This is a jackpot question. I say that because when people ask me, the amount of variables that spill into my thoughts sound like the coins gushing out of a one-arm bandit when you hit jackpot!
The question should be.. 'How long would MY transformation take?"
Now that is dependent on many factors, including age, gender, current fitness levels, exercise history, health status, current bodyweight and, of course, your ultimate goal. But even if these were a common factor, such as 'to lose as much weight as possible', we still have so many factors that can arise in your approach, programme design, commitment, effort, frequency of training, strictness of diet, responsiveness (genetics) and on it goes.
If I were to cover every variable, I think we'd be here for another 600 or more pages, so I want to cover a more generic, and related question, which is "Are the transformations you see online real? And 'Can you really change your body shape that quickly?'
There is always a skeptical outlook on this, and I'm going out on a limb here and simply stating; don't believe everything you see online.
Two of the biggest tricks are adjusting timeframes and airbrushing photos, and not just the 'after' photos. It's been known take reasonably fit people and create a fake, overweight 'before' image. Then you have to watch long arduous videos of an emotional story that tries to relate to 'you' and then some medical, hormonal jargon thrown in to make it look scientific, followed by the sale of coaching, online training packs, CDs or supplements.
OK, there's the majority of body transformations that you see online taken care of, so what about the genuine ones?
Bodyshape change does not happen overnight. Weight-loss can. In fact, to prove this, someone (ill-advised) lost 10kg in a 24 hour period. Did he look any different? No. Because the 10kg loss was intestinal content, water and muscle. Did he feel well? No, he could hardly stand up! Is it safe? No you can die. Is that enough to move you away from targeting super-quick weight loss? Someone can lose 10kg in 24 hours, and others are jumping up and down because they lose 1kg or 2kg in a week? 1kg to 2kg of what? Water? Muscle? Fat? Only a body composition test can verify that (and not always correct).
Ask yourself why you want a body transformation. It's for the change of shape right? Lose the soft bits and be left with the firm toned body which looks great in swimwear? So if we assume that's what the focal point of this article is, we only have to deal with where you are currently with your health & fitness, and what you are going to put into this project. And, as everyone are in their own unique place and I don't know every reader, I can only address the latter. Here is the depressing bit. I see people in the gym "working their nuts off" for hours everyday for many years and getting no-where. Why? because their nutrition is incorrect. So what will an hour on the treadmill 3 times per week do? You've read a thousand articles on HIIT training and cross-fit which you beat yourself up with everyday, and still nothing! Yes, I see it everyday. So what's the point? Is it really all about diet?
It's all about the correct 'dosage'. You've heard this percentage split of 80% nutrition, 20% training. Well I would adjust that to 100% lifestyle commitment, primarily nutritional controlled and shaped by your workouts. "oh that sounds so boring and long-winded GIVE ME THE QUICK FIX!"
It is because most people think like that, there are multi-million dollar scams all over the internet, preying like vultures on the weak and desperate, clutching at any new miracle cure to deliver a cover model physique by next weekend!
Ask yourself how long it took you to get into your current shape or state. A few weeks? or many years? So how do you think you can reverse those physical effects? A couple of HIIT classes and an expensive protein shake, infused with miracle berries from a secret Amazonian rainforest?
A lifestyle change can be the long path or a total dedication to as fast as possible, and although I thoroughly recommend the slow and structured path with long lasting changes, I will also answer the 'how quick' question, as the title of this article suggests.
IF your diet is precision designed, together with a training plan that is totally bespoke to your body, genetics and all the other variables mentioned above, then yes, it is quite possible to make exceptional changes within a very short period of time. And I'm talking noticing changes in weeks, with some pretty substantial body shape changes in a few months. I can only state substantial because we have no parameters here, i.e current body-fat levels, target body-fat levels etc. But let's be clear, a journey from morbidly obese to six-pack is not a short term journey trust me.
Regardless of precision, goal orientated nutrition and training strategies of "the Pro's" there are bigger monsters that you have to deal with along your journey, which you need to plan NOW, before you start. How are you going to maintain motivation? How will you overcome obstacles? How ill you deal with hunger? temptation? birthdays, weddings and other events? Sickness, injuries, results not happening or slowing down? There is so much that you have to deal with in 'totally committing' to a programme that will give the fastest possible results. Look yourself in the mirror and ask 'Are you ready?"
You need to be inspired. You need a plan with the right approach, including how to manage obstacles and set-backs. Then you need the motivation or momentum to continue with a very strict regime until you smash whatever you set out to achieve. A body transformation in a short timeframe is not about tinkering with a few plans, it's knowing exactly what to do and how you are going to do it, and sticking to it at all costs.
We can help you with this process.
This is also why, throughout the year we at Profile have training camps and challenges to give you something to aim for. And, along the way, the 'coaching support' to get you there.
Set a goal, make sure you're ready and then go for it without stopping, and nothing or no-one can prevent you from achieving it!