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2018 in Perspective

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

2018 has been quite a year in terms of my sporting achievements and personal goals. A lot of times we tend to be harsh on ourselves. For not doing more, for not being good enough or for not finishing the year with a trophy. We get all tunnel vision and tend to be fixated on the goal but we for get to take account the process of getting there. So here is my 2018 in perspective.

Setting a new Asia Pacific Deadlift Record

This competition wasn’t on the radar for 2018, but since I wasn’t the Event Director for the Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2018. I just decided to join for fun because all of my friends from around the region and Europe are flying down for the competition. And of course I always enjoyed lifting with one my good friend Jiri Tkadlcik. I ended the day with a new PB of 370kg on the deadlift. Surpassing my previous deadlift PB of 365kg when I was in Czech Republic. That was a good day!

Losing a major sponsor

This was probably one of the most painful experiences of any athlete where your sponsor of 5 years decided not to renew your contract. Many thoughts went through my head like “Should I flip the table now?” or “Should someone fly out of the window?” or even “If I go full on Mountain from the Game of Thrones would I go to prison?”. Well sadly all those answers lead to spending time in prison. I would be miserable in prison with 3 meals a day. 

So I kept it professional, cordial and thanked them for the opportunity for the past 5 years and moved on. After all, good things don’t last forever. Even protein powder has an expiry date. There is more to life than being a sponsored athlete. For the first ten years I managed fine and still won competitions and why does this have to be different. You just “Embrace the Suck” and keep moving forward.

Finishing 3rd on podium at the Static Monsters World Championships 2018

This was probably the highlight of my year… I bombed out badly at the qualifier in 2017 maybe from over preparing and being to rigid with my game plan. In strongman you either win or you learn! I definitely learnt my lesson. 

Displeased with my shoddy and terrible performance in 2017, by some stroke of luck I received a last minute invite to compete in the World Championships because some athlete before me withdrew either from injury or schedule clashed and I was next in line. Bought my tickets and booked my hotel at the Gold Coast.

They say Greatness is when Consistency, Hard Work and Opportunity comes together. I had only 6 weeks to prepare for this competition and I kept my expectations low because I was carrying a few niggling injuries and my overheads numbers haven’t been going up as planned. I will be going up against the best pressers in the world each averaging in excess of 160kg to 200kg overheads. Here I was with a peasant like 130kg log press.

I finished the log press last in the athlete ranking but I kept my head down because my deadlifts are my best lifts. I finished 3rd on the deadlift with a 405kg, breaking my own PB off 400kg and managed to finish 3rd overall in the Men’s Open category. Did I also mention I got to meet Santa?

Having the opportunity of working with a new sponsors

They say when one door closes, another will open. I didn’t actively seek out new sponsors because I wanted a cooling off period to get over the “pain” (insert weird snorting laugh).

But I really think as an individual and athlete I have been truly blessed with guardian angels watching over me because I had the amazing opportunity to be working with Essential Magnesium SG which has amazing magnesium cream products for my recovery needs. They don’t just carry one type of magnesium cream/oil but a huge range with each having a different purpose and time of the day. But my current favourite is Night Cream as it helps me to sleep better and I wake up with minimal soreness! Click on the link if you need to get one!

I’m also thankful to the team from Couz Nutri for taking a chance on me and signing me up as part of the team as a sponsored athlete. So far they have been extremely phenomenal in taking care of my supplementation needs. The quality and variety of the products that they carry is amazing!

They have also generously stepped up as the Official Supplement Sponsor for the upcoming Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2019 on the 9th March 2019 at Gym Rendezvous.

Moving Forward

Personally as an athlete, having an open mind and taking things into perspective is important. Where everything happens because it’s meant to happen. If you put the hard work in but don’t get the results you want. Maybe you should re-look at what are your weaknesses that need improving. Or maybe it’s not your time yet. We tend to be so fixated in our goals but forget to enjoy the process.

If you are ever at doubting yourself. “Why am I doing this?” or “Why am I even eating this again and again?”. Ask yourself a simple question… Would your future self be happy with you complaining? I’m guessing the answer is NO. I just tell myself… I like standing on podium! Knowing I’ve enjoyed the process and given my best!

Opportunity + Hard Work + Consistency = GREATNESS! Make sure you remember that!

In the meantime train hard and stay injury free. Definitely looking forward to an amazing 2019!

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!