Weight Loss
How to Go From 40 Percent Body Fat to 10 Percent

How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape After Living a Sedentary Lifestyle?

If you have been living a sedentary life, you may wonder how long it takes to get in shape.

Most people would prefer getting in shape quickly. However, very fast weight loss is often not sustainable.

According to this study, people who engaged in extremely restrictive practices tended to regain the weight they had lost after a relatively short time.

It is not helpful to be too drastic in the changes you make.

Additionally, when you try to get into shape too fast, you risk injury. Your body needs time to make adjustments to a new fitness regimen, as outlined in this research.

Lastly, trying to get fit too fast could also be detrimental to your weight loss efforts in the future.

This review showed that people who drastically reduced their food and did intense workouts in the gym tended to ruin their resting metabolic rate and thus struggled to lose weight in the future.


How Long Does It Take to Get in Shape After Living a Sedentary Lifestyle?

To answer this question effectively, you must first understand what it means to get in shape. There are various parameters that people use to gauge fitness.


Some people consider cardiorespiratory endurance to be an essential part of getting in shape.

If you run out of breath and gasp whenever you are exercising, your cardiorespiratory endurance is low.

Such a situation is inevitable when you are starting to exercise after a long break.

What you want to aim for is a situation where you can carry out a conversation comfortably while performing whatever exercise you are doing.

Your heart rate normally goes up whenever you start to exercise and then restores to its normal level immediately after a workout.

The ideal heart rate should be the difference between your age and 220 beats per minute.

To get your endurance to that level, you need to engage in regular cardio training for at least a month. Some people start to see changes in the about half this time; that is within a fortnight.

At this rate, your body will have adjusted to the increasing energy demands that you have as you work out.


Another way to gauge fitness is through the number of repetitions you can do for any particular exercise.

Some people can do 50 sit-ups in one go without feeling completely exhausted while others can do as many as 200.

Usually, these measures are assessed in terms of exercises that involve repetitive motion. For instance, it could be squats, bench presses, pushups, planks or sit-ups.

It might take you approximately 6 weeks to manage considerable repetition levels for these exercises. By that time, your body will have built enough muscular endurance to withstand that kind of strain.


One of the commonest ways to assess how in shape you are is through the measure of fat and muscle in your body.

It is presumed that the more fit you are, the less fat you contain and the more muscle you will have.

Normally, a fit man should have no more than 20% body fat while a fit woman should have no more than 32% body fat.

Usually, this can be assessed through a body fat test or more roughly using callipers and tape measures around the waist.

If you are wondering how long it takes to get in shape in terms of your body composition, you can refer to the following research. Study participants engaged in high-intensity resistance and anaerobic exercise intervention.

They were also given a diet with an energy deficit. Following the intervention, it was found that there was a significant loss in body fat as measured through serum cortisol levels.

The following results took 4 weeks of exercising, 6 days a week. You should thus aim for the same time period if you are using this same parameter to assess your fitness levels.

You should note that when using body composition as an indicator of how in-shape you are, the diet has to be considered.

Body composition is drastically affected by the kind of food you eat.

You may thus not accomplish the same results that the subjects in this study achieved if you do not replicate their diet. Another fitness parameter would be more helpful in this regard.


As mentioned above, this depends on the parameter you are using to assess fitness levels. However, you should start to see results after 4 -6 weeks for most of the standards.

That notwithstanding, there may be factors that come in the way of these outcomes.

1.      INJURY

The first is injury. When you exercise then get injured, you may need to take a break for your body to recover.

However, some people do not let injury jeopardize their fitness goals because they continue to exercise other parts of the body that are not affected.

For instance, if you hurt your thighs, you can still do triceps and bicep curls.

2.      DIET

Another factor that also affects the pace at which you become fit is diet. You have to make complementary changes in your lifestyle to get in shape.

Realize that you will struggle to feel fitter when you eat plenty of processed foods or foods with little nutritional value.

When you begin to work out, you will feel sluggish and may not fully actualize your potential in this area.

Aim to eat lean proteins, healthy fat and plenty of fibre. That way, your dietary choices will support your fitness goals.


Getting fit is also affected by the degree of variation that you introduce into your workout.

If you ask, how long does it take to get in shape after doing a certain exercise; you may not always get the same result because you did not work smart.

Exercising smartly often involves varying the workouts that you do so that your body does not adapt to the exercise. For instance, if you only engage in the steady-state running, your body will acclimatize, and beyond a certain point, it will stop getting fitter.

Alternatively, if you only do sit-ups, your body will also get used to them and stop working. To guard against this outcome, consider staggering the intensity and types of exercises that you do.

Start with slower or fewer repetitions in week 1, increase them by half in week two and so on until you reached your desired goal.

Additionally, consider cross-training by combining different sets of exercises; that way, the stress you put on your body will vary, and you will always keep pushing it.


If you need to know how long it takes to get in shape, you need to clarify what it means to be in shape. This could depend on body composition, heart endurance or exercise repetitions.

For most of the above parameters, you will need about 4-6 weeks of intense training to see results.

On the other hand, be cautious of the influence of injury, diet and exercise variation on these fitness goals.

[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]