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How long does it take to see results from working out?

I have friends ask me over and over, "Hey Chris Gronkowski can you send me over a workout plan, also do you have a meal plan?"  I always say don't you know that all you really need is a shaker bottle?  I always have to mess with them first.  I am not a nutritionist and I am not a certified trainer but I am happy to share with my friends the workouts I do and the types of food that I eat.  

Sure enough when I see my friends a couple months later, absolutely nothing has changed.  When I ask them about how it's going they just say good but really they have already gave up and I wasted my time sending over workouts and meal plans.  I have heard all the excuses, "I don't know what to do", "eating healthy is too expensive", "I have bad genetics", "I don't know what to eat", "I don't have enough time"  and the classic "I wasn't seeing any results so I stopped".  So I decided that I would see just how hard and how long it takes to actually get results and document it all so I can easily just send over a link to everyone that wants to know in the future what it takes to see results. 

Chris Gronkowski Orlando Vargas

One of the most important rules about working out is that you need someone to keep you accountable.  So for this reason I have recruited my college teammate and good friend Orlando Vargas to join me on this experiment to see just how long it truly takes to see results in the gym.  The great part about this is that we will both take our own approaches to working out and getting into shape and you will see two completely different workouts and meals and of course different results.  Above is a picture of us from a few months ago.  We obviously already hit the gym and are in pretty good shape but lately have been kind of slacking in the gym.  Although we are already in shape, we are going to see how long it takes to see a noticeable difference in our appearance.  

Day 1: 

Here are the pictures from what I'm starting at.  I am in decent shape already but have been slacking a little lately on both diet and workouts.  You can see especially from the side shot that my body fat percentage is more in the 10% - 12% range at this point.  

Chris Gronkowski flexing

   

  

Official weigh in 225.2 lbs

Breakfast: (4:30am)

1/4 cup of oatmeal with water 

g, g, g

Tornado Pre Workout Shake - only put half a scoop of protein powder in it, 1 scoop of pre workout.  Shake it up in your favorite shaker cup!

g, g, g

Workout:  Back and biceps (5:00am) 

Back Workout (42 mins)

Pull downs - 1x 15 warmup set 4x10 in front while alternation 4x10 behind the head.

Super set

1 arm pull downs - 3 sets of 6

Vertical Traction machine- 3 sets of 10

Single arm dumbbell row - 4 sets of 8 (had to take the 130s for a ride)

T Bar Rows: 4 sets of 12, 4th set was a drop set at the end 

Super set

One Arm lat pulls - 3x10

Straight arm push down- 3x10

Standing Cable X Row - 3x12

Reverse pec deck - Two reverse pyramid burnouts (Started heavy with a set of 10, drop the weight 2 times and burned out at both weight levels) 

TRX X Rows - 3 x 8

Wide Grip Pull ups- 3x8

Bicep Workout ( 12 mins)

My biceps were already pretty warn down from all the back exercises by the point.

Superset

Dumbbell curls- 4x6

Dumbbell extensions - 4x6

Concentration curls - 4x8

Bicep Curls Burnout with bands - 3 sets until failure

Cardio

1 hour pick up basketball.  Ended up playing 3 games, shot around between games.

 Throughout the workout and basketball I drank about 35 ounces of water.  Make sure you are drinking a lot of water!   

Post workout meal: (7:22am) 

The Perfect Protein Shake - minus the pasteurized egg white

g, g, 

Snack: (9:50am)

3 egg whites from hard boiled eggs and 1/2 egg yolk.

g, g, 

Snack: (11:05am)

8 almonds

g, g, 

Lunch: (12:44pm)

Turkey sandwich avocado

Turkey Sandwich - 2 pieces whole wheat bread, 1/4 lb turkey, half a small avocado, 8 pickle chips.

g, g, 

Snack: (3:15pm) 

1 muscle tech birthday cake protein bar

g, g, 

Dinner: (6PM)

1 half of applewood smoked turkey roast, 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup tuna salad

g, g, 

Snack: (8:05pm)

BCAAs

g, g, 

Late Night Snack (9:30PM)

1 scoop casein, 1 tbsp PBFit, 1/4 cup Skim Milk

g, g, 

 

Day 2

Feeling good when I woke up this morning, except that I slightly sprained my ankle yesterday playing basketball so I won't be playing for the rest of this week and will have to do all my cardio on machines now.  I can't see a difference in appearance after 1 day but I can already notice that I feel better.  I weighed in this morning at 222.1 lbs.  This is a significant drop from yesterday, over 3 lbs.  I probably drank close to 2 gallons of water yesterday as well so I'm not sure if it's water weight or if I need to greatly increase my calories.  My main goal isn't to look good, my goal is to see a noticeable different in my body composition.  I will most likely lose some weight but I am not trying to lose more than 5lbs. 

Pre workout meal: (5:32am)

1 small Banana

g, g, g

Tornado Pre workout shake - only put half a scoop of protein powder in it, 1 scoop of pre workout

g, g, g

Workout: (6:09am)

Shoulders (41 Mins)

Big 50 Super set: 

3 sets increasing weight 25lb, 30lb, 35lb dumbells:  Side Lateral Raises x10, Front Raises x10, Upright Row x10, Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly x10, Standing Shoulder Press x10

Set of shrugs after each Big 50 Superset

Shoulder Press - 3x12, heavy set 1x8

Super Set:

Arnold Press - 3x8, burnout the last set

Cable side raises- lightweight 3x8

Front raises using 45lb plate - 3x15

Barbell Upright Rows - 3x12

Barbell Behind The Back Shoulder Shrugs - 3x20

Lateral Raises Machine - 3x15, burnout last set

Abs (6 mins)

C Gronk's ultimate ab workout - 210 total reps

Cardio (30 mins)

My cardio workout

30 minus on elliptical.  I kept my heart rate right under 140 for the best fat burning results.  Burned a little over 400 calories.  

Post Workout Shake: (7:45am)

 The Perfect Protein Shake - minus the pasteurized egg white, I used french vanilla muscle tech BCAA's this time as I wasn't a huge fan of the Hazelnut. 

g, g, 

Also ate 1/4 cup of oatmeal to get some more carbs and calories in.  

g, g, g

Snack: (9:59am)

3 Egg whites from hard boiled egg 1/2 Yolk

g, g, 

Lunch: (12:20PM)

Chicken broccoli and sweet potato

6.7oz sweet potatoe, 7.5oz rotisserie chicken, 4oz broccoli 

g, g, 

Snack: (3:15PM)

1 birthday cake Muscle tech nitro tech protein bar.

g, g, 

Dinner: (6:03PM)

8oz ribeye steak, 4oz broccoli 

g, g, 

Snack: (7:35pm)

BCAAs

g, g, 

Late Night Snack (9:15PM)

1 scoop casein, 1 tbsp PBFit, 1/4 cup Skim Milk

g, g, 

 

Day 3

Woke up a little late today.  It was raining out and dark - just one of those days.  I got about 8 hours a sleep but anything over 7 hours for me and I feel groggy.  This morning I feel like my whole body has tightened up especially my stomach and when I took pictures this morning I could see a noticeable difference.  The lower part of my stomach is almost completely flat after 2 days.  I am going to keep grinding and see what happens.  I got a leg lift today so this will be a big workload and should burn a lot of calories. I weighed in at 221.0 lbs today.  Down a little over 4lbs at this point.  

my weight day 3

 

Breakfast: (6:55am)

4 chocolate chip protein pancakes(Kodiak Cakes) made with half cup of milk. 

g, g, 

Pre workout - 1 scoop 

g, g, 

Workout: Leg Day (7:35am)

Warm up (5mins)

5 mins light cardio on elipticle

Legs (45mins)

Squats - 1x15, 2x12, 1x8

Lunges - 2x12 Forward Lunges, 2x12 Backward Lunges

Super Set:

One Leg Leg Press: 3x15, followed by 2 leg burnout

Calf Raises 3x20

Leg Extensions - 3x15, Burnout last set

Superset:

Hamstring curls- 3x10

Hip thrusts: 2x burnouts (did about 40reps and 30reps on 2nd set)

Adductor Machine: 3x15

Abductors machine: 3x15

Cardio: (30 mins)

Elliptical machine - burned just under 400 calories

Post workout Shake(8:55am)

Graham Cracker Protein Shake

g, g, 

Snack(10:35am)

1 cup tuna salad

g, g, 

Lunch: (12:35pm)

1/2 applewood smoked turkey roast

g, g, 

7oz sweet potato

g, g, 

Snack: (3:18pm)

8 almonds

g, g, 

Snack: (5:05pm)

1/4 lb deli turkey w/ half an avocado on flatbread.

g, g, 

Dinner: (6:30pm) 

1 chicken breast  4oz broccoli 

g, g, 

Snack: (8:30pm)

BCAAs

g, g, 

Late Night Snack: (9:30pm) 

1 scoop casein, 1 tbsp PBFit, 1/4 cup Skim Milk

g, g, 

 Day 4

Wow I can't believe it is already day 4.  I was told by a a lot of people that it would take weeks to see results but it has only been 3 days and I can definitely tell that I have tightened up a lot. Yesterday at lifting legs was the first time I really got super hungry, that was a pretty good leg lift and I had to have burned a lot more calories than I do with upper body lifts.  My legs are pretty sore from yesterdays lift.

Breakfast: 5:50am

1/4 cup oatmeal

g, g, g

Tornado pre workout shake

g, g, g

Shaker cup

Workout: Chest and Triceps (6:35am)

Chest: (45mins)

Incline bench - 1x15, 3x10

Super set:

widegrip barbell bench - 3x20

45lb plate press - 3x20

One arm dumbbell press - 3x8

Super set:

Chest Fly Machine: 3x10

Pushups - 2x20

Cable Flies (target upper chest) 3x12

Triceps (15 mins)

Superset:

Skullcrushers - 1x12, 1x10, 1x8

close grip bench - 1x12, 1x10, 1x8

Superset:

Cable rope tricep extensions - 3x15

Reverse grip one arm tricep pushdowns - 3x8

Tricep pushdowns with band - 2xburnout

Cardio (30 mins)

 Chris Gronkowski Day 4

Post Workout Shake: (8:30am)

1 scoop vanilla whey, 1 TBSP of PBFit, 1 cup of skim milk 

g, g, 

Snack: (10:43am)

2 hard boiled egg whites.

g, g, 

Lunch: (12:15pm)

8oz chicken breast, 6 oz sweet potato

g, g, 

Snack: (3:00pm)

Protein Bar - MuscleTech Mision 1 Clean protein Bar

g, g, 

Snack: (5:15pm)

16 almonds

g, g, 

Dinner: (8:15pm) (I ended going to golf at 3pm and didn't plan too well around it.  I was should have ate a lot sooner than this.) 

12oz Pork Chops

 g, g, 

7oz sunflower crunch salad

 g, g, 

Late Night Shake (10:15pm)

1 scoop casein, 1 tbsp PBFit, 1/4 cup Skim Milk

g, g, 

Day 5

Stayed up way too late last night working on a few different things for business.  I didn't wake up til about 7:00am - late start for me.  I got a little thrown off schedule yesterday with a round of golf so I have to get back on track today.  Doing chest is always a good benchmark of strength for me.  I thought I was going to be weaker in my lifts because of the weight loss but I was actually stronger and was hitting more reps than I have done in a couple months.  I was definitely surprised by that.  I took my shirt off yesterday in front of a couple friends that see me every day and they all said damn man your waist and abs have tightened up like crazy.  At this point I think the difference is definitely noticeable.  I am going to keep going and try to hit a week.  Weekends are always tough for me so will see what happens. 

Breakfast: (7:15am)

6 protein pancakes - Kodiak Chocolate chip 

g, g, 

Preworkout: 1 scoop

g, 

Workout: Back & Biceps (8:15am)

5 min warm up - elliptical 

Back: (40mins)

Super set:

Lat pulldowns reverse grip - 3x12

Low Row - 3x8

Lat Pulldowns - 3x10

Super set:

Pulley Row - 3x10

Front Pulldown Single Arm - 3x12

Reverse Cable Cross - 3x15

Super set:

RDL - 3x10

Standing Barbell Rows - 4x10

Rear Delt Fly Machine - 3x15, 1xburnout

Wide Grip Pull Ups - 3x8

Biceps: (15 mins)

One Arm Seated Biceps - 3x8

Seated Biceps - 3x8

Single Arm Bicep Iso on Cables - 3x12

Abs (8mins) 

2 x Lower ab burnout on decline - mix of leg raises and scissor kicks

Cardio (25mins)

 

Post Workout Shake: (10:00am)

Peaches and Cream Shake

g, g, 

Lunch: (12:00pm)

7oz chicken breast

g, g, 

Quinoa & Brown Rice

g, g, 

Snack: 2:45pm

Protein Bar - MuscleTech Mision 1 Clean protein Bar

g, g, 

Dinner: (5pm)

12oz Pork Chops, 4oz Broccoli

 g, g, 

Snack: (8:00pm)

3 hard boiled egg whites

g, g, 

Sunflower salad with balsamic vinaigrette. 

 g, g, 

 

Late Night Shake (10:01pm)

1 scoop casein, 1 tbsp PBFit, 1/4 cup Skim Milk

g, g, 

 

Day 6 

It is the freakin weekend.  All I want to do right now is go party and eat everything in site but I only have two days left.  I wish I showed you all how much fat I had on my lower abs 5 days ago because there is none now.  My body fat had to decrease significantly while my strength has actually seemed to go up. I had two people walk up to me today at the gym and tell me that I look great!  This is the 2nd day in a row that my lifts have went up. I think I need to eat more on the last day to really fill in and show you how big of a difference my body has changed in a week.  

Breakfast: (6:50am)

1/4 cup of oatmeal with water 

g, g, g

Tornado Pre Workout Shake - only put half a scoop of protein powder in it, 1 scoop of pre workout

g, g, g

 Workout (7:30am) - Shoulders & Abs

Shoulders (35 Mins)

Big 50 Super set:

Side Lateral Raises x10, Front Raises x10, Upright Row x10, Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly x10, Standing Shoulder Press x10

Set of shrugs 

Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 3x12, heavy set 1x10 (I was able to push alot more today than I did on Tuesday.)

Super Set:

Arnold Press - 3x8, burnout the last set

Front raises using 45lb plate - 3x15

Barbell Upright Rows - 3x12

Lateral Raises Machine - 3x15, burnout last set

TRX Reverse Flys - 3x8

Abs: (6mins)

C Gronk Ab workout

Cardio (25 mins)

 

Post Workout shake (9:17am)

The Perfect Protein Shake - minus the pasteurized egg white

g, g, 

Snack: (10:59)

3 hard boiled eggs whites:

g, g, 

Lunch (12:35)

1 chicken breast

g, g, 

Quinoa & Brown Rice

g, g, 

Snack 2:45pm

1 lb Cod

g, g, 

Dinner: 6:30pm

Chicken and steak fajita on a lettuce wrap with guac ride and beans.

 

Late Night Shake (9:15pm)

1 scoop casein, 1 tbsp PBFit, 1/4 cup Skim Milk

g, g, 

Day 7 

Here we go, one last day!  It's getting pretty hard because it is the weekend and we have a bunch of people coming over and they all want to know why I won't eat the desserts they made.  I have leaned out a lot, I know when I'm lean because I usually can grab a nice chunk of fat on my lower stomach and there is nothing there anymore.  I am strong as well but my muscles look flat right now, I think I would greatly benefit from a cheat day at this point.   

 

Breakfast (7:30am)

1/4 cup of oatmeal with water 

g, g, g

Tornado Pre Workout Shake - only put half a scoop of protein powder in it, 1 scoop of pre workout

g, g, g

Workout (8:15am)

Legs, chest, triceps, abs - 45 mins

Cardio - 20mins 

Swimming- 5 mins

Post workout shake (9:42am)

The Perfect Protein Shake - minus the pasteurized egg white

g, g, 

Here is a picture of me after the pump and a shake:

Chris Gronkowski

Lunch (11:20am)

1 chicken breast

g, g, 

1 sunflower salad with balsamic vinegar dressing

 g, g, 

Snack (1:40pm)

1/2 lb chicken & Stuffing casserole 

 g, g, 

 Snack (3:45pm)

Cup of Coffee with 1 scoop MuscleTech BCAA Coffee Additive

 g, g, 

Dinner (5:05pm) 

8oz Pulled pork, 4oz sweet potato, 8 grape tomatoes, 4oz broccoli 

Snack: (7:15pm)

4oz Lasagna: No cheese, 90% lean ground beef.

Night Time Shake (9:00pm)

1 week results! 

    

What a week!  After 1 week I am down about 6lbs.  I don't think any of the weight was a loss of muscle because my bench on day 4 and my shoulder press on day 6 were actually more than I usually lift.  I had a little pouch of fat on my lower abs that is completely gone, I can jump up and down and there is no jiggle there.  My abs are a lot more defined and the striations in my arms are a lot more visible.  When I was hitting shoulders on day 6 I had two people at the gym come up to me and tell me I was killing it.  I was also rocking out sets of 10 with 100 lb dumbbells on shoulder press which I hadn't been able to hit in a while.  I actually think that I will look a lot better after a cheat day so I'll had to grab some pictures in a few days and see If my muscles fill in because right now I feel like they are a little flat from the diet. 

SO here is why I did this.  The top excuses for why people quit working out or dieting: 

1.  "I am not seeing results" - I was seeing results within 3 days!  If you are working out and eating healthy you are going to get results!  80% is diet!

2.  "I don't know what to do" - If you don't know what to do you can either go online and find a million different free lifting programs or get a trainer for a couple weeks and they can teach you. 

3. "I don't know what to eat" - My diet is not perfect and I am not a nutritionist but I was easily able to put together a diet that was good enough to see results within a week.  You can find different meal plans online, they even have food services now that will deliver you a weeks worth of healthy meals for $150 a week.

4. "Eating healthy it too expensive" -  I spent no more than $125 on food for a week.  My most expensive meal was when I ate out on Saturday night and got fajitas.  It cost me about $15 a day for my food.  

5. "I have bad genetics" - I love when people tell me this.  I can pull up pictures of myself looking like a fat slob from my time playing in the NFL.  I would also get made fun of as a child for being fat.  Genetics may play a factor from not be able to become a body builder but it does not stop you from getting in shape.  

6. "I don't have time" -  All of my workouts were done in 1 hour or less.  With cardio my lifts were 90 mins or less every day.  You do not need to do cardio everyday and you don't need to workout every day to see results.  You can do cardio one day and lift the next day and get out of the gym within 45 minutes everyday.