SHAPING UP: Five easily fixed workout mistakes

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Stroll through any gym and you’ll notice many mistakes. Mistakes that waste time. Mistakes that put people in danger. And mistakes that are just plain crazy.

Maybe you even make a few of these mistakes yourself. By avoiding these common blunders, you’ll put yourself on the fast track to results.

Check out the following five fitness mistakes and the solutions you need to avoid danger and to get fit fast.

Mistake 1: You’re using the wrong weight

The goal is to challenge your muscles, not to simply go through the motions. If you are able to complete 15 repetitions easily, then the weight is too light. On the flip side, if you aren’t able to perform an exercise through its full range of motion, and find yourself cheating on form, then the weight is too heavy. The correct weights will feel challenging by your last few repetitions, but won’t force you to sacrifice form.

Mistake 2: You do the same routine

You may have noticed that most people do the same exercises each time they visit the gym. Maybe you’ve been doing the same exercise routine as long as you can remember – if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it, right? The truth is that exercise routines have expiration dates, and that is the date that they begin to lose their effectiveness.

As a rule of thumb, never use the same routine for more than four weeks.

Mistake 3: You don’t warm up

Most people consider warm-up time to be wasted time – they’d rather jump right into the heart of the routine. What they don’t realise is that a good warm up will allow you to perform at a higher intensity, which means greater results. The point of a warm up is to increase your muscle temperature. This increases blood flow, muscle contraction and reduces muscle resistance. Your warm up should last 5-10 minutes.

Mistake 4: You use bad form

Gyms are filled with people performing exercises with bad form. The two biggest reasons are that you aren’t concentrating on the exercise, or you’re trying to lift weight that is too heavy. Lifting with improper form almost always results in injury. Take the time to achieve proper form – by doing so you’ll avoid injury and will reap the full benefit from each exercise.

Mistake 5: You workout alone

People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and typically see fewer results. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Why rush to the gym if no one is there waiting for you? Why push yourself if no one is watching? Exercising alone is a recipe for disaster.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Bacon wrapped scallops

Here’s a great snack or appetizer to share with friends and family during holiday festivities. The nitrate-free bacon and scallops contain healthy protein that will provide usable nutrients for your day. To keep on track with your diet, stay away from appetizers that are fried or filled with carbohydrates.

Serving: 12

Here’s what you need ...

4 Tablespoons coconut oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Dash of sweet paprika

Dash of salt and pepper

6 slices nitrate free bacon, cut in half lengthwise

12 fresh scallops

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil, set aside.

2. Over very low heat, in a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. Add the garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.

3. Dip each scallop in the seasoned coconut oil, then wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the scallops are cooked through and the bacon is crisp.

5. Serve immediately.

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A CLEAN SLATE

Today, one of the first days of 2017, is the perfect day to give yourself a clean slate ... by cleaning out your kitchen. Take a look through your pantry, fridge, freezer and cupboards. Chances are high that you’ll find unhealthy packaged foods that are not in line with your healthy eating goals. Get rid of it all! Give yourself an advantage by starting 2017 with a wholesome kitchen that’s free from temptations and pitfalls.

IN10SITY WORKOUT

Do nothing!

That’s right: do nothing today, zero, zilch, nada!

We’ve worked hard all year, give your body a little holiday, relax and recuperate. Get back into work and eating clean and healthy.

You will thank me for it, plus you will come back stronger and raring to go for your first workout – enjoy it!

DO NOT warm up before and DO NOT stretch after.

GET IN TOUCH

David Souter is an award-winning fitness trainer based in the North East and creator of IN10SITY. David is one of the co-stars of Charlotte’s 3 Min Belly Blitz – the platinum-selling No.1 DVD of 2015 and record-breaking fastest-selling fitness DVD ever. David was also the exercise choreographer behind the No.1 selling fitness DVD of 2014 – Vicky’s 7 Day Slim and has appeared on BBC1 warming up 45,000 Great North Runners. For personal training, online workouts and nutrition plans email david@my-fitnesstrainer.com or visit www.My-IN10SITY.com