A common question we come across in the fitness industry is “how long do I need to train/exercise to reach my goal/see improvements?” Whether the goal is returning to play from an injury, getting faster or more explosive in a sport, or losing weight, most people want a specific timeline or amount that they need to do to reach their goals. We can give you a time frame of when you will reach a goal, but the reality is that if you have a goal you will have to continuously put in the work to maintain that goal. If you are a soccer player with an ankle sprain and you only do your ankle rehab exercises until you can play again, chances are you will be back with another ankle sprain and will have to start the process all over again. If you are an athlete who wishes to get faster and more explosive and you stop training once you reach a certain level, your level will slowly drop if you stop training. And if you are a general population client who sets a goal to train x amount of times a week to lose weight and you stop training once you reach your desired weight, chances are you will not be able to maintain that desired weight.

The common theme in these examples is consistency. If you want to see a change you have to be consistent with the process. Reaching goals is the easy part; maintaining them is the tough part. Be consistent in your training to maintain your goals.

Tim Kilpatrick is a certified strength and conditioning specialist at Compete Sport Performance’s Lake Forest facility.