People come in to train with me for a lot of different reasons. Some dream of glory on the competitive battlefield, others just want to stop feeling like crap, and many want to look better in the mirror. Getting stronger will have a profound impact on any of these goals, but the results take time.
Results do start happening immediately, but they are not the results that most people think about. Everyone wants to focus on the major transformation. However, no matter how badly you may want to achieve those goals you still have to pay your dues. Serious change, especially as it pertains to body composition and strength, takes a long time. The only way you will be able to enjoy long term results is to remain dedicated and put in the time.
My suggestion for people who are just getting started is to focus on the little things. The two things to worry about early on should be improving technique and adding weight to the bar. These two things should be improving every single session for quite some time if you are training intelligently. If they are not happening you should probably find a better coach or try harder.
Improving technique and adding a few pounds each workout may not be glamorous, but they are the most important metrics for a beginner. They will get you to where you want to go.
Get better at performing the lifts. If you are going to make any lasting change and get serious results from barbell training you have to know how to perform the lifts. It is a process for most people. It takes time and requires patience. Everyone has to start somewhere and most struggle at first. Do whatever it takes to get better.
Adding weight to the bar is a necessary part of the program. If you want to improve than you must work hard. Strength gains are rapid for a beginner, so enjoy those little victories while they last. Use them to fuel your motivation because eventually it gets harder to add weight each training session. Focus on adding a few pounds to the bar for as long as you can.
Do not worry about too much when starting out. Most people are not going to look like a jacked and tan supermodel after a few weeks of training. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Focus on being a better and stronger you. Training can do a hell of a lot for you, but you have to keep reality in perspective. Show up for your sessions and make progress. Add weight and improve your technique. If you focus on that kind of progression for long enough you will eventually get closer to the bigger rewards that got you started in the first place.