Training Tips by Daniel DeGrace, CSCS

5 Common Gym Mistakes:

If you have ever been to the gym you’ll notice all different kinds of people. Recreational weight lifters, cardio enthusiasts, and your average Joe trying to keep up his or her wellbeing. Most individuals who go to the gym get ideas from observing other in their fitness pursuits. I’ve done this many times with little success in the beginning. Some will benefit and share their new found exercise with other gym followers and then the cycle of misinformation can begin. Now not to say that this is never an acceptable practice, but more often than not achy shoulders, stiff backs, and creaky knees can be the aftermath of performing erroneous exercise over the years.

1.) Poor Posture or Position during execution of lifts.

This is likely the most common mistake I witness in the gym. I catch myself cringing at times because I feel injury can be imminent in some cases. I like to think that most people are goal oriented which leads us to overachieve in our pursuits. We tell ourselves that we want to move a fixed weight from point A to B 15 times. On the 7th rep that weight is moving from Point A to C and even D, but stopping is out of the question because you want results and what does not kill us makes us stronger right? Definitely wrong, since performing exercises in this fashion will cause the wrong kind of stress on your body which will lead to more off time from the gym. Always remain in control of the weights and do not let them control you.

2.) Focus on the front more than the back.

It is a very common practice to work on what we see. Go to any gym and it is noticeable that much of the space is surrounded by mirrors. Now this is very helpful for performing lifts properly in maintaining alignment and learning the movement patterns. With our society currently there is heavy use of computers, smart phones, tablets, and the list goes on. This over time paired with heavy use of push or pressing movements, not stretching, and not maintaining good posture can lead to impingement, tendonitis, and worst case scenario and rotator cuff tear. There should be some amount of balance in training between pushing and pulling. If you perform 3 exercises for quads you should include the same exercise volume for the posterior muscles such as the hamstring, and glutes. Better yet activation the posterior chain muscles early in the workout will get them firing more when exercising the anterior or front of the body. There creates more symmetry in the body reducing the risk of injury.

3.) Too much weight.

One of the most important variables that cause adaptation in our muscles is tension. More weight can equal more tension which will produce greater results. This is one of the sins you see in the gym frequently with young guys. When you put gym mistake one two, three, four, and five together which is the case more often than not an injury will eventually follow. Imagine bench pressing 200 lbs which is focusing on the front, but Monday is international chest day which cannot be skipped. You lower the bar in a split second and bounce it off your chest. Yet it is so heavy the bar is slightly lower on the left due to weakness. If the repetitions are done in this fashion there may only be 20 seconds of tension on the chest reducing the exercises effectiveness, the weight is in control since the weight is rebounding off the chest, and weakness or instability may exist in the shoulder on the left side. This also advanced lifting without the foundation since rotator cuff exercise may be required or just basic push ups to create more stability and strength.

4.) Tempo

Tempo is one of the most important variables to manipulate in resistance training. Typically concentric contractions are faster than eccentric contractions which is to say that shortening occurs faster than lengthening. Observe most lifters and the tempo may be a one count on the way up with no active contraction followed by a one count or less on the way down. If ten repetitions are completed this would equal 20 seconds of muscle tension. What in most cases would be more beneficial is to control the weight with a one or two second shortening followed by an active squeeze at the top. And since muscle are stronger eccentrically a two or three seconds lowering only makes sense to produce more total work. That tempo would give a lifter possibly 50 or 60 seconds of tension on the target muscle group. The trade-off is using an appropriate weight which you can control versus weights one may view as impressive or heavy. Tearing a muscle, tendon, ligament which will leave you with a soft tissue injury impresses nobody.

5.) Performing advanced lifts without the foundation.

When performing lifts without a base is like putting a house on soft ground absent of the foundation. It all falls apart in the end. When completing a squat for example there are many things to be aware of during the actual lift. Things to be aware of include knees not past the toes, not looking down, proper curvature in the low back, tightness of the core musculature, breathing, and alignment of the ankle, knee, and hip. What I can typically see if I ask a person to squat is not enough contribution of the hams, or glutes, knee’s moving in, not enough intra-abdominal pressure to lock the torso, and not

tightening the core. One of the most important components to produce a solid squat is a strong core. Place your right hand in your pocket and you left hand on your chest. All the muscles from front to back and in-between are core muscles. Planks, good mornings, machine abductions, superman’s, and bird dogs may be required to produce an injury free squat. Might as well do it right if you’re going to do anything right. Think of muscles and joints like links of a chain. Where there is a weak link the chain will break.


Eating Well in 2016

Dietitians of Canada is encouraging Canadians to be kind to themselves in 2016.
Make 2016 a time to reflect on what’s going well, avoid judging yourself and others about their food choices and seek out credible food and nutrition information. Avoid the blitz that you may see of advice and promises to get fit or lose weight quickly in January,
1. Reflect on what’s going well; 
2. Avoid judgement on food choices and 
3. Seek out credible informationBook an appointment with a Registered Dietitan at Veitch Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre to receive expert advise and personalized programming.

634-4882 or


Welcome Andrew Stagg!

Please join us in welcoming Andrew Stagg to the Veitch Wellness Centre team! Andrew is a Registered Massage Therapist and Sports Massage Therapist(cc) originally from Grand Falls Windsor, NL.


Over the past 4 seasons, Andrew worked as the Team Massage Therapist for the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League under the Winnipeg Jets NHL Franchise. Some of the highlights of Andrews time with the IceCaps include; Atlantic Division Championship, Eastern Conference Championship, Calder Cup appearance, AHL All Star Game and multiple NHL Exhibition Games.


Devoted to pursuing the best sporting events possible, Andrew has worked as a Sports Massage Therapist at two Ball Hockey World Championships, on home soil and most recently Switzerland, and a FISU Summer Universiade under the Canadian Core-Medical team supporting the countries best university athletes in South Korea this past summer(2015).


For the past two + years, Andrew has taken on development and mentorship roles with the team Therapists for Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s High Performance Program, while performing duties as the Head Medical Therapist for the Under-16 Provincial Hockey team.


Andrew has seen many athletes overcome injury, including professional athletes, past Olympians, future Olympians, provincial athletes and local sports enthusiasts.


Andrew’s passion for Massage extends beyond sports injury however! Andrew is experienced in providing Massage Therapy for various types of injuries including but not limited to repetitive strain, whiplash, rotator cuff injury, low back and neck pain – to name just a few!


To book your appointment with Andrew contact Veitch Physiotherapy @ (709) 634-4882  or email






Mastering the Fundamentals

So you’ve decided to make some changes to positively influence your health. Where do you start? Is it getting a gym pass?? The latest and greatest weight loss supplement? Fancy new gym pants??


We would like to suggest that it is much simpler. Begin with the basics, the fundamentals of good health and well being:


  • Getting enough water
  • Planning your meals and snacks
  • Scheduling time for regular exercise


Good health doesn’t have to be complicated or even that expensive! Careful planning and sound advice from a registered and well educated provider can put you on the road to success.


Daniel DeGrace, Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) is uniquely qualified to help you reach your goals:


“An individual with a CSCS designation is a professional who applies scientific knowledge and education to train athletes with the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention.”


Daniel’s training and experience goes beyond the athletic population. He is able to train beginners or intermediate exercisers of all ages who may want to focus on improving strength and lose or gain weight. Other populations include those with chronic and temporary health conditions including but not limited to, musculoskeletal injury, neuromuscular conditions/disease, cardiovascular health, metabolic syndrome and seniors.


Call us today to book your assessment: 634-4882 or email:


Training Tip – Protecting Your Back

When performing exercises like deadlifts, dumbbell rows, and barbell rows the lower back will eventually fatigue as you work through your repetitions and sets.  Fatigue can make it more difficult to maintain the natural arch of the lower back – which can put you at increased risk for injury.  When you begin to fatigue and lose proper form you will begin to notice difficulty maintaining that natural curve – the spine will begin to round forward or flex.  Ignoring this change in positioning and inability to maintain correct form can allow for a few more repetitions, but take care when doing this.  Continuing the  exercise when the lumbar discs are not in a favourable position in addition to having fatigued muscles is not a great idea!  It is better to stop when you feel your back begin to curve forward into flexion.  If you want to continue, lighten the weight, or take some extra rest.  Quality over quantity.  Remember, if you are no longer able to maintain the proper form for your exercise of choice, switch it up!


DeGrace Training Tip of the Week

Diversify Resistance for Maximal Effectiveness:

You do not require a full gym to get a great workout!  There are different kinds of resistance which can be used to challenge your muscles.  Muscular progression can be optimized when different stresses (resistance) are placed on the body.  So do not use just one kind of resistance; use two or three during a training session for maximum results.  The following are some examples of different types of resistance that you can incorporate into your workout routine:
a) Stretching
b) Additional Resistance such as weights
c) Elastic Resistance eg. bands or tubing
d) Plyometric Resistance
e) Body Weight Training  eg. pushups and dips
For more information and for truly personalized training tips contact us at or call us 634-4882. Daniel DeGrace, CSCS would be thrilled to see you and help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Welcome Nikki!

About Nikki Wiseman

Clinic Assistant

Nikki Wiseman joined the Veitch Physiotherapy and Wellness team in 2015. She has a professional background in both medical and customer service industries. Nikki has over a decade of employment experience as a Level II Dental Assistant, working diligently in a medical and clinical setting.

Nikki understands the importance of maintaining a professional friendly environment while she assists health professionals and clients of Veitch Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre.

In her spare time Nikki keeps busy spending time with her husband and two young children, participating in outdoor activities and community events.


Help for Struggling Readers



Problems with language, spelling, writing and reading are known as

language-based learning problems, or simply, learning disabilities. Dyslexia

is the most well-known form of this learning disability. Here are some

warning signs that your child may have difficulty learning to read, spell and

write easily, and may need extra help to succeed:


Preschool – difficulty speaking clearly; poor rhyming skills; little interest in, or difficulty,

learning letters

Early school years – does not know sounds for letters; problems copying; poor wordattack

skills; only reads memorized words; unusual spelling; difficulty rhyming

Middle school years – slow reading; poor understanding of reading material; reading

skills out of sync with abilities in other areas; weak spelling; poor decoding skills when

faced with new words

Adolescence and adulthood – slow and effortful reading; slow writing speech; poor

spelling; difficulty organizing thoughts and ideas in print


Sheila Rowe is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has specialized in treating

reading, writing and spelling difficulties for over 20 years and she is an Associatein-

Training with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.

Her training enables her to identify areas of difficulty and to develop

individualized programs for dyslexia and other reading, writing, and spelling



Sheila is now accepting new clients. If you would like to learn more, or to book an

appointment please call us at 634-4882 or email!



Speech-Language Therapy for Adults, Adolescents and Children

Sheila Rowe, Speech Language Pathologist is now taking new clients.


Sheila has worked for over 24 years as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the school system in the western region of Newfoundland and Labrador. Sheila has a special interest in language development and disorders for both children and adults, and has extensive experience with articulation, motor speech, and stuttering disorders. Sheila specializes in reading, writing and spelling difficulties/disorders and is continuing studies in this field through training in the Orton-Gillingham approach to intervention for dyslexia and other reading difficulties.


Sheila is now accepting new clients.  If you would like to learn more, or to book an appointment please call us at 634-4882 or email


Speech Language Therapy

Veitch Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre is pleased to offer Speech-Language Pathology services.


Sheila J. Rowe, B.A. (Ed), M.H.Sc., R-SLP(C) is a Speech-Language Pathologist and a former teacher with over 30 years experience working in the school system. Sheila has worked with children experiencing delays and/or disorders in many areas of speech, language, and reading/writing development. Sheila has special interest and expertise working with severe reading and writing difficulties and has training in the Orton-Gillingham approach for individuals with dyslexia. Sheila brings to our clinic a comprehensive speech and language service providing therapy for difficulties with articulation, fluency, oral language understanding and use, phonological awareness development, and all levels of reading, writing, and spelling difficulties. Sheila is the author of “Phonological Awareness Success: A Step-By-Step Activity Guide” (Thinking Publication, 2002) and is also the recipient of awards for Academic Excellence and Clinical Excellence from University of Toronto.


Support is available for children experiencing difficulty with speech, language, reading, writing and spelling development:


  • articulation (distorting sounds; omitting sounds; substituting sounds; adding sounds)


  • stuttering (repeating sounds; prolonging sounds or syllables; avoiding sounds/words; tension in jaw/lips/face when speaking)


  • voice disorders (pitch too high or too low; too loud or too quiet; distorted voice quality)


  • understanding spoken language (understanding vocabulary; understanding concepts; following directions; answering questions; understanding social use of language)


  • using spoken language appropriately (using vocabulary; asking and answering questions; using complete sentences; using appropriate word order; telling stories with appropriate detail and sequence; reasoning and problem solving)


  • phonological awareness (rhyme; identifying sounds and syllables in words; manipulating sounds and syllables; applying phonological awareness to print for reading/spelling)



  • reading, writing and spelling disorders (dyslexia; reading, writing and/or spelling abilities well below grade level and below the level expected given the instruction provided; reading, writing and/or spelling abilities inconsistent with abilities in other areas)


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