Monday, June 30, 2014

The Future of Bodybuilding and Fitness in Singapore – An Interview with former Mr Singapore, Bodybuilding Singapore President and Fitness Movement Chairman, Kevin Chiak

Bodybuilding and fitness in Singapore has been and is still going through a period of evolution.

On the positive side, the rise of Instagram and other social media platforms have connected the fitness community and bodybuilders alike like never before. We've also seen a rise in popularity of the sport both as a hobby and on the competitive level, as witnessed at the Muscle & Fitness War 2014 (MFW2014). There has also been a rise in popularity of physique categories/competitions not just in Singapore but around the world as well.

On the not so positive side, we've witness many changes in the organisations and officials of the sport. Unlike the past where there was only one organization, because of various reasons, there are now 4 for bodybuilding and 1 focusing solely on fitness/physique.

As a result, the sport is growing as a community and as a competitive sport but unable to progress as a nation. Thankfully we have a prominent leader for bodybuilding now - Bodybuilding Singapore (organiser of MFW2014 and more) - where most athletes have chosen to place their faith in. The hopes for all of us is that one day bodybuilding in Singapore will be led by one organisation chosen unanimously by the community and the sport can progress from there.

Bodybuilding Singapore


To help us understand the situation better and make informed decisions, we've interviewed former Mr Singapore, Bodybuilding Singapore President and Fitness Movement Chairman, Kevin Chiak.

Kevin Chiak


The interview is as follows:

 
Ashley: Kevin, before we get serious, I’m sure readers want to hear from the man himself a little about becoming a Mr Singapore. Tell us: What was the greatest challenge you faced on your journey to earning the title and how you overcame it?

Kevin: Well, every training year leading towards my eventual win for the overall title of Mr Singapore 2010 was a challenge. I took on the challenge as a growing experience as an athlete. I First won the National Champion in my category and landed a top 3 position in the Mr Singapore round for a few years and slowly moved closer to the target.

In the process other challenges include the diet that required tweaking and training to achieve the best of my physique possible at that point. It was a great journey of learning new things and learning how my body responses to training and diet, making the challenges worthwhile and rewarding. I strongly encourage anyone reading this to be able to take any loss as another step of achieving better if not the top position. And I rate every attempt as a success as long as my physique improves every time, and the steady progress itself constitute a victory.         

Ashley: Very inspirational and I especially like the final part about how you rate an attempt as successful or not. Sounds like the kind of thing I would write on my blog!

Okayokay just one more question before we REALLY get serious, do you like this blog??

Kevin: Yes I really like this blog. Not just because it contains a lot of usable information but more so because it is written with a lot passion in the sport of bodybuilding and training. It becomes believable when any athlete writes and explore what he is trying to achieve and more so when the writer is a young competitive bodybuilder.  I believe his personal experience and pain and sweat in the sport made the article more realistic and in depth.

Ashley: Why thank you sir!

Okay on to the important things. In the past decade there have been many changes in the sport of bodybuilding in Singapore. As a result, up and coming athletes and even some fairly seasoned ones are getting confused. Although there has been a blog post covering the outline of the situation ,we would like to hear from you.

Tell us what prompted you to establish Bodybuilding Singapore?

Kevin: Bodybuilding Singapore was first known as SBPF, however we changed it because we reckoned  that there are too many bodybuilding organisations using acronyms that are just too similar and also we felt that since we are a newer, younger (a lot of the committee members comprises of the younger generation) and modern organisation, a cool short and sharp name like Bodybuilding Singapore would be befitting thus the new name, and if I may mention that even Singapore Sports Council has changed their name to “Sports Singapore”, how timely can it get.

So Bodybuilding Singapore formation and existence has very much to do with the dissatisfaction of many officials from the previous federation. Following that motion, I was invited to lead this new organisation and I took up the challenge.

So far I am very proud to say we have done well. The following events we have conducted warrant our success, namely;  the National Championship in 2013 - crowning the Mr Singapore 2013, NUS Health and Fitness Club for the Muscle and Fitness War in 2013 and 2014, both achieve astounding success. We also partnered HomeTeamNs for the HomeTeam Bodybuilding championship 2013.
In a nutshell, Bodybuilding Singapore is here today to help local bodybuilders by providing a fair, competitive and exciting platform.    

Overall top 3 at the SBPF Nationals 2013(Mr Singapore 2013). Photo credits to Fabodylous

 


Muscle & Fitness War 2014 Open Category. Look at the no. of competitors! I'm in this category and I couldn't even fit into the photo!

 

 

Ashley: We’ve all heard of Bodybuilding Singapore, but only a few are familiar with Fitness Movement Singapore. Can you tell us more about this organisation and why you established it?

Kevin: There were a couple of reasons which led to the separation of Fitness Movement Singapore from Bodybuilding Singapore.

Fitness Movement Singapore organises the Singapore Fitness Model Search, a platform for competitors to compete in a Fitness Physique competition, here an athlete will score better when they have more aesthetics above muscularity whereas bodybuilding competition scores a competitor based on his/her muscularity and vascularity above aesthetics. 

To date around the world , fitness physique competitions has gained more popularity, with that trend we reasoned that it could also serve as a bridge for more talents to compete from a person working out in the gym, to competing in a fitness physique competition and possibly a step further into hardcore bodybuilding.  All said one may opt to continue refining their body aesthetics and continue competing in the fitness physique competition.

In our context, we brand the fitness physique with a fitness model search and we will be organising the first National championship for fitness physique called “Singapore Fitness Model Search 2014”. This is to make the competition more appealing to attract more commercial sponsors, besides a lot of overseas fitness physique athletes are also fitness models.  

Ashley: Why did you keep the two organisations separate?


Kevin: As this is rather new in Singapore, we are separating the 2 entities otherwise it will caused confusion to many. People will think that fitness physique is like hardcore bodybuilding.  Therefore setting them apart would segregate the “criteria” and motion.

Besides providing the clarity of the competition nature, Fitness Movement Singapore want to use its platform as another platform for exercising and getting fit. Fitness physique is definitely more achievable than that of a hardcore bodybuilder physique so using this characteristic to encourage and inspire more people to exercise and workout would be a better bet, therefore this mission and a fitness movement was established, and our tagline is “Better Bodies Better Nation”.

With all that in line, we like to use this wonderful platform and winners to act like fitness role models to inspire more people to take up fitness regimes and engaging in exercises. Additionally our athletes will pen down their fitness journey stories highlighting their reasons for exercising, how they have changed other people lives and more importantly also how getting fit has changed their lives etc.      


Ashley: Tell us about the interaction of the two organizations (Bodybuilding Singapore and Fitness Movement Singapore)?

Kevin: We started with the wish of doing both competitions separately, and as we anticipated, the applications received to compete in “Singapore Fitness Model Search 2014” has been overwhelming. So much so that instead of a small stage in a random place, we have gone ahead and plan to hold it at the University Cultural Centre theatre hall, a more appropriate stage and setting, and with that we can safely say our first step has been achieved. 

Ashley: What are your long term plans for both organisations in terms of events, affiliations, etc.?

Kevin: As a matter of fact we are in the planning for bigger things to come for Singapore Fitness Model Search next year, however we can’t reveal that much. As far as affiliation, both will remain independent as organisations will focus on the local competitions and nurture the athletes better.

Ashley: We’ve heard about the collaboration of Bodybuilding Singapore and SFBF (Singapore Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness). For those who are unaware or unsure, can you summarize and clarify what it is and what it means to athletes?

Kevin: In short, local athletes will compete and be Bodybuilding Singapore and if any athletes is ready for competing regionally or internationally, we will send them to SFBF and represent Singapore in those competitions by IFBB.
 
Ashley: I think some athletes are refraining from competing at all because they are afraid of having to choose a side, ending up with the wrong organisation and being stuck there. Do you have any advice for these athletes?


Kevin: I can’t advice but would like to urge local physique to compete in our competitions or those who partnered and supported by us. So far Bodybuilding Singapore along with Fitness Movement Singapore are the main local organisers for most of the local competitions, in this we are also referring to competitions with partners like NUS and HometeamNS just to name a few. We are also the only organisation that organises the National competition this year . So to validate any standard benchmark, our competitions would fit that bill.    

Ashley: One last question. Describe where you see the entire bodybuilding seen in Singapore 10 years from now.

Kevin: I see glory, that said the physique athletes must be more down to earth and be patient. Compete where their level of competency is and not be too ambitious by competing in any overseas competitions beyond their level. Glory comes in proper calibrations and planning.


Ashley: We hope your vision plays out. Thank you for your time Kevin and we wish you and your organisation all the best.

------------------------------------------------------------End--------------------------------------------------------------
To find out more about the organisations visit them at:

Bodybuilding Singapore - www.bodybuildingSingapore.sg

Fitness Movement Singapore - www.fitnessmodelsearch.sg

To sign up for the Bodybuilding Singapore's upcoming National Bodybuilding and Physique Championship 2014 in September, Click Here

To stay updated with the latest interviews, posts and news, like MuscleCeption on Facebook by clicking on the Like button on top right of this post.

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