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Trainers Profiles

MARCUS KOH ZHI WEI

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My dad brought me to the gym as I was an overweight kid, was bullied, and made fun of & I put all my energy into losing weight. I became really really skinny & I didn’t like that either! Hence, I fell in love with weights the moment I started seeing progress back in 2009. I did many sports growing up such as Taekwondo, sailing, rock climbing, ice skating, playing football in tournaments back in high school, etc. Always been an outdoor rather than indoor person but I struggled in the early days to find something I really loved to do for a long time as a form of fitness-related hobby.

Age:
30

City, State/Province:
Singaporean living in Australia, North Albury, NSW

Country:
Australia

Occupation:
Detailer/Designer for Timber Residential Homes

In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
I would say it depends on the individuals’ circumstances but both are equally important. To begin with, weight loss is crucial as most health issues are related to having a higher body fat percentage or an unhealthy lifestyle. Diet and strength training go hand in hand to counter the majority of the health issues the general community faces. After which, progression and fundamental movement/mobility or imbalance issues can be improved with fitness via the aid of weight loss, thus improving the overall quality of life.

Photo By: Ban Studio

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level: 50
  • Health level: 50

Again, both aid each other to go hand in hand. Having more tokens on the health level already means a lower fitness level, which does not necessarily mean the health level would be good in the long run, and vice versa.

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, and others?
All of these have their merits and downsides if done in excess. A good combination of a few will definitely benefit any individual. For example, yoga for mobility/stretching/mental well-being while powerlifting and bodybuilding in areas of muscle mass and strength gains, combined with the occasional cardiovascular activity such as HIIT and LISS/circuit training with bodyweight tools such as the TRX are always going to be a plus rather than doing one sport or utilizing a single tool only.

How did your passion for fitness start? And what was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
It started when I realized it affected my sense of self-esteem/confidence greatly. Fast forward from 2009 to 2017, I began training myself not just physically but mentally and began preparing for my first bodybuilding contests with the diet as well as the training. My biggest challenge was moving on from losses and defeats. I’m generally a competitive person by nature and it’s either in the first place or nothing. Along the way, I learned how to manage that expectation and I kept going till today 2022 before turning pro with the INBA/PNBA Natural Bodybuilding Federation. My greatest moment in Bodybuilding was on 28th May 2022 when I achieved my Pro Card. I was struggling to bag that for 5 years after receiving countless second place & near misses for the overall.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I emphasize heavy mind-muscle connection, not just moving weight from point A to B. Time under tension, allowing maximum stimulus in the target muscle during training.

Trainer Philosophy:
Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t, you’re right.

Photo By: Ban Studio

Training Plan:
Previously, I train one body part a day but currently, I do a PUSH-PULL LEGS split. 3 days on 1 day off, 2 days on 1 day off and repeat weekly.

  • Mon – Legs
  • Tue–Push
  • Wed–Pull
  • Thur–REST
  • Fri – Legs
  • Sat–Push/Pull
  • Sun – REST

Nutritional Plan:
I do carb cycling. Meaning the number of carbs I take depends on what body part I train.

Supplement Plan:
I am sponsored by JDN supplements from Brisbane. I take BCAAS intra-workout. Occasionally the pre-workout formula they have called Altered State along with 5g Creatine monohydrate and a Whey Protein Isolate and Cream of Rice with my oats in the morning and post-workout.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
Mental health is the crux of everything moving together like clockwork. Without a goal or a proper mental focus, you can’t function and most probably be doing everything for the sake of it or just going through the motions.

Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
During contest prep, I wake at 5 am and do cardio for 30-45mins at the gym or outside and head home to prep my meals for the day. Generally, I’m at work by 7-8 am and finish around 4-5 pm. I consume my meals on a strict time schedule so I can constantly feed the body with the right nutrients for growth and progress in my bodybuilding goals. After which I head to the gym and train + do cardio if needed the extra push before reaching home at around 7 pm. I then stretch or relax with my last meal before heading to bed by 10 pm. If I’m not competing, the amount of cardio I do is reduced and I try to eat in surplus for a proper muscle gain phase.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status magazine seems to be keeping up to date with the fitness industry and promotes athletes from all facets of training and goals. Compared to other magazines that only focus on one aspect of health and fitness, Status magazine appeals to me as they seem to show no discrimination and are open to people from all walks of life.

Photo By: Ban Studio

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
What do you think can take Status Fitness Magazine to its next level of growth and worldwide popularity.

Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you about this opportunity?
It would be an incredible honour and privilege to be an ambassador for Natural bodybuilding and inspire/motivate others to achieve their goals in terms of health and fitness.

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I’ve been blessed with kind and encouraging individuals who saw much potential in me and pushed me to give competing a try. Some helped me with advice and posing along the way as I was living in various states in Australia and competing with different federations. But for the most part, I have been self-coached and self-prepped for the major contests recently. They definitely gave me the inspiration and still do! It has been a huge impact on my motivation aspect of things in terms of being a good role model and will be in years to come, being a coach now myself too.

Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
They mean the world to me. I believe without them in my corner and support system has been a huge aid to me in my ups and downs over the past 5 years.

  • Ryderwear – Providing me with the best quality apparel & lifting gear/shoes etc for my training.
  • Sudio – Swedish wireless Bluetooth earpiece that has aided all my workouts to keep me focused along with their impeccable noise-cancelling qualities and sound system.
  • Jdnsupplements – My current sponsors from Queensland Brisbane have provided me with quality nutrition and supplements that are crucial during any contest prep let alone regular training in the offseason.
  • Wgcastlereagh – The owner back then loved how passionate I was and for 2 years in Sydney during my time there he let me train there which saved me a great deal financially in return for being the world gym ambassador. It was really tough as 2019-21 was the peak of covid as well
Photo By: Casey Graham

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
My goal is to be healthy in the long run, longevity and still love what I do. I hope to be an inspiration to not just my local community but globally now that I have the pro card and the opportunity to compete in Vegas next year at the INBA/PNBA Natural Olympia, as some of the greatest natural bodybuilders have done before me. To be a role model and show others that a regular person like me can still achieve his or her dream of standing on stage with full-time professionals and still do well! I just got married to the most amazing woman, and she has also tried competing for the first time this year. In the near future, we plan to have kids and raise them up well, and that is another one of my current goals for my family!

5 things people don’t know about you?

  • I have a Taekwondo black belt.
  • I’ve won sailing competitions.
  • I’m able to ice skate.
  • I’ve been training for 13 years consistently now without missing a week of training.
  • I have got a Master’s, Bachelor and Diploma in Architecture along with a Bachelor of International Business

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Always set the standard on your own terms. Keep your head up through adversity and despite all the failures one goes through, as long as you keep going you’re not a failure and one day you will succeed just like I have with my multiple attempts to reach a higher level.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Honesty, Will, Discipline, Respect & Compassion.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
I think it does not have to be a specific person in general but instead a category. I would love to be able to inspire say, for example, my role models. Because they have first inspired me and if I am able to return that inspiration and if they get inspired by me in return, then I can say I have succeeded because everything comes full circle.

Photo By: Casey Graham

Who inspires you? And why?
People who don’t know me–I would have to say, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was the first that I’ve seen all over the cover of magazines back in the 90s when social media was not this big. Not only that, he succeeded in bodybuilding, but whatever he set his mind to, he accomplished and that was very, very inspiring for me.

People whom I’ve known personally–Nobuyuki Fukuda from Japan who lives in Adelaide. I met him in the Norwood World Gym and back when I saw him in the gym in the wee hours; he was the most conditioned and shredded Asian who was competing in Australia back then in 2017. He is also South Australia’s firefighter and personal trainer, raising two kids at the same time. He was really encouraging and humble and he told me that I should give competing  a try someday. I took up that challenge and here I am today. He has won both ICN AND ANB at a national level and was even on the front cover of the Australian Newspapers. I really respect him as he carries himself professionally and sees the best in others. I really miss him!

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Stay consistent, don’t be afraid to eat, try new diets, learn, and always be a student. For those interested in competing, try new diets and training routines, find what works for you, and test out a steady caloric deficit over 5 months when you’re ready to see what muscle is under that flab/off-season weight you put on. Have a plan, have a goal, and execute it relentlessly. For the fitness journey in general, I would say have a short-term plan with a long-term vision. Take every week or day in bite sizes that help reach your goal realistically. Chances are if you only have a long-term plan in 5 years it won’t happen until you act on a daily basis eg. Getting to the gym consistently and prepping your meals daily consistently for over a week, then for a month, then for a year and so on.

What does success look like for you?
My greatest moment in bodybuilding was on 28th May 2022 when I achieved my Pro Card. I was struggling to bag that for 5 years after receiving countless second place & near-misses overall. To stand against the BEST at the Natural Olympia in Vegas. & Compete at World Championships at INBA Italy/Argentina/Netherlands/Korea/Mexico/Brazil with many other amazing athletes. BUT that being said, success to me is succeeding in all aspects of life. Work, family, friends, and personal goals or couple goals, then I can say I’ve succeeded.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
Same as my philosophy – Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t, you’re right.

Connect with Marcus: IG | Website

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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