How Long Does It Take To Transform Your Strength, Fitness, and Physique?
How many times have you heard one of your friends say something like this:
“I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks, so I need to start going to the gym to make sure I look good on the beach” Or “I have just signed for 6 Bootcamp classes this week, by next month I am going to be in amazing shape!”
And how often does it pan out exactly the way they think it will?
We hear it all the time, whether it is to lose weight or put on lean muscle, so many people think that the quick-fix approach will get them to their fitness goal. But how long does it actually take to transform your strength, fitness, and physique? And more importantly, what is the right way of going about it?
In this blog, I break down a couple of common goals and where people often go wrong plus I give you my top tips for success and show you some of the amazing transformations that my 2 Meal Day member have experienced.
In a perfect world, weight loss or, more specifically, fat loss, would be instantaneous. But that’s not how the human body works. Instead, everything from your hormones to neurologic system and signals adapt to every little change in your diet and exercise routine.
People often do drastic things in the short term like cutting daily food intake from 2,500 to 1,200 calories per day on top of “smashing” multiple hour-long “HIIT” classes every week. This puts a lot of stress and shock on the body creating adaptations that do more harm than good.
Your body can react by lowering BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate – the number of calories you burn at rest) which means that you may lose weight in the short term but as soon as you go back to eating normally you can often put on even more weight than you did before.
Additionally, the psychological effect of depriving yourself or over-exercising in the name of weight loss doesn’t help you keep weight off over the long term either.
Strength & Muscle
When it comes to improving strength and increasing muscle, diets that are too low in calories decrease your body’s ability synthesise new, metabolically active muscle. They also reduce your overall energy levels to make your workouts feel harder.
It’s important to remember that your muscles don’t get stronger or faster during your workouts. You get fitter in the hours and days in between your training sessions as your muscles repair and adapt to the stimulus. If you go from doing nothing to training 5/6 times per week you aren’t going to give your body the time to appropriately recover.
The result: You aren’t going to see the fitness results you want. And there’s nothing more frustrating than working hard in the gym and not reaping the gains you expected.
How Long Should It Take?
The quick answer to this question is around three months of eating whole foods, cooked from scratch coupled with consistent, intelligent training and recovery can transform your strength, fitness, and physique.
However, this is completely dependent on the individual. The more unfit and out of shape you are, the more profound your results will be in three months. The fitter and stronger you get, the more difficult it becomes to make the same “gains”.
So in short, the answer is getting strong, fit, and in shape for the summer starts now!
Last year I started Olympic Lifting full time, over the 6 months my strength has drastically increased, and I have put on about 4kg of lean mass. Having never really lifted heavy weights, my strength improvement was drastic!
At the end of Phase 1 (30 days) of my meal plans, people are losing anywhere from 2-6kg – but most importantly they are losing fat around the waist with some people losing up to 10cm!
See it for yourself…
How To Safely and Efficiently Transform Your Health, Fitness, and Physique
1. Cook From Scratch, with Fresh Ingredients
There is no better way to take control of your health than learning to cook from scratch. It means you will be eating fresh ingredients and you are in complete control of what goes into it. There will be no hidden added sugars or salt that you are unaware of. Not only that you will rebalance your hunger hormones, stabilise energy levels and nourish the body the way that it needs to.
2. Eat to fuel your body
Focus on food as fuel. Listening to your hunger cues and filling up on whole, minimally processed foods will help you consume more filling fibre, prevent excess insulin secretion and fat storage, and help you reach both your fat-loss and muscle-gain goals.
3. Prioritize strength training over traditional steady-state cardio
Strength workouts can increase your caloric burn, even at rest, for up to 72 hours after you leave the gym, according to research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. Plus, it builds metabolism-revving, performance-driving muscle.
4. Make time for recovery
Give yourself at least two full rest day per week and don’t intensely train the same muscle group or energy system twice within a three-day. Mix up your workouts and their intensity to allow your body to recover. It’s normal to feel some soreness 24 to 48 hours after your workouts, especially in the beginning, but you shouldn’t feel debilitated or like you cannot walk, he says.
5. Try the 2 Meal Day
Fasting can improve energy levels, cognition, and body composition. The 2-Meal Day is a very simple way of keeping your diet in check without the need for counting calories or tracking macronutrients. All you need to do is push your first meal later in the day and reap the rewards! Additionally, you will become more in tune with your natural feelings of hunger and learn to differentiate between boredom hunger, stress hunger, habit hunger etc. Long term this is going to have a profound effect on your fitness and physique goals.
Mind Over Matter
Fundamentally, if you want any change in lifestyle to become a way of life, you need to do it for the right reasons. Your mind is a powerful thing! If you embark on transforming your physique with a negative mindset – training because you hate the way you look, and you are punishing yourself, it will never last.
In order for you to make it a way of life you need to learn to enjoy the process, this only comes with approaching training and eating well with a positive mindset. Train because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself.