Updated: Jan 21, 2022
Many people want to get fit quick. Many people ask how they can get ripped in just 3 weeks, or how they can look like their favorite celebrity in just a couple of months.
And the best answer we can give you in probably not one that you're going to like. Simply put, you can't really go from looking normal and not looking like you work out to looking 'fit' in just a couple of weeks/months. Sorry to disappoint, but you can't really 'get fit quick'.
You can make good progress, you can build up a lot of momentum for your training in the future, but you probably won't quite get to where you want to be in such a short time frame.
Fitness takes time, as with anything in life that's worth having. Depending on the size of your goal, it will take years and years of consistent working out and exercising to get where you want to be. Ask anybody who's lifted or trained naturally for 1-2 years. Have they reached their target goals? Probably not.
Unless you've got a very short term and specific goal such as to lose 10 pounds before your upcoming wedding, you'll need to accept that you simply have to train hard consistent for quite a while.
However, there are some methods and tips that you can use to ensure you do make progress as quickly as possible. These tips and methods, if done correctly, will help you get a headstart in your fitness and help you make as many gains as possible at the beginning.
So while we cannot offer you some sort of magic fix that will bring about great results in just a matter of weeks (if anybody says that they're probably lying), we can give you some tips and pointers to help you make progress as quick as possible.
In this post, we'll be going over a couple tips for this, and helping you apply the knowledge to your training so that you don't have to guess.
First of All - What do You Mean by Getting Fit?
Getting fit and getting in shape will mean different things for different people. For some, getting fit simply means losing some weight. Or it might mean packing on muscle and looking like their favorite bodybuilding influencer. Maybe it's increasing your athletic performance on the sports field.
What 'getting fit' means is going to differ from person to person. And this is going to have an impact on the approach that you take to getting fit, as well as how long it's going to take, and things like that.
So first, you need to define your goals. Are you looking to lose weight? Gain some mass? There are lots of different goals that you might have. It's also normal to have more than one.
We'll leave you with a couple common goals below.
Becoming a better athlete
So first, you need to be able to define your goals. This is important for the reasons that we mentioned above.
Now we'll get into some tips and approaches that you can use to help reach your goals quicker.
Track Your Diet
Getting fit is not just about training and exercising. It's also largely dependent on your diet, how much you eat and drink, and what you eat.
For example, if your primary goal is to lose weight, you absolutely have to be eating in a caloric deficit. This is the only way you can lose weight.
Or if you're looking to build muscle/gain strength, you'll want to be in a caloric surplus, which means you're eating more than you burn. This is not the only way to build muscle, but is optimal for the best results. However, if you want to gain weight, then a caloric surplus is absolutely necessary.
If you're not sure what a calorie is, it's basically the amount of energy that an item of food or drink carries. So when you eat a burger that contains 400 calories, you're eating 400 calories worth of energy. Your body will then use and burn that energy for everyday activity and movement.
The average person burns around 1800 calories each day, doing nothing. This is known as your maintenance level of calories, and will vary depending on your age, gender, weight and some other factors. However, we'll use 1800 as an example.
If this person wanted to lose weight, they would need to be eating less than 1800 calories each day to slowly lose fat. The opposite would apply if this person wanted to gain weight an muscle at an optimal rate. He or she would need to be eating more than 1800 calories each day. And if he or she ate roughly 1800 calories a day, bodyweight would not change.
And the opposite would go for weight gain, and is preferable for muscle/strength gain as well. If you want to get bigger/stronger, you should be looking to eat more than you're burning. Just a little bit over so you don't gain too much fat.
You can use this calorie calculator here to figure out a rough estimate of how many calories you're burning per day. Then, you can either eat above this number (10-20% of your maintenance calories above is recommended by Healthline), or eat 300-600 calories below this number to lose weight (a balanced 500 is recommended by Healthline).
You can eat in a little bit more of a surplus if you want quicker results, and you can eat in a little bit more of a deficit if you want quicker results. However eating too much or too little can often cause people to feel sick, and you will just have to be careful if you do experiment with this.
You also need to make sure that you're not feeding yourself the wrong foods. Technically, you could eat whatever you want and get to where you want to be in terms of your fitness goals. As long as you're getting the right number of calories in, and the amount of other macros in, you will make progress towards your goals.
However, this is still unhealthy. In terms of gains, you will be fine. But in terms of your health and safety, it's definitely not a very optimal choice. Try to eat mainly whole foods, and don't eat too much fast or processed food. Eating unhealthy all the time can lead to other serious conditions such as diabetes and heart diseases.
You can learn more about dieting here with our 8-step quick guide to creating your own workout meal plans.
You need to train hard in order to get to where you want to be. We've seen people asking whether lifting a 5kg or 10lb dumbbell once a week is going to bring about any progress. If you're reading this, we'd hope you know that that will do absolutely nothing for you.
Having a good diet can help you with your fitness goals. However, if you want exceptional results and fast, you need to be exercising and training hard. By this, we mean going out there several days a week and giving each session you do a good effort.
You don't have to push yourself to the very limits every single session, as this will lead to unnecessary fatigue and bring about more gains in the short term, but hurt your ability to work hard in future sessions and hurt gains in the long run.
Instead, just work hard. Not to failure or to your absolute max efforts, but do train hard.
For example, if you're lifting weights in the gym to build muscle, take most of your sets close to (within 3 reps of) failure. This is going to bring you the optimal results for your time in the gym, without causing too much damage to the body and affecting your ability to work hard in your future sets.
If you're dong some sort of cardio exercise to lose weight or increase cardiovascular fitness, work hard most of the time. Don't go to the point where you feel like you're going to throw up or faint, but definitely get a good sweat in and get the heart beating fast.
If you train as a competitive athlete, this becomes especially important. Often, athletes will be training more than once a day. Try not to overdo it in each session, as your training volume is so high and you need to be moving as efficiently as possible in all of them.
However, still push yourself and try to do better than you did the previous week, whatever it is that you're doing. This can be applied to any form of exercise and is important if you want to see long term progress that you can maintain.
So push yourself, but not to the very limits. Only do that sometimes, and for a good reason. Otherwise you'll only limit yourself in the upcoming sessions and hurt your ability to make gains in the future.
Take Your Recovery Seriously
We already established that you need to train hard if you really want to get to where you want to be. You need to be training hard pretty often too.
This can quickly take a toll on the body and begin to affect our ability to perform in future sessions. To combat this, we can make sure that we're taking our recovery seriously, as it seems to be one of the most neglected things in fitness that can make big differences.
By taking recovery seriously, we mean things like getting enough sleep. This was shown in a study conducted by Olivia E Knowles which concluded: "Inadequate sleep impairs maximal muscle strength in compound movements when performed without specific interventions designed to increase motivation." And other studies have shown similar results.
Look to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Closer to 8/9 hours is the most optimal.
You should also try to fit in a post workout recovery routine after your workout sessions if you've got the time. You can do static stretching, foam rolling and a warm down. This will all help to alleviate some of the muscle tightness and pain that you might feel the following day, and help keep you training as efficiently as possible.
Also, remember to try to get your protein in. Generally for healthy adults, it's recommended by ACSM that you have 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight each day, or about 0.5-0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight if you're in the US.
Along with this, try to do some stretching and mobility whenever you've got some free time. It never hurts to be more flexible and more mobile!
Find a Workout Partner if You Can
Working out can be tough. In fact, if you really want to see results, it should be tough. Training with a partner and having that other person with us can really help to motivate and encourage us, driving us to push harder and ultimately see more progress.
However, you need to be careful that you and your workout partner are not distracting each other from your workouts. You need to be sure that you're both able to train together, without making each other laugh during your sets, get carried away on your phone during rest periods, and so on.
Having the right workout partner for you can help you to train harder, get some healthy competition and overall, find more motivation to push for quicker and better results!
If you really want to see quick gains, you need to be consistent. We're not just talking about showing up to the gym every week. We're talking about showing up to the 4-6 days a week, and giving each session that you do a good effort.
You've likely heard a quote that goes something along the lines of: just a little each day adds up to a lot. And that's exactly how everybody with a good physique got to where they wanted to be.
They didn't work hard one or two days a week and expect to see proper results. They stuck at it, day after day, even though they had not yet the results they ultimately wanted to. You just have to trust the process.
Set a reminder on your phone if you must! Mark it on your calendar. Ask your friends (maybe your workout partner) to remind you. Do whatever it takes for you to be consistent and show up to the gym or the training grounds each day that you're meant to be training.
If you do this, you'll make progress towards your goals. Nobody can tell you exactly how long it's going to take, as that is dependent on how hard you're willing to work and varies from person to person depending on the size of their goals.
However, just trust the process and stay consistent. It's the best thing you can do for yourself if you really want to see gains.
We know that being realistic about your goals often isn't good advice. We should be aiming as high as we possibly can, so that we can really achieve the lives that we want to live and see the most amazing success.
Yet you do still have to realize that fitness takes time. It's not something that's going to reward you handsomely for a couple days of hard work. You won't get a shredded looking six pack like the one below from just a couple hours of training each week for a month.
You need to be working hard and consistently, for months and months on end. For some, possibly even for several years.
However, like we mentioned above, a specific and short term goal such as losing 5kg or 10 pounds in 4 weeks is probably something that's doable if you're willing to work hard enough. But the progress that you do make will be hard to maintain and you'll still have to continue to work hard consistently if you want to keep your gains.
So realize that there is no 'get fit quick' scheme. It's like starting a business. You don't just work hard for a couple weeks and expect to see huge results. You can see SOME progress, but definitely won't get to where you want to be unless, you're extremely lucky.
Learn to Enjoy the Process
Last but not least, you need to enjoy what you're doing. When you like the work that you do, you work quicker and more efficiently. You'll see gains and make progress quicker.
Plus, if it's going to take a long time, why not find a way to enjoy it? Fitness will start to take up chunks of your day. Whether this comes from actually working out or fitting that extra snack in to meet your calories, fitness is going to end up taking quite a bit out of your day.
So learn to enjoy what you're doing. And if you want to preserve your gains, you'll have to continue to train hard anyways. Otherwise you'll lose them.
Essentially, you'll probably end up training for life. So you might as well learn to enjoy it.
Whether you have to find a workout partner to help you do this, or you modify your training program to include more activities/exercises that you personally enjoy doing, you need to find a way to enjoy the process.
We're sorry if we disappointed anyone during this post. But you can't get 'fit' in just a matter of weeks. Like we mentioned, you definitely can start to see some progress. You definitely can start to see lifestyle changes and development of better habits. But you won't reach your goals instantly.
It's going to take a long time of hard, consistent work. However if you follow these 7 simple steps outlined in this post, you'll make progress as quickly as possible and ensure that you don't waste your time.
If you found this post helpful, share it with your friends so that we can reach more people!
And if you would like a headstart with your fitness and boost gains even further beyond these 7 tips, upgrade your account to Gympulsive Pro today and we'll be able to help you get to where you want to be!