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How Long Should It Take to See Your Fitness Results?

9th Mar 20

When it comes to fitness and training, people always want to see results as quickly as possible and as dramatically as possible. It’s only normal. After all, seeing your fitness results is one of the biggest motivators out there, but realising how long they should actually take is a different story. It’s not as quick as you may like.

The bottom line is this: fitness goals take time, no matter what they are. This needs to be something you keep in mind when you start out. Make sure you don’t actually demotivate yourself by not seeing the results from your hard work, even if you’ve given it everything you have.

With that being said, different types of training have massively different results. Depending on what these goals are will determine how long it takes to see them, providing you’re training in the right ways. We’ll walk you through some of the most common goals here and how they may change your progress over time.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

Weight Loss

People measuring their waist line for their weight loss results

Weight loss is, by far, one of the most popular fitness goals when it comes to training and fitness. It’s also one of the easiest things to monitor luckily, but it can still be extremely easy to lose track of what you are achieving. Not seeing the progress you were expecting leads to some huge issues.

One of the biggest reasons this confusion happens is what’s actually going on. Dieting for weight loss alone, for example, may show a higher weight loss overall. That’s because you lose muscle as well as fat when you cut calories, but exercise reduces that.

That means that even if it helps you burn more fat, you may retain some muscle, losing less weight in total. It’s a little confusing, but it’s essential to remember that your fat loss progress may not reflect your weight loss progress. Once you do manage to adjust though and find the perfect training balance for you, you should be giving yourself a calorie deficit of around 500Kcal. Half should come from your training, and a half from your diet.

With this, you’ll be looking at losing around 1-2lbs a week. That might not be immediately visible, but it all adds up over time as you keep pushing yourself harder and keep focus. It’s a long game, but that’s a good general time frame for how long it should take to see results from your fitness training.

Muscle Gain

Man performing barbell rows

The next training goal that is the focus for a lot of people is strength and muscle building. This is even harder to see the results from straight away because your body is building mass rather than using it, but how long the results take is still not an easy fitness question to answer.

To build muscle mass efficiently, you should be doing predominantly weight training. You have to work every muscle group effectively for progressive overload without going overboard.

Remember to allow yourself the adequate time it takes to recover between your sessions. You should aim to work each muscle group once a week and allow a minimum of 48 hours between training the same muscles. That’s the best way for this to actually work and see your results.

With your training nailed and a proper diet, you can gradually build muscle. Of course, you’re going to be looking at 3/4 weeks before you manage to see any changes and become physically stronger than you were when you started, but the changes are still there regardless.

Some of the best ways for you to track your progress are by checking your weight as well as recording what you can lift over time!

Toning Up

People using rowing machines training for fitness results

Toning is slightly more complicated than the two goals above. It’s a sort of combination of the two goals above without being able to be too strict with either. That’s vague, but it’s true too.

The general goal of toning is to lose fat rather than weight and have better muscle definition. Without getting huge gains and a muscular physique, you need a combination of everything.

Cardio over a prolonged period of time will help you burn off slightly more fat in one session, but proper H.I.I.T. and strength training means that you’ll carry on burning calories even after your workout and build muscle. So it’s all a balance of training.

As for how long it takes to see your results with toning up and fitness, it’s still down to calorie control too. You need to have a slight deficit of around 100 calories per day. So eat smart, work hard, and you should be looking at as little as 2/3 weeks to see some progress! It’s still a long game, though!

Endurance, Performance and Fitness

Woman sweating whilst working out on an assault bike

Finally, we’ll go through stamina, endurance and fitness training. This is often the goal for people looking for more functional skills such as sports or even just general fitness. It mostly involves functional strength training and H.I.I.T. so that you can adjust your body to what it will be doing and how to sustain it.

Weight training isn’t out of the question either, though. It can make your muscles stronger and better able to push you to the edge of your performance whilst still keeping your whole body healthy and safe without overdoing anything.

H.I.I.T. training is definitely the hero for this goal though as it allows you to reap the same rewards that cardio does, in a shorter time. The higher intensity gets you used to huge workloads like sprinting or cycling too.

With the right nutrition to give you good energy levels and stop you eating junk, you should improve your stamina by quite a lot within three weeks. The only measurability for this comes from performance, though, which is always variable depending on the day.


However, there are other fitness goals out there, and these are just the most common ones with the most accurate ways to judge your progress. How long it takes to see your fitness results is never black and white, whether you hit the gym six days a week or workout from home whenever you can.

Plateaus happen in every type of training, so be sure to look out for them and find ways to keep your fitness interesting and fun. Don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same thing, or you’ll make it even more likely to happen. Instead, keep motivated, keep varied, and you’ll see your results in no time!

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.