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Dear Cassey: How do I know my workouts are working?
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July 14, 2021

Dear Cassey,

I am currently trying to embark on a fitness journey. I went through different kinds of exercise and now stuck with what I feel works for me, which is a morning walk and your 28 Days Beginner Workout Program.

However, I do have this nagging question in my mind: How do I know that my exercises/workouts are working?

I don’t really know what to look for except looking for any body changes, or mood/energy changes, and I honestly am not really sure if that is even what I should be looking for.

To add on, one of the reasons why I stay motivated with exercising is that I feel chubby lately, and I would like to get in shape, tone my body or slim it down, and just be confident in it. So, I would really like to know what I should be looking for to know if my exercise/workout journey is working.

If you have any advice for me, it would really help me stay more motivated to continue with this journey.

Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

A Little Lost Fitness Beginner

Hey A Little Lost,

I LOVE this question. Because yes, the most obvious sign that exercise is “working” is seeing our bodies change. But that takes time, so how do we stay motivated in the meantime and HOW do we know what we’re doing is actually working and we’re not wasting our time and energy?! Here are some sure signs that your workouts are working.

1. You enjoy your workout.

Yayyy you can check this off the list! I’m so happy that you already found a routine that you enjoy. And yes, that is a sign that your workout is “working!” Why? because getting all of the other benefits of exercise starts with looking forward to your workout. It’s really hard for some people to find this!

2. You feel better.

You mentioned mood changes, and you’re absolutely right. Working out helps you feel happier and more calm and grounded. You’ll think more clearly and it will be easier to concentrate. You might notice that you sleep better and handle stress better too. Oh! Another big one is feeling like you have more energy.

You will “feel better” physically too. A big sign that exercise is doing good things for you is better mobility. Maybe you won’t feel as stiff and achy, or you’ll notice you’re more flexible when you stretch. You’ll feel lighter and move more freely!

3. You feel stronger.

At some point, you’re gonna do a workout and think, “hmm, I could probably do a few more reps/use heavier weights/walk longer than usual/etc.” IT WILL HAPPEN. This is my favorite sign that my workouts are working. I loooove realizing that what felt hard to me a few weeks or months ago now feels kinda easy.

That’s the addictive part of exercise for me. It keeps me motivated more than anything else!

Always keep your eyes and mind open to those opportunities to challenge yourself! No matter how small – they’re signs of growth!

4. Physical changes.

I saved this for last, because it usually takes the longest to notice. It takes consistency, courage to keep challenging yourself, and good nutrition to see big physical change. Using the other 3 changes we talked about will keep you motivated for the journey!

Remember that “physical changes” don’t just mean the scale. Your weight doesn’t tell your story! Take progress photos every few weeks or months and watch how your body subtly changes. Also, pay attention to how your clothes may fit differently.

You said that in the past, feeling “chubby” is what motivated you to exercise. And you’re definitely not alone! I used to do this too. But if you wait for the physical changes and ignore all of the other super important good things that come from exercise, you’ll never see what’s “working.” And trust me, if you’re moving and enjoying it, it’s working!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

40 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: How do I know my workouts are working?”

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  1. Absolutely! Within three to six months, an individual can see a 25 to 100% improvement in their muscular fitness providing a regular resistance program is followed.

  2. anonymous says:

    Dear Cassey,
    First of all, I’m a huge fan! I love your glowing positivity and beautiful aesthetics in your workout videos. They always deliver! I was wondering if you have any advice for girls who want to DECREASE the size of their butt. I know it’s really popular to have a large behind right now, but I don’t like it on my body. I think that if there’s something you do/don’t like about your body that goes contrary to current “trends,” it’s good to work towards your own goal because then you’re really doing it for yourself and no one else. But I don’t know what kind of exercise is good for decreasing butt size. I’ve heard that cardio is good, but I don’t seem to see much of a difference. I’ve heard that cutting calories is helpful, but I can’t do this much as a teenager with a rocky history with my relationship with food. Also, it seems to slow down my metabolism to cut back much. I’m afraid of “building” or “toning” that area because I seem to bulk up instead of lean out. I want to be strong AND lean, if that’s possible. Any advice from you, Cassey, would mean a lot! Again, I’m a big fan and I really love your channel and look up to you!

    Sincerely,
    Against the Trend

  3. Gauri Seth says:

    Hi Cassey,

    I have been following you for more than a year now. I love your workouts. Even though I mix your workouts with some yoga, walking, dance, etc. it was your workouts that motivated me to workout in the first place. For the first time in life I am now very regular with exercising.

    I am Indian and wheat, white rice is a very big part of my diet. As much as I have come to know my body in terms of working out I am very confused about my diet. I know I have to work on sugar intake as thats my biggest vice but I am not sure I can eliminate rice and wheat completely from my diet. I am very lost when it comes to what to eat and what not to eat. Same with alcohol. Although I dont drink a lot but I do enjoy wine over the weekend with my husband. I am not sure if that is okay or not.

    Can you please advise whats a good place to start or how can I incorporate everything in my diet and still have a balance?

    Thank you Cassey & I love you 🙂

  4. Nahee says:

    Dear Cassey,
    Can calories count time? I’ve been thinking about this all day, and I can’t seem to see or tell if this whole “eating late at night will make you gain weight” thing is a myth, or just one of those things that can’t be explained but work.
    honestly I’m writing this because i want that ben and jerry’s ice cream thats two feet away from me.
    Thanks 😀

  5. Jedi says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I love your energy and everything you do, your page motivates me unfortunately nothing I have done so far has enabled me to be consistent with workout I always get bored after a few days, please help

  6. Eleanor Morrison says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I’m a dancer about to start dance college in September. I want to start pilates as I’ve heard it’s good for dancers to get stronger, but I don’t really know where to start. What would you recommend would be the best place for a dancer like me to start (preferably starting a bit slower then gradually getting harder) within the Blogilates workouts?
    Kind regards
    Eleanor Morrison

    1. blogilates says:

      Hi Eleanor! The Beginner’s Calendar is a great place to start!! Love that you’re a dancer, you’ll love Pilates!!

  7. Diana says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I’ve been working out with a personal trainer 1-2 times a week for 6 months. I’m enjoying the workouts and know I am getting stronger, but my body is not changing in the way that I want it to. I’m gaining muscle, but not losing any fat, so I just keep getting thicker and thicker but I want to be leaner and toned. My diet is healthy with lots of fruits, veggies, and grains with the occasional cookie etc as a treat. What am I doing wrong?

  8. Era says:

    Hey Cassey!
    I’ve seen multiple people and fought this same battle over and over again… but any advice on how I could get out of an unhealthy habit? I’ve been going in and out of my binge-eating habit. I’ve got medical and professional help in the past, but nothing seems to be really working/helping me. I know this is not work-out related, but I can’t keep my weight off because of binge-eating.

    Thanks!

  9. Jo says:

    Dear Cassey,

    First of all, I want to say that I love your workouts, your energy and your attitude! when I find the time to exercise, I alway choose to do so with you, so thank you so much!

    I actually have 2 questions, hopefully that’s okay!

    First, do you know any exercises that build wrist strength? I find my biggest struggle during quite a few of the floor workouts is my wrists getting very sore and tired very quickly.

    Second, I work in the restaurant industry, which means I am on my feet, walking or running for 8-12 hours a day, sometimes hitting 9 miles just from walking at work. Because of this, I find that I am so exhausted outside of work that getting in a workout – even 20 minutes – seems like such a struggle. And while walking maintains my body at its current state, I want to keep my muscle tone and build more, and the only way to do so is workouts. I was just wondering if you have any tips and tricks that you use to motivate yourself on your really tired days.

    Sincerely,
    Tired but Trying

  10. Beba says:

    Dear Cassey, I just wanted to say thank you
    During this 2-year-craziness, with full days spent on online courses/hard study sessions/exams/stressful lonely feelings, I felt like I needed a change in my life. I didn’t like my body (despite being thin and people telling me I am beautiful), I felt depressed as I looked at myself at the mirror, blaming myself for not having a boyfriend or just a guy I was liked by (now I think, is that really, you know, THAT important?). Then, in Dec 2019 I came across your IG profile and soon got excited about starting something new in my life, just for myself. I downloaded your app and decided to start the 21 day tone program. At the beginning it was very hard – Until that moment I really spent whole years basically sitting on a chair and studying- but when I managed to end the first week I was like “well, it wasn’t that bad”. And then the other two! I finally felt like myself, even if I still had some improvement to make, but for the first time after a long, low-self esteem period of my life, I truly felt beautiful. And strong. And willing to go on with that – which I did.
    From that day I did your amazing workouts almost every single day, changed some of my nutrition habits (also found out I’m celiac other than lactose intolerant) and now feel GREAT.
    Just wanted to say, thank you. Thanks to your energy, and the passion you convey, my pandemic and stressful days went by so fast. Even my concentration improved (everyone was home so, you know, not easy!). My university exams went very well!

    Who cares if I don’t have many friends, or a boyfriend. Gonna be honest, sometimes it’s hard – but the truth is that I just don’t suit on everyone, and that’s okay. We are all different, I know what I am looking for, and I will not compromise with any relationship that doesn’t involve respect, reciprocal support, loyalty.
    So, that’s it. I send you a hug from Italy ❤️

    P.s I also got my bsc in Biology, and am currently studying for my Msc in Molecular biology, always (and sadly) from home.
    Every time you post about the strict rules you were raised with, I see a lot of similarities with myself!

    Keep on fighting, everyone!

    Love,

    Beba

  11. Sarah says:

    Dear Cassey, I started to work out with you a few months ago and I love it! I lost weight, I got toned and more confident. I have a question though: So you have any advice how to get rid of the little wobbly part of belly around my belly button? Sometimes I think now I have extra skin left from my bigger belly…

    Thanks a lot
    Sarah

  12. anonymous says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I used the past year really trying to figure out what work outs work and finally in early this year I found what works, a quick 30-40 minute run/walk and some sort of muscle toning video from you! This was all going well and although I was not losing any weight by the numbers, I felt stronger, my muscles were toner, and a lot of my clothes fit better! But then some big changes happened, I moved and for the past couple months since I have moved I felt no motivation to work out. I felt no reason to work out and with that I see my body going back to the way it was. I wanted to ask you, how do you get yourself back into the routine after months of failed attempts to get back?
    Sincerely,
    A Lost Traveler

  13. VDubs says:

    I just want to leave this for the folk who want to give up because it’s been a year or more of pushing and pushing and your body just isn’t “doing what you want it to do”. Just let go of control. When I stopped doing the workouts I “should” be doing to grow my butt, slim my thighs and get a six pack I really mentally and physically started to enjoy my workouts and came back to Cassey’s videos. (Sorry Cassey I betrayed you for all those typical boring fitness videos). I was not seeing the results or feeling great. Once I started doing what I loved to do (Cassey’s workouts) I didn’t care about how big my butt got, I mean honestly, I kept the muscle I gained and grew a bit more! I started to eat accordingly to what my body told me to eat. Not how much protein I should eat which left me feeling bloated and miserable and I kept holding onto stubborn fat and wasn’t gaining muscle. Hilariously my body wanted more carbs, like rice, quinoa, oats and fresh fruits and veg, not chicken, egg whites blah blah blah. I started eating tablespoons of nut butters like I used to and felt better, inside and out. And while my sleep as improved, my overall mental state and I’m stronger than ever post two thrombectomies! I don’t care as much about growing that booty, or slimming those thighs. Or getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. It all just kind of happened a tiny bit at a time. It’s still a work in progress, but I hope anyone reading this knows that YOUR BODY IS NOT BROKEN. It’s your mindset. Once you fix that, once you really help get tht stress your mind is doing to you under control and focus on feeling better inside and out, you will see results. More than what you expected.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi Cassey,
    A few weeks ago, I started going way off my routine. I started snacking a lot of junk food and eating way off track. I also completely gotten off of exercise and my other healthy habits. I just feel completely unmotivated because I’m a person that likes to accomplish things and with summer in the way with nothing to do, it’s a big struggle. I feel fat and terrible. Please let me know how to get back on the routine and start feeling great again!

  15. Ellie Bunting says:

    Hi Cassey, Ive been wanting to ask you this question for quite some time now, but should I work out on my period? Like when I try to do my usual workout it always feels so uncomfortable. I like to workout and don’t want to let my period get in the way of that but sometimes, i just get so angry and so annoyed that I can’t do it and I have no motivation to do it.

    Yours sincerely,
    A Scared But Strong Af Woman

  16. Jamie Johnson says:

    Great advice Cassey!! So true!! Looking forward to wo’s and challenges are just some of the fun parts of embarking on a fitness journey. It’s a lifestyle change that liberates you to do so much more! And scales lie. Period.

  17. Anne Dheming says:

    Hi Cassey, I’m a huge fan of your workouts, however when doing ab workouts you need to engage the core but how do I engage the core and how do you know when your core is engaged?

  18. Really very helpful blog for all those who quit doing workouts just because they think their workouts are not working.

  19. Broken toe says:

    Dear Casey, I tripped up the stairs the other day and broke my big toe and will not be able to walk or exercise the way I used to for quite a while. Any idea what I can do until then? Any just arm exercises? I’m really worried being inactive will make me gain weight and I’m not sure what to do.

  20. Nlw T says:

    Hello Casey,

    I have a problem and I don’t know where to turn for answers.
    I’m 28 years old, I exercise a lot (about 2 hours a day) where I do an average of 10 to 20 minutes of cardio and then strengthen with a few weights.
    5 years ago I had problems with my diet, never anorexia or bulimia but I was obsessed. And I am still a little bit even if everything has changed a lot !!!
    However, I still have some concerns today:
    I am unable not to play sports and if I do less than 2 hours I get frustrated and feel like it’s useless. But on the other hand is this routine really good?
    I haven’t had my period for 5 years …
    I am not really gaining weight although my diet has completely changed and I enjoy myself even though I eat healthily!
    I think about food very often, almost all the time. Which is very complicated for social life.
    I’m torn between “I need too much exercise to stay slim and fit …” and “I sure do too much …” and these questions wear me out.
    I have tested alternative medicine, psychology and energy practices, which has done me a lot of good. But I think the only solution for me to agree to change is to have the response of a fitness girl, who inspires me and who I want to be like … not someone who I know not what he’s talking about ….
    I’m looking to have your thoughts, but I would understand if you couldn’t answer me.
    Anyway, thank you for everything, thank you for existing!

  21. Magdalyn says:

    Hey Cassie, I’m 15 and I wanna know if doing the 90 day journey is right for me at the age I am at. I eat lots of fruits and veggies but I want to eat a lot more healthier in other things. At
    my house, I have 4 younger siblings that like to eat chips and candy, so it’s hard for me to try and healthy with all that junk food around. What should I do?
    Love, junk food lover

  22. Khansa Saif says:

    Hello, i don’t know which exercise is best for my body.
    For example when i search on YouTube for belly, thigh or arm exercise, they have many exercises and i don’t know which one is best for me. Can you please tell me how can i find best or suitable exercise for my body type.

  23. Priya says:

    Hi cassey! love you first of all! And the question that stuck in my mind is that im too dependent on workout vedios.. i can workout only on seeing the fitness vedios. Only.otherwise im getting distracted or i tend to finish my workout asap. Is this a hood sign? If not how to overcome

  24. Ellie says:

    Dear Cassey,

    You and many people tell me that working out daily will help me feel more energized. For a month now, I’ve been working out 6 days a week for 30 minutes. I try to do a mix of cardio and pilates/weight training. I see it work for other people but I’m still feeling exhausted everyday and it is becoming hard to find motivation to workout.

    I do lead a stressful life but I can’t help it: I have to juggle busy workdays, tend to my family, struggle with my mental health, and I’m facing some hardships in my life that make it hard for me to feel happy most of the time or sleep in peace.

    Exercise is not helping me reduce my stress or giving me energy so far. I don’t know if I’m doing the wrong kind of exercise or if I should wait more. Do you have any advice to deal with my situation?

    Sincerely,
    Ellie

    1. blogilates says:

      This is a GREAT question! Stay tuned for an answer 😉

  25. Kriti says:

    Dear Cassey,
    How do one plan workouts and take good care of body and mind during students life? Especially when things get hectic or we lose our sense of purpose and get a little lost in journey? There are so many facts claiming not to work out when stress are they true?

    Sincerely
    Confused student

  26. Leo phoenix says:

    Dear cassey,
    I hope you’re doing good. I just wanted to get some insight into this situation. I’ve been stuck at the same weight for about 3 months now, it shows little variations like going up and down bt the scale keeps coming back to the original weight. I’ve tried everything from changing deit, increasing weights, doing different forms of workout but I’m not able to get past the plateau and it’s getting kinda discouraging. Any advice on how to overcome that ?

  27. Apexa says:

    Dear cassey,
    Could you please talk about period workout , stretches. If i am not feeling a pain and can workout or do a split should i .? Is there are some do’s and don’t.
    If so please make a period workout video.
    Sincerely,
    clueless popster

  28. Pau says:

    Dear Cassey,
    This is such a great advice!
    I started some of your workout 2 months ago. I’ve already been doing other workouts for the past months but I felt like I needed to upgrade my workout. When I tried your workouts, I was really challenged! They really target the areas I wanted to focus on and I could gradually see the results. But now, I’m kind of stuck in a plateau, it takes a lot of pushing myself for me to get myself to roll down the mat and exercise. And I feel like my body don’t develop as quickly as it used to before(?).
    What should I do to upgrade my workout and how often should I do it?
    Thank you in advance!! 💛💛💛

  29. Magdalyn says:

    Hey Cassie, I am a 15 year old and I wanna know, how old you should be to go on a “diet”. I’m thinking on doing your 90 day journey but I don’t know if it will be good for me. I do eat a ton of fruits and veggies already, I just want to eat healthier.

  30. Yeshna says:

    Hey Cassie,
    I have been working out and eating right for two years now. I do cardio and strength training and I really enjoy doing your videos. However, I have not noticed much change in my body since last year. I have compared my pictures and body measurements of last year and there are almost no changes at all. My abs look the same and my belly measurement is the same. I feel like I have hit a plateau and do not know how to get out of it. It would be really great if you could advise me on this.
    Sincerely,
    A little demotivated

  31. Moka says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I’m a 13 year old girl but me being young doesn’t mean that I have a fast metabolism in fact it’s really slow which doesn’t help with me trying to lose fat at my stomach area and also at my thighs especially that these couple of weeks I’ve been at my heaviest weight so please if you have any *NEW* suggestions for how I could boost metabolism other than drinking lots of water, doing hiit workouts, eating more fruits and veggies, etc. I would be really grateful

    Thank you,

    From: Miss confused 🤷‍♀️

  32. Indiana says:

    Dear Cassey,

    How can I get better at my nutrition I tried to eat healthier but it’s so hard for me. Any tips will be appreciated.

  33. Sam says:

    Dear cassey,
    Why am I always scared? I always think some thing bad is about to happen. If I face any mild discomfort, I automatically assume the WORST outcome, like I have a heart attack, or kidney failure or something. If my loved ones are a little late at coming home, I, again, think of the worst senario. I feel trapped in my own imagination. Do you feel this way? How do I quiet my mind?

    Sincerely,
    Always scared

    1. blogilates says:

      This is SUCH a great question!! Stay tuned for an answer 😉

    2. VDubs says:

      Hey. So, I know you wanted Cassey’s advice but as someone with chronic anxiety and perfectionism disorder, I can say I feel like that often and what has helped me is remembering what my Dad said “V, you only have the present moment. You can’t control what people say or do to you, you can only control how you respond, grow and adapt. So worrying about tomorrow is for tomorrow! Enjoy today now in the present.”

  34. Ashley says:

    Hi Cassie, I have been wanting to ask you this for a long time, but, I get sometimes worried that I might sprain a muscle in my body, particularly my posterior thigh muscles when I do strenuous exercises. My question is…must I do a ‘cool down’ exercise to prevent injury in the near future or can I just stop right after your last video you give us to workout? I don’t feel any soreness, nor pain, but I am genuinely worried lol thanks again Cassie enjoy your day/week/month! 😀

    Your Fellow Popster,
    Ashley Caroline

    1. blogilates says:

      Hi Ashley!! This is such a great question!! Stay tuned for an answer 😉

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