• Issac Tan

How Long Does It Take Us To Get Unfit?

With the current work-from-home situation, unfortunately many gyms and fitness centres are closed. Some of us would like to use this an excuse to rest until our usual gyms reopen fully and perhaps even taper off from our usual fitness routine. However, there might be a question that is sneakily looming at the back of our heads. How long does it really take for us to get unfit?

We all know that getting in shape isn't easy. We all familiar with the dedication, persistence and consistency that have to achieve our aspired fitness goals. But after all that hard work, how long does it take for us to be reverted back to being a couch potato? It turns out that despite the immense effort we put into training previously, taking a bit of time off means that we become unfit astronomically faster than it took us to actually get in shape.

The key to becoming fitter -- whether that's improving our cardio or muscular strength -- is to exceed "habitual load." This means doing more than our body and our mind is used to. The stress that this has on our body has allowed us adapt and overcome the increased load, allowing all of us to ascend to higher levels of fitness.

Let's take a look at cardiovascular fitness

Cardiorespiratory fitness is indicated by a person's V02 max (the amount of oxygen a person can use during exercise). Some of us might not know that it takes just less than 8 weeks to drop back to where we started off.

The reason V02 max declines is due to reductions in blood and plasma volumes -- which decrease by as much as 12% in the first four weeks after a person stops training. Plasma and blood volume decrease due to the lack of stress being put on our heart and muscles.

Strength Training

Studies have shown that in the average person, 12 weeks without training causes a significant decrease in the amount of weight we can lift. The reason we lose muscle strength largely has to do with the fact that we're no longer putting our muscles under stress.

When we're no longer working our muscles hard, the muscles become "lazy", leading the number of our muscle fibres to decrease, and fewer muscles being recruited during an activity -- making us less able to lift the heavy loads we used to.


According to studies if you are naturally flexible, it is often uncommon to lose this over a couple of weeks.

However, it’s best to try to maintain a stretching routine wherever you are for overall physical and mental functioning and helping to avoid any injuries.


Now after reading points mentioned above, some of us might have started panicking.

Will our gains all disappear?

Will we become slow after all the hours we have ran in sun and rain?

Will we become stiff and immobile again after this period of inactivity?

The simple answer is yes, we will.

We, humans, are creatures of habits, by creating an environment to ensure we put demands in our bodies will help us maintain those gains. There's a saying "No pressure no diamonds".

If you are looking for solutions to keep fit and ready to press on with your personal fitness journey, we are ready and willing to help you and have a few potential solutions for you!


Go for an early outdoor run, this way you'll get the early sun and fresh air into your body before the car fumes start roaming the street! Additionally, you can run at a park to enjoy the greenery scene while you run. You can run along with your favourite music or you can run with your friend or family to push each other on.

If you would love to challenge yourself to an outdoor full-body workout, you can join us for a functional workout at our amazing rooftop.

We have many workouts that we have in store for you that really allow you sweat it all out and move dynamically. Be assured that you will feel the pump that you are looking for after being cooped and isolated at home for so long.

Play the video above to check out how we take functional training outdoor at our beautiful rooftop!


If outdoor isn't a thing for you, not to worry! You can try indoor workouts at the comfort of your doorstep!

Our R`4 Rehab & Functional Training Coaches bring their expertise to ensure a holistic workout experience at your convenience.

Play the video above to watch the snippets of the Zoom experience with us!

VIRTUAL - ZOOM TRAINING If you're in pain and would like to get it to fix virtually we got you covered! Try booking a Zoom appointment with our Rehab and Functional Specialist to align your posture and challenge your body with a great workout at the same time!

Lastly, if you're looking for a holistic solution to fix your pain and move without pain, our studio is still open at this time for alignment and pain management treatment!

By using our R4 methodology, we have helped many people alleviate pain and train for performance in their everyday lives.

Our mission is to create a state of movement without pain hence encouraging people to move more!

Play the video below to get the snippets of how we coach our clients through our unique process of R4 methodology.

We will be looking forward to you joining us.

See you here soon!

Written by Issac Tan (Fitness Training and Development Manager at FTI)

Reviewed by Justin Chong (Rehabilitation & Functional Training Specialist at FTI)