Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more. Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook.
Name: Blake Ng Yanzhi (@B.isforburn)
Occupation: Fitness trainer
Diet: No particular diet
Training regime: In a week, I do weightlifting three times and calisthenics twice, as well as sprint training and swimming as recovery. It all depends on my work schedule. I set aside about an hour daily to exercise and I do different things based on how I feel and how much time I have. Sometimes, I will just skip training because of laziness. (Yes, I’m human too.)
You played a lot of sports when you were younger!
Yeah, I played all kinds of sports. Badminton and soccer, in particular, were my favourites! I was a competitive badminton player since primary school and played soccer leisurely with friends back when mama shop plastic balls were cool.
Did you compete in any sports?
I was shortlisted for sprinting and high jump but never really pursued those because badminton was my favourite. My team and I won first at the inter-school nationals in Primary 6, got selected to enter the same secondary school and continued to compete for the next four years among the top three. I decided to stop competing in polytechnic because I wanted to shift my focus towards studying.
And then you really got into fitness as you got older.
I was first introduced to exercise through a boot camp and eventually went on to become a boot camp instructor. It was all fun and games really, maybe because I was the one shouting and dishing out the pain. Then I enlisted into the Naval Diving Unit (the real boot camp) and for the next two years, my training revolved around open water swimming, running, and never-ending bodyweight exercises that I would later learn to appreciate as calisthenics. Towards the end of my service, I discovered weightlifting through CrossFit, and my passion for fitness took off from there.
What are your fitness philosophies?
I believe in training happy. I feel that the media has painted an extremely inaccurate image of what fitness is. Fitness is not a look, it’s function, and I want to help others realise this truth and enjoy the process doing so.
What are some life lessons you've learnt from sports?
I think the one thing I’ve learnt and am still learning, is to get up again whenever I fall.
What are your fitness goals now?
I don’t really have a goal now. I just look forward to every workout knowing that I’m doing something positive that my future self would thank me for.
What is the vision you have as a fitness professional for yourself and the community?
I hope I can impact as many lives as I can with the time that I have in this industry. I do have a heart for the elderly and hope I would have the opportunity to reach out to them through fitness. I want to create a movement that transcends all age groups. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15, 27, 40, or above 70. You can still be physically active.
What are some of the challenges as a personal trainer?
I think the challenge for me is providing my clients with practical handles that are both realistic and sustainable so that they can stay fit and healthy in the long run.
There isn’t a “one size fits all” strategy, so I need to adapt my approach to each individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. That way, I’ll be able to create a personalised training program that fits their lifestyles and schedules.
Essentially, it’s about what works for them in practice rather than in theory. Seeing them grow in confidence and smiling even brighter each day, is what makes what I do so rewarding.
What are some of the challenges being in the fitness industry?
I think the fitness industry is evolving quite rapidly especially with the advancement of technology. This makes it difficult to decipher what is right and what is wrong. Along with this, there’s also a blurring of lines that distinguish fitness professionals and fitness “influencers”. In our time and age, anyone who has six pack abs can gain immediate credibility on social media and spread misinformation, confusing clients.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
I don’t recall a time when I was significantly less confident, but I think I’m on a journey that requires constant reminders of my identity and self-worth. I came across a saying that warned me to not live for the praises of men or I’ll die at their criticism, and I think that’s something worth remembering.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
I think I am. Haha! I do care about how I look, but I’m not going to let that stop me from eating anything I want to eat.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Yup, I did receive some comments but I don’t really take them to heart. It can get quite awkward when someone make comments on your body.