One day you’re at the top of your fitness mountain. Two months later, you can be as out of shape as you’ve ever been. There you are, eating another snack in front of your TV, when it hits you: It’s time to get back in shape. But what’s the time line like on reaching your pinnacle again?
This answer depends on how far you let yourself go. Generally, if you’ve just dropped your workout but not diet, you’re staring at 2-3 months of hard work to get to where you were. If you’ve put on some weight from eating and lack of exercise, you can add another month to that.
The first thing that will come back is your strength. Muscles have memory and you’ll start noticing significant re-gains after a few weeks. Your cardio and endurance will creep back significantly slower.
This process will be entirely frustrating to you as exercises and weights you were able to accomplish on a regular basis will be impossible in the present. In fact, even when lowering the weight significantly, your arms and legs may still shake because they no longer behind the strength behind them.