"When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style." - Bruce Lee

This week I want to talk about form. Most of you know that poor exercise form can lead to injury and muscle imbalances, but it also wastes energy and will stop you from reaching your goals quicker.

To make this a little clearer and more fun we’ll use a beer analogy. Everyone has a friend (or maybe it’s you!) that can down a pint incredibly quick. No drips, just straight down the pipe, finished in a few seconds. Then there’s your friend who THINKS he can do the same (hopefully you’re not that friend!). Unlike your previous friend, this one takes several choke-inducing gulps as beer drips out of the side of their mouth, down their face and on to their shirt. 30 seconds later they’re finished. Okay, they stumbled through it but hey, they did it.

So how does beer guzzling relate to form and energy loss? Your second friend completed the exercise wasting a ton of energy (the beer). It took him 30 seconds to get the same effect as friend number one, and it was sloppy. But he did it. He completed the exercise and feels fulfilled.  However if you were to keep exercising (drinking beer) this way, you’re highly likely to get muscle imbalances, poor posture, leading to a high risk of an overuse injury. Overuse injuries occur as a nature of habit, and are the hardest to correct.

We often mention the formula “Results = Hard Work + Consistency” but maybe we should change that to “smart” work. It’s not just about showing up each time and pounding through your training session without thinking. Take a moment during each exercise to make sure you’re engaging each muscle correctly, and adjusting the exercise as fatigue sets in.

Remember practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.

I’ll finish with a good example of what you should be thinking about when exercising. A common move done wrong, especially when people get tired, is The Plank-Up (or Shoulder Push-Up). When done correctly this exercise should blast your abs, and strengthen your shoulders.

The first video shows the correct way to do this exercise. Shoulders over wrists, hips in stay in line with your body, hands replace elbow on the way up with no hip rotation. Everything’s tight, there is no wasted energy, and all the engaged muscles are working at maximum efficiency.

The second video, albeit a little exaggerated, shows all of the common errors. Shoulders not over wrists, hips too high, hands don’t replace elbows on the way up, torso rotates. This may make the exercise seem easier, and you’ll still get tired but there’s no correct muscle engagement, and a ton of energy is wasted.

So if you’re not seeing the results you expect, then take time during the next few work outs to really focus on proper form, especially when you get tired. When you can no longer do an exercise with proper form you should move to the regression. In the plank-up exercise this would be dropping to your knees.

Once you keep the correct muscles engaged, and keep proper alignment, you’ll stop wasting needless energy, and it’s very likely that you’ll begin to see quicker improvements. Remember – perfect practice, makes perfect.


P.S. I used a male in this beer drinking example. If you ever visit Scotland and head out to a pub in a small village you will very likely see many women doing the same thing!

Have you ever wondered why most of our classes involve interval training? 40/20s work/rest ratio (for example) is not picked at random. The folks over at Greatist.com pulled up a great little poster to reveal the science behind interval training, and how it helps build muscle, and lose weight. It’s a simple, quick read and should finally put a nail in the coffin to the common excuse “I don’t have time to work out”. Check it out after the jump.

The Complete Guide to Interval Training

More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

We’ve had a lot of members approach us to ask what supplements we take, or that they should be taking. We get the feeling that you’re looking for a different answer – some miracle drug that will get you muscles overnight, or to wash the fat away like it never existed. For an average gym goer these top 5 supplements will help you with mental clarity and recovery, but unfortunately won’t get you bigger overnight…

Fish Oil

Fish oil is something the body can’t produce naturally, and this is why it’s probably the most important supplement to take. You can get this from eating fish, but the average person probably won’t consume enough (unless you're a fisherman!). Fish oils contain omega 3s, which can help reduce heart disease, help recovery from training, potentially help with fat loss, and keeps the brain healthy. Aim for a burp-free capsule, unless you like the taste of raw fish.

Vitamin D

Michelle recently wrote a BLOG about how important this is, and how people are not getting enough. Your body can produce Vitamin D from the sun but that does not mean you should sunbathe to the point of skin cancer to get it. In addition, the sun isn't very strong outside the summer months, so a supplement is really helpful. Vitamin D helps raise blood levels, builds strong bones, and aids the immune system.

Foods containing vitamin D – Canned salmon, mackerel, mushrooms, eggs

Vitamin B-Complex

Contains all eight B-vitamins, and we find this really helps our mental capacity. It can help reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and heart disease.

Foods containing B vitamins – cereal, eggs, nuts, citrus fruits, bananas


If you suffer from gas, bloating, abdominal pain then this supplement can really help you out. Probiotics addresses your digestive systems to help your body to replenish, and nourish good bacteria.

Whey Protein

We’re not a fan of too many post-workout supplements. They can be high in calories, and the average person does not work out with a consistently high enough intensity to benefit from them. However, if you do have to listen to what the “bro’s” say in the weight room then whey protein is your best bet. It has a decent amount of quality calories and can help build muscle, help muscle recovery, and aid with fat loss.

Protein powders really need a blog of their own. If you’re in the market to supplement with protein make sure you know what you’re putting into your body as they’re not all created equally.

Before you head to your nearest Fitness & Nutrition store just keep in mind that supplements are exactly that. They should not be a substitute to eating the right foods and training hard.

See you in the gym.

Victoria & Kevin

BOMB Wellness - Toronto, Danforth, East York, Leslieville, Riverdale, Fitness Studio, Group Exercise, Personal Training, TRX, Yoga, CPR, Massage Therapy, Fitness Blog