Now that we’re coming up to 50,000lbs lost through MAN v FAT Football, we’re pretty proud that we’ve helped so many men lose weight and get fitter. Every day we hear of players who have done stuff they would never have thought possible before joining and losing weight – they run marathons, play 24-hour charity football matches and undertake gruelling fitness challenges. It’s extremely inspiring to those of us who are um, how shall we put it…aerobically-challenged. 

Even if you’re not going to be giving Usain Bolt a run for his money yet (fnarr), it’s likely that your fitness levels are improving in little ways you might not even notice. So you’re not running marathons – you’re putting the work in and the good results will undeniably follow, and for that you should be proud. We asked former British wrestling champion turned personal trainer and all round fitness fanatic Keith McNiven for the tell-tale signs that your fitness levels are improving…

You have more energy

“One of the best things about consistently working out is that it gives you more energy every single day and it 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 all 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.”

You’re able to do more

 

“Whether you’re squatting, running on the pitch, bench pressing or doing stomach crunches, you’ll notice that as your fitness improves, so will your repetitions. While 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. Give yourself a pat on the back when you notice you can do more than you could before because it’s a sure marker of progress.”

You’ll actually look 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 types of exercises and so many people in the gym who seem to know exactly what they’re doing that it can be quite 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.”

You’ll be able to lift more

“If you’re going to the gym it’s likely you’re doing some form of weight training, whether that be using weighted machines, free weights or a barbell. You’ll notice that you’re lifting your usual weights more easily and you might even need to lift or work with heavier weights to feel the same tension that you’re used to getting from your workout. This is an amazing sign and it means you’re rapidly getting fitter.”

You’ll exercise for longer

“Cardio is a great way to really see the improvement in your fitness levels. From power walking to jogging, rowing to working on the cross trainer, there are a number of ways to implement cardio into your routine. When your fitness levels are on the up, you’ll be able to engage in cardio for longer than you could before. 

This could mean running for 5 minutes instead of 3, rowing 10 times instead of 7, climbing 40 floors instead of 30 or just simply not getting out of breath when walking up the stairs. What was once a great struggle will suddenly become a little easier, and you’ll find yourself pushing harder to maxmise your workout.”

When your fitness levels improve, you may also see changes in your body. Whether your clothes fit a little better or your colleagues notice that you’ve got a little more get up and go, be sure to applaud yourself for every small change associated with your hard work. Fitness journeys aren’t easy, but they’re definitely worth it – so stick with it, be consistent and most importantly, have fun.