How Long Does It Take To Notice Work-out Results?

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how long does it take to see weight loss results from working out

When starting your fitness journey, you will naturally wonder how long it will take you to notice results. Even more so, if you’ve already planned to include some helpful tools like CBD oils to speed up the process. 

How Long Does It Take To See The Result: No Size Fits All

Although it would be absolutely amazing if there was a specific set of rules everyone would follow and achieve results overnight, the real answer here is that no size fits all. 

Everyone’s body is different and responds differently to even the most basic exercises, such as push-ups and planks. The reasons for it are vast, and here are some of the most important ones to note:

Starting point 

How fast you’ll see results will definitely be different if you’re only just beginning or if you’re coming back from a short break. Muscle memory[1] is a real thing and it plays a huge role in how fast your body will respond to exercise. If you’ve worked out before and you’ve developed a certain baseline for your muscles, once you start working out again, they’ll quickly get back into their familiar routine, bringing you those results much faster. 

On the other hand, if you’ve never worked out before, your body needs to figure out what it’s doing and your muscles need to adapt to the stress, learning when to push and pull, how to activate specific muscle fibers, and how to rest and recover, so they’re able to grow, burn fat, and increase blood flow. 

Age, Genetics, and Gender

Even though you might see 50-year-olds performing hard exercises and looking better than some 20-year-olds, they do have to work twice (if not three times) as hard as the younger folks to see results and maintain their level of fitness day after day after day. 

Unfortunately, age does matter. So do genetics and gender. Younger bodies generally perform better, adapt faster, and show results much quicker. Add to that a family history of active individuals with fit lifestyles and you got yourself a group of people who’ll go to the gym for a month and already look completely different than they did when they started. 

Gender also plays a role. Women are less likely to see changes faster because of their hormonal profile[2], which changes every single day, depending on which part of their menstrual cycle they’re in. This can severely impact their exercise level, endurance, strength, fatigue, and even recovery rate. All of this makes any kinds of predictions on when you’ll be able to see results completely useless. 

Men, on the other hand, don’t have a highly variable hormonal profile and are therefore usually those whose results show faster. And since their bodies can endure surviving on really low body fat percentages, their muscles will pop out with much higher emphasis, making the changes clearly visible. 

Type of Exercise

Just like there’s not one diet that works for everyone, no one way of working out will be beneficial to everyone. We’re all differently built, with different muscle fibers that activate and react completely differently, so it’s only natural that one person may thrive off of a specific workout regimen while another person might find it counterproductive. 

It’s important to discover what type of exercise works best for your body and level, brings the least amount of stress into your body, doesn’t put too much pressure on your joints and tendons, and allows your muscles enough time and energy to recover, rest, and recuperate after a tough session while maximizing your training potential. 

Sometimes it’s as simple as doing the thing you love and your body enjoying it, and other times it takes a bit of trial and error until you get it right. 

Commitment

How committed you are to your training regimen and everything else around it greatly impacts how quickly you’ll see your results. Are you prioritizing sleep, paying attention to your stress levels, implementing self-care routines, moving your body and adding in extra steps to your day, and choosing healthier food options? 

If the answer is yes, you’re more likely to see results faster as your body will work in a minimally inflamed state and be able to focus on burning unnecessary fat and growing muscles, increasing range of motion and flexibility, as well as promoting faster recovery rates and cell regeneration. 

If the answer is “not really”, that’s already telling you a lot. You cannot expect seeing results if all you’re focusing on is working out alone. You have to put in the work in all the other areas as well and let everything combined do its magic. There’s no amount of squats or push-ups you can do that will trump over having frozen pizza five days a week. 

Attitude

Another important aspect of working out that will impact how fast you’ll be able to see results is your attitude towards working out itself. If you’re heading into your workout already hating the fact that you have to do it, you’ll subconsciously train with less intensity and focus, making yourself more vulnerable to injuries, as well as slowing down your progress. 

However, if you’re loving your workouts and actually look forward to sweating in the gym or shaking when holding those long yoga poses, you’ll give your 100% every single time and increase your chances of seeing results much quicker. 

It’s incredible how our mindset can influence our actions, so it’s important to find the type of exercise that works best for you and the one you’ll fall in love with, so you’re able to stick to it and see progress. 

The Dangers of Quick Results

You might be triggered by the media with “detox teas” and “waist trainers” which promise fascinating results in only 5 days, but in reality, anything that yields results that fast is only going to hurt you in the long run. 

Initially, as your body starts moving and your metabolism starts improving, it’s normal to lose a few pounds of water, reducing puffiness and making you look slimmer in the matter of days. Once this part regulates, your body will plateau and look pretty much the same for quite some time until your inner composition starts to change and your muscle mass increases while your body fat decreases. 

Any other scenario is not allowing your body to do what it needs to do to adapt at its own pace, signaling some sort of danger and activating your “fight or flight mode” which will only make your body hold on to those fat deposits even more as it’s fighting for survival. For your body, whether you’re being attacked by a lion or overexercising and undereating; it’s the same. 

And once you’re in that situation, your body will start asking for more food in shorter increments (which can lead to binge eating) as well as more frequent rest periods (which leads to overworked adrenal glands and hormonal imbalance). And that’s how the vicious cycle begins, and it’s really hard to get out of. 

Conclusion

All in all, when it comes to working out and seeing results, it depends on a plethora of factors. From age and gender to exercise type and your attitude, they all work in unison to create your ideal working out schedule that will yield results in the healthy and optimal timeframe for your specific situation. Don’t compare yourself to others and focus on getting the most out of every single workout you do – that’s all you need to see results.


+ 2 sources

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  1. Snijders, T., Aussieker, T., Holwerda, A., Parise, G., Loon, L.J.C. and Verdijk, L.B. (2020). The concept of skeletal muscle memory: Evidence from animal and human studies. Acta Physiologica, [online] 229(3). Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/apha.13465 [Accessed 21 Jul. 2021].
  2. Copeland, J.L., Consitt, L.A. and Tremblay, M.S. (2002). Hormonal Responses to Endurance and Resistance Exercise in Females Aged 19-69 Years. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, [online] 57(4), pp.B158–B165. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/57/4/B158/600124 [Accessed 21 Jul. 2021].

Medically reviewed by:

Karla is a published author, speaker, certified nutritionist, and yoga teacher, and she's passionate when writing about nutrition, health, fitness, and overall wellness topics. Her work has been featured on popular sites like Healthline, Psychology.com, Well and Good, Women's Health, Mindbodygreen, Medium, Yoga Journal, Lifesavvy, and Bodybuilding.com. In addition to writing about these topics, she also teaches yoga classes, offers nutrition coaching, organizes wellness seminars and workshops, creates content for various brands & provides copywriting services to companies.

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