How long does it take to get fit?
We’ve all thought about getting fit at some point. But how long does it take to get fit? In fact, what even is being fit? Throughout the following paragraphs, we’ll delve into the deep world of fitness, to bring you everything you need to know. If you’re new to exercise or returning to your former glory – find your answers here.
What does it mean to be fit?
First things first, what does it mean to be fit? Is there such thing as an average fit person? Well, the fact is, fitness depends entirely on your goals. Within reason that is.
A middle-aged man who can hike away the weekend can be considered fit. So could a competitive swimmer, or an elderly person who enjoys her aerobics classes. If you’re of good cardiovascular and physical health for your age – you’re fit.
What? No rippling abs, gold medals, or single digit body fat? No, not quite – not always.
Achieving the famed ‘fitness’ model physique can take months, even years to achieve. While it’s possible, it’s not the benchmark of fitness. Those guys are professional models, remember. You don’t always need to be in championship shape to be fit either. It’s an extremely expansive scale.
How long does it take to get fit?
So, how long will it take you to get fit? Again, this all depends on your goals.
If you’re starting out overweight, you probably won’t be able to achieve a washboard stomach in six-weeks. It’s also unrealistic to expect inches of bicep growth in that time too1. It’s better to know that now than waste your cash on miracle cure programs sold by online personal trainers. Plus, not seeing those results after six hard weeks can tank your morale. It’s not you, it’s just science.
True, noticeable gains in fat loss or muscle building take months to achieve. But you could start to see changes in as little as two-to-three weeks.
Are you a beginner? You’re in for a treat. New exercises often show vast improvements early doors thanks to their rapid response to exercise. You only need a small amount of exercise to challenge your body and create adaptations.
For general fitness, most people begin noticing changes at around two weeks. You’ll usually find exercise a little easier, and your body will move more freely. Stick with it and this time next year you could have cinched in that waist and buffed out those shoulders.
Are you ready? Take a handful or two of our top fitness tips to get started.
Top tips to get fit
Tip 1: Start slow
Before you sign the dotted line on a six class per week CrossFit contract, think about longevity. Hitting workouts like a bat out of hell should be saved for when you’re strong and healthy enough to do so. Instead, start slow, using an appropriate level of intensity to suit your demands.
If you’re a beginner, look to complete two to four bouts of moderate exercise per week. This could be a half-hour hike around town during lunch, or a few laps of the pool after work. Use weights that allow you to maintain good form in the gym and take a day off for recovery.
Experienced and just out of shape? Remember, your body has probably changed since you last exercised. Adult men typically begin to lose strength gains between 4-12 weeks once they stop exercising. Take it steady and ramp back up over a course of weeks.
So, why do we want to start slow? Besides burning yourself out and getting DOMS for days, it’s super simple. Overloading your body too early is a massive cause of injury. Men especially fall victim all too often to bravado and feel like they have to push hard all the time. Save yourself the pain and possible set-back by starting slow.
Tip 2: Track your fitness
When it comes to tracking fitness, we all think of one thing – scales. But your weight doesn’t determine how fit you are, and it shouldn’t be seen as such. Whatever the scales say is just feedback for you to work from. Nothing more, nothing less.
Instead, start thinking about what you’re getting up to while you exercise!
Lifting weights? Log the load you’re lifting, reps used, and how many sets. You can also record how much effort out of 10 each set is needed. You’ll then be able to see how you’re progressing and be motivated to keep training.
Maybe you’re thinking about running instead? In that case, you can always log your time to complete a distance, or just the distance itself. Again, making a note of how you felt afterward effort-wise can be a great tool.
Tracking how hard a bout of exercise was can have a hidden use too. You can monitor how you’re feeling! You have your finger literally on the pulse of your training and can decide when it’s time to take your foot off the gas with an intelligent guess. If you’re getting weaker and worn out, the signs there are to rest and recuperate.
Tip 3: Eat right
There’s an old saying that you can’t out train a bad diet. It’s not necessarily true, but in most cases, it’s the best motive to live by.
Eating a healthy balanced diet built on wholefoods fuels your fitness. You’ll feel better, become stronger, get leaner, and ultimately recover better. It makes sense to offer your body the best fuel possible if you want to get fit, faster.
Try and have a good portion of protein at every meal. Pile your plate with rich vegetables, eat plenty of fiber, and don’t be scared of complex carbs.
Fats are also your friend, so eat the healthy, unprocessed kind. One or two portions of fat per day, around the size of your thumb or two is enough. Don’t believe the mainstream dieters – the idea fats are bad should have died in the 80s.
Yes, you can still indulge every now and again. Most fitness professionals today advise following the 80:20 rule. That’s eating highly nutritious foods 80% of the time, while letting off a little slack for the other 20%. Make sure to drink plenty of water every day too.
Tip 4: Positive social media
Social media is so intricated into fitness it’s impossible to avoid it. Believe it or not, though, there’s a right and wrong way to use it. Think back to the last time you saw someone looking fit and healthy on there. Did they have a sort of physique you’ve daydreamed about achieving yourself? Are they hitting all the obstacle courses and looking great doing it? Keep that image in your mind.
Now, you have two choices here. Are you going to be inspired to go out and achieve your own fitness goals? Or are you much more likely to feel inadequate, envious, and deflated?
Positive social media use can add fuel to the fire of fitness desire. Seeing people you respect and look up to chasing their goals can be inspiring. When you feel too tired to head out on the road, you can flick open Instagram for a little motivation. Proud of your latest bench press effort? Share the news with your friends and family.
But when social media becomes a mental burden, stop. It is not healthy or motivating to feel like you can’t live up to expectations. Certain people or profiles might put you off exercising, either because of their tone, appearance, or your own insecurities. If that’s the case, unfollow these people, or stay away from social.
Bottom line – use social media as a positive motivational tool. Remove it if you experience negative feelings.
Tip 5: Find a fit mentor
Finding a fit mentor can keep you on track from the start. Biting the bullet to hire a trainer ensures you’re prepped with a plan to get to your goals. Inviting a friend to the gym can breed healthy competition, accountability, and positive mental health benefits from socializing.
No time for socializing or a trainer isn’t in your current budget? Join an online community of likeminded individuals. Even day-one beginners can benefit from being part of online fitness communities. You can ask questions, learn techniques, and keep up to date with what the fitness world is rating.
We’ve purposefully put this tip in fifth place. Why? Because it’s integral that all fitness mentorships are kept positive. Social media, in person, on the end of a telephone – it’s all the same. Surround yourself with inspiring people who want you to succeed!
Factors that influence overall fitness
We’re all unique – every single one of us.
So, naturally, there are different factors that influence our overall fitness.
First, consider where you’re starting from. Are you overweight? If so, it will take you longer to become as lean as you like, or as fit. You might not be able to safely run far, for example. You’ll also have more body fat to lose than someone who isn’t overweight. This isn’t a bad thing – you’re taking action.
Like we mentioned earlier, beginners can rejoice a little here. Because your body isn’t used to exercise, almost anything you do will influence positive changes. A simple stroll out a few times a week could be enough to incite initial adaptations. It’s very common for beginner weightlifters to make impressively fast gains too.
That being said, experienced exercisers returning to fitness are at a separate advantage. They often understand how to perform movements safety and know what it feels like to test their body. As a result, they might be more inclined to stick it out when the going gets tough, or train safer away from injury.
The same can’t be said for everyone, of course, but we’re talking about the majority here. Did we mention muscle memory is a real thing? Your body does remember what it was like to be fit and can get you back there quicker than before2.
Besides your starting point, health is another factor to consider. If you’re coming back from injury it will almost always take you longer to build fitness than an able-bodied person. After all, you must take it steady to avoid re-injury.
Then, ask how far are you willing to go? Us fitness pros measure workouts on a RPE scale – aka the Rate of Perceived Exertion. So, if you had a twin and one of you were prepared to push right through to 9 PRE, while the other never strayed past 5, who’d see the best results? Because fitness is mostly dose responsive, we can count on the 9. After all, you only get out what you put in. Sometimes you need to dig deep to see the results you’re looking for.
The bottom line
How long does it take to get fit? Well, that all depends on who you are and where you’re going. Fitness is a really subjective term and one man’s fit is another’s Olympian.
Basic guidelines shown that you can start to improve overall fitness in as little as two weeks. Yet, any kind of noticeable change in appearance can take months to achieve. Strength and endurance might come sooner, but again, big changes can take months to years.
So, what can you do? Follow the five tips above and stick to the plan. Take time off to recuperate by implementing a de-load every fourth or sixth week. Don’t stress if things aren’t moving quick enough but push yourself enough to create those changes.
Bottom line – it all depends. Taking action, eating well, staying safe are the only three things that matter. Oh, and instilling a positive mindset can work wonders too.
Remember – a supplement like Instant Knockout Cut could be your ideal training partner to keep you motivated and on track to burning more calories daily. It’s packed with natural energy enhancers, powerful thermogenics to improve your fat burning potential and ultimate hunger control so you can stop snacking!