How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape: Beginners Guide

this is a drawing of a man skipping rope to get in shape

How To Get In Shape

How long does it take to get in shape?

How long does it take to get in shape? Anything can be done in three to four months, three to four weeks or even something as short as thirty days. With the right mindset and dedication during your workouts and throughout the rest of the day, you can transform your body and mind.

Here is How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape: Beginners Guide.

In this blog I am not only going to share with you how long it can take to get in shape, but also give you insight on how to do it.

Welcome to this blog focusing on the correlation between exercising and mental health. Today I will be answering one frequently asked question: how long does it take to get in shape?

I’m not here to discuss this just because it’s spring, and summer is just around the corner. I’m not here writing this just because we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel after this pandemic that led to most of us struggling to stay fit and motivated. I am here because this is something that many people struggle with – anytime throughout the year, despite the circumstances.

That said, for whatever reason you arrived here today, I’m glad. It shows a great first step in a positive direction – a step on a path toward taking better care of yourself because you deserve it. You deserve to feel good about yourself and be happy but believe me when I say I understand how it is to not always feel this way. It is not always easy to believe in yourself enough to finally start or to keep going.

There are countless reasons why so many of us are afraid to try to get fit. Still, there are a few of these reasons that we all have in common, even if at times we forget that we are all more alike than we think. If you are here reading this because you have tried so hard but always seem to fall off track and back into old habits, I get it. If you are here because you are too afraid to start, I get that too.

While getting in shape and staying in shape certainly take a substantial amount of motivation, positivity, and self-belief, I have found that becoming too emotionally connected to our physical health makes fitness harder to maintain. This has nothing to do with the significant impact that physical health has on our mental health because I’ll actually cover some of that too. What I mean to say is, it might help you to just look at the facts.

If you haven’t yet found a solution to your fitness frustrations, maybe this time you look at your physical health more objectively, as something attainable if you put in the work. Rather than constantly forming negative opinions about ourselves if we get off track or believing that the way we look defines who we are, this time, let’s just focus on the science of it and allow the benefits, both body and mind, to follow. Make sense? I have a good feeling that this blog will help you recognize the possibility and discover your potential!

How long does it take to get in shape – the science behind it

With consistent exercise, you can expect to lose one to three percent of your body fat monthly. However, this will vary from person to person, because so many variables impact not only how much you lose, but how much is safe for you to lose in a specific timeframe. These variables includes your gender, age, current activity level, muscle mass, and even hormones which impact your metabolism. In terms of weight loss, losing no more than two pounds weekly is a safe and good rule of thumb.

After reading this blog, I encourage you to read into more information on things like BMI and weight loss calculators to provide more specific guidance on calories and nutrients and what you should be eating to meet your goals safely and in your ideal timeline.

Also, I did some looking around online and came across some of the most common questions asked on google. Fitness is more of a journey than a sprint, yet I do understand why a lot of people want quick results! So here are my honest answers to these question below.

How long should a workout be?

When gauging how long your workout should be, you first need to look at how intense is the workout you are planning to do. The length of time of your workout will vary due to the amount of energy being output throughout the exercise.

If you are going to go for a walk around your neighborhood (a GREAT workout for beginners) then you will want this to be on the longer side of the spectrum. Walking is highly effective in losing weight and feeling good, but the output of energy is low. Depending on your fitness level, this workout should be between 45-60 minutes or longer.

However a higher endurance workout like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), a CrossFit WOD (Workout of the Day) or anything else that has a burst of energy with more than your body weight should be shorter. These types of workouts can be as short as 20 minutes if you take little to zero breaks or be around 45-60 minutes.

Read our blog post on How Many Exercises Per Workout you need to do for an optimal length of your workout.

How long does it take to start seeing results?

The answer to how long it takes to see results depends on the results you wish to achieve. Generally, you can notice weight changes within two to three weeks of regular exercise. Building muscle and burning fat can take closer to eight weeks.

Seeing results is a common metric we all use when it comes to our new fitness goals, however there is another change that can occur in a very short time frame.

When do you start FEELING results.

When you make the choice to exercising 4-5 days a week your brain will also feel the positive benefits from it.

3 Positive mental boosts from working out:

  • More energy throughout a day
  • More confidence in yourself
  • Deeper sleeps leaving you well rested

How long does it take to get in cardio shape?

This depends on the activity you choose, but studies show that you can improve cardiovascular health in three to four weeks through interval training. It can take up to six weeks to see changes in your aerobic ability from a more steady activity like running, for instance.

There are two factors that control how long it takes your body to get in shape.

  1. How much energy are you willing to output during your workouts.
  2. How much dedication are you willing to put in the other 23 hours of the day.

Can I get fit in 2 months?

You can absolutely get fit in two months. After two months, you will feel stronger. You may also notice that you aren’t losing your breath as quickly as you were when you started. More significant weight and fat loss will take longer, but these are great signs to look for!

To get fit in eight weeks you will need to focus on these four main that will most likely completely change how you live your life, and that change will be for the better.

However it is VERY important to remember that fitness and overall health is not a race to be won, but a journey. A journey to change your body and mindset over time, reaching small goals and setting new ones right after, making changes over months to years, not weeks.

Be sure to read our blog on Gym Etiquette as part of your prep for these 2 months of focus. Spending 5-6 days a week working out with others, you will want to make sure you respect their time as much as they respect yours.

To get the most bang for your buck when working out and looking to see results in a short period of time it is also better to do compound movements. One movement you need to learn is how to do a dip, for a full upper body exercise.

How to get in shape

Knowing how to get in shape is 90% of the battle. The first area that you must get comfortable with is you will fail along the way. You will skip a workout, you will get sick and not be able to go for a week, and you will wake up hungover and eat pizza all day instead of getting your sweat in.

These are not failures. They are road bumps in your journey to success, every time one occurs, you must accept it and then learn to get back on the path.

Follow these four key areas of focus to succeed in your journey to get in better shape.

1. Sleep

Many critical functions happen in your body when you sleep. Sleep is not just about helping you feel rested.

Have you ever noticed that the days you catch yourself snacking more tend to follow the nights you do not sleep as well or as much? This is because sleep helps you maintain a healthy balance of the hormones insulin and leptin. Leptin is responsible for appetite suppression, making sleep critical for appetite regulation. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will have lower levels of this hormone which is why you feel so hungry! Sleep also impacts how your body responds to insulin, which is necessary to control your blood sugar level.

All that being said, it is essential to feel rested when it comes to maintaining the momentum and energy levels needed to get in shape. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep (at least) with a proper evening routine will help you accomplish all of this!

2. Eating

The simplest first change you can make in your diet to get in shape is cutting out processed foods. Well, I say it’s simple, but I mean it in the sense of providing you with some direction – it’s simple because it’s a whole category of foods you can try to cut out. I know it won’t actually be that easy for everyone, at least not at first; your body begins to crave these sugars and chemicals the more you eat them.

When you think about creating an ideal plate of food, here is another simple tip to remember. Aim for a plate divided into 1⁄2 vegetables, 1⁄4 protein, and 1⁄4 carbs. All of these macronutrients will vary somewhat depending on your current weight, fitness goals, and other factors.

Overall, everything boils down to proportion and moderation and being more mindful to make healthier choices.

It is not easy to always fuel your body properly with our busy lives, so using supplements will help in these times. Using high quality protein powder will not only give you the fuel you need in a few moments but also give your body clean energy to burn, helping you succeed in your goals.

Protein shakes are also a good source of fuel for your body, but do you know if you should drink your Protein Shake Before Or After Workout?

3. Consistency

As with anything you want to achieve in life, consistency is key. If you lack consistency, your body will have a more challenging time adapting to your exercise routine. A lack of consistency makes forming healthy habits more difficult, working out everyday is not the answer though. You need days to rest and repair, but make sure you have a plan to start up again the very next day.

Consistency alone is a broad topic when it comes to weight or fat loss, and there are many factors you can focus on that will help you maintain it. First and foremost, you want to determine your motivation. What is your “why”? Stick to it.

Second, be honest with yourself and realistic with your goals. Ease into it, and understand how often you should go to the gym.

Third, do something you enjoy for exercise. Believe it or not, getting in shape can be fun. You just have to be willing to try a few things until you find what moves you. Literally.

Finally, schedule it. Schedule it with a friend if that helps too! You don’t have to do this alone.

Be sure to check out our in-depth guide on the Best Time To Go To The Gym, to make sure you don’t get stuck with no equipment to use.

4. Mindset

When it comes to fitness, always remember that it’s mind over matter. If you believe that you can do it, you can. Maintaining this mindset of Mental Growth consistently, even when you are not engaging in physical activity, will help you maintain consistency. The need to be self motivated to stick day in and day out is crucial, our article on Gym Motivation will help you!

In addition to your regular workout plan, try incorporating a consistent affirmation practice into your days too.

Here are a few Morning Affirmations that have helped me:

  • I am excited to become stronger today.
  • I am strong – I can and I will give 100%.
  • The gym is one of my favorite places.
  • I am determined to never give up.
  • I am proud of myself for what I have accomplished so far.

The mental benefits of exercising

Working out is so important for your mental health. In fact, if it’s the mental benefits you seek from working out more than fat or weight loss, that’s also great motivation. Feeling happier or less anxious is an excellent “why” to keep you going. In either case, the mental benefits of exercising include:

  • Reduced stress

  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduce depression
Increase self-esteem
Increased resilience (mental strength)

Not to mention the improved sleep that we discussed, which plays a critical role in determining your mood. A few articles supporting mental health and fitness include How To Motivate Yourself  To Workout When Depressed & Can Exercise Make Anxiety Worse?

Things to remember when getting in shape

I encourage you to go ahead and accept that you will have off days where you dread sticking to your plan. Try to get up and do it anyway. If you absolutely hate the activity you are doing, then don’t force it. Take the day off to come up with a new plan and find something new to try. As you go, notice how much better you feel both physically and mentally, and allow that to continue to fuel you. I know that you can do this!

How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape Conclusion - Anything is possible!

How long does it take to get in shape? 

Answer: How dedicated are you willing to be!

Overcoming your excuses will you the best opportunity in your fitness journey, and I know you can do it! I have faith in you.

What is the first change you are going to make in your lifestyle to succeed in getting in shape? Let me know in the comments below!

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