How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape? Fitness Tips and Facts

How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape? Fitness Tips and Facts

Discover how long it takes to get in shape and the best strategies for success. Achieve your fitness goals today!

Getting in shape is a common goal for many people, and it’s easy to see why. A healthy body looks not only good but also feels good. Unfortunately, many people have a misconception about how long it takes to get in shape. They may expect to see results quickly, but the reality is that it can take time and effort to achieve lasting changes.

In this article, we’ll uncover the various factors that influence the timeline for achieving your fitness goals, giving you a better understanding of what to expect when starting your fitness journey. We’ll provide you with the tools you need to succeed, no matter what your current fitness level may be. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to unlocking your fitness potential!

What does “getting in shape” really mean?

When it comes to the phrase “getting in shape,” there are different interpretations and perspectives. For some, it may simply mean achieving a desired physical appearance, such as being skinny or toned. Others may view it as improving cardiovascular fitness and building muscular strength through aerobic exercise. However, at its core, getting in shape should encompass more than just the outward appearance.

Image of a woman jogging on the street. Source: Unsplash - How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape

It should also focus on feeling great in your body, being healthy at the cellular and organ level, and establishing sustainable habits for long-term well-being. So, whether you’re striving for a certain physical appearance or aiming to improve your overall well-being, understanding what it truly means to get in shape involves more than just surface-level changes, but also encompasses a holistic approach to health and well-being.

How long does it take to see fitness results?

If you have just started working out, the time it takes to get in shape can vary depending on your starting fitness level, the effort put in, and the type of exercise you’re doing. However, you may start seeing measurable effects in a matter of weeks.

For those who have been out of shape or inactive for a long time, it may generally take about 2 months of working out most days of the week to reach a moderate level of fitness. Keep in mind that the timeline to getting in shape can vary from person to person. It’s important to listen to your body, and progress at a pace that is safe and comfortable for you.

The timeline according to fitness goals

The timeline to see fitness results can vary depending on various factors such as individual goals, exercise frequency, nutrition and sleep habits, recovery, base fitness level, health issues or previous injuries, training style, and available resources.

Generally, the more ambitious the fitness goal, the longer it may take to achieve it. See what fits your fitness goals from the list below.

Weight loss

If the fitness goal is primarily focused on losing weight, the time to get in shape can vary greatly depending on the amount of weight one aims to lose. A safe and sustainable rate of weight loss is generally considered to be 0.5-1 pound (0.2-0.5 kg) per week. So, for example, if someone aims to lose 20 pounds (9 kg), it may take approximately 20-40 weeks, or 5-10 months, to achieve their goal, assuming they follow a healthy and balanced diet along with regular exercise.

Building muscle

If the fitness goal is to build muscle, the time frame can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s current muscle mass, training frequency, intensity, and nutrition. Generally, noticeable muscle gains may take several months to a year or more of consistent resistance training exercises, combined with proper nutrition and rest. However, it’s important to note that muscle-building progress is highly individual and may vary depending on various factors.

Image of a man lifting weights. Source: Unsplash

Cardiovascular endurance

If the fitness goal is to improve cardiovascular endurance, such as training for a marathon or a long-distance cycling event, the time to get in shape can vary depending on the individual’s starting fitness level and training intensity. Typically, it may take several weeks to a few months of regular cardiovascular exercise, progressively increasing duration and intensity, to see significant improvements in endurance.

Flexibility and mobility

If the fitness goal is to improve flexibility and mobility, the time frame can vary depending on the individual’s starting flexibility level and consistency of stretching and mobility exercises. Generally, improvements in flexibility and mobility can be seen within a few weeks to a few months of regular stretching and mobility exercises, depending on the individual’s starting point and the effort put into the training.

Can I get fit in 2 months?

Yes, it’s possible to make significant progress towards getting fit within a two-month timeframe, but the extent of the results may vary depending on individual factors and efforts invested. Getting fit in 2 months requires a combination of lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. Here are some tips to see better results:

1. Make lifestyle changes

Bad lifestyle habits can undermine your efforts to get fit in two months or any length of time. Avoid smoking or using other tobacco products, and limit alcohol consumption. Incorporate more movement and physical activity into your daily routine to boost fitness and avoid the health consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.

2. Follow a balanced diet

Nutrition plays a crucial role in getting fit. Consume a diet that is rich in protein to replenish and promote muscle growth after exercise Also, ensure that you eat fewer calories than your body uses daily to promote weight loss if that is your goal.

3. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is a key component of getting fit. In terms of exercise, a mix of both resistance training and cardiovascular exercise is often recommended for optimal results. For example, a study published in PLOS One found that doing both resistance training and cardio was key to improving cardiovascular health in sedentary adults.

Aim to engage in physical activity at least 3-5 days per week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session. This can include cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling, or swimming, as well as strength training exercises like lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises. Consider incorporating a combination of aerobic and resistance exercises to achieve well-rounded fitness improvements.

4. Set realistic goals

It’s important to have realistic expectations and set achievable goals when trying to get fit in 2 months. While significant improvements can be made in that timeframe, it’s important to recognize that individual results may vary depending on factors such as current fitness level, genetics, and adherence to lifestyle changes, nutrition, and exercise routines.

What happens when you stop working out?

Taking a break from exercise, even for a short period, may result in some loss of fitness, such as decreased cardiovascular endurance, reduced muscle strength, and diminished aerobic capacity. The physical fitness level of an individual may decline as their muscles shrink and they spend more time being inactive. This can result in a loss of stamina, flexibility, and energy, which may occur within a few weeks of stopping regular exercise.

…research has also shown that exercise plays a crucial role in keeping the brain younger by increasing important hormones and blood flow.

Additionally, studies suggest that after approximately two weeks of inactivity, both VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen a person can use during exercise) and the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently may start to decline.

Furthermore, research has also shown that exercise plays a crucial role in keeping the brain younger by increasing important hormones and blood flow. When exercise is not regularly performed, there may be a decline in brain systems, potentially resulting in an increase in the aging of the brain.

It is generally recommended to stay physically active as much as possible and to consult with a healthcare or fitness professional before making any significant changes to an exercise routine, including taking breaks.

Fitness tips for beginners

If you’re embarking on a fitness journey and looking for ways to effectively reach your fitness goals, here are some valuable tips to get you started:

1. Set specific and realistic goals

Setting clear goals for your fitness journey is important to stay focused and motivated. Determine what you want to achieve and create a plan to work towards those goals.

2. Identify the reasons for previous failures

If you have tried to get into shape before and didn’t succeed, take some time to reflect on why it didn’t work out. Identify any obstacles or challenges that you faced and come up with strategies to overcome them this time around.

3. Start with a form of exercise you enjoy

Choose an exercise that you enjoy and that fits your fitness level. It could be walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or any other activity that you find fun and enjoyable. Consistency is key, so pick something you’ll be motivated to stick with.

4. Gradually increase your exercise routine

If you’re just starting out, it’s important to gradually increase your exercise routine to avoid injury and burnout. For example, if you’re walking, you can start by adding about two minutes to your walking time each week, and gradually increase the duration as you get fitter.

5. Incorporate strength training

Strength training is important for overall fitness and can help you build muscle, increase metabolism, and improve bone density. Include strength training exercises such as push-ups, squats, or dumbbell exercises in your routine, gradually increasing the resistance or weight as you get stronger.

6. Be consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to getting into shape. Try to exercise regularly, ideally on a daily basis, even if it’s just for a short duration. It’s better to be consistent with shorter workouts than sporadic with longer workouts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Got more questions about how long it takes to get in shape? Check out some commonly asked questions about this topic below.

How long should I work out each day to get in shape?

The recommended duration for a workout session depends on your fitness level, goals, and the type of exercise you’re doing. As a general guideline, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with strength training exercises, is a good starting point to get in shape.

Can I get in shape faster by working out more frequently?

While consistency is important, it’s also crucial to allow your body enough time to rest and recover. Overdoing it with excessive workouts can increase the risk of injury and hinder progress. It’s best to follow a well-balanced workout plan that includes adequate rest days for optimal results in getting in shape.

What are some key factors that can affect the timeline for getting in shape?

Several factors can impact how long it takes to get in shape, including your starting fitness level, genetics, age, lifestyle habits, diet, and the type of exercise you do. Consistency in your workout routine, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and overall healthy lifestyle choices can all contribute to achieving your fitness goals faster.


Getting in shape is a journey that requires dedication and effort, but it’s achievable for anyone who’s willing to put in the work. Remember that everyone’s fitness journey is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long it takes to get in shape.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Consistency is key when it comes to making progress toward your fitness goals. Keep pushing yourself, and don’t give up. If you found this article helpful, don’t hesitate to share it with a friend who might benefit from it. And be sure to check out my full blog for more tips on fitness, and healthy living. Remember, a healthy, happy life is within your reach!


Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.