Competition

HOW I BECAME THE "FITTEST IN SINGAPORE"

CrossFit Tanjong Pagar coach Nazharia Schifra Lomboan was awarded "Fittest Female In Singapore" at the CrossFit Games Open in 2017. Here she shares her fitness journey and how she keeps it together when it all seems out of reach. 

HOW DID YOU START CROSSFIT?

I started in July 2015, doing a few WODs here and there, slowly transitioning from weightlifting to CrossFit at CrossFit Ivy, a small box back in England near where I used to study. But then I fully trained in CrossFit and said goodbye to weightlifting when I became an apprentice coach at Perpetua Sept 2015 and joined their comp squad.

WHAT SPORT DID YOU DO BEFORE THEN?

I was always athletic and competitive ever since I was little. I grew up with an older brother so I liked what he liked. PE/sports was my favourite class since I started school. And I've always been competitive in any sport we were taught - track, swimming, footy, basketball, etc. Throughout those years I picked up basketball and focused on that. On top of staying after school hours to play basketball, my dad got me into martial arts because he held a few national titles back in his days in this Indo martial arts (Pencak Silat) and thought I had potential to fight....so I picked up Taekwondo. I didn't go far in that sport but won a few mini fights as a kid.

With my addiction to sports throughout my school life (basketball, track meets and football), during my last year of school I was called into the principal’s office because it was affecting my grades (lol). At uni I wanted to go in a different direction and got into the university women's football team and played for about 1.5 years and then found CF/Weightlifting when I prepped for a bikini show.

I fell in love with weightlifting through the fundamentals class of CrossFit Ivy. I competed in local weightlifting meets, English championships and University Champs U58. I didn’t get placings, but got experience. And now I’m a competitive CrossFit athlete!

18056317_1375375372555440_3365538937119256615_o.jpg

Photo credit: Christopher Wadsworth

WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?

I learned more about strength and conditioning at uni to help me with football. So I was introduced to basic weights. Then I came across bodybuilding which was just purely going to the gym and lifting but during my prep I start to miss the feeling of "training for a match/competition" so I came across CrossFit cos it was kinda a mix of weights and being competitive. Despite a lot of people saying bodybuilding is a sport I still didn't really see it. Not anyone specific influenced me ... I think it was just my inner self trying to find something challenging.

WHAT'S YOUR DAILY TRAINING LIKE?

Every morning after I wake up, I check my program for the day. So it's becoming a habit to check immediately before having breakfast. I never come in the gym with an empty stomach even if it's 5:45am in the morning so breakfast is priority.

Training depends on clients/classes during the day but I will normally have an AM (before 12pm) and PM session (after 2pm). Visualisation is something I do almost every day (definitely a non-negotiable). This includes my normal training session of future competitions and where I'd like to be. So I try visualise them even if it's just 5 minutes of the day - this could be just me during my warm up on the bike or just any spare few minutes of alone time I have! Nutrition is a priority so I plan that around work and training (shout out to PR meals and Erin for keeping me accountable). Night time supps are non negotiable. Planning my outfits the night before is non negotiable 100%. Very important.

WHAT GETS YOU THROUGH IT WHEN IT GETS TOUGH?

Two pieces of advice I have recently kept in my head: "never give up" and "believe" - sorry but these two have really pushed me to where I'm at today. Boring & lame words. The first one stuck to me when I started training with Dyl at TP. I remember him always saying it whenever we worked out and I always finish after him as I struggle in some movement.

Jordy says it all the time too so it's always in my head. So whenever I face some obstacle in a workout I keep telling myself to never give up. My mind switches off & the only thing I have to do is finish, nothing else matters, because I've given it everything I got - That's it!

The second one was a word in Indo my good friend Deni (Olympian weightlifter) used to say to me before I rack the bar to do my heavy squats. This was during my injury period where all I could do was … squats. Ever since then it's a word I tell myself before every 'big' lift or  comp. 'Believe' is the perfect word that reminds me to always trust my abilities, give my 100% no matter the day/time/situation, because the only one I need to prove is myself :)

 

"MY Advice to GET TO THE TOP? JUST START. And keep showing up. Focus on yourself and not anyone else."

 

Now read on about Stuart Diplock's journey to becoming "Fittest Male in Singapore", at the CrossFit Games Open 2017.

Getting ready for the CrossFit Opens 2017

Whether you’re new to the community, a few months to a year into CrossFit, or a competitive athlete, we are all aware that the best time of the year is coming up. With the CrossFit Open 2017 just around the corner, the excitement and pressure within boxes worldwide are gradually rising. Some of us are just clueless of what to expect, some are grinding through training sessions day in and day out; and to some, they might just want to experience what the Open is actually like.

IMG_9187.JPG

Training

Training for the Open depends on the different goals of individuals. From missing out on the season last year, my objective for the Open this year is to finally see where I can place amongst the top individual women in Asia and the world. It has made me hungrier to put my mental game and fitness capability into test and also, grind to earn a spot at CFTP’s Regionals team.

My training consists of three main things: maximising my power output, engine development, and gradually increasing the volume and efficiency of my gymnastics. Recovering from my recent shoulder injury, my sessions also incorporate scapular and rotator cuff maintenance along with functional bodybuilding to consistently build and perpetuate a bulletproof foundational base.

Despite the many elements of my training, one of the main priorities for every Open season is to have a great engine, which can be improved through conditioning. These sessions vary day to day, however, I utilise a lot of short repeatable sets to recognise my pacing in workouts and thus, understand more on how I can further improve.

If you’re not a competitive CrossFitter, but have done the Open before and are looking to improve for the upcoming season, you should look into your weaknesses and how you can make them your strengths. Once you are aware, reach out to the coaches at your box for help. Focus on these weaknesses to become better at them! In addition, also keep your conditioning sessions in your training to maintain the engine.

If you’re completely new to CrossFit, and eager to see what the Open is all about: just KEEP SHOWING UP! Know more about CrossFit and the Open by coming to a CrossFit class, asking someone about his/her experience, or even just read about it online. At the end of the day, the Open is all about the amazing environment you will be in and that you are having fun, no matter if you’re a competitive athlete or a newbie.

Nutrition and recovery

IMG_9185.JPG

A successful and productive training program cannot be done without proper nutrition and recovery. My nutrition is solely based on meeting my calorie intake and macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats) daily. Tracking my macros has helped me a lot as it shows how much food to consume for my body to perform the best it can. I am gradually increasing my carbohydrate intake to ensure full energy levels throughout this season. On top of my macros, meal timing is critical for optimal fuel and recovery. Additionally, I supplement with whey protein, BCAAs, Omegas, glucosamine, and multivitamins.

If you’re a competitive CrossFitter or aspiring to be one, you should prioritise and focus on how your nutrition affects your performance. Monitor your energy levels throughout the day, check whether you are recovering from your sessions, and consume more food and calories if you are increasing your training. As we get closer to the Open, there are some individuals who develop stress and anxiety which may lead to a loss of appetite and not have their nutrition in check. Always ensure that this is avoided by prioritising your nutrition and recovery along with your training.

Nutrition for newcomers and beginners should be simple yet effective. Same like the above, you should be eating enough so that you have the energy to train and the ability to recover. Have a balanced meal with the right choices of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. And always remember to listen to your body! On top of all the nutrition for different individuals, it is critical to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day to help with recovery.

Mental game

For the newcomers of the CrossFit community, the Open is all about having fun and getting an idea of what the community is all about. Be open-minded and approach the weeks of the Open with enthusiasm and positivity. Don’t be too caught up with a perceived bad score and being sucked into multiple re-dos. Learn from the experience and focus on the following week.

Working on getting your mental game stronger is not the easiest thing to do. From the past experiences I’ve had, anything can be affected by your mentality. “Whatever is going on inside your head has everything to do in how well you end up performing” (D.C. Gonzalez, The Art of Mental Training). As the Open is a big part to a lot of us who are competitive in this sport, our attitude and mentality this season should always be positive. From aspiring athletes to the competitive, learn to visualise what you want to achieve. With a positive attitude, we have the ability to give 100% and develop self-belief that no matter what the outcome is, you are already in the position of victory.

Our attitude now, throughout training, at the Open, and towards the outcome of the Open differentiates the good and the great. You are the only one who can control and decide how to turn things around in your head.

Throughout this season, no matter what your goals are, no matter how rough training sessions can be, one thing to always remember is: enjoy every minute of it. Keep showing up, surround yourself with positive people and just have fun!


About the author

IMG_9154.PNG