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Interview with Coach Rich Thurman

By | Deadlift, Food for thought, Health Tips, Interviews, motivation, Tip Tuesdays, Training Tips | No Comments

I’ve known Coach Rich since way back in 2010. I think as an athlete I’ve been very blessed to have gotten to know, work with amazing people and coaches.That time he was more into strength and conditioning as a trainer. He still does coaching and training but his training methodology and philosophy has changed. Mainly by incorporating more natural movements and tools likes mace, club bells and everything else in between.

I had an amazing session with Rich as I take him through the paces of what I do for stability and on a rehab day. In this session we traded training philosophies and different training techniques.

One of the points that we talked about was the importance of showing up and doing your best at competitions. Instead of just achieving PBs at the gym because only lifts at competitions counts. What was interesting was when Coach Rich asked me what I did for a day job… Do catch that bit during the interview.

I really enjoyed this interview / training session because it was pretty chill but we also managed to put in the work. We do hope that you enjoy the

You can also follow Coach Rich Thurman

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Deadlift is Life

Training for a Stronger Back

By | Deadlift, motivation, Strongman, Tip Tuesdays, Training Tips | No Comments

Training for a Stronger Back

I’ve been getting questions how do I train for a stronger back. People have been asking me

– How do I improve my deadlifts?
– My back is not so strong, how do I get my back stronger and bigger?
– My back would round when I deadlift, how do I stop that from happening?
– What program do you use?

Ok so let’s get something straight first… I’m not a certified personal trainer or expert coach with 30 years of experience. I just like lifting all heavy things. Even until today I still seek help with my lifts, technique and training. One of the things that you should always do is, always seek knowledge. Most of it comes from books and most from experienced athletes. That being said, not all professional athletes would make good coaches. So you have to be discerning in your choices.

So what are the best training program for a stronger back? Every training program is good if you are consistent enough and stay the course of 4-6 months. Nothing is going to happen after 4 weeks, all these posts on 30 days transformation is just rubbish! Strength training doesn’t work that way… your deadlift won’t increase from 250kg to 365kg in 4 weeks.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Louie Simmons Westside Conjugated Method, Westside Barbell is probably the strongest gym in the world where all the world champions train and congregate there. Or even Mark Rippitoe’s Starting Strength method which encourages everyone to have a novice mind-set when it comes to training.  I personally lean towards the Cube Method for Strongman by Josh Thigpen is particularly amazing because after all strongman is my sport. You can find these resources on the internet of course.

So what do I use for my training? I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with local and international coaches and professional athletes. The only variable is consistency and sticking to the program. So let’s just get on with it…

I train my back twice a week. I divide into upper back and compound movements.

Monday – Upper Back Volume Work will always be done at a gym with machines

Hammer Strength Machine Pull Downs (Overhand) + Superset with DB Rows on an incline bench
1 plate x 20 reps
1.5 plates x 15 reps
2 plates x 12 reps
2.5 plates x 10 reps
3 plates x 10 reps
4 plates x 8 reps x 2 sets

Superset with DB Rows on an incline bench
30kg x 10 reps

Hammer Strength Machine Pulls (Underhand)  + Superset with Barbell Raise on an Incline Bench
2.5 plates x 15 reps x 4 sets

Superset with Barbell Raises on an 40 deg incline bench
40kg x 10 reps

Cable Lat Pull Downs (Close Grip)
Moderate x 15 reps x 2 sets
Heavy x 10 reps x 2 sets

Seated Cable Cable Rows (Close Grips)
Moderate x 20 reps x 3 sets

Barbell Shrugs with Smith Machine (Pyramid) x 2 sets

1 plate x 15 reps
2 plates x 15 reps
3 plates x 12 reps
4 plates x 10 reps
3 plates x 12 reps
2 plates x 15 reps
1 plate x 15 reps

This above is one set… you take a 5 minute rest and do one more set

Thursday will always be a heavy deadlift day

It’s always done at a proper strength and conditioning facility with ONLY metal plates and a deadlift bar.

Conventional Deadlifts
40% x 5 reps
50% x 5 reps
60% x 5 reps
70% x 3 reps
80% x 3 reps
90% x 3 reps x 3 sets
* 40% to 80% is actually my warm up… Be prepared for this to escalate really quickly

Barbell Rows or Pendlay Rows
Light to Moderate x 12 reps x 4 sets

T-bar Rows or V-Bar Renegade Rows
Light x 12 reps x 2 sets
Moderate x 10 reps x 2 sets
Heavy x 8 reps x 2 sets
Light x 20 reps x 2 sets

Facepulls + Superset with any Abs Exercises
Light x 20 reps x 5 sets

Superset Abs – Cable Pull Downs
Heavy x 20 reps x 5 sets

Give it a go and let me know how you like it… It’s probably going to hurt a lot, because after training I’m usually wasted on the floor and have questionable life decisions.

In the meantime, train hard, may your back get stronger and stay injury free!


Are you ready for Comp Prep

By | Food for thought, motivation, Strongman | One Comment

Are you ready for Comp Prep?

Ever wondered how it feels like to be in comp prep? Preparing for a competition be it strongman, powerlifting, physique or even track and field can be tricky and at most times tough. It is a very lonely process. A few weeks ago I posted this on Instagram with the caption “Success is not glamorous, its a lot of hours in darkness alone”.

Even in an interview with Stan Efferding, he mentioned that… “If you want to stay healthy and maintain good relationships, don’t be competitive” but we also know that Mark Bell stated “I rather die doing something I love than be average!”. So which brings us to a conundrum.

Personally I’m going to share with you some of my personal perspectives during comp prep and what to expect of course this is solely from my own experience.

Overcoming Adversity
The term adversity is pretty much the same in any language meaning -“A difficult or uncomfortable situation”. Not too long ago in the midst of preparing for the Static Monsters World Championships 2018.

I had a meeting with my former sponsors of five years and they told me that they would not be renewing my contract because “I wasn’t the type of athlete that the average joe would be able to relate to” because of the nature of my sport. Its too hardcore or not appealing to the masses.

I was rather disappointed and upset because for the past few years my former sponsors were the ones supporting my international competitions in terms of covering my flight expenses. I wasn’t just upset but more angry… In my head, my mind went into a flurry of rage with my thoughts going “How could you even do this to me 4 weeks out to my competition (insert expletives). Is this how you treat loyalty and my efforts for the past five years!?” But of course this was just inside in my head

Being dropped from a major sponsor is definitely a huge blow mentally. I’m not going to lie… I was pretty upset, it did affect my comp prep for a week because I kept asking myself. What am I really fighting for and why was I so moody, brooding and upset. Almost like Jon Snow when he broods but without the fur coat.

But I remembered, for the first 10 years I was competing, I had NO sponsors and I still did well. I still managed to hold my own on the international stage. It dawned on me that “Nothing Lasts Forever” and while I may be simmering and raging inside. It made me want to excel even more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being a whiny little bitch complaining “Why does this happen to me??? Bla bla bla”. I was truly appreciative of what they have provided me for the past 5 years but good times don’t last forever. And this my friends is the harsh reality of life.

This could also probably be one of the best things to ever happen to me. For one simple reason that I am now responsible for my own goals and it just lit a fire in me to achieve my set goals. “Success is not glamorous, its a lot of hours in darkness alone”. This phrase was probably the most apt during that point. This was probably one of the darker periods of my life and I did felt alone but nobody died from a lack of sponsorship or nobody even cares about how I feel. Overcoming adversity is life, because nothing will actually go to plan you just have to adapt, flow and basically suck it up!

All I am going to focus on is me doing well and showing up on competition day. Make sure I give my best and give everything that I got.

Balance (Work, Family, Relationships and Training)

I’m going to be really upfront and honest here… I still struggle with finding balance even after 15 years of competing. But as each year goes it seems to get really difficult, never easier. It gets difficult because being an athlete competing at the highest level of competition puts a tremendous strain on pretty much everything in your life. You become cranky on rest days, you become grumpy when you are not getting in your meals or you become a complete asshole in the gym when someone takes away your plates. Basically you just become  selfish in the self directed, cold and calculated pursuit of your goals.

All you think about is training, making sure you eat your meals, getting enough hydration, recovery, sleeping and then work. Notice how family and relationships are not mentioned.

Someone ask me before “How do you manage to keep everything together and still be doing what you do?”. The answer is simple… I sacrificed my social life, keep my family engagements to a minimum, relationships will take a back seat which means no dating (then again, I don’t event date) and definitely no late nights outs.

Mark Manson an award winning author stated that “You can’t have everything all at the same time. You can only be good one thing at a time”.

– You can’t be an athlete and maintain a blossoming relationship especially if your partner is not an athlete or doesn’t understand your needs.

– You can’t be a fully functioning person and excel in all aspects of your life because being an athlete will consume your very existence.

– You can’t be an athlete and run a growing business, sure your business will still run but it will run to break even.

– You can’t be an athlete and have full time 9-5 or shift job these would just suck your soul dry.

Like I say… This is just coming from experience and in the event that these does not apply to you. Then you my friend are at outlier and I am truly envious of you and I would love to sit down and pick your brains.

So what balance actually mean? Human existence is all about balance and equilibrium to our lives, but the athlete life is rather extreme we abuse ourselves day in and day out during training. We eat the same food, we keep our relationships on hold or add strain to it, we keep every single thing to a routine and when our routine is disrupted we get frustrated. So what is this balance are we talking about.

But the reality is this… While we seek out balance, perhaps this madness, this way of living or this life we chose as an athlete is our very definition of balance. We are not average joes or the weekend warrior. These societal rules do not apply to us. We define what balance is for us and yours will be different from mine. But that being said, winning a medal or world title does not make you a better husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, cousin or human being. It is just a testament of your hard work and consistent effort. At the end of the day you want to go home and celebrate this achievement with your loved ones, family, friends and close circle of friends.

Don’t be that person who gave up everything and everyone just for vanity, world or regional title and a $20 medal. Make time for people that matter, appreciate those around you and most importantly be relentless in your goals but kind to those around you.

If you are prepping for a competition and neck deep in comp prep. Keep on moving forward and persevere. Nobody achieved greatness by quitting but remember to always find your balance and make time for the important stuff or people in your life.

In the meantime train hard and stay injury free. I look forward to seeing everyone on the platform at the Static Monsters World Championships 2018!

Why motivation doesn’t work

By | Food for thought, motivation, Strongman, Tip Tuesdays | No Comments

Why motivation doesn’t work

So we have been looking on Pinterest for motivation. Especially motivational quotes to get yourself out of bed, hopefully to feel inspired. Get out of bed, pack your bags and hopefully hit the gym or the pool. Then you tell yourself, I’m going to rest a wee bit more… Then you find yourself lying in bed scrolling down on Instagram (IG) for more motivational posts on #fitspo or #fitspiration #fitfam or whatever hashtags that they use.

The more you scroll down the more you use your data and then you start comparing yourself to these picture perfect IG models. Some weird exercise or modified “hip thrusters” for them booty gains or you start creeping on some sporting personalities. Look at their technique in the deadlift and you start telling yourself; “I’m going to lift 800lbs one day!”.

Then you continue scrolling down and double tapping and liking more posts on IG only to realise that you have just spent thirty to forty-five minutes doing nothing productive other than having a finger work out by liking someone posts. Then you go into this self-depreciating mode where you start comparing yourself to the lifts or physique of the athletes or models on IG. “I wish I had a body like that!”. Then self-doubts creeps in again, as you lie in bed and then contemplate on life mysteries, why do I have bad genetic, why am I so unmotivated.

So here is the thing… Motivation is really something positive, it helps you light that fire. It also gives you that kick in the butt that you need. But sadly motivation doesn’t last very long or have much hoped for longevity. Motivation is like starting a fire, you need fire to keep you warm especially if you cold or hungry and how you keep that fire going is constantly feeding the fire more fuel or wood. This constant act or habit of adding wood to the fire to keep the fire going. But what happens when you run out of wood, the answer is pretty obvious. You find more wood to keep feed the fire to keep the fire going. Now enough with the metaphorical stories and let me just summarise that into bite size pieces.

Yes, you need motivation, but motivation doesn’t last very long, it’s probably going to last you for a good 6 to 8 hours at most after you watch a motivational video. You need to form a habit, a consistent habit (Which I will share more later in this article) and this consistent habit needs to be maintain (adding wood to the fire). So what are the habits you ask? It gets you into routine… Wake up a certain time, eat breakfast a fixed time, what you eat for breakfast may vary but I can eat the same thing every single day and be happy.

Train at a certain fixed time, go to work at a certain time. Studies have shown that it takes approximately 21 days to form a habit. Exercising or being active is actually a privilege. Some of you may argue… “Oh wow… it’s so boring, how can I live my life being so mundane and boring!”. But here are my counter arguments

  • Being healthy is not mundane
  • Not having any health problems is not mundane
  • Not paying excessive hospital bills is not mundane
  • Able to walk on my own and NOT in a wheelchair is not mundane
  • Able to work and earn a living is not mundane

Yeah you probably get the point… Keeping yourself healthy is definitely not mundane or boring. Being bed ridden with health issues is going to be worse. I’ve had friends whom at 45 years old had to undergo heart surgery because of the lifestyle choices that they made. So enough of me being the angry sod who is the bearer of bad news. Let’s get down to what really needs to happen in order to turn that motivation into action plans that work.


Start with a GOAL in mind and plan

A few years back, I had a tertiary student whom approach me and asked me “How did I get so strong?” and “How do I stay motivated to constantly train day in and day out”. My response was this “I’m not motivated to do anything that I don’t want to do. I start by committing myself to a goal which is to do this or this competition in a year”. The key operative words here are committing and goal, these are the two essentials things you need. In 2016 the goal for myself was to finish top 10 in the Arnolds Amateur Strongman Classic in South Africa and to finish the year with a 400kg (880lbs) axle deadlift. The Arnolds have the reputation of being ‘athlete breakers’ because the competitions are so heavy that it sometimes become career breakers.

So the Goal was competing in the Arnolds, but goals alone are not enough. You need a game plan and method. First thing I fixed was my nutrition by working with a nutritionist to fix my “seefood diet” and I worked with a pro strongman to fix my training. I also read up to increase my knowledge on how programming works and what would work for me. It became a trial and error and I now finally have a formula that works for me. Now I also had a countdown app on my phone to remind me 16 weeks out, 12 weeks out, 8 weeks out 4 weeks out, 21 days out and you get the idea. This constant reminder on my phone kept reminding me that whatever work that goes into competition prep is essential for a respectable finish.

And when competition day came… I was mentally and physically prepared. Because once you know when you put in the work and effort, everything will fall into place (in theory anyway). I broke my finger in the first event and that hampered the rest of the day. But being the stubborn mule that I was I still competed and attempted in all the events finished 6th place on Day 1 with a broken finger, and day 2 tore my calf on the yoke in the morning but I still managed to finish 10th place after 2 days of competition. Yes, on hindsight I should have better judgement but I didn’t fly 20 hours to be a cheerleader or a spectator and I still need to fulfil my commitment to my goal. In summary

  1. Commit to a goal
  2. Design out a plan that works
  3. Seek help for areas that you are weak in (mine was nutrition)
  4. Remind yourself constantly
  5. Commit to giving your best even when it’s not favourable (broken finger/torn calf didn’t kill anyone…. But did you die???)


When we speak about consistency, what exactly is consistency. Lets put that in the sporting context… “It is the ability to repeat the same purposeful behaviours day in and day out to achieve a goal that you have committed to”. That’s my definition anyway, yours may be different but consistency is key. A few years back I spoke to one of the guys that train in the gym I own. He lost a whopping 20 to 25kg in body weight from a burly and chubby 105kg to present day body weight of 75kg. I already knew the answer to his weight loss but I just asked him point blank “Fauzie, what’s your secret to losing weight?”.

His reply was simple… “Initially I just came for fun to the gym because training was different from other gyms but the more frequent I came, the healthier I feel. It was 3 days a week, then it became 5 days a week for just 1 hour to train. After 6 months I saw a different person in the mirror, I had more energy, I feel stronger and most importantly I feel healthy. I really have no secret formula”. At this point… I interjected, there was a secret formula to begin with all you did was you were consistent in your behaviours. I think this speaks more in volume than anything else.

Being able to deadlift 400kg on competition day at Static Monsters 2016 is no miracle of God or when the planetary systems aligned in my favour. But it was the consistent and purposeful behaviours that I’ve committed myself to daily. Wake up early daily, have breakfast and put in the work repeatedly hours in the gym day in day out, some days I had double training sessions. It was tough. There are days that I woke up broken, sore and I have just nothing left but this are the days that make you a better athlete. You can have all the big dreams in the world but if your behaviours are not consistent and purposeful nothing is going to happen.

The concept of consistency in a nutshell is the accumulation of your work and effort, daily be it training, active recovery, eating, sleeping and injury management on day 1, 16 weeks out up to competition day needs to be consistent. Success does not happen overnight, it is an accumulation of progress over a period of time. So lets quickly summarize that

  1. Commit to your set goal
  2. Fail to plan, Plan to fail
  3. Set a routine (eating, training, work, sleeping) and commit
  4. Always be consistent and purposeful in your behaviours
  5. Routines are mundane, mundane = results! Remember that!

It’s not the routine, it’s a goal… every single effort, every single rep, every single training day, every spoonful of food, every meal and every night worth of sleep. It all adds up! Be consistent

In the meantime, train hard, stay injury and always lift strong!

Interview with Jiri Tkadlčík

By | Food for thought, Interviews, motivation, Strongman | No Comments

Interview with Jiri Tkadlčík 

This month’s I had the utmost privilege of speaking with one of the the world’s best Under 105kg Strongman Athletes. And also my good friend Jiri Tkadlčík from Czech Republic! Jiri and myself have known each other for the past three years. We have also crossed paths and competed alongside each other at the Arnolds South Africa and Loket, Czech Republic.

This time he has made the long and arduous journey of flying in to sunny Singapore from the cold winter of Czech Republic! He has also put his name down to compete in the inaugural Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2018. Jiri is also the World Record Holder for the Deadlift with a previous record of 382kg successfully attempted in Ukraine in 2017!

The Singapore Experience

In this video, he talks a little bit about the strongman scene in Czech Republic. His new discovery of proper Asian Cuisine and his hopes for himself and the sport in Czech Republic.

We also talked if he would attempt to break his own world record at the Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships in Singapore… He was feeling rather conservative that day!

And of course being good hosts, we brought him and Valerie out and about in Singapore where no tourists would go for the full on local experience.

We hope that you enjoy watching this video as much as we had fun bringing him out in Singapore

Training to Be Stronger

By | motivation, Strongman, Tip Tuesdays | 2 Comments

Training to be Stronger

This month for “Tip Tuesdays” and since my sport is on strength and moving heavy stuff. I will focus on tips and tricks that I use to get stronger and be competition ready for those of you who are prepping for a powerlifting, strongman or any strength competition in the near future focusing on training to be stronger. This is the program that works for me. Feel free to try it out and let me know how it works for you.

But before we do that. I’m going to debunk a myth of strength training from my own experience,  what I’ve learnt from my coaches and athletes who are bigger and stronger than me.

Myth: You need to lift heavy weights all the time to get stronger
Truth: Yes. But you do NOT need to lift heavy weights all the time.

So when people ask me “What muscle do you train when you do a deadlift?”. First reaction is to slap the person silly but not everyone is a gym rat or an athlete so I tend to keep it in and smile and respond to the best that I can.

So which brings to the real question…

Does lifting heavy make you stronger? Yes it definitely does because more weights you lift/move you will incorporate more than one muscle. And when you incorporate and activate more muscles from different parts of your body that would have an instantaneous by-product which is strength. But the real question would be are you performing and executing the lifts with good form and proper technique?

But lifting heavy to get stronger is not enough! Let’s just be upfront and honest, while in my younger lifting days 15 to 20 years ago. All I want to do is be the biggest and strongest guy in the gym and lift more weights than everyone else just because I could. This approach to training had both positive and negative outcomes getting  stronger which is a huge positive but mainly this approach caused me more negative effects which were feeling burned out, tired of the gym and getting stuck in a plateau.

So let’s cover and break this article into a two parts

Lifting heavy and lifting in general

Plan a training cycle in 6 to 8 weeks period where you aim to achieve a certain weight you want to lift safely. And if you are planning to go heavy or “Beast Mode” all day and every day. Just stop and re-evaluate your training goals. Firstly because a “Beast Mode” program is not sustainable. You will be doing more harm to your body, you want to be lifting for a life time

So here is me sharing with you my very own lifting program that I use to prepare for my competitions.

My lifting program includes

Max Weight Day
An example of my Max day Lifting program would be as below
40% x 5 reps x 2 sets (Warm Up)
50% x 5 reps x 2 sets (Warm Up)
60% x 5 reps
70% x 4 reps
80% x 3 reps x 2 to 3 sets (Working Sets)
50% x 20 reps

On a Max Weight Lifting day it should not exceed more than 10 sets in total, if you are feeling strong enough for that day you can go up to 90% of your 1RM for 2-3 reps. I like to do a 20 reps finisher just to flood my muscles with blood. This at times can be a questionable life decision.

Maximum Repetitions Days
An example of my Max Repetition Lifting program would be as below
30% x 20 reps x 2 sets (Warm Up)
40% x 15 reps x 2 sets
50% x 12 reps x 3 sets
60% x 8 – 10 reps x 3 sets
65% x 6 – 8 reps x 2 – 3 sets

Repetitions days are never meant to exceed 65% of your 1RM and a maximum of 12-13 sets inclusive of warm ups. You might want to rest longer between sets because this could be mentally demanding.

Speed / Dynamic Days
50% x 2 reps x 10 to 12 sets (1 minute per set)

Many athletes and gym rats underestimate Dynamic lifts. “Oh it’s so easy! Just 2 reps!”. Trust me after the 7th set you will be asking doubting why did you start in the first place!

So here is me being awesome and sharing with you how my own 1 month program looks like

Monday Presses and Overheads Tuesday Deadlifts Wednesday Thursday Squats Friday Strongman Training Day
Week 1 Technique Max Reps Rest Dynamic Max Weight
Week 2

Max Reps

Dynamic Rest Technique Dynamic
Week 3


Technique Rest Max Reps Max Weight
Week 4 Deload Deload Rest Deload


My rest day is fixed on Wednesday because I am unable to train 3 days in a row because of the physical and mental drain on my central nervous system (CNS) that my training programs puts me through. I’ve tried training 3 days is a row and it was just dangerous as I felt tired, lousy and I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Be safe not sorry… these are the things that you tend to pick up from experience over the years.

Technique and Form

Lifting heavy in the gym is an awesome sight to behold where you can see guys in the gym squatting over 240kg with perfect form. You know when the guy is lifting because the whole gym goes quiet just to observe and see what’s going on. Lifting heavy with terrible form is dangerous and if you need someone to bail you out in the middle of a repetition, chances are you are NOT strong enough! Drop the weight and complete your set safely.

While ego lifting may attract attention it does NOT do anything for your safety (Trust me guys… You don’t attract the ladies with bellowing, shouting and groaning with every ego lifting repetition, all you attract are “gym-bros” who gives you high-fives and that’s about it).

Technique and form when performing the lifts are crucial it sets apart the difference between going home for dinner or being hospitalized and having dinner on the bed being served to you by a nurse! So how do you execute a lift with proper form and technique?

Learn from the best! There are many strength coaches in our sunny island. It seems nowadays there are also many “Online Coaches” too who will write your programs. Personally I have nothing against them but as much as there are quality and credible “online coaches”. There are just as many bogus ones. Make sure you do your own research BUT nothing beats a coach by your side with his watchful eyes watching over you like a hawk. I’ve been lifting and competing for many years and I still have a coach.

In my next article on training, I would be covering the importance of accessory work and managing your plateaus.
Being strong is NOT easy and you have to put in the hours, time, effort, dedication and love into being Strong. It’s a choice that you make giving up is not one of them!

And if you are looking to get stronger and need help for coaching. Click Here to find out more…

In the meantime enjoy lifting! Be strong, lift smart and stay injury free!

Ahmad Taufiq
Team Optimum Nutrition Strongman Athlete


Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2018 Weekend

By | Deadlift, Events, Post Comp Write Up, Strongman | No Comments

Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2018 Weekend

What an excellent weekend we had at the Asia Pacific Deadlift championships. We had athletes from Czech Republic, Brunei, Hong Kong, UK, Thailand and Singapore. In total we had 52 athletes from 6 from countries as everyone definitely brought their A-game!

We also saw two of our youngest competitors Brad and Ariel in their first competition. The Asia Pacific Deadlift Competition was held over at Radiance Physiofit which was also our event and venue partner.

This is the first time we had strongman style deadlift competition held in Singapore, also possibly in our region, we at Singapore Strongman Series truly have been truly innovative within our region especially in novice and amateur competitions. Last weekend’s turn out was the highest turnout in a strongman competition with a record number of 52 athletes and audience.

We also saw coming into the fray amazing lifts especially in the Under 80kg and Under 90kg weight categories. Jiri from Czech Republic broke his own world record for the deadlift at 385kg in the Under 105kg weight class from 382kg set in Ukraine last year. Our very own Ahmad Taufiq set a new Asia-Pacific Deadlift Record at 370 kg and a failed attempt at 400kg in the Mens Open.

Hymsuen Li deadlifted 320kg to take the win in the Under 90kg category. Edging out Daniel Fattris who pulled 310kg in a highly contested one to one battle. The Under 80kg weight category saw the most number of competitors in the Singapore Strongman Series. The win was taken by Koh Xin Miao with a lift of 220kg edging out Qin Shi by a lighter bodyweight who also lifted 220kg.

The Women’s Open was won by Valerie Mirić from the Czech Republic with a deadlift of 170kg. Reena also managed to deadlift 170kg but Valerie was declared the winner due to a lighter body weight. In the women’s Under 62kg saw new comers to the sport, Perada from Thailand managed to deadlift 120kg but winning for being the lightest athlete. Special mention goes out to Ariel Johnson who deadlifted 50kg at 24.9kg body weight! What an amazing achievement!

From the team at Singapore Strongman Series who were running the Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2018, we would like to extend a huge thank you, appreciation and love to all the athletes that competed over the weekend. It was truly amazing to see almost everyone breaking their PBs and putting on an amazing performance!

We would also like to thank our Sponsors

Radiance Physiofit for being our event sponsor and venue partner! It was indeed an amazing location big enough for all the athletes, crowd and everyone to watch and roam free!

Optimum Nutrition for being our supplement sponsor and partner for the past 4 years and believing in us and helping us grow the sport. It has grown from strength to strength

CHALLENGE for being equipment sponsors not just for this competition but also to the next few competitions within the next few years

Iron Fitness Singapore, Home of CrossFit Iron Fitness for being partners for the Singapore Strongman Series since we first started and probably the most equipped gym for all your strength needs.

Chiropractor Singapore and Dr Shara for always being so supportive since our first competition in 2014! Thank you for being there for all the athletes and making sure they remain unbroken

Squeaky Clean Cafe for stepping up and providing healthy food options for our crew, athletes and everyone.

Derrick See from Seed Images for the amazing photos! You are definitely our only choice of photographer.

GRRRL Clothing for supporting and sponsoring prizes for the ladies! It’s amazing that such a HUGE brand is keen to work with us to help us grow the sport for the ladies!

Interesting Statistics over the weekend

Youngest athlete: 7 years old
Oldest athlete: 43 years old
Heaviest Successful weight lifted: 385kg
Heaviest attempted weight: 400kg
Number of female athletes: 10
Number of male athletes: 42
Number of sponsor: 14
Number of crew: 18
Number of hours to prep venue: 8
Number of hours to tear down: 2
Number of hours to make 1 bespoked medal: 1.5 hours
Number of bespoked medals given out: 18
Total Number of weight lifted (Successful): 9035 kilograms

It was a pretty amazing weekend

Thank you once again to everyone for making the event a resounding success. We look forward to seeing everyone again in October for Static Monsters Singapore 2018!

Interview with Joan and Augustine

By | Health Tips, motivation, Strongman, Tip Tuesdays | No Comments

Interview with Joan and Augustine

This month’s I had the utmost privilege of speaking with two of the most respected individuals in an interview in the fitness industry in Singapore, and within the region Joan Liew and Augustine Lee.

I have known both Joan and Augustine personally for quite some time as they were formally part of Optimum Nutrition Team ON athletes from Singapore. I have huge respect for them both as athletes, professionals and most important mentors even to myself.

Augustine has a reputation of being the fierce and unassuming trainer. But in this interview we manage to bring out the side that we don’t see very much of. As someone who is warm, cracks jokes (yes he does) and rather jovial. Augustine shares his experience, deep training philosophy and most importantly dropping knowledge bombs that always seem to be enlightening.

Joan has built herself up quite a reputation of always being the hardest worker in the room. To me she defines the definition of commitment and discipline. In this interview she shares with us all her personal sacrifice, commitment and refining the term we use as discipline. After all she is the only IFBB Professional Athlete in the Singapore.

In this interview also both of them share their new program “Joan and Augustine Strength Program. This program includes a systemic and customized to an individual’s needs and training goals. To me as a Strongman athlete, strength means everything! The stronger you are, the better you will be in competitions. So its interesting to hear from the both of them why being strong is important to the every average Joe or Jane.

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did chatting with the both of them. In the meantime, stay strong and train hard!

Pardon the terrible noise, especially the blender going off halfway through the interview

Favourite Supplement Stack

By | Strongman | No Comments

I do get many questions on what supplement(s) I use and what works best for recovery for pre, intra and post. So lets just start on that and these are the products I use daily on training and non-training days. Please do also note that I’m a sponsored athlete with Optimum Nutrition and the answer is pretty obvious what supplement brand I prefer. So how I’m going to break it down how I use it on training days with food (Food will be stated as a meal or will be noted as meal replacement – MRP)

Training Days
1st Breakfast (MRP)
3 scoops ON Pro Complex Vanilla + 5g ON Glutamine + 5 g of Physillum Husk

9.00am –
2nd Breakfast Meal
1 scoop ON Pro BCAA + 5g Glutamine + 2.5g Physillum Husk

10.00am to 12.00pm
Pre-training – ON BCAA tabs, Amino 2222, Fish Oil, Tribulus, HMB
Intra-Training – ON Pro BCAA + ON Amino Energy + 5g Glutamine + 2.5g Physillum Husk
Post Training – 3 scoops ON Pro Complex Vanilla + 5g ON Glutamine + 5g of Physillum Husk (MRP)

3rd meal

4th Meal

5th Meal

6th Meal

7th Meal
Supplementation – Pancakes made with ON Casein / Pro Complex Whey Ice Cream

Supplementation before bed
BCAA, HMB, ZMA, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid

As above, my supplement of choice is Optimum Nutrition’s Pro Series products which are Pro Complex and Pro BCAA. ON Pro Series is just for athletes who “Demand More”. Thats what the slogan says anyway.

Let me start on Pro Complex first. Pro Complex is a blend of protein contains hydrolyzed whey and egg protein you know you are getting super high quality with minimal lactose or other impurities. Whey Protein Isolates, Hydrolysed Whey Protein Isolates, Egg Protein and Hydrolysed Egg Protein to be exact and is the highest serving of protein when you compare it to all the other protein powders on the Optimum Nutrition product range. Why have 25g of protein when you can have 60g of protein per serving? Even if you break it up into scoops it’s 30g protein per scoop.

I consume 3 scoops which is 90g of protein per serving for me. Optimum Nutrition has been amazing with the other types of whey protein products like the Platinum Series and Gold Standard, but the Pro Series is by far in my own opinion are the best tasting and works really well for me! It doesn’t hide the fact that its simple and it works, especially for athletes that demand more

The Branched Chain Amino Acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are valued for their anabolic and anti-catabolic properties. Used in the 2:1:1 ratio before and/or after endurance exercise they may help spare muscle tissue. Used after strength training, BCAAs help kick-start protein synthesis which plays an important role in muscle growth. There is already 5g of glutamine in Pro BCAA but because of the demands of my training (there are heavy days and there are heavier days, some days they get really intense), I add an additional 5g of glutamine into mine just because I want to recovering fast is really important to me. If you have to pick a flavour, peach mango is the way to go. Trust me on this…

ON Glutamine
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and plays an important role in muscle. During prolonged periods of intense exercise glutamine levels can be depleted which may limit protein synthesis. Glutamine Powder is a simple way to supplement your diet with this amino acid. Many studies have proven that glutamine to improve your immunity system. I abuse myself during training because it just how things are when it comes to prepping for a competition, that also means that my immunity system takes quite a beating. Glutamine really helps with improving a battered immune system from training especially during long and intense training days.

In my next post about supplementation I will cover on the supplements essentials like HMB, ZMA and Fish Oil

In the meantime train hard and injury free!


Interview with Dr Shara

By | Chiropractic, Health Tips, motivation, Strongman, Tip Tuesdays | No Comments

This month I had the utmost privilege of speaking with Dr Shara Downey, Doctor of Chiropractic of Singapore Chiropractor.

A little bit about Dr Shara,

Dr Shara repertoire includes, pregnant women, children, infants, average working adults and athletes. She comes to her own when she treats strongman athletes because in her own words. “I don’t have to hold back when I work with strongman athletes!”. She has been treating me since 2009 and is the reason why I have been injury free and competition ready for the whole year.

In this interview we talk about the what can chiropractic adjustments do for the strongman athlete,benefits of chiropractic treatment, how it works, when you should do it and most important the cost of treatment.


I hope you enjoy watching this interview as much as I enjoyed interviewing Dr Shara. If you are unable to watch the video, please click on the link below. In the meantime, stay strong and keep on lifting!