Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Samson Lau

Be inspired by the success stories of fitness influencers, celebrities, models and trainers in Singapore

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Samson Lau is a fitness coach.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Samson Lau is a fitness coach. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

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: Samson Lau (@sa7mson)

Age: 32

Height: 1.72m

Weight: 73kg

Occupation: Fitness Coach

Status: Single

Food: I mainly eat the same thing every day. Usually my meal consists of brown rice, chicken breast and broccoli. I cheat once every week, usually on a Friday night or a Saturday when I feel lonely. I follow this rule in general, "If you cannot read or understand 90 per cent of the ingredients you see on the food label, it probably isn’t good for you."

Exercise: I am active every day. As a fitness coach and instructor, teaching group fitness classes is part of my job. It requires me to move with my clients, as I teach on stage and that is a bit of a sweat feast for me. Before my classes, I will do my own workout which mainly involves strength/weight training and a CrossFit WOD.

Samson does his own fitness workouts outside of his fitness classes.
Samson does his own fitness workouts outside of his fitness classes. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

When you were younger, were you active in sports?

Never. In fact, I hated working out as a kid. I only got into the whole fitness thing before my National Service, when I feel like I really needed to work out.

What did you get into as you got older?

I fully got into fitness by accident actually. When I signed up for a gym membership, I got access to group fitness classes and at that time I felt that it was a perfect way for me to build a good habit of working out because it was fun and I don’t have to think about what to do.

How did you become a fitness coach?

As I was very heavily involved in the whole GX (Group Fitness) thing, I started going for courses and boot camps to gain more knowledge and tools to conduct a class. After getting my certification, I started teaching classes regularly to gain more experience.

When I was still in school, a typical day for me will be to teach morning classes, go to school or lectures and tutorials, then go back to the gym again to teach. After my graduation, I knew this is what I wanted do, so I went ahead into this career full time.

What is most fulfilling about having a career in the fitness industry?

Definitely seeing progression and a shift in my clients, whether is it a GX class or personal training (PT), and when they keep coming back or signing more PT sessions with you.

Samson mentors other fitness instructors.
Samson mentors other fitness instructors. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

I do training and development at work too and being able to mentor new coaches and instructors and then seeing them on stage teaching a class with a huge shift, is something that is priceless and very fulfilling as well.

Conversely, what are the challenges?

It is very important to be a role model when you’re conducting a class and sometimes life gets in the way. You could be feeling very tired or sad or your social battery is low but when you’re on stage, you got to switch that off and be 100 per cent present. Also, back when I was a freelance instructor, getting injured means you wouldn’t be able to teach until you’ve recovered so you’ll be out of a job for a while.

What are your fitness goals now?

To really work on my strength and endurance. But on a whole, in general, I still want to hike up mountains and volcanos when I’m 80.

When you were younger, did you experience any incidents that made you feel insecure about yourself?

I guess feeling insecure has been a constant battle in my life. I find myself working out so hard to achieve a certain fitness model physique you see on socials and in the media. Sometimes I work out three times a day and at one point, I was overtraining and still, I was not satisfied with how my body looked.

I remember once I was nagging my client who kept getting injured because he would train so much outside our regular training sessions; then it occurred to me that I was doing the same thing. It’s funny that as a coach, I am good at coaching others but myself. That changed my view of working out and now I see working out as a celebration of what our bodies can do and not to out train a bad diet.

Samson wants to continue working on his strength and endurance.
Samson wants to continue working on his strength and endurance. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

When did you feel the least confident about yourself?

Usually after a break up or a relationship that ended, I just feel like I am not good for anyone. I wouldn’t like what I see in the mirror. But going to therapy and doing yoga has helped me a lot. It has helped me to be honest with myself internally and love myself a little bit more. I feel that is important to start loving yourself first before anyone else.

Did you ever struggle with your body?

Yes! When I first started getting into the fitness industry, I was working with guys who are really buff and muscular and people look up to them a lot as inspiration. I remembered I was trying to get as buff as them and then I found myself overtraining, and eating a lot more just to pack on that extra muscle mass. It made me really unhappy during that phase.

Are you satisfied with your body now?

Yes. I mean, it can look better, it can be stronger, but I look at it as a work in progress. I am just very thankful for what my body can do and I remind myself that that is enough!

Have you ever received any comments about your body? If you could change anything about yourself, would you?

Yes. I am embarrassed to say that it is generally good comments but I feel very underserved of it mostly. If I can change anything about myself, it would be having a healthier mindset to assure myself that I am okay as I am now.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Samson Lau.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Samson Lau. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)