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Week 4.5 - Timescales of change

Body changes take longer than you probably imagine, I thought it would be beneficial to help you understand how long certain changes to the body take so that you don't become disheartened when you don't see immediate changes. Today we will cover:

. Fat loss

. Muscle gain

. Flexibility

. Strength

. Health benefits

Fat loss

As previously mentioned, bodyweight fluctuates widely over a short period of time due to vast amount of variables involved in bodyweight:

. Water intake

. Bodily functions

. Water retainment

. Content of stomach

. Level of sweating

However fat loss takes longer to change as for 99% of goals fat loss is the main objective not actual weight.

How long does it take?

We advise that you should lose 0.5kg of body fat a week


. The higher your current fat % - the faster you will lose body fat

. Lower the calories doesn't match to fat loss - less is not more

. Weight training will reduce muscle loss whilst in a calorie deficit

. Higher protein intake will assist recovery and stop muscle mass reduction

Muscle gain

Muscle mass takes a lot longer to increase than fat loss - to gain muscle you should be planning months instead of weeks. Therefore mesocycles for muscle gain should be longer in comparison to fat loss.

How long does it take?

For most individuals an increase of 0.25kg a week is considered fantastic.


. To achieve 0.25kg a week increase you should focus on these 3:

- Training has to be very intense

- Recovery should be high

- Nutrition should be perfect

. Beginners will gain muscle faster than experienced lifters

. To maximize muscle growth you should be in a calorie surplus

. If you are trying to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time - expect the rate of growth to be less


Similar to gaining muscle, flexibility takes a long time to increase and should be continued throughout - stopping stretching will cause flexibility to reduce.

How long does it take?

Around 0.3-0.5% flexibility increase of current flexibility per week.


. Beginners will notice increased improvements quicker than experienced

. If you stop stretching, you will lose your progress over time

. Stretch timing should be longer than maintenance stretching


Strength increases quickly for beginners but becomes slower as the individual gets more experienced. As strength increases due to muscle recruitment and central nervous system improvements - muscle gain will be slower than dedicated muscle building training.

How long does it take?

Beginners - 10-20% strength increase per month

Intermediate - 10-15% strength increase per 8 weeks

Expert - 2-5% strength increase each year


. Strength improves dramatically at the start of training

. Strength improvements reduces vastly for expert lifters

. Most of us rarely reach expert level so improvements will always be a little quicker


Health includes organ function, fitness levels, endurance and other physiological improvements.

How long does it take?

For most individuals you should look at 5-15% increase when beginning physical training across numerous bodily functions such as lung capacity. The stats vary wildly for organ improvements though.

Below are some examples of initial changes experienced through CVT:

. Heart rate - resting heart rate reduces by 1bpm within 2 weeks

. Blood pressure - high blood pressure the average reduction is 7 and 6 mmHg respectively

. Aerobic fitness - Untrained individuals can see improvements of 15-20% in their VO2max following a 20-week aerobic training program


. Mental health improves within 10 minutes of training due to endorphins

. CVT will improve multiple biological improvements

. Think of health improvements as a long term benefit

. Health benefits are often difficult to measure

Be your best!

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