How Long Does It Take to Get Fit for Soccer?

Post title over image of soccer field

I recently wrote an article about how to get fit for soccer, but in that article, I didn’t touch on how long it will take. So, I wanted to write this article to show you how long it will take to get fit enough for soccer. And not only for training but also so you will be match fit. Let’s jump straight into it.

You should expect it to take anywhere from one month to six months to get fit for soccer. This will vary depending on your circumstance regarding the intensity of the league you are going to play in and your current level of fitness.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at how long it will take you to get fit for soccer. I’ll break everything down into sections to make it as easily digestible as possible. I’ve also added a section where we will try and help you speed up the process. So, for everything you need to know, keep reading.

If you want a complete guide on how to get fit for soccer, check out my article – How To Get in Shape for Soccer

How Long Will It Take to Get Fit for Soccer Again?

First, let’s start by explaining how long it will take someone to get fit if they have previously played soccer.

If you have previously played soccer, you can expect it to take at least a month to get fit for soccer again. Your muscle memory will play a huge role in your ability to return to an appropriate level of fitness. And having played in the past, you should be able to return to fitness reasonably quickly.

Other than muscle memory, there are also a few other factors that come into play regarding how long it will take you to get fit again.

These questions are:

  • When last did you train? You could also phrase this as “how fit are you right now?” Regardless, your muscle memory will help speed things up, and it will also help with muscle recovery. 
  • How long did you play for before? The longer you played soccer, the easier it would be to get back into the training.
  • Did you sustain any injuries when you last played? An injury, even if it is old, can play a role in slowing down your progress.

All of these factors can impact the time frame for getting fit. Still, having played before, you already have an advantage over people in other situations as you know what it takes.

To speed up this process, I recommend checking out my 30-Day Soccer Guide.

I created this daily, step-by-step fitness program specifically to help soccer players get fit or give their fitness levels a boost.

The program is formed around a HIIT-based workout program, which is precisely what the professionals use.

In just one month, you could see your fitness levels exponentially increase and significantly increase your impact during a soccer game.

How Long Will It Take to Get Fit for Soccer for the First Time?

Ok, so let’s look at how long it will take someone to get fit who is not fit at all. 

I understand that in this section, we could be talking about two types of people. Those who are not fit and not overweight and those that have excess weight and are not currently fit. 

If you fall into one of these categories, I recommend that you keep reading this section so that we can find out how long it will take you to get fit for soccer.

For any non-professional league, It would take you approximately three months to get to a point where you are fit enough to start playing in soccer matches. If you have excess weight, it might take you a little bit longer. Following a HIIT training program should speed things up.

Starting from a point where you will be playing soccer for the first time and are not fit at all will influence the amount of time that it takes you to get fit for soccer.

Unfortunately, it will take a little longer to get to a point where you are ready for the intensity of a 90-minute soccer game.

Several factors will influence how long it will take you to get fit. These factors include: 

  • How much you are training: This is probably the most significant factor that comes to mind when talking about the length of time it takes to get fit for soccer. You want to be doing cardio at least 4 or 5 days a week and then circuit or strength training at least 2 or 3 days a week.
  • The intensity of your training: The harder you train, the faster it will take you to become fit for soccer. With all of that being said, it is vital to do everything within reason to avoid injuries.
  • Your diet: If you are not eating enough while training to get fit for soccer, you won’t have a very good recovery between training sessions. [source] This could increase the length of time it takes you to get there. If you are eating too much, then it will take you longer to shed excess weight.

These are just a few of the factors that will come into play when it comes to the length of time it will take somebody to prepare for soccer for the first time. 

We have already established that it would take approximately 3 months for someone in your situation to get fit for soccer. So, use that as a goal and aim to get as fit as you possibly can within those 3 months. 

Thankfully there is a straightforward way to speed up this process.

Will High-Intensity Interval Training(HIIT) Reduce the Length of Time It Takes to Get Fit for Soccer?

HIIT definition

High-intensity interval training is one of the best training routines you can do to get fit when you are preparing for soccer. 

As we have mentioned in previous articles, high-intensity interval training is the best type of exercise to replicates what it is like to play soccer.

HIIT mimics the “stop/start” element of soccer in a way that many other exercises don’t.

There are several reasons why HIIT is so good when you are trying to prepare for soccer season. 

  1. HIIT makes your endurance (running) training a lot easier.
  2. HIIT increases your lung capacity, which is essential for fitness.
  3. HIIT increases blood flow.
  4. HIIT is similar to soccer. HIIT involves a significant amount of stopping and starting in a similar way to soccer.

These are just a few reasons why HIIT is so good for you. 

With all of that being said, you might still be wondering how to reduce the length of time it takes to get fit for soccer. So let’s look at that.

With high-intensity interval training, it takes you a fraction of the time to get the same benefits you would from doing a regular cardio workout. 

It is this efficiency that will not only make you fitter in the long run but will also significantly reduce the length of time that it takes you to get fit. This is great for either your next season or for your first soccer training session.

Again, all these reasons had a considerable impact on my decision to create a 30-day soccer fitness program built around HIIT.

I would really encourage you to check out the full program here or download the first 5 days for free here and see what you think.

Why Does It Take So Long To Get Fit For Soccer?

It is important to remember that soccer is one of the most intense sports out there when it comes to fitness.

A soccer player can expect to run approximately seven miles per game, and some players up to 9 miles! [source] Obviously, this depends on your position on the soccer field and whether or not you come on or off as a substitute. 

Soccer players generally need to be extremely fit.

This is why it takes so long, especially for someone who has never played soccer before, to get fit enough to play the game.

This is also true for training. If you are not fit enough, you won’t be able to keep up in training, and you will probably never be selected for the team.


I know that I have mentioned this a few times already in this article, but helping people get fit quickly while following a soccer-specific fitness program is why I created the 30-Day Soccer Fitness Guide. And I really believe you will benefit from it.

Following this program can dramatically increase your fitness, making you a far better player on the soccer field.

Remember, a fitter player is a better player.

That brings us to the end of this article. I hope that you can walk away from it, knowing precisely what it is that you have to do to get fit.

At the end of the day, the length of time it takes somebody to get fit for soccer depends on that person. While it is easy to give a universal answer, as we did, everybody is different, so that number can change depending on you.

Have a look at one of these related articles to find out more information about soccer.

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

Recent Posts