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CRYSTAL ZENG

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Age:
20 

Relationship status:
Single 

Occupation?
Social worker and student

Fitness category?
Wellness

The TNT Muscle promises to be an amazing show. What helped you decide to enter it? What were you looking most forward to?
After sustaining an injury while preparing for a powerlifting meet, I had decided to look into pursuing other goals. I’ve always wanted to try bodybuilding and figured that it was time to take a leap and give the sport a try. The TNT Showdown happened to be a viable option due to location and in terms of timeline. I was looking forward to meeting new people and seeing what I could achieve in terms of physique. How my body looked was never a very big focus while training for powerlifting, but it’s always been something that I thought about.

Your plans and fitness plans after the pandemic?
The plan at present is to prep for a show in the fall! I’m very excited to walk on the stage for the first time. I’m a very competitive person, so I’m looking forward to competing lots once the world re-opens.

Training Plan:
At present, I have been doing workouts at home 6 days a week. They alternate between lower and upper days, but my coach is saying that this will start to change as we enter a new block. 

Nutritional Plan:
I’ve been trying to diet flexibly within the macros that my coach has set out. It’s definitely been a struggle going from eating whatever I wanted to have to weigh and track everything I eat though.

Supplement Plan:
In terms of supplements, I don’t really take anything special. In the morning, I have multivitamins, fiber, greens with EAAs, and collagen. I also use various protein powders throughout the day.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines:
Status is one of the most popular fitness magazines in Canada! Being Canadian, it makes the magazine more appealing for sure! It makes the content feel more “real”.

What would it mean to you to become a “Status Symbol”?
It would be surreal to become a “Status Symbol”. I’m a very ambitious person, so I feel like being a Status Symbol would just feel like such an achievement. I have this personal goal of making some sort of significant impact on people and I think becoming a symbol could help with that goal.

What would it mean to you to grace the cover of Status?
Being on the cover of a fitness magazine is something that I would have never considered possible for me. I’ve always struggled with self-confidence and body image, so to imagine being on the cover of Status seems crazy. One of the things that always held me back from competing in a bodybuilding show was the fact that I have a lot of scars down my arms and legs. Although I’ve personally come to accept them and recognize the significance that they have in my story, I know that not everyone understands and they do sometimes draw negative attention. When you think about someone on the cover of a magazine, you think of a sort of perfection. I am definitely the furthest thing from that; I’m very average looking and scars are usually not something you see on models.

Favorite Quotes:
I went through a rough period during university because I was so disappointed in myself for needing some extra support from my instructors. I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist, so it was hard for me to admit that I needed help. The chair of my department came to talk to me one day and told me her favorite Brene Brown quote, “No matter how much I get done, or is left UNDONE, at the end of the day I am enough.” I think about it a lot. Another one of my favorite quotes is from a book I was recommended called Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz; “The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea.”

5 things people don’t know about you:

  • I graduated from high school in grade 11 because I wanted to finish that chapter of my life as soon as possible and begin the next.
  •  My favorite shows on Netflix are The Office and Suits. I’ve probably watched both series at least 3 times within the past year.
  •  I love food with such a passion that sometimes I window shop on Skip the Dishes or go for walks by restaurants just so I can smell food.
  •  Before I started powerlifting, I used to compete in martial arts called wushu for a few years. That’s how I met my best friend.
  • As a child, my parents enrolled me into a billion extracurriculars which happened to include private magic lessons. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be?
As mentioned before, my goal is to make some sort of significant contribution to society. I have a passion for advocacy and feel very strongly about children’s rights and justice. I’d like to think that as long as I could inspire at least one person, I would be pretty happy regardless of who it was. I work for a mental health agency in the city and get the amazing opportunity to work with a variety of youth and young adults, so I think that it would be incredible for at least one of them to have been impacted by what I do.

Who inspires you? And why?
One person I really look up to is Sheldon Kennedy. His choice to use his experiences to positively make a change for children inspires me daily. The work he does now is so important and makes such a big difference for so many kids. It takes a lot of courage to disclose the information that he did and then to further use it to advocate for those like him is absolutely incredible.

I am a content and talent manager of Status Fitness Magazine. If you are looking to share your story or get featured in Status, contact me.

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