Workout Mistakes That Prevent You From Seeing Results

When we work out, we often want to see the results as quick as possible; sometimes we’re so focused on these goals (whether it be to lose weight or to gain more muscle definition) that we neglect certain fundamentals and this may either prevent one from seeing results or even worse, hurting oneself.

Personal Trainer, Joel Quek, shares with us the common mistakes he sees his clients make and things we can all take note of when starting an exercise regime to keep fit and healthy in order to see results.

Unrealistic Expectations

When people are just starting out, they can sometimes become too fixated on seeing results as fast as possible and as a result, they push themselves too hard – thinking that they’ll be able to lose a lot of weight in a month. However, this leads to failure and exhaustion when they are unable to achieve their goals so quickly, which can in turn affect their motivation.

To overcome this issue, people should understand where they are standing on the fitness scale and where they want to be. It can vary from person to person, but if you’re able to analyse what you want to achieve and what it takes to get there, then you’ll find it a lot easier. If you’re not a fitness expert, it always helps to seek a professional’s opinion who will be able to come up with a bespoke exercise and diet plan together with realistic goals for you.

Not Doing a Proper Warm Up

Warm ups are an important part of every workout routine; they help us prepare our body for the exercise that is to come and can even function as light exercises themselves. However, many people decide to either not warm up properly or skip them all together to rush into the workout. This approach is dangerous as it could lead to injuries or cramps which will, in turn, jeopardise a person’s chances to lose weight or improve as their body has to recover. Imagine that your muscles are like dried spaghetti. If you bend it immediately, it will snap but if you put it into hot water, it’ll become soft and flexible.

The best way to solve this is through more dynamic warm-ups. These are exercises that can elevate a person’s heart rate and also stretch or prepare their body. Dynamic warm-ups can also be used to help specific parts of the body prepare to perform at the best of their abilities. For example, brisk walking or light jogging before going onto your 5km run is considered a good warm up.


Focusing Too Much on Cardio

Cardio workouts have gained popularity thanks to the fact that they help the most when it comes to weight loss and is easy – especially running when all you need to do is throw on your running shoes and hit the pavement. However, this has caused people to treat them as the be-all and end-all exercises for weight loss, causing them to ignore strengthening exercises due to fear of them making them look bulkier (bodybuilders are probably rolling their eyes now).

This assumption is wrong. While it is true that strength exercise work best to help tone muscles, they also help with weight loss as muscles help to increase a person’s basal metabolic rate (when one is at rest). All of this adds up well if they mix their strengthening exercises with cardio exercises, allowing them to lose weight easier and also to tone their body without having to overdo it.

Little/No Focus on Mobility Training

Mobility exercises are those that help with improving the way our bodies move; you can see this in both warm ups on or specific exercises that require us to stretch our muscles. People tend to skip on these exercises because their purpose isn’t as evident as that of cardio exercises and strength exercises. However, mobility exercises help to increase one’s flexibility, range of movements and also prevents injuries while doing the cardio and strength training.

More Repetitions =/= More Muscles = More Mistakes

You’d normally hear that if you want to become stronger or lose more weight, then you have to keep increasing the number of repetitions of a particular exercise. This approach isn’t completely wrong in that you should try to push yourself a little harder than your perceived limit (this is where a personal trainer is helpful in evaluating your fitness levels), but just forcing yourself to do more and more isn’t only counter-productive, it might not yield results.

The reason for this has to do with your body type and the way in which it allows you to burn fat and build muscle. There are three known body types: Endomorph, Mesomorph and Ectomorph.

Endomorphs are people characterised as being able to gain weight and muscle quickly – they have bigger bones and thus, they might find it easy to see results from strength exercises rather than cardio or aerobic exercises.

Mesomorphs are in the middle, with wider shoulders and smaller hips and need to have a more balanced routine to see results.

Ectomorphs, on the other hand, have a skinnier frame and tend to have faster metabolisms. People of the Ectomorph body types are perfect for running thanks to the fact that they can go at faster speeds. However, these people might also have trouble being able to build muscle.

Knowing your body type is a huge part of learning what you should base your exercise routine around and also what it will require of you to achieve your desired goal.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve committed any of the mistakes listed here; we’re only human after all. Now you know what you should do to improve your workouts and see more result. We’d like to give our thanks to Joel for helping us with this article, and if you’re interested, you can join his fitness bootcamp and kickstart your fitness journey on a proper note!

Photo Credits: Food, Healthline, Daily Burn, Affinity Magazine


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Fitness Bootcamp With Joel

Trying to kick start your fitness journey? This fitness bootcamp is a fantastic way to start losing fats and improve your overall health.

Rapid-fire sequences of movements are designed to get you into shape while working out in a bootcamp style. With its high energy exercises, it is guaranteed to target most of your muscle groups and also to burn excessive calories. Best part? We’ll be doing it in the outdoors with fresh air at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

fitness bootcamp


We will be offering this bootcamp for the next 4 weeks (starting on 6 May 2017), with each week building up to the next. Each week is structured so that both beginners and advanced articipants are able to develop strength and improve range of motion while adding to any other exercise regime you may have.

We will then cool down with some complimentary kombucha.

Please bring your own water and towel. Other equipment will be provided.
The instructor will be Joel Quek:
joel quek
New Balance
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How a Celebrity Trainer Made Us Consider the Difference Between Health and Fitness

Athletes and fitness experts are people who we look up to as they’ve managed to achieve certain things that we might aspire to someday, whether it’d be getting fit or just leading a healthier life. It’s because of that that it becomes shocking when we find out that they can still go through some of the health problems we might face, even though they’re supposed to be healthier. That issue came into the limelight recently when professional fitness guru and host of the American TV show, The Biggest Loser, Bob Harper suffered a heart attack that left the whole world talking.


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The Importance of Your Health as told by Poop

Nobody really likes to talk about poop. After all, it’s waste that your body is trying to get rid off, isn’t it? While that is true, it is also an indication of your body’s current health as explained by Nutritionist and Acupuncturist Melissa Ramos in the following TEDx talk.

Ramos’ talk comes timely with a research which shows that Parkinson’s is linked to gut and treatment is more effective if the patient’s gut was the target rather than the brain. Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s often complained about constipation years before they were even diagnosed.

Conclusion? Your poop and whether you even poop or not is very important when it comes to your health.

Here are the important points that Ramos, the self-proclaimed Poop Whisperer, made during her talk:

  1. You should be eliminating solid waste every single day. If not, your guts may be reabsorbing the toxins into your bloodstream and…that’s not good. “That’s essentially your body drinking up your poop,” as explained by Ramos.
  2. Raise your feet up onto a stool when you use the toilet because physically, that’s the best way to completely eliminate all the poop. This is where the Asian squat comes in really handy!
  3. The shape and texture of your poop shows whether you’ve drunk enough water, ate too much or too little fats, or whether you’re eating enough fibre or not.


What was both entertaining and insightful was when Ramos explained the different types of poop and how that translate into your current state of health. For example, if you have ‘rabbit poop’ which comes out in small pellets, that means that you’re not drinking enough water so your intestines have to work hard to get the waste out.

Interestingly enough, a lot of illnesses and even emotional stresses are related to your gut’s health! After hearing all these, wouldn’t you want to get your digestive system in tip top condition? As mentioned by Ramos as well as other nutritionists, you can maintain better gut health by:

  • drinking at least 2 litres of water a day
  • eat more fibre – consume at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • consume foods rich in probiotics, such as yoghurt, kimchi or kombucha; otherwise, you may want to take probiotics supplement

Remember – you only have one body, so take the best care of it!

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Expert Views Episode 7: When Do You Need Knee Surgery?

In last week’s episode, we learned from Dr Suresh that younger adults are now starting to be diagnosed with arthritis, and that it is a result of being more aware plus how we are more active in sports without proper muscle strengthening.  However, there are cases where the pain or injury is so bad, that knee surgery is required…or not? We find out more from the orthopaedic surgeon himself in this second part of the interview to find out when does one really need knee surgery.

Although we call him ‘doctor’…he’s actually an Associate Professor and has even worked in the Sloane Clinic in the USA. His advice is definitely highly sought after and we’d like to thank him once again for giving us his advice.

This is the end of Season 1 of Wellness Expert Views. We will take a break over the Christmas holidays and will be back with a brand new series in January 2017. Similarly, we will be focusing on pain management and muscle strengthening because we believe that once you’re feeling healthy and good about your body, you will naturally feel confident!

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Expert Views Episode 6: Arthritis – Not An Age Old Problem Anymore

When you think of someone suffering from Arthritis, the stereotype would be that of an elderly person with knobbly knees. However, we learn from Dr Suresh that younger adults are now starting to be diagnosed with arthritis. Just what is arthritis and why are younger people getting it? We find out more from the orthopaedic surgeon himself in this first part of the interview.

Although we call him ‘doctor’…he’s actually an Associate Professor and has even worked in the Sloane Clinic in the USA. His advice is definitely highly sought after and we’d like to thank him once again for giving us his advice.

Note: Dr Suresh gets to the topic at about the 1.50 min mark.

Part 2 will still be on the topic of arthritis, but we ask Dr Suresh about the mechanics of why the knees often get such high wear and tear, his professional view on what situations do patients get knee replacement surgery and if we do feel pain in our knees, should we stop exercising? All these questions will be answered and more.

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I’ve have always wanted to do that!

Every four years with the Olympics, there are two events I am interested in – athletics and gymnastics. I started handstandwatching the gymnastics event when Nadia Comaneci became the first female gymnast to score a perfect 10.

I recalled the awe watching Nadia Comaneci and though I didn’t know her, she instantly became my hero. She was an inspiration to many people.

It was a dream to have that kind of physical strength and power and to be the center of attention. I believe most of us, if not all, has this emotional need to be significant – feeling unique, important or special. We express it differently though.

For me, it was my corporate career because I didn’t have the talent to pursue a sports-related career. By the way, I didn’t win any races when I was in school.

I continued to be active physically and over the years took up a variety of activities – running, hiking, aerobics, and step classes. In early 2000’s, I discovered Pilates and chose to become a Pilates teacher.

It is a fulfilling path for me – it challenges and allows me to grow both physically and mentally. It was tough to learn Pilates because I didn’t have any prior training, except being a student in group classes in the gyms.

Over the years, I enjoy making discoveries of how I can move better and feeling good about myself. Sometimes, it is hard to describe this feeling. My friend Jay calls it freedom. It is freedom of expression, of who I am and being confident of how I live my life – and yes, I want to be an inspiration to others. Don’t you?

Although practicing Pilates made me a lot stronger and mobile, I am always looking for what other people are practicing and teaching in the fitness and movement fields. I believe there are always practices and/or new discoveries that will add to my knowledge and growth. I am not limited to what I know and am comfortable with. I’d like to push and maybe feel uncomfortable once in a while.

Which is why I wanted to learn the handstand.

But I didn’t have much success in learning the skill, until about a year ago. Initially, I was learning it from a yoga class setting and I was asked to just kick up to the wall. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it all. I didn’t know how. I was envious when I see other students being able to kick up to the wall. In big class settings, it was not feasible to receive appropriate coaching.

Then I realised it wasn’t enough to hold a handstand against a wall, it is being able to do a freestanding handstand. I become even more inspired. But how am I going to get there?

A year ago, I discovered GST, gymnastic strength training by Coach Sommer, the founder of GymnasticBodies.com and a long time National Team coach for the US Men’s gymnastics team.

The handstand is an amazing skill and is not just available to the gymnasts. This skill is possible to learn with proper progression training, time commitment, and, most importantly, consistency. One of the reason why I started BodyTree GST – a studio for adults to learn handstands and other gymnastics skills.

At BodyTree GST, we follow the progressions developed by Christopher Sommer – a proven method to learn this skill with quality, precision and without injuries. Read this article published on Shape – How to do Handstand without injuring yourself.

What are the benefits of acquiring this skill?

  • Build strength in the shoulders, upper back and core
  • Improve spatial awareness
  • Improve balance
  • A skill which will transfer over to other training, making you a better athlete and enhancing your physique.20160329_190836

As for me (right photo), I am still in my foundation work, and even with my years of fitness training, they are tough. The work exposes my weak areas especially my joints, tendons and ligaments in my shoulders – and reveals to me I will need to be patient. I am very confident the techniques will get me to where I want – a Free Standing Handstand.




LayYong is the co-founder and MD of BodyTreeGST, an affiliate of GymnasticBodies.

GymnasticBodies Singapore offers gymnastic strength training and we specialise in helping high achievers to have them looking and performing at their peak.

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Expert Views Episode 5: How Stress Affects Mobility & Posture

Are you sitting up straight right now? Do you care about your posture? We often hear the term “mind over matter” but did you know that stress, which can be considered as something more mental than physical, can also affect your physical mobility and posture? Interestingly enough, the interview took a bit of a philosophical turn but perhaps that is the nature of how complex the human body is and that is why your physical health is also an indication of your mental health and vice versa.

Find out more in this interview with Dr Theo Kieu of Light Chiropractic as we explore how the mind and the body are connected.

Remember everyone, it is important to keep an open mind and be more mindful about how your stress plus your actions affect your posture. Stay positive and find outlets to destress so that you can have better health!

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