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!
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."