can’t possibly get bigger, stronger, more athletic. Similarly, a proper nutrition program can speed up weight loss programs ten fold. Just as bad eating habits could grind it to a halt. If Diet & Nutrition match your goal, you’ll see those results quicker than you might imagine.
3) “Newbie Gains” – This is a term usually thrown about in reference to strength & performance, but realistically applies to every goal. I could present it as the “good news and bad news” of continued training, but it’s more like “good news and..still-good news”. If you’re new to any kind of training, and on the straight & narrow in all areas, you will see measurable results almost immediately. As your body changes, and you get closer to your goal, results might be a little slower. The good part of that “bad news” is that it would mean the gains you are making at that point are taking you to a higher level of fitness than most ever reach. That’s never “bad news”.
4) Training Intensity – I left the next two for last because they are the ones I have the most control over. Intensity is the thing that kills most “home workout” programs and one of the largest benefits of seeing a coach. A good coach should provide a client with an external push, as well as a well informed program design, that will keep intensity higher than the client might do on their own. That intensity is crucial to continued results. In short, the more intense, the quicker the results.
5) Training Regularity – The hands down best way to ensure results, as well as to sped them up, is to stay on a regular training program. Sticking with a training program without missing workouts makes sure that you don’t suffer from a “2 steps forward, 1 step back” effect. Not only do you not have backslides when staying consistent, but it allows you to keep building on previous advances – snowballing your way to your goals!