In short… it depends. Just like most things in life… effort, consistency, genetics, stress, sleep, and environment can all influence this answer.
So let’s talk about those things, and what kind of timeline you can anticipate for gaining, or… eeeek… losing your fitness.
Changes in your body are easily noticed in the first six weeks of starting to exercise if you have no history of it – we call these “Newbie Gains” – no matter your age. The types of workouts you do, intensity, and the frequency of your training, diet, sleep, and ideal stress level will determine how long it will take you to gain fitness. But if you can nail those first few weeks and months, welcome all the newbie gains! And by “nail,” yes, we do mean if you can be consistent with it.
Last week I had a client and she lost 10lbs in 2 weeks. Is that normal? Probably not. Am I surprised… also no. Why? Because she CONSISTENTLY did exactly what I asked her to for 2 week straight. It’s not magic. It’s hard work and effort.
So let’s talk about some of the things she did… starting with fitness. At the start of your fitness journey, it is natural to feel a little sore after the first few workouts (yup, that happened). Let’s be real. If you are working hard enough, this feeling never goes away completely. The upside to this is feeling better both mentally and physically (the happy hormones!). Other changes can be measured with performance conditioning workouts, strength progression, and weight and body-fat levels (have you tried an InBody scan?!). The degree of increase or decrease in these metrics varies from person to person. Strength and conditioning improvements should be noticeable in four to eight weeks, while significant weight and fat loss take longer (patience is a virtue!). And yes, that means more than the first 10lbs. This all depends on your environment, consistency with your habits, and overall mindset.
Next, and probably the biggest factor… yup, you guessed it. Nutrition. My client made small but significant changes. She upped her veggie intake, upped her water intake, cut out most sugars and processed foods, and stopped overeating. Sounds… simple? Sure. It is. You know what’s not simple? Follow through. But, if you want it bad enough, and have big enough WHYS… YOU CAN DO IT!
Visible progress slows over time. No matter how religiously you observe your program, you will eventually plateau if you continue to stick with the same routine you started with, unless…. yes, PHEW, there is an unless… you keep variation the name of the game. Chase a milestone, and set some new goals once your body starts getting used to your workout routine. Seek help from your coach on adjusting your current program to incorporate your experience and improve your results over time (this is one of the reasons why we love the CrossFit style of programming – constantly varied, never the same!).
What’s equally as important as consistency?
Planned rest days and optimizing SLEEP. You MUST find balance.
But rest is much different than a long-term break from fitness. That’s not to say that you cannot take a break or vacation on a beach every once in a while (everyone should do this!). Finding a balance to stay active for life is the ideal setup for everyone for longevity!
Whether you are a newbie or an expert, we can help you achieve your fitness goals. We can help you create a plan and program that best fit your lifestyle and goals to achieve the best you possible. Book a free consultation with us by clicking the link below!