Here’s the truth—we’re not into that whole “summer body” thing. We work out and stay fit year-round because we want to feel up for anything that life throws our way; whether it’s the opportunity to do the Bondi to Bronte, go waterskiing in Italy, or do yoga on the beach in Maui. Committing to regular workouts helps to keep our bodies strong and healthy.
That being said, we might have slacked off in our sweat sessions in the last few weeks due to the colder weather. If you’re in the same boat, you’re probably wondering the same thing we are: If I really commit to working out, how quickly can I see results?
We consulted a few of our favorite trainers for their expert opinions on how quickly we could expect to get back into shape to be ready for summer. Here’s what they said.
It depends on your starting point
First off, there isn’t a *magic number* of workouts you need to hit in order to start seeing changes in your body—mostly because every person is totally different. “Nutrition outside of the workouts, individual goals and the type of new routine/current routine all play a huge role in the results the client is looking for!” says the personal trainer and owner of Mint Body Arcadia Caitlin Smith. Generally speaking, “six to eight weeks of a consistent, new routine” can create change, says Smith.
For someone who’s brand new to working out, results can be noticed in as little as a week. According to Sebastien Lagree of Lagree Fitness, “The body should adapt right away if the workout is effective, so I think that it is possible to see results after the first session and definitely within 5 sessions.” If you’ve been generally fit your entire life, it might take longer to see results.
Want to see change more quickly? Revamp your diet
Yes, exercise is effective. But in order to see faster results, you should take a discerning look at your nutrition. The combination of exercise and dietary changes can exponentially increase results, says Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough: “If someone who doesn’t usually eat healthfully begins adopting a diet lower in sugar and processed foods, their bodily inflammation may go down within the first day or two making them appear thinner. This may not mean immediate fat loss, but looking less bloated and inflamed can prove to be a big motivator to stay on track.”
Feeling sore the next day is a sign that you’re on the right
If you’re not sore the day after a workout, you’re probably not working out intensely enough to make effective changes in your body composition. Shaking, sweating, and muscle fatigue during a sweat session are all good things, says Lagree! “You should feel the difference after the 1st session.”
McCullough agrees—intensity matters if your goal is to improve overall fitness. “If you’ve started a new workout routine and you’re not sore for the next day or two after, you need to up the intensity level. Depending on what workout you’ve chosen, that could mean upping the resistance or adding more repetitions to really fatigue your muscles.”
Don’t burn yourself out, though. Taking rest days between workouts is just as important as actual exercise in order to see results. Let’s repeat in case that didn’t sink in—you need to take a day or two off in order for your body to change for the better. According to McCullough, “Your body changes in the hours between your gym time as your muscles repair themselves.”