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Name: Lai Wee Kiat
Age as of 2015: 25
Weight OFF-season: 86kg
Competition weight: 82kg
Years of Training: 13
Occupation: Social Media Marketer, Personal Trainer
- Mr Kuala Lumpur 2013 – Light Middleweight & Overall Winner
- Muscle War 2015 – Men’s Open – 3rd
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Lai Wee Kiat is a pioneer in establishing his bodybuilding presence in this region via cyberspace.
I recall stumbling and reading his very own journey into the fitness world on the Internet and it was really insightful.
The Malaysian has grown strength to strength not just his own physical outlook but also his social media circle.
You want to get your fitness related brand out to the consumer; well he has the lists and connections.
While bodybuilding is still his passion, Lai Wee Kiat is now expanding his entrepreneurial endeavour as he ventures out in the marketing industry.
Below is an extract of the interview
Q) How did you get started into lifting weights?
I was a skinny kid who was inspired by muscle men in the media and wanted to be one myself. My first guide was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding which I have read at least ten times.
Q) Did you have a mentor in your formative bodybuilding days or you did it all on your own.
I wasn’t lucky enough to have someone to mentor me in the past. Unlike now, the bodybuilding community was so big when I started training in 2001. Plus, with the absence of social media, it’s not easy to get connected with other people in the field. But I did what I can and it has brought me this far. Oh, but I do have to thank Adrian Tan for helping me out with my contest prep in 2010.
Q) What are your current training splits, or program?
Day 1 – Chest and Triceps
Day 2 – Back and Biceps
Day 3- Shoulders and Abs
Day 4 – Legs
After Day 4, I repeat the cycle from Day 1. I’ll take rest days only when I feel I need them.
Q) Has your training philosophy changed through the years?
It hasn’t really changed much. It’s just more refined now. I used to just lift without knowing what I’m aiming for but now I’m more aware of muscle tension and control.
Q) How long does your training session last? Your thoughts on training duration, should it be quick and quality …. or volume-based?
My training sessions last about an hour to an hour and a half. Each session should be long enough to provide the muscle enough volume to grow but short enough so I don’t lose focus.
Q) Where do you train? Tell us about the gym environment there.
Anytime Fitness West Coast. It’s a quiet (most of the time) place for me to focus and train. Luckily it’s not as crowded as most gyms.
Q) Your website fabodylous.com and its related Facebook page has quite a following. How did the website got its beginning.
I started Fabodylous.com in January 2010. Just like many kids nowadays, I thought of building up my blog and making an income through it. That didn’t happen but I did get quite a lot of cool perks with it. I’ve stopped blogging (unless I have something I really want to blog about) and focused on other social networks such as Instagram because it is more interactive and popular. I wouldn’t get into the specifics but both blogging and Instagram has its strengths and weaknesses in terms of marketing and information dispersion.
Q) I’ve seen new projects headed by you on Instagram. Care to share with the readers more on this?
My full time job is a social media marketer. I’m doing it freelance now but I’m going to run it as a company soon. I own several really popular Singapore-based community pages on Instagram such as SgInstaBabes, SgFitnessHotties, SgFashionistas and SgBlogClub. I also have an email and mobile number list of 3000+ local Instagram users. So if any fitness, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food or events company want to market themselves, I have the network to help them.
Q) I’m sure you have a fair share of online trolls and haters. I’ve some myself but I’m sure yours is on another whole new level. How do you deal with such hate?
This is a pretty good question. Firstly, generally speaking, I think that hating is an epidemic problem that is accelerated by social media nowadays. It is easy to see that it comes from jealousy, rage and insecurities. People just don’t want to see others get ahead of them and will hate to bring them down. I used to take hating very harshly and personally, especially once in 2011. It brought my morale and self-esteem really low. Nowadays, I handle it as professionally as possible. If a hater just wants to insult me to make himself feel better, I ignore him. But if he makes a good point that I’m doing something wrong, I learn from it. But honestly, it’s usually the former.
Q) Do you believe in staying lean all year round or are you into bulk/cut?
I do believe in bulking and cutting but even when I bulk, I stay near to my contest weight. It is funny that some people believe in a different set of theories during their bulking and cutting. It is like the laws of biology change when they cut or bulk. My principles during bulking and cutting are pretty much the same just that during bulking, muscle building is my number one priority and during cutting, fat loss is more important.
Q) What supplements do you use and recommend?
Generally speaking, I take supplements with the most scientific backing. Any supplement company can make claims about their supplements. But not all of those claims have many long term, large sample, double blind, placebo controlled studies to back them up. The top supplements I believe in include the basics – creatine monohydrate, whey protein and BCAAs.
Q) Your thoughts of PED (Performance-enhancing drugs).
I think that anyone who wants to use them should read about them as much as possible before making the decision. And I mean from credible sources. There is loads of misinformation about steroids and many people just like to make claims and self-invented theories about them. It’s weird how some substances can bring out the worst in people.
Responsible steroid users use appropriate and safe amount of steroids and make full use of them by training hard and dieting well.
Steroid abusers are those who megadose on steroids and their training intensity is questionable.
But the worst group of people are lazy out-of-shape haters who look at someone fit and accuse him of using steroids to discredit his hard work so that they feel better about themselves for being out of shape.
Q) What advice would you give for someone who is new to bodybuilding?
I noticed that my successful bodybuilding friends have similar character traits, even though their training style might differ a lot. They are ambitious yet humble, hardworking, dedicated, diligent, studious and they lack self-pity and excuses. To someone who is new and wants to be successful in bodybuilding, emulate these people.
Q) Are you still giving personal training? In all your years of PT, care to share some of the memorable ones.
As of now, I’m only providing online training and contest prep coaching.
There was once this random guy with the weirdest hairstyle who said he wants to train with me. When I stated my fees, he said we are friends and I should train him for free. I replied, “You’re just a random guy who messaged me on Facebook!” He then asked me what kind of underwear do I wear. -____-“
Q) You’ve been in the bodybuilding scene for quite some time; care to share your opinion on the state of Singapore and Malaysian bodybuilding? The various federations, the politics, etc. Is bodybuilding and the future of the sport in our region heading in the right direction?
It’s great to see many new and upcoming bodybuilders and physique competitors on stage every year. That’s a sign that bodybuilding and physique competitions are gaining public interest. However, it’s still sad that the Singapore bodybuilding scene is falling behind most countries. Even neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines have contests where the winner gets thousands of dollars (yes, Singapore dollars). You don’t see that in Singapore.
In Malaysia, there are more dedicated bodybuilders. Some are just crazy huge! Each contest will be overflowed by audiences crowding to see their favourite bodybuilders on stage. I really do wish that the bodybuilders and federations in Singapore can be more supportive of each other. United, we can bring the sport much further, locally and internationally.
Q) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully competing internationally and running a successful marketing company.
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