Instead of asking “What’s wrong with you?”. Perhaps we should be encouraged to ask “What’s STRONG with you?”. Let’s acknowledge how others achieve their goals rather than mocking how they differentiate themselves.
We’re always interested in the way everyone found their passion, and how they maintain their motivation throughout all peaks and valleys.
In this #WhatsSTRONGwithyou series, we collect stories of perseverance, ambition and companionship from the AmSTRONG community. We will share their secret menu that keeps them energised and consistent every single day, their tricks to beat struggles and stress, and give inspirations to our community in how to have stronger body and mind.
We recently interviewed the young passionate bodybuilder Louis (@louistktl), who won the 2nd place of 2021 HKNBF Open Men Physique while he was a 9-6 full-timer and freelance coach during contest prep. His story is full of toughness and commitment.
Q1. Tell us about yourself. How did you get into men’s physique?
Hi I’m Louis, a fitness coach. I began bodybuilding when I was in high school. Ever since then I developed a systematic bodybuilding training and habit. However the process only lasted until I graduate from university when I felt I have reached a plateau. I needed further stimulus and that’s why I wanted to compete bodybuilding on stage. I was lucky enough to have met my prep coach Issac and that’s how I started my first bodybuilding competition.
Q2. Knowing that you achieved 2nd place in 2021 HKNBF MP Open but you were not 100% happy about it, can you share the story behind?
HKNBF was my second competition. My first competition was Global Classic 2020. The result from that particular competition was not ideal because I didn’t prepare enough for posing. So for my next competition, I put in even more effort on posing practice and my hard work have translated into the result that I received 2nd place in the open category. Still, I’m not satisfied with the outcome. During the preparation, I was working for a full time 9-6 job and starting up my own gym. Everyday I would get home exhausted from my full time and freelance job, training, and meals prep. I did gave it my all for the competition. I had expectation on myself. Therefore, I was a bit upset when the officials announced I was only 2nd place.
Q3. What do you want to improve in next competition?
My shoulders have always been my weakness. Therefore I’m focusing more on building my shoulders this off-season. Posing would be the area that I also want to improve. Although this part of my game improved a lot from last competition, I still have lots of room for improvement. Essentially when posing improves, it will be easier to show my strengths and hide my weaknesses.
Q4. What does “STRONG” mean to you?
Other than being physically strong, I believe staying strong mentally is very important too. You may achieve physical toughness through training within a period of time. However, a lot of these strengths derive from our mental. And for me, mental toughness consists of two parts, the desire to succeed and self-confident. When one is determined to achieve some sort of goals, they are unstoppable and they become strong mentally. Self-confident mental toughness shows that one can always stand strong even when facing criticism.
Q5. How many hours do you train a week during contest season?
During competition season, I train 6 days a week. 1.5 - 2 hours per day plus 30 minutes posing.
Q6. How do you maintain work-workout-life balance as an athlete, owner of two gyms and full-time coach?
Although many people think it is hard to maintain work-workout-life balance, it is normal to train after work for most bodybuilders. It becomes part of our life and entertainment to a certain extent. After having experienced the struggles from my last competitions, it relatively gets easier now working as a full time coach and competing. Everyday I normally teach lessons in the morning and I will train or handle the gym operations when it gets more quiet in the afternoon. Perhaps I am really passionate about gym. I enjoy every bit of the ups and downs from being a bodybuilder. I am thankful to be doing what I love.
Q7. Your favourite playlist for workout.
Rap musics and UK grime music.
Q8. Any tips for bodybuilding beginners?
If you have the desire and time to compete, by all means go for it. Since sometimes when we can’t make up our mind, there will be more and more factors stopping us later on. So do follow your heart and do not hesitate. Secondly, once you are committed you should be giving 110% effort. Follow the guidance from your coach. They are your coach but not your babysitter. Have your own discipline and focus on the competition. The more you prep, the more respect you show to your opponents on stage.
Q9. What’s inside your EDC?
Meals for the day, lifting belt, straps, gym clothes, water bottle and shoes.
“AmSTRONG’s 01-WEEKENDER is likely to be the best gym bag. It keeps all my gym necessities and prep meals, still there’s plenty of space for ego. A very cool bag to carry around. I used it in last competition too.” - @louistkt
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