Home Physiological Interviews Singapore Bodybuilding Interview – Fariz Adam

Singapore Bodybuilding Interview – Fariz Adam


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Name: Fariz Adam

Height: 165cm

Age as of 2015: 27

Weight OFF-season: 72-75kg

Competition weight: 67-69kg

Years of Training: 3.5 years

Occupation: Personal Trainer

Contest History:

  • 2015 WBPF Men’s Physique Champion

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Adam the newly minted WBPF Men’s Physique Champion started out as a strength athlete before moving into Physique.

Popularly known as @adamaesthetics on Instagram, the 27-year-old shares insight into his success of how to attain that classical golden-age bodybuilding look in this interview.

It’s not about how heavy the weights you are pressing, or what wondrous magic pill to prescribe. Indeed no…

The personal trainer has set his sights to become a natural pro and is set to compete at the upcoming Musclemania Asia Singapore on 26th September.

Below is an extract of the interview

Q) How did you get started into lifting weights?

I was never into sports but my body reacted pretty well with weight training. My father used to bodybuild and showed me the ropes inside the gym and as some visible results came, my passion for it flourished.

Q) What are your current training splits, or program?

Currently doing a high frequency program. 5 days a week structured, 1 day a week unstructured. Following a rest-pause concept taking 30-60mins per session. Cardio done separately.

    Monday: Upper Body – Chest Focus
    Tuesday – Lower Body
    Wednesday – Upper Body – Delts Focus
    Thursday – Lower Body
    Friday – Upper Body – Back Focus
    Sat or Sun: Fun Day

Q) Has your training philosophy changed through the years?

When I first started training seriously, I was following a program called Starting Strength, which focussed on the “big barbell lifts”, Squats, Deadlifts, Bent-over Rows, Overhead Press and Bench Press. I had the mentality that all you needed was to excel in these lifts and not have to bother with isolation work, which is true to a certain extent depending on what your goals are.

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BUT… I found out later on that if I wanted an aesthetically pleasing physique, isolation work (and feeling/squeezing the proper muscle) is a very important to build up lagging body parts and improve decent ones.

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 from 30-60mins depending on how much time I have to train.

In my opinion, you can get great results with either method. It all depends on your lifestyle and how much time you’re able to squeeze in between your schedule. You can get enough stimulation in ½ an hour to 45 mins with really short rest time but many people like to stay longer to make their visit to the gym “worth the time”, which works too, if their schedules allow it.

Q) Where do you train? Tell us about the gym environment there.

I usually train at Ultimate Performance Singapore (the gym I work at) but usually train at Gymmboxx Bishan on the weekend.

Q) Do you prefer to train alone, or do you get better results when you’ve a training partner pushing you.

I usually train alone because of restrictions in schedule. But it’s always good to have someone pushing you to go beyond your mental and physical limits.

Q) What music do you listen during training?

I listen to a variety of music. Just not jazz, country and rap.

Q) You won your last Physique competition. Ever thought of moving up the weight class and join a bodybuilding category contest?

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Perhaps in the future (3-4 years). Currently, I don’t feel ready for it. I feel there’s still some room for me to grow within the Physique category and would like more experience with contest prep, etc.

Q) Any upcoming contest you’ll be participating?

I’m competing in MuscleMania Asia on September 26th.

Q) Who is and was your mentor? Did you have one, or are you self-coached?

My mentor who coached me for both my first is Michael Porter, who is a bodybuilder from the UK. He is also prepping me for my upcoming competition.

Q) Who are your bodybuilder idols, locally and internationally?

I would not say I have any idols in particular. We all should do our best to create the best body we can with what we have. I respect anyone who commits the time and effort to hone their physique and in extension, anyone who has to go through adversity to achieve what they have, are my idols.

Q) Care to share your maximum benchpress, overhead press, deadlift and squats?

Truthfully, I haven’t measured my maximum lifts for a really long time as I don’t train for one-rep maxes. However, I have done bodyweight AMRAPs and listed what I remember I did previously if that counts.

    BP: 72.5kg x 26 reps @ 71kg bodyweight

    OHP: 70kg x 5 reps @ 70kg bodyweight

    DL: 180kg x 1 @ 75kg bodyweight

    Squat: 140kg x 5 @ 70kg bodyweight

Q) Your top 3 favourite exercise and why?

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    Machine Lateral Raise: I feel that the machine lateral raise really allows me to focus on resisting the eccentric portion of the movement for delts and prevents swinging as compared to dumbbells.

    Pec Dec: Same thing as above. I love the feeling of isolating a muscle and really squeezing it and the pec dec allows you to do that when done properly. Too many people use too much weight and muscle it up (using their delts and back) when you really shouldn’t have to.

    DB Press Fly: Again, I’m able to get a really good contraction on the chest using decent weight. Whenever I do flat bench, my triceps and delts take over, so this was one of the exercises which really helped me attain a mind-muscle connection to my chest and develop it to a decent size.

Q) What’s your diet like these days?

Typical contest prep diet, eating 6 meals a day. Currently taking in 2500 calories and 7 weeks out from my next contest. I do not believe IIFYM to get into stage-ready condition as I get fat pretty easily. It’s also much easier to prepare and get into the habit of eating the same thing consistently.

Q) What is your favourite CLEAN meal?

A nice medium-rare rump steak with asparagus and some tomatoes.

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Q) What is your favourite CHEAT meal?

If I could ever have a CHEAT meal, Donuts. Definitely donuts. And Ice cream. And cake.

Q) Do you believe in staying lean all year round or are you into bulk/cut?

Staying relatively lean year-round is definitely better in my opinion.

Q) Your thoughts on cardio? How to achieve the right balance with muscle building.

I have always believed cardio is there to support your weight training and should not make up the main bulk of your workout routine when losing fat or gaining muscle. Of course, during contest prep, cardio is important to lose that last bit of fat as well as increase your metabolism (allowing you to eat more) during that phase.

Q) Can you give us some tips on carb loading and water depleting to peak for an event?

A lot of misconception about this. It’s not a magic formula and it won’t get you magically ripped unless you already are. Peak weak will top off your physique by 3-5% of your current state and the more bodyfat you’re holding, the less you are going to get out of it.

Peaking as such, would start around 1 week out from the day of the event where you manipulate carbs and water to give your body a fuller and drier look. It’s also not a look you can hold for more than a few hours.

To carb load, and get that supercompensation effect, you NEED TO BE DEPLETED FULLY. If you are not depleted or only half depleted, carb loading will not work well to give that extra edge. Worst case, is you might actually spill over and look worse than you do on the event. So make sure you take a few days to deplete yourself (via no carbs + intense exercise) before adding carbs back in.
For water, you are looking to “trick” your body into flushing out as much subcutaneous water as you can. To achieve this, you will need to take 7-10litres of water a day for several days (3-5 days). Then a day out from event, you will have to dramatically reduce the amount of water to around 500ml. Your body will still be in a state of flushing but since you will not be drinking enough water, it will expel extra water which you may hold in your subcutaneous layer of skin. Some people recommend to slowly taper it back down but that would defeat the whole purpose.

Q) What supplements do you use and recommend?

I’m not a huge proponent of supplements; however, there is a time and place for them depending on your goals. But I would recommend some to all trainees looking to build muscle:

    1) A high quality whey protein – As a snack, post workout and to round off your protein intake if you need it.

    2) EAAs (Essential Amino Acids) – Pre and intra workout to fill your body with the building blocks of muscle

    3) High quality Omega 3 fish oil – Especially if you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish. It’s a good source of fat which has anti-inflammatory properties as well as balancing your fatty acid ratio.

    4) Caffeine – Great preworkout to get your mind in focus. I prefer caffeine tablets so you know exactly how much you’re taking in. Hits you harder as well, allowing you to feel it kicking in.

Q) What advice would you give for someone who is new to bodybuilding?

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It’s going to be a long journey. It’s not going to take a few months or even a few years. You will have to make sacrifices in order to achieve the physique you desire. Be prepared to lose the people who do not support your lifestyle, even if it is a close friend or family member. You have to be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to stay in the game.

Q) How do you stay motivated?

Working at Ultimate Performance, I have a very strong support group of colleagues who encourage me to keep doing what I need to in order to achieve my results. I surround myself with people who support my lifestyle and/or understand the hard work and commitment it takes to achieve and maintain my physique. This way, I know that even if I’m not motivated, I have people to motivate and push me.

Q) Aside from bodybuilding, do you have any other hobbies?

I like to cook. I also love playing fantasy-based RPGs and MMOs, though I don’t have much time for that nowadays.

Q) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I see myself as an accomplished personal trainer. I also see myself as a natural pro in MuscleMania or another federation.


Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the image.

Photos published courtesy and with permission from Fariz Adam.

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