Be Patient: You Will Get Results from Working Out

You’ve been committed to your new workout regime for two solid weeks. You’ve put in every minute you said you would, and a few extra.

But your weight, your resting heart rate, your body composition, your VO2 max, your mood, nothing has budged. You know not to expect miracles this soon, but you feel like you need some glimmer of hope to keep you motivated.

How long does it take to see some results?

Of course, the answer varies with the time you spend and the moves you make, the food you eat and the sleep you get and so much more, as well as the kind of change you’re trying to make. But we can give you some ballpark estimates of what might happen when:

Cardiovascular health

Holding to a consistent, sustainable workout schedule where you’re active at least three to four days out of the week is likely to bring improvements to resting heart rate, lung capacity and other markers of cardiopulmonary wellness within eight to 12 weeks.

Interval training, especially HIIT (high-intensity interval training), could bring these improvements more quickly and is a great approach for the short term or long term, if you can stick with it.

Muscular gain

This is one instance where you might notice some improvement immediately — right afterwards, your muscles are still engorged with the blood, oxygen and lactic acid that’s been sent to them while you’ve been lifting or pushing or whatever it takes.

More lasting results can show up in four to six weeks if you can consistently incorporate progressive overload into your training.

Weight loss

This goal’s interaction with your nutrition makes it possibly the most variable in terms of when you can start to see progress.

If you’re not adhering to a specific diet plan that figures this stuff out for you, you’ll need to create a 500-calorie deficit per day to lose up to 1 pound a week, according to established research.

If you’re intent on creating that deficit mostly through physical activity it could take longer to drop a significant number of pounds, or you may see some seesawing between losing weight and gaining it through building up muscle.