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What to do When Working Out Isn't Working Out; The 3 Things That Trigger Quick Results
by: Shawn Ferrando
"Your body has most likely severely plateaued."

Q: I have started to get back in shape. I joined a gym and on average I spend 2-3 hours per day about 5 days a week doing various things including cardio and weight training. My question and my frustration is that I am beginning the 5th week and I am not losing any weight. I have gone from being pretty sedentary to what I have described above and I don't know what I am doing wrong that I am not seeing any results from the scale. Why can’t I lose weight despite tons of exercise, any advice?

-B, Shaw,  Trabuco Canyon, CA


A: You went from being sedentary to intense workouts 2-3 hours daily at 5 days a week. Your biggest problem undoubtedly is that you're completely overtraining! By working out 2-3 hrs/day about 5 days a week, you're body is crying out for recovery time and has most likely severely plateaued. Your body needs quality time to recover from intense workouts and without this, it will start shutting down.

I highly recommend cutting back on your training and focusing on only 1 hour of intense training per day for a maximum of 4 days a week. It’s great to break up your 1 hour training routine into 30 minutes of high intensity weight training and finishing off with 30 minutes of high intensity cardio training. Push each weight training set to failure and really work your muscles. Once your weight training is finished, move right into your cardio routine. Choose high intensity cardio exercises which will burn more calories and keep your body's metabolism up throughout the day. Great examples are interval training (fast and slow spurts), sprints, jumping rope and spinning. This may also stimulate muscle growth and strength in your weight training routine.

The second thing of importance is to really look at what you’re eating every day. Make sure you document everything you eat and drink into a diet journal; more than likely you are eating more than you actually know and writing it down and seeing what you are consuming will keep you accountable for every calorie.

Make sure to limit all simple sugars (fruit, etc.) after 3pm. Your insulin levels are very sensitive at night and it will be much easier to store extra fat if you consume sugars later in the day. Eating simple sugars early for example at breakfast gives you the whole day to burn them off so they are less likely to store as fat. Stick with a lean protein and non-starchy carbs. Excellent choices would be a grilled chicken breast, turkey breast, fish or lean meat along with salads with vegetables (cucumbers, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes) with romaine lettuce and a little balsamic vinaigrette dressing (try to stay away from cream based dressings). You can also add chicken breast to the salad or make a stir fry with the fresh vegetables. There are several healthy choices to keep your diet clean and high in nutrients.

Remember everything in moderation; the body needs time to adjust to your new training routine and also needs the proper recovery time along with a nutritious healthy diet. You should start seeing results in no time!

949.292.1799 | 30555 Trabuco Canyon Rd. # 101, Trabuco Canyon, CA

Owner of Shawn Ferrando Studio Fitness, Shawn Ferrando, has over 24 years professional experience in the health and fitness industry. Shawn has numerous National certifications including the National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy Of Sports Medicine Advanced Specialization Sports Fitness Specialist, National Academy Of Sports Medicine Certified Core Stabilization Training, O.C.C. Fitness Specialist/Personal Trainer, Apex Certified Trainer, AA Nutrition Education, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Indoor Cycle Certification. Shawn has extensive experience in rehabilitation training (post injury/pre-post surgery), sport specific training and is CPR/AED Certified through the American Heart Association. Shawn is also a member of the world’s largest associations of Health and Fitness Professionals, Idea Health and Fitness Association and the American College Of Sports Medicine. To contact Shawn directly, please email her at

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