How much effort you have to put in?

  • Training results depend on several factors and take time, 8 to 12 weeks to improve aerobic capacity and see visible results.
  • To lose weight, reduce the calories ingested and create a weekly deficit of about 2,000 Kcal. Results vary according to excess weight and fat mass index.
  • To get more defined muscles, you need to take protein and combine weight training. Results can be seen from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the level of training.


The question is legitimate and we have all asked it: after how many days/weeks/months can we see the results of the training we follow? How long it takes to lose weight, after which we see ourselves as more defined and feel “different” but in a pleasant way, as if we have finally achieved the shape we aspire to?

The answer is, as always, “It depends.” It depends on several factors and the results you want to achieve: do you just want to lose weight? You want to have better-defined muscles? Do you want to improve your aerobic performance or anaerobic performance? Do you want to improve stamina? Do you want to increase muscle mass? Let’s find some answers.

Improve aerobic capacity

First of all: what is meant by “aerobic capacity”? Under this name go all low-intensity, long-duration activities, so, if we are talking about running, we are in the right field. Running is, in fact, the discipline par excellence about the ability to endure prolonged exertion over time. How to improve it and how quickly do you see results? First, following the advice of coach Paolo Barbera and keeping in mind that a key component to increasing endurance is lowering the heart rate. How to do it? Surprisingly not by running, or not only. But wait to crow about it: in order to lower the heart rate, we need to train our beloved (heart) muscle to endure intense exertion, for example, with HICT training, i.e., High Intensity Circuit Training: this is a very short duration (10-15 minutes maximum) but high intensity workout. The purpose is to improve the heart’s ability to withstand strain, as well as fortify muscle capacity.

But here’s the answer you’ve been waiting for: how long does it take to see improvement? Depending on one’s starting fitness and physical peculiarities, it takes 8 to 12 weeks to notice improvements. In short: 2 to 3 months to reap some visible results. The first step is the hardest, it’s time to start!

How long does it take to lose weight?

Here we are, because this is where we wanted to get to, right? You want to lose a few pounds or maybe more than a few pounds. This is an understandable choice, especially if you perceive your body as not exactly “yours”-this is not just an aesthetic need but much more intimate. You need and want to lose weight, and the SBMI charts say you are over your fitness weight.

SBMI: un indice più accurato dell’indice di massa corporea

With the understanding that any extreme swing must be decided and planned with the help of competent people (nutritionists and doctors), it is possible to trim and eliminate a few extra pounds by combining exercise with a thoughtful diet. Without going deep into diets, two general pieces of advice apply:

  • Reducing ingested calories is the most effective way to lose weight, but starting from a basic premise: we normally eat far more than we need, and therefore eliminating or limiting calories does not mean starving ourselves but only eliminating the unnecessary. Indicatively you should create a weekly deficit of 2000 Kcal (so about 285 Kcal per day). We reiterate that by doing so you are eliminating excess calories, not necessary calories.
  • It takes a few minutes to take in hundreds of calories (just eat them!) while it takes many more minutes of intense exercise to burn them off. Think about it at the next encore or yet another candy bar.

Here we finally come to the answer you’ve been waiting for: after how long do you see any results? In this case we cannot talk about a time interval because it depends on how much excess weight you start with and your body composition (lean mass, fat mass, etc.). Instead, there is only one criterion: that of Body Mass Index, or BMI. Changes of at least 2.81 BMI points are generally considered to be visible. In other words, when you reduce your BMI by this amount, your physical appearance is visibly different.

How much more defined muscles will you have after that?

You improved your stamina and lost weight. The time has come to make these achievements visible. How? Well, easy: through increased muscle definition, no longer hidden under fatty layers.

In this case, it is crucial not to neglect protein intake because muscles are made of those, or rather: protein repairs muscle tissue stressed by exercise and increases its volume.

The way to increase muscle mass is not just to run, partly because doing so only increases that of the legs. Exercise, especially exercise with weights, is essential to help you achieve these results. One comforting thing is that many results can be seen immediately: it is the outcome of the so-called “muscle pump,” i.e., swollen muscle due to the increased influx of blood, oxygen and lactic acid caused by exercise. It is a previsualization–how to say–of what you will become by continuing to train. For how much? From 6 to 8 weeks if you are not particularly fit and from 8 to 12 if you are already fit (the fitter you are, the slower the improvement, unfortunately).

Obviously these are very variable times and results from person to person but they can give you an idea of how long it takes with exercise (whether intense or prolonged) to change your body.

Remember again: we are referring to cases that are not extreme in either body weight or training load. On average, individuals who want to lose weight, improve stamina, and better define their bodies take a few months to achieve this by focusing with discipline on training and nutrition.

In any case, medical support, that of specific coaches and your own, very personal, ability to listen to your body’s every signal is essential. You are basically releasing its true form, hidden behind layers of lack of attention and lack of training. If you do it carefully and lovingly it will know how to reward you. Just give it time: the right time.

(via Harper’s Bazaar)


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