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Deadlift

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

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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!

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!

Strongman Nutrition

By | Eating for performance, Food for thought, Health Tips, Nutrition, Strongman | No Comments

I’ve been asked many times in terms of nutrition, what do I eat when I’m preparing for a competition? How many calories do I consume a day? How many times do I eat a day? Do I enjoy eating donuts? There is no hard and fast rule for nutrition especially in strongman. Of course we have heard that the Pro athletes are eating 10000 to 12000 calories a day.  So I’m going to take some time to answer these questions and share with you my daily nutrition when I’m preparing for a competition.

What do I eat when I’m preparing for a competition?
Mostly animal protein and vegetables with some carbs. I used to be on a “seefood diet” where whatever I see I will eat it. This was fun while it lasted but this wasn’t very beneficial for performance especially if you are eating junk. I knew I needed to fix this, so I worked with a nutritionist, because I know NOTHING about nutrition. I’ll share my nutrition plan later on during this article.

How many calories do I consume a day and how many time a day?
Some professional strongman do eat 8000 to 12000 calories a day, but nutrition is not a one standard plan that fits everyone. Like in my earlier article that even hydration for performance is different for every athlete. Because each strongman athlete are different in size, weight and type. I consume 4800 to 5000 calories a day over 8 to 10 meals during the whole day

Do I enjoy eating donuts?
No, I do not like donuts at all. I think they are excessively sweet and too rich but I have a soft spot for ice cream and waffles. To be exact… Salted Caramel ice cream from my favourite ice cream parlour.

Best thing I’ve done for myself
One of the best things I’ve done for myself is to work with a nutritionist. If i wanted to be serious about my performance and own personal development, I need to take care of the little things. But nutrition is not little, it’s actually quite a big portion of being an athlete and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Initially I was skeptical because I love my food full flavoured and I’m pretty sure I don’t like dry and tasteless chicken breast. So let’s just dive into the diet then, the first two weeks was just an observation of what I ate on a usual day, this was done in a journal and was constantly reviewed daily, with 5-6 meals a day.

And the one take away was that my diet was lacking in greens and leafy vegetables.  So from 3rd week onwards is just tweaking of my diet with more vegetables. Only restrictions I had were no processed food(anything out of a packet, can or tin) and no carbonated drinks. So after a while this was how my daily nutrition looked like

7.30am
Pro Complex Protein Shake 3 scoops + Glutamine + Physillum Husk

9.00am
5 eggs omelette with mushroom, capsicum and cup of spinach
2 toast with no butter

10.00am to 12.30pm (This was my training time)
Pre training –  2 Bananas, Handful Almonds and Raisins
Intra training – ON Pro BCAA, Glutamine
Post training – Pro Complex Protein Shake 3 scoops + Glutamine + Physillum Husk

1.00pm 
3 roast chicken breast, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 cup basmati rice and 1 cup of stir fry Chinese Kale

3.00pm
1/2 roast chicken, 1 cup of arugula and baby spinach with shredded sour mango

5.00pm
1/2 roast chicken, 1 cup of arugula and baby spinach with shredded sour mango

7.30pm
1/2 roast chicken, 1 cup of arugula and baby spinach with shredded sour mango

9.30pm
250g of lean beef topside with mushrooms, capsicum and 1 cup arugula

11.00pm
1 scoop of ON Pro Complex Whey Ice cream

After a few months or so, I discovered that my body responded better when my carbs intake are after training, protein high and fat intake lower. This was actually a trail and error and it’s never a one solution fits all. You just have to be patient,  trust the person you work with, keep an open mind and make adjustments or tweaks as you go along. I struggled with the new plan because it’s really a lot of food and by 5pm I was so full that I didn’t even want to be in the kitchen or have food in front of me.

But then some things started to happen

  • I started feeling less sore even after heavy or double training sessions days
  • I woke up feeling rested
  • Had more energy during training, I was able to push myself harder and longer
  • I looked different and my body was going through a recompositioning
  • My shirts got tighter while my pants got looser

After 3-5 months, I started to see more muscular growth in my shoulders, thighs and I had an outline of abs! “What scocery is this???” I thought to myself. Then it hit me…. I’ve been consistent with my training and been taking care of my nutrition. My weight has been the same but I feel stronger, sleep better and just feel way better! Who would have thought that stuffing my face with vegetables would make magic happen! If you look at my nutrition intake, my main source of food is FOOD! Supplementation is about 20-30% of my nutritional intake. Operative word… Supplement

Now before you get adventurous and tell yourself “If Taufiq can do this and eat this much… I can do this too!”. Before I got into this whole nutrition process. I had a full comprehensive blood work done just to make sure my body could take the load of so much eating. This was by order of my nutritionist, so that we could eliminate some food that would not work for me. Always get yourself checked out first and always consult a credible sports nutritionist to work with.

In the meantime, train hard and stay injury free.