Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Is Your Body Actually Responding to your Exercises?
Filed In : Articles



They say that when you are on a diet you should not look for results on the scale but rather let the feel of your clothes do the talking. But how do you know if your workout is really getting results? If you wonder how well your workout is working, and if you are really changing your body, ask yourself the following questions:

Are you gaining more strength from your workout?
The simple fact is that you should be able to feel your workout working. After a few weeks you should sense that you are stronger, that lifting the weights is getting easier, that in other areas of your life tasks that involve lifting are simply easier; for example you can pick up that 40 pound bag of dog food more easily.

Do you feel that your stamina has improved?
The same is true of your stamina, every few weeks you should experience a noticeable improvement in your stamina, particularly if you are doing a circuit workout, adding in aerobics, or really doing nice, slow, controlled weight lifting sets. You should notice that you tire less easily walking up stairs or being out for a run. For example, shovelling snow or mowing the lawn should be less tiring than it used to be.

Is your weighing machine still showing the same result?
Even if you do not feel stronger or like you have more stamina, your weight machine should tell the real tale. Keep a log of how many reps and sets you do at what weight and watch as those numbers right. There is no arguing with such improvement.

Have you increased your volume of sets?
Maybe you are not looking to build your muscles up huge, but are more concerned with improving your stamina. In this case, you can note how many reps and sets you are doing and watch as those numbers increase.

Are there any changes in your body measurements?
Keeping track of your body measurements is one no nonsense way to get proof that your workout is making a difference. If you have not yet, measure yourself. Take your weight, measure the size of your waist, hips, chest, thighs and biceps. Then, every six to eight weeks take those measurements again and see which areas are getting tighter and leaner and which are getting bigger and meaner. You can also use the scale and the fit of your clothing to see how your body is changing.

Do you have physiological changes in your body?
While building muscles, feeling strong, and looking great are all wonderful things, being healthy is important too. One way to tell how well your workout is working in improving your health is to watch how your vital signs are changing. For example, get your cholesterol tested, take your blood pressure, check your blood sugar, and even watch things like allergy reactions, fatigue and headaches. Every few weeks take these measurements again (keep a log) and watch for trends. There is a good chance that you will see some really positive changes as those muscles grow.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter (there's also a daily version available). A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.


Leave a Reply

What's This?

Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

images of strength

'Napalm' Jedd Johnson.
Want to see (and learn) more Feats of Strength like this? Dive in.

Just Joined Us? Try These.

There are some incredible writers on the team here. To give you an idea, check these out :

If you enjoyed these, check out the complete ‘Best Of Straight to the Bar‘ list. Fantastic.

setting up a home gym?

If you’re getting ready to put together a solid Home Gym (fantastic thing), here’s how.

For more, swing by the full guide. Absolutely free.

And of course, you’ll find everything you need over in the SttB Strength Store. Massive range.

Ever Tried Kettlebells?

If you’ve seen people using them but never taken the plunge yourself, here are the ones I use personally. You can also pick up a book/DVD/course if you want to learn how to put them to work.

Ready To Learn Even More?

I love learning new skills, and the many seminars & workshops available are a great way to do that. If you’re looking for a specific type of workshop nearby, check out the ones on Dragon Door. Great mix of kettlebell and calisthenics-based offerings.

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program.

If you’re a fitness professional and love the Precision Nutrition approach, check out their certification offering. To say it’s comprehensive is an understatement.

Wherever You Are, We Are.

In addition to the main site, you can share your strength-training passion with a like-minded community on :

Wherever you like to hang out, get your regular dose of strength. Straight to the Bar.

Joseph Green is editor-in-chief and owner at NutraBulk. NutraBulk specializes in the best high quality of bulk supplements for the benefit of everyone’s health. He is also very passionate about researching and writing on various health issues. Be sure to connect with Joseph on Twitter and Facebook for more great health, wellness and fitness information.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.