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I'm male 24. I'm occupied with my office work so I'm trying to minimize the effort in exercise as best as I could. This means that I don't go to the gym, and I don't buy any equipment. The only thing I can do is making it as a habit in a daily basis, and make it harder everyday. In my "definition", a simple plan is a plan that I don't need to remember or look up at all. My current plan follows this formula: "yesterday I did x in exercise 1, y in exercise 2, so today I'm going to do x+1 and y+1". After every 20 days, I add a new exercise, so ultimately I will do every exercise. I only do the workout on a specific time in a day (around 6 pm). I don't have any set, just focus to finish one exercise, then take a rest, then move on to another one.

Since I know this plan is to way simple, so I have set my mind that it can take year(s) for me to see the result, and time frame is not my worry. I haven't changed my diet, because I think it's starting to be complex, and more over I don't eat much fat or fried food. I have been doing this for about two months, and I can see how my body changes via the mirror.

Q: However, when looking down I barely see any different. If I stick to this plan, can my muscle be sharper in the future? Or do I have to take care with my diet, or follow a good program?

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In general, we make exercise a habit, because only through regular training can we expect visual results. Of course, "regular" can mean a lot of things, so we have options.

Definition

When you look down and hope for visual improvements, we call this "definition". In order to achieve this, we need to do two things;

  • grow our muscles

  • remove fat that lies on top of the muscles and hide them

When it comes to the abdominal muscles (stomach, 6 pack), the latter point is usually what holds people back. They can do situps for ever and ever, but if you don't remove the layer of fat that lies on top of it, it will never be visible.

Exercises

There are quite a few exercises you can do without any equipment. For instance, here is a pretty good program that someone made. A couple of my friends have had pretty nice success with this. The idea is that you need to train the entire body, and not just abs and chest (situps and pushups). You need to train back and legs too, so you don't develop any muscular imbalances. That can be very harmful for your back and neck. If you want to keep your simple program, I recommend you to restart it, but this time do all the exercise at once to prevent potentially harmful imbalances.

Diet

Of course, with any beginner, we need to mention diet. It doesn't matter how much you exercise unless you eat properly. If you eat horribly, it can pretty much cancel out your training. Common sense reigns supreme. But if you have any more specific question about diet, you could ask another question on this site. But keep in mind, you have to angle the question towards exercising, because questions purely about diet tend to get closed.

So instead of asking "what should I eat?", instead ask "what should I eat before/after this exercise program?".

Timeframe

We get a lot of people asking why they aren't seeing any visible improvements after 1-2 months. The answer is it simply takes longer. If it only took a couple of months to get ripped, everyone would get ripped. So when someone asks "how long should I train before I get visible results?", I have a simple rule of thumb. A year.

Long story short, you MAY get some results before that, but if you can't stick with it for at least a year, you'll lose the results anyway.

  • thank you so much for your time to answer me. I have edited my question to reflect your answer. Can you come and check it out? – Ooker Jan 1 '16 at 18:01
  • @Ooker - Yeah, I think my answer pretty much covers the way from beginner to having a more defined and toned body (ref. your edited question). – Alec Jan 1 '16 at 19:52
  • So you think that I do have to change my diet to remove the fat? Do I have to follow the guideline or can I stick to my plan? – Ooker Jan 2 '16 at 3:26
  • I don't know what your diet looks like, but if, as you say, you're already pretty reasonable with it, I don't see the problem. – Alec Jan 2 '16 at 3:37
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    @Ooker - Sorry for the late reply. No, I'm not sure I agree with your progression model. Picking and choosing bodyparts you want to train is bound to give you muscular imbalances, which have a record of leading to back problems. You should work out your entire body from the start. – Alec Jan 4 '16 at 7:30

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