Have you ever wondered how long it really takes to get in shape?
What is the magical period of time that it takes for change to happen?
Well let’s look at some unrelated examples…
Everything from a financial quarter, to an academic semester and even drug treatment programs are 8 to 12 weeks long.
So then, it shouldn’t be surprising that an exercise program would take the same amount of time. This is because 8 to 12 weeks is the minimum response time it takes intention, consistency and persistence/effort to come to fruition.
We have all heard of someone going through chemotherapy that lasted for 8 to 12 weeks, but didn’t know how the doctors came to that specific amount of time.
This is the minimum amount of time it takes a person to respond. Furthermore, doctors are looking for something specific. They are looking for either a very positive response, which is ideal, or a very negative reaction. This gives them an idea if they were going in a very positive direction or in completely the wrong direction. The worst case scenario is when nothing changes at all and is completely unresponsive. It means they have to completely review the condition, diagnosis and treatment.
Same is true for fitness.
When we start a program it should take no less than 8 to 12 weeks. We are also looking for there to be an extremely positive change. Having no change at all or a worsening situation requires us to re-look at the plan, consistency, and effort.
8 to 12 weeks is the amount of time it takes for exponential growth.
At first with exponential growth, very little happens. As we are approach our goal of 12 weeks, changes start to happen more rapidly. Without the consistency and effort, there will be little noticeable change especially if someone quits too early.
As we have seen in television program such Biggest Loser, the greatest amount of change happens around the eighth week of consistent work and continues through week 12.
Coleen is an avid disciple of Pilates. She did Pilates with trained instructors every day for 14 years, and still remained clinically obese.
Frustrated, she sought help from us. We gave her a jump rope and asked her to skip rope for 15 minutes a day before her Pilates sessions.
Within eight weeks her body began to change shape and the pounds dropped off.
Sadly, every time she approached making major changes, she become distracted with travel or family drama, and revert back to square one.
This is why when creating a program of change it is important to be consistent with your frequency, and persistent with your effort for at least 8-12 weeks. After three consecutive periods of 8 to 12 weeks (or 36 weeks), your body starts to maintain the work that you do. By then, your exercise and diet programs should become second nature.
So as you embark in this process of fitness, visualize a 36 week period of time. With each 8-12 week period, set very specific goals. Once you achieve them, try to increase them and improve your new set of goals for the next period. The result will astonish you.
The Healing Coaches