How long after working out do you see results? A breakdown by goal

     A lot of times when people start working out, they are really hoping to see results fast. To some extent, exercise makes you feel better immediately in the form of feel-good endorphins, but the majority of exercisers are after something a little more long term and visible, usually a leaner silhouette, the loss of fat, and gain of muscle.

     Obviously, the kinds of results you are looking to see are going to influence the types of exercises that you start doing on a regular basis. We've included the Day 1 workout video for our free 5 Day Challenge above to help you get off to a strong start, if you'd like to follow along with a free workout plan that combines a wide variety of training methods (HIIT, cardio, strength, total body toning, Pilates, yoga & more) to help you feel more fit by the end of the week. We also recommend Subscribing to Fitness Blender on YouTube for over 500 free full length workout videos (with new releases every week).

Here’s a breakdown by goal of how long after you start training you should expect to notice your workouts creating a change in your body’s abilities and composition. 

How long after you start working out do you gain muscle?
     There are a lot of variables that play into how quickly you gain muscle or strength after you start working out diligently. Baseline fitness, genetics, diet, specific training methods, gender, and age all play into how quickly you can gain muscle and strength.

     Generally speaking, men can add between 1.5 – 2.5 pounds of muscle every month; the average gain is about half of a pound a week for someone diligently following a well structured program. Women will put on muscle mass at a slower rate than men (largely due to testosterone levels), roughly half as fast as men, or about ½ pound every 2 weeks or 1 lb a month.

Here are some of our favorite free strength training workout videos:

How long after I start working out will I start losing weight?
     When you implement a regular exercise regime, you can see a difference in the numbers on the scale in as little as a week. If you combine your physical activity with healthy eating changes and reasonable calorie consumption, you can easily drop 2 pounds per week, starting at week one. In fact, people often see a loss more dramatic than two pounds in that first week as their body sheds extra water retention; just remember that 2 lbs/week is the higher end of what actually what you should aim for in terms of a rate that you can keep up and keep off. As difficult as it can be, try to think longterm and about the bigger picture instead of quick results.

How long will it take me to boost my cardiovascular endurance?
     With regular and intense cardio workouts, you can expect to notice a slight difference in your endurance within one week.

     Continue pushing yourself with cardio workouts 4-5 days a week for two to three weeks and you will start to observe major changes in your lung capacity. Varying the types of cardio you do can prevent injury and boredom, and make for a more comprehensive level of fitness. For example, if you add in a couple of days of high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine, your endurance will be improved much faster than if you stuck to just steady state cardio of any intensity.

Here are some of our favorite cardio workouts (beginner-advanced options)

How long does it take to become more flexible?
     Increased flexibility is a worthwhile goal for anyone, of any age, fitness level or even fitness goal; everyone can benefit from it.

     If you are doing workouts to become more flexible every day of the week, you will start feeling more limber and agile after just seven days.

Our favorites stretching/yoga videos:

How long after working out until I start to look more toned?
If you are doing strength training workouts for the entire body (it's not a good idea to favor working some muscles over others as it can create imbalances and you can't spot reduce fat), as well as cardio and keeping a healthy diet, you can see a difference in the form of more muscle definition in as little as two weeks. 

Aim to target both lower and upper body twice a week, or you can do total body strength routines 2-3 times per week – just make sure to never repeat a workout on a muscle group that is still sore from a previous workout. When you train like this on a regular basis, muscles expect to be utilized, and so stay contracted in anticipation of making work easier when it does occur. This contraction is what makes the body feel “hard” and gives it the appearance of being more defined. This constant contraction burns extra calories because muscles are constantly contracted; if you stop training regularly, the body will stop contracting in order to save energy (calories).

It’s fast and relatively easy to gain muscle tone, but it’s also quick to fade if you stop doing it on a regular basis.

Consistency is important when it comes to any kind of fitness. Working out is a lifelong habit which might seem daunting at first but it's always worth it because it's your health that we're talking about - not just the way your body looks. Time and commitment will get you the results you want to see. Search over 500 free workout videos by length, difficulty, training type, equipment used, muscles targeted, calorie burn & more as well as effective and affordable home workout programs.


12/23/15 5:49pm

I adore the bloopers at the end--y'all are hilarious (and I love your workouts too)!

12/05/15 8:30am

thanks friend..your cardio HIIT work outs rily helped...your indoor work outs were my first choice when I wasnt running outdoor...lost 30lbs wt in 5 months earlier this Im focussing on gaining muscles..yet I do your HIIT work outs for shredding purpose...thanks mate for helping me


12/03/15 10:34am

im 9 stones and wanna lose 2 stones what video on youtube of fitness blender do i have to follow


09/24/15 7:10am

I love you guys!! I have told everyone i know about you!! I am on a 1400 cal a day meal plan. I bought yours and then modified it for my life. I use the loseit app on my phone to help me stay on target of 20 60 20. I have been working out for 3 years. I did barre 5x a week for two years and that really got me started. so I'm in good shape 5' 4" 47 yrs old and weight on avg 116 i want to lose 3 lbs which i did when i first started your program. now I've gained it and can't get it off!!!! I know this is obsessive but my clothes fit best at that weight. I need advice. am i not eating enough calories? it seems on the days when i eat 1800 cal i lose, them i go back to 1400 the next day and gain what i lost!!! this is really bringing me down! I own 8 week fat loss for busy people, fb booty and fb abs HELP! thx


09/05/15 4:24am

Hi there, I'm new to fitness blender and started out with one of your 1000 calorie workouts followed by your 5 day challenge and have really enjoyed it. I play netball twice a week too. I've put on weight! Can this be normal during the first week?


08/23/15 11:10am

I have been using your Website since April 2014.
I recently bought the Fat loss for Busy People 8 week workout.
I have not felt better. Thank you for making such a great product.
I only have one idea to make it easier. On the login could you add a "Remember User Name"?
Keep up the great work.


08/04/15 9:25am

I accidentally stumbled upon your website and am hooked after looking around for 10 min. Cant wait to get sweaty!


07/25/15 8:19am

Thank you so much for all that you have done for so many people :)

I have a question that I have read a bit about, but I would like to know what you guys think about the subject of "loose skin after weightloss".

After working out for a few months (starting weight 260lbs- current 228), I actually see that my skin is "pulling in". Do you think it is possible for someone who has been as large as me to get down to a healthy weight without needing surgery to rectify loose skin?


07/03/15 11:37pm

You're videos are changing my day at a time. I can't even begin to express how much I love working out to them. HUGE thanks to you guys, you ROCK!!


06/26/15 5:04am

I am so glad I found you guys. I am going to tell everyone I know..... You are doing great vids on so many aspects of health and I can relate to you.. I prefer you guys over some muscle heads out there,.,. I will be with you guys every morning here... Thanks for helping me get more motivated... And thank you for the low impact version to the vids... I have bursitis and arthritis in one of my shoulders so most workout I gave up on put there.. thanks for reminding me I can little movements and still get somewhere... THANK YOU GUYS...


05/13/15 2:20pm

I absolutely love your workouts. Two weeks and already seeing results. Kind Regards from Mexico.


05/12/15 9:16am

I'm new to fitness blender and I love the variety of workouts available. I can do them right at home with just a few weights, jump rope and a mat. I love the idea of being functionally fit, rather than just running mindlessly on a treadmill!! One question I have is when doing, for instance, a 10-15 minute HIIT workout, is it necessary to do more than one at a time? I've been conditioned to think that you have to do at least 30 minutes to get a good workout in. I welcome your thoughts on that.


05/10/15 11:15pm

Before I found Fitness Blender I would do the Jillian Michaels videos. You two have made me so much more motivated and excited about working out than the Jillian Michaels videos ever did!

Can you please do a video with more nutritional advice? Could you give your opinions on things like: iifym, reverse diet, bulking, cutting, carb cycling, and any of the other "trendy" nutrition terms I see so much of on the internet.

You two are amazing and I appreciate everything you do so much!


05/05/15 12:21pm

I've been doing the booty boot camp program for 3 weeks now =D Wooohoo and I really like that some of the workout videos in that program have some kind of nutritional advice in them.

One thing I keep hearing about when trying to lose fat and gain muscle (at the same time) are things like "carb cycling" and "calorie cycling" in order to force your body to use more fat for energy instead of glycogen... I know you guys have mentioned in previous videos the importance of carbohydrates in a diet, but if you're ever in the mood to make a video about nutrition again, could you address these topics a bit and give your opinions?

I hate trying to do my own research on all these topics online because I get so many different results and I always feel like someone is trying to sell me a "diet" or some kind of "fad" ...

Love you guys =)

Anita Mills

03/27/15 11:28am

Hi I am really enjoying the 8 week workout plan and I just got the 4 week meal plan. I have a question about setting a realistic goal for myself. I am female 5'7" and weigh 136lbs. I have been working out on and off for the past 2 years and I feel like I am in pretty good shape. I can keep up with the harder versions on most workouts. My goal is to be rid of this last bit if belly fat that I have. I just can't seem to shake it.i don't necessarily want to be tinier, just looking healthy. I have set a goal of weighing 128lbs and was thinking of doing the 1400 calorie meal plan ( I already have clean eating as a lifestyle). Does this seem like a healthy realistic goal or should it just be satisfied with how I look and keep exercising? Thanks so much for all the great videos as a stay at home Mom of 4 girls it is really really a blessing!! Anita

Anita Mills

03/27/15 11:27am

Hi I am really enjoying the 8 week workout plan and I just got the 4 week meal plan. I have a question about setting a realistic goal for myself. I am female 5'7" and weigh 136lbs. I have been working out on and off for the past 2 years and I feel like I am in pretty good shape. I can keep up with the harder versions on most workouts. My goal is to be rid of this last bit if belly fat that I have. I just can't seem to shake it.i don't necessarily want to be tinier, just looking healthy. I have set a goal of weighing 128lbs and was thinking of doing the 1400 calorie meal plan ( I already have clean eating as a lifestyle). Does this seem like a healthy realistic goal or should it just be satisfied with how I look and keep exercising? Thanks so much for all the great videos as a stay at home Mom of 4 girls it is really really a blessing!! Anita


03/26/15 5:08pm

I had forced to left my workout for 5 days only and then i notice that my body gained weight why ? is that normal ?
is my body will become fast as it before i left ??


03/23/15 11:30am

Just tried your first work out of the 5 day challenge. It was really good. I don't know about anyone else, but there are some questions posted by others here that I would like to see your answers to. Is there anyway you could post responses where we could read your answers? Thanks!


03/20/15 7:44am

oh, man. you guys are so flippin awesome.


03/18/15 4:48pm

if i do a 30 min hit cardio and then a couple ten min abs n butt and then arms etc usual an hr n and half a day is it going to help me get rid of the last cuple pounds round my core ive been active working out for 3 yrs pretty regularly learning as i go and cant get the flat ab kangaroo pouch as they call it gone i eat pretty healty also im short and some things seem like they could be modified for shorter ppl lol


03/06/15 7:47am

If you are consistently working out in the morning is it better to have your breakfast before your workout or after?


03/06/15 6:48am

Hi guys, I just finished week one of the 4 week fat loss program and am also following the 4 week meal plan. I have been doing fine except for I am finding it hard to balance my evening eating with my workout. I tend to get nauseous easily from working out so what I do is eat my late afternoon snack around four or five. I don’t get home until 6 and then I work out, so I end up eating my dinner around 7:00pm or sometimes 8:00 pm. I heard that it is not good to be eating so late. Can let me know if this is okay or if I need to make changes in my meal times. Thank you so much


03/04/15 3:24am


Can you please add a series of videos for "low noise" exercises for those of us living in dorms?



03/02/15 6:59pm

You guys are awesome, love all your videos. I have what some people call a weight loss plateau and i was wondering what your thoughts were on that and how to get back to losing weight and toning up. Thanks!!!!


03/02/15 9:14am

Hey guys,

I love you both! I am on my 2nd round of the 8 week program for busy people. I work 12 hour shifts mostly nights and this program is excellent for me. The workouts are perfect and totally something I can do even after a shift.

I have two questions, first how do I get rid of that last layer of fat!! It's mostly my upper legs :/.

And second, would you guys be able to do a video specifically on proper form for the exercises you use?

Thank you so much:)


02/27/15 3:41pm


02/25/15 1:11pm

Hi Guys, my question is: How often is cheating ok? I'm very good with keeping my exercise routine and eating healthy. When I stay home. However as soon as my social life kicks in I'm struggling. Going out having dinner with friends is something I do at least 2 a week and I feel like those meals ruin all the effort I've put in before. Ordering a salad whilst everyone is eating steak and french fries is not only difficult, but people instantly judge you as being not fun and obsessed with weightloss. Or everyone is sharing a cheese plate. And then the bottle of wine that friends are sharing. How do you deal with those situations? How often do you cheat? The only solution I have come up with is staying at home but my social life is too important.


02/17/15 1:19am

Great video - I just started your 8-week program for busy people (the under 30 mins one). I'm about halfway through week 3 and haven't seen much in the way of fat loss/weight change, but I do feel like my endurance is increasing, at least.


02/16/15 7:08am

My question is: as I try to loss the baby belly and muffin holders, what kind of exercise should be doing? Before I watched this video I think I have being jumping all over and even tough I have seeing some results I still having hard time loosing the last 10-15 pounds and the little belly (2 c-sections left a huge mark there) and can't really get to see a small waist. I try wight loss videos, some toning and Hiit, what I am doing wrong?, should i being doing only weight loss exercises and for how long? and what after that?and for how long? Help please :(


02/13/15 6:28am

I gotta say that I totally loved the bloopers in the end!
I'd like to hear more about muscle gain. It seems so complicated.. Is it true that cardio makes mass gain harder? How much cardio is ok if the goal is to gain mass, what are absolute no no's and etc. :)


05/18/14 12:06am

Fat Burning Cardio Workout loved!!!

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