I’m often asked, “How long will it take to ____?” That blank can be filled with “get stronger”, “lose weight”, “get in shape”, “make it to the CrossFit Games”.
It’s the question everyone wants answered with exact specificity. Exactly how many times will I need to come to the gym to get in the best shape of my life? It’s also the biggest lie ever told. The truth is, the answer to that question is starting today until forever.
In a world plagued by 8-Minute Abs and Get Shredded in 6 Weeks, the truth can be a little off-putting.
But there are a few realities in the answer.
Generally speaking, it’ll take about ½ the time to undo whatever got you to today. Have you been ignoring your health and fitness for 10 years? You can probably return to a previous level of fitness in 5.
Additionally, it’s unquestionably easier to begin and prevent than it is to unring a bell.
If you’ve taken some time off from working out and eating reasonably, each day that passes becomes much more difficult than the last to re-start. So, perhaps we should stop asking “How long will it take to ___?” and – instead – ask “Why should I not (re) start today?”