My waistline is growing


I go to the gym five, six, and sometimes seven times a week. Matter of fact, there are some days that I exercise twice on the same day. My problem is that I eat healthy, but I am not losing any more weight. How can I get past this plateau? — Cherry M.

Have you ever noticed that the large majority of people you see in the gym aren’t making progress with their weight loss or physical fitness goals? It’s great that they’re exercising, but there is something to say about why their commitment and dedicated efforts seem to create distance between sweat and results.

The reason many people who exercise regularly aren’t making progress is typically because they’re not getting adequate nutrition, proper rest, or training effectively. But for this article and your question, I am going to assume you are eating healthfully, consuming proper portions, getting plenty of rest and you’re healthy. With this said, it is my thoughts that you are over-training.

Too much, too often

When it comes to physical fitness it is not uncommon for people to fall prey to the philosophy that: too much of a good thing can be negative. The reason I say this is because if you are going to workout five, six, and seven times a week, it is in your best interest to become knowledgeable about the ins and outs of exercising daily without causing more harm than good.


If you are going to workout, it is important to keep in mind that it’s to your benefit to condition your body for intense workouts. Secondly, when you place a significant demand on your body, the higher your age, the more time in between intense workouts you must allow.

Categorize the training

There are two types of physical activity: 1) anaerobic; and 2) aerobic. Anaerobic activity includes weight training, wind sprints, and various exercises where you find yourself out of breath. Aerobic activity includes long walks and various exercises where the activity is sustained and you don’t find yourself out of breath.

To help you avoid overtraining, I recommend you alternate anaerobic workouts with aerobic. For an example of what a week of training would look like, consider the following: perform weight training on Monday, slow and easy cardiorespiratory exercise like a brisk walk on Tuesday, wind sprints on Wednesday, slow jog on Thursday, and Friday perform weight training and if you decide work exercise on Saturday or Sunday, make it aerobic.

Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that you don’t want to perform any type of exercise unless you have your doctor’s permission. As well, it is not recommended that you perform anaerobic activity until you are conditioned appropriately.

Robert Ferguson is a nutritionist, researcher, best-selling author, speaker, host, NAACP nominee, creator of the Diet Free Life methodology, and Chief Nutrition Officer at iCoura Health, Inc., who serves on the Presidential Task Force on Obesity for the National Medical Association. E-mail him at, or visit his Web site at


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