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: Nicholas Joel Leong (@njltheawesome)
Occupation: Personal Trainer/Fitness Model
Food: I revolve my meals mostly around protein dense food. I usually eat out but I will choose healthier options like ordering chicken breast instead of normal chicken for chicken rice.
I don’t follow a strict diet, however if I have an upcoming photo or video shoot I would cook my own food such as prawns, fish and eggs.
Exercise: I train most days in a week focusing mainly on strength and power. My training consists of mostly weighted calisthenics such as weighted muscle ups, weighted pull ups and weighted dips followed by conventional weightlifting.
Q: When you were younger, were you active in sports?
A: I was into many sports when I was in school and represented the school in soccer, floorball, cross country and track and field.
On top of sports, since 2007, I was already dancing and performing at many various events as well.
What did you get into as you got older?
As a previous performer at Universal Studios Singapore, I only got into performance-based skills such as roller skating, stilt walking, poi, unicycling over the past few years.
You are a very active person with many physical hobbies. Tell us more.
At the moment, besides calisthenics and powerlifting, I also do breakdance, exotic dance, stilt walking, roller skating, hiking, inline skating, ice skating, long boarding, surf skating, pole dancing, tricking, unicycling, kettlebell juggling and more. I choose to be a generalist (or some might say Jack of all trades), rather than specialise in one sport only.
I love learning new skills and experiencing different aspects of life. In our society, it is usually expected of us to be niche in whatever we do. However, I want to push the boundaries and show the world that that does not necessarily have to be the case. Go out there to learn and experience anything and everything.
What are your fitness goals?
My fitness goals have always been to push the limits of the human body, to be as strong as I can get progressively in life and to be an extremely versatile athlete.
As a personal trainer, a fitness model and a performer, is there any pressure to maintain your physique?
I’ve already maintained my body fat around 10 per cent or under for the past 20 years or so. As much as I need my physical appearance to be of a certain level for work,
I do not feel any pressure as I’ve always had an extremely active lifestyle that helps to keep me fit.
Have you experienced anything that made you feel insecure about yourself?
No, I have never been insecure about myself. Around 10 years ago, my dad went through a life-threatening illness and almost passed away. At that point of my life, I was extremely stressed. I would go for breakdancing (my bboy days) for six hours every single day, then head back home to the fitness corner around midnight to train on my own.
I would push my body to the limit till I was too tired to think about anything and just fall asleep right after. After that incident, I learnt to look at life as if it can be taken away at any given time and learnt to appreciate everything around me.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
I used to be an extreme introvert, not even daring to order food by myself when I was a kid. However when I was 17, I won a modelling competition and became the face of my school. That was the turning point.
I was then scouted by a few modelling agencies where my jobs involved talking to all types of people, doing catwalks and being in photo and video shoots with big crews. To top it off, I was performing dance at many locations and joined Universal Studios Singapore as a performer where I got used to performing, acting or dancing in front of crowds.
Did you ever struggle with your body?
No, I can proudly say that I’ve never allowed myself to go over a certain body fat my entire life even when I got terribly injured and had to train for more than a year just to get back to my starting point. I have maintained my weight of 73kg-75kg through the years.
Are you satisfied with your body?
Yes, I will always be content with my body at any point of time. My current body is honed from all the different skill sets that I’ve accumulated through the years such as skating, dancing, flipping, calisthenics, weightlifting and other performing arts.
Do you get any comments about your body?
I’ve only gotten positive comments about my body.
If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
No, I wouldn’t. People do not see nor understand the time and sacrifice I have made for this lifestyle and body I currently have and I would not give up anything for it.