Before we dive into today’s article, let’s first figure out what “fit” means. For the purposes of today’s reading, when I say “fit”, I’m saying, you can run non-stop for 20 minutes straight. You see a little muscle tone when you check yourself out in the mirror. You can bend over to touch your toes (yes, flexibility is a part of being “fit”).
I’m not talking about going out and doing a triathlon, benching double your body weight, or anything extreme. I’m simply talking about, how to go from being relatively sedentary to establishing a solid jump off point for the rest of your fitness journey.
Zero to Hero
If you’re coming from an already established base of…zero, i.e. you’re doing absolutely nothing at all, expect to see noticeable results in two to four weeks. The first week or so will typically be marked by heavy bouts of soreness, but persevere. Far too many people give up when the beginner exercise soreness really sets in. Within a week to ten days, you should notice considerably less soreness each time out.
Of course, developing the results I mentioned above don’t just happen because you want them to. You’re going to need to commit to at least a semi-serious exercise program to make an impact. I’m talking exercising most days of the week, for 45-60 minutes at a time. If you’re not ready to pick up the weights, at least use a few machines to get comfortable with the act of strength training. If you weren’t aware, strength training is going to become an integral part of your fitness journey…especially for you weight loss readers!
Mix in some cardio, remembering to start slowly at first, and within a few weeks you should notice considerable slimming around your midsection, face, and limbs (assuming you have excess body fat to lose). The addition of muscle will be slightly slower, but within a month or perhaps slightly longer, you’ll see lines that weren’t there before. Use this for motivation. Research shows individuals who celebrate and acknowledge their progress, no matter how small, are most likely to continue pressing forward.
Get Fit…for the Already Fit
Now, for you more advanced individuals, I’m going to need to re-define “get fit”. For you, being fit is totally different. It’s about breaking that 7 (or maybe 6?) minute mile. It’s about setting a personal best on that circuit workout. Yes…it can even be about having that completely defined six-pack.
If you’ve made it this far already, I don’t have to tell you…gains come a lot slower than they did when you first started out. There are also a lot more variables in play here, so providing a detailed time table isn’t quite as easy. The bottom line however, is this: consistency and intensity are the two greatest factors that determine how far you take yourself.
Staying consistent with both exercise AND diet, along with maintaining proper intensity is going to be paramount to your success. By consistent, I mean not skipping workouts, not leaving the gym half way through, not making excuses for yet another cheat meal. Be true to yourself and you should be able to take yourself to the next level within a couple of months. Goals depending of course, 8-10 weeks is a pretty good guideline for “stepping up” and achieving that next fitness milestone.
Want to get fit but need help reaching your goals? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to chat it out and get you on track towards chasing your own fitness dreams.