First off, there is no quick weight loss scheme that will do the trick. If you could drop 3 jean sizes in 21 days, we'd have all found the answer and you wouldn't be reading this article. Seeing changes in your body takes effort and discipline. The more of both of these that you exert, the faster you will see results.
What type of results you want to see will also influence what you can expect. Are you trying to lose weight, get toned, gain muscle, increase your endurance or improve you flexibility? Improving flexibility, increasing cardiovascular endurance and building muscle all take considerably longer than weight loss. Therefore, we've broken down what you can expect based on your goal.
How long after I start working out will I start losing weight?
If you begin to work out regularly, you can see a difference in the numbers on the scale in as little as a week. If you combine your physical activity with healthy eating habits, you can expect to drop 2 pounds per week, starting the first week. In fact, people often see even more weight loss in the first week as their body sheds extra water retention; just remember that 2 lbs/week is actually what you should aim for in terms of a rate that you can keep up and keep off. When it comes to weight loss, remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
How long after working out until I start to look more toned?
Regular toning workouts of high repetition and light weights may tire you out during the workout, they typically won't leave much muscle soreness the next day. It therefore will take some time before you see results. You can expect to more muscle definition in as little as two weeks.
When you go toning workouts regularly, your muscles expect to be utilized, and in anticipation, stay contracted - giving that look of definition. But if you stop training regularly, the body will stop contracting. So while its relatively fast to gain muscles tone, it is also quick to fade if you don't keep up your toning workouts.
How long will it take me to boost my cardiovascular endurance?
Within a week or regular and intense cardio workouts, you can expect to see a slight difference in your endurance. It will take 2-3 weeks of daily cardio workouts to notice any major changes in your lung capacity. Varying your cardio workouts is key to prevent hitting a plateau (and to not get bored!). Mix up your runs with an elliptical session, spin, rowing machine or swim.
How long does it take to become more flexible?
Flexibility is critical in preventing injuries, and feeling more relaxed and limber. It's an important element to any fitness plan, for anyone, of any age and fitness level. If you include flexibility workouts in your workout plan every day, you will start feeling more limber and agile after just seven days. But it can take over a month of regular practice to see your advanced yogi shining through.
How long after you start working out do you gain muscle?
Don't expect to see any big changes until a month. After 4-8 weeks of diligently following a set training structure, some of you will achieve that ripped look you are after. For others, it may take a bit longer.
Building muscle does vary by gender, largely due to testosterone levels. Men can add between 1.5 – 2.5 pounds of muscle every month; the average gain is about half of a pound a week. Women will put on muscle mass roughly half as fast as men, or about ½ pound every 2 weeks or 1 lb a month.
First, congrats on starting a new fitness regime! You should be proud that you've made that commitment. Now consistency and intensity are key to keep driving results. Stick with your training, even if you aren’t seeing bulging muscles after day 3 of lifting or you can’t run 5 miles in 40 minutes a week after buying your first pair of running shoes, time and commitment will get you the results you want to see.