Life transcends the numbers on the scale and your body is capable of so much more than that! The Yahoo #FitsPo Week series is dedicated to the inspiring men and women of Singapore who lead healthy, active lifestyles. Do you have someone to recommend? success Cheryl on me Instagram or Facebook!
Noun: chevra vowel (@tweet)
Height: 1.6 m
Weight: 55 kg
occupation: personal trainer
food: I track my macros and eat based on my current goal at the time. When I’m getting ready for a bodybuilding contest, I’ll be in a state of powerlessness, in order to lose body fat and be as conditioned as possible for the show. If I wasn’t on set, I’d still roughly track my calories, but likely with more discretion and anxiety. I do have breaks though.
When I’m on vacation, I don’t open my tracking app. I’ve done this for so long that it’s ingrained into my daily life. I eat a variety of foods, as long as they hit my macronutrient goals for the day.
Practice: Monday – lower body (focus on glutes), Tuesday – upper body (push and pull), Wednesday – lower body (gluteals and hamstrings), Thursday – Zone 2 conditioning, Friday – upper (push and pull) part, Saturday – part Lower body (gluteus and hamstrings), Sunday – conditioning zone 2
Q: Were you active when you were younger?
A: I have always been active my whole life. I will excel in physical education in school and the arts, but not so much in other things like math. When there is a small race or competition during PE, I didn’t say no. I thrive in athletic competitions. Basketball, soccer, and martial arts were some of the top three sports that I enjoyed at school. I got into weight training when I was 15, taught by my friends.
What did you get into when you grew up?
As I started learning more about weight training, I continued to do it in addition to playing soccer at school. I followed soccer until my freshman year at university, then came across Crossfit and Powerlifting in 2014. I competed in Crossfit both regionally and internationally between 2015-2019, then moved on to Powerlifting and competing in the Singapore Nationals from 2019-2021.
How did you get into bodybuilding?
After years of doing CrossFit and lifting weights, my body really couldn’t keep up with the aging and my life just got busier. Priorities in life changed, so that meant I had to make realistic decisions, like stepping away from competitive weightlifting.
However, knowing myself, I only thrive on competitions, so I still need to somehow. Starting at UNREAL at the beginning of 2022 has led me into an environment of like-minded individuals. Ben, co-founder of UNREAL, kindled an old fire in me and thought I should give this bodybuilding thing a shot. Here I am.
What are some of the highlights of your bodybuilding journey?
I won all the classes I participated in, as well as the bikini title overall at NPC Singapore Showdown 2022.
What are some bodybuilding challenges?
We face a lot of challenges as athletes in any sport we play. I find some similarities in all the sports I’ve played. One of the main similarities is the mental toughness and grit you need. Every day is a battle with the mind.
Another one that is a challenge for me is to bring it up. This is something I had never worked on before I started so it was like learning a new language.
Why did you decide to become a coach?
I have always been in the fitness industry since I graduated from university. Even when I was at university, my part-time job was at the university gym as the front of the house as the reception girl. I cannot live my life without sport.
When you were younger, did you experience any incidents that made you feel insecure about yourself?
I think insecurity is normal. This is part of being human. One thing I deal with is body imbalance (that’s a big thing in the fitness industry). But honestly, I’ve always been focused on athletic performance which never bothered me much about my body weight.
For CrossFit, all I wanted was to do better in competitions, so if that meant I needed to lose more than 60kg, I’d do it.
As for powerlifting, I’ve never been a lifter who trained above my weight class, I squatted around 59-60kg when I trained, so getting the weight down below 58kg wasn’t difficult. As long as I’ve been snatching, cleaning and sticking numbers under 58kg, that’s been my goal.
But then came bodybuilding, and to be completely honest, this was a mental battle. However, I’m getting better with it as the days go by. I’m thankful that the bikini category is not based on body weight! I try to focus a lot on my weekly look as I approach a show, rather than focusing so much on my body weight. I definitely have harder days than others, especially when you don’t see the number go down. But that’s why it’s good to have a support system and a coach.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
Lol, I’m competitive so I’ll never be satisfied. When I’m close to the competition, I just want to be better, I want a better package that I bring to the show. And after the show? I’m still not satisfied, I can tell you that now haha.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
1,000,000% haha. I come from an Indonesian family. I have always been out of the ordinary. You’ll see a family photo and I’ll be the only muscular female. I grew up with comments from grandmothers, aunts, and aunts about how I looked, but I never really let it get to my head. I kept doing what I did and using it as fuel. It is strangers online? All the time.
If you could change anything about yourself, right?
Nah. Honestly, despite my insecurities, I’m happy with where I am. We all suffer from insecurity, though, so it’s a part of life. These things are usually just something we have to learn to live with. We humans, we are a work in progress. We evolve over time.