How Long Does It Take to Get In Shape?
Learn about what goes on in the early stages of training and how long it takes to lose weight, obtain health benefits, and increase lean muscle tissue.
Early stages of training: Weeks 1-9
During weeks one and nine of training "neural activation" takes place. This is the process of your brain learning how to recruit more muscle fibers and getting them to contract at the same time. This activation allows people to become stronger and train harder, these benefits can start to happen over a few resistance training session.
How long does it take for your muscles to get noticeably bigger?
Researchers using sophisticated lab equipment can usually detect changes in fat and muscle composition after nine weeks of training. The biggest increases in strength happen after two months and the biggest boost in muscle size after three months, according to a published University of Tokyo study in 2010 (Kubo,2010). This study had participants training vigorously four times a week.
This means the average person should look to train for six months before looking for significant sculpting of the body- although positive changes at a cellular level have been improving since day one.
How long does it take to lose weight?
Your workout routine, diet, genetics, and health history all influence the speed in which you lose weight. Aerobic exercise, like strength training, gives major performance and health benefits long before you notice them aesthetically. At the cellular level, aerobic exercise increases your number of mitochondria, which is commonly known as the “nuclear powerhouse” of the cell. Using oxygen, mitochondria produces energy for the entire cell. Increased mitochondria allows people to run longer and faster (and allows muscles to burn more fat while doing it). Studies have found that you can improve your mitochondria levels by 50 to 100 percent after six weeks of training.
Here is a recent example of a clients progress report:
How long does it take to gain health benefits?
The best news, health benefits start immediately following an aerobic workout session. Muscles start consuming more glucose than usual for 48 hours after a workout. This brings down blood sugar levels. After a few more workouts, insulin sensitivity will begin to improve which offers additional control of blood sugar. Check out my blogs 'The Benefits of Cardiovascular Training' and 'The Benefits of Strength Training' for more information on how the different styles of exercise benefit you.
What to take from this article:
- 'Neural activation' improves your speed, strength, and power. For most people this improves over the first 9 weeks of training.
- Expect to be training for 6 months before seeing significant changes in muscle size (if you are training for muscle mass).
- Weight change depends on a lot of factors such as diet, genetics, and workout program.
- Health benefits start happening immediately after you exercise.
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