HI, I'M NICHOLAS CHEW
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Kettlebell Performance Trainer
Contemporary Nutrition Specialist
This is my fitness journey
I was born in Penang, Malaysia – where a city has the reputation of being the "food paradise”. Because of that, I love enjoying local foods. So you can imagine, I was huge when I was younger, but thanks to my good genetic, I was agility and strength, and I could run very fast and was able to jump higher compare to other kids that same age as me - even though my size wasn’t matched to my ability at all. I like to arm wrestling with my schoolmate, because most of the time, I can win the match to those kids who were older than me.
I am always been an active person, and I am so addicted to sports. In my secondary school, I took part in a lot of sport like basketball, football, handball, and shotput.. you name it. I even broke my school record in a shotput event and win “Olahragawan of the year” in my Form-3 (15 years old), which was my biggest pride back then.
Although I had such ability, sometimes I still feeling struggled because of my abnormal body size – thick and chubby, it made me feel low in confidence. One day, I decided to make a change. Knowing that my friend’s condo has a gym facility, I visited there 3 times per week, walked 20 minutes to his condo just to work out – with all terrible form but full of passion for one year. Until I was 17 years old, my friend invited me to work out at the gym! I was so consistent and enjoyed the whole process, which makes me started to learn about weight-lifting and dieting. Just after only 5 months, I joined my first Bodybuilding competition. As expected, I didn’t win any place in that competition, but it was a good experience.
Mr.Penang Bodybuilding Competition 2009
P/S: I’ve no idea where I got the confidence to do that at all!! Can you find me?
MY FIRST “SERIOUS” BODYBUILDING COMPETITION
1st runner up - Mr.Penang Junior Competition 2011
After I have graduated my high school, I moved to Kuala Lumpur to work as a kitchen helper. I am still passionate about weight-lifting, I found a gym nearby my workplace so I work out there after my working hour. At there, I met many new friends who are bodybuilders, they taught me lots of knowledge and guided me to train properly. In a short period, I see the result significantly. 9 months later, I quit my job and work as a personal trainer – I want to get into this industry to share my knowledge to help people who like me to get fitter and healthier. I was so lucky to meet a lot of knowledgeable colleagues, because of them, I learned more about fitness.
One year later, I decided to join the Bodybuilding competition again – But this time, it was tough, very tough. Back then, it was all the old-school bodybuilding style, the diet was very strict, and I was trained in that way. During the off-season (focused on adding mass in between competition seasons aka bulking), I eat everything I wanted for 3 months, then on the 9th-month on-season (contest preparation aka cutting), I cut everything down at once - sugar, sodium, very low carb, and consumed a lot of proteins, follow with 5-6meals per day.
In the first week of the cutting phase, my whole body was cramp;
3 months before the competition, I stopped eating ANY CARB, just boiled chicken breast and broccoli for 4 meals per day, another 2 meals with brown rice, chicken breast, and broccoli;
1 month before the competition, I eat chicken breast and broccoli.. every day;
24hours before the competition, I just drink 100ml of water (I was dehydrated and exhausted);
At this time, my body was flat and shredded.
Mr.Penang Bodybuilding Competition 2011
With all the hard work and efforts, it pays off. I was proud and won 2nd place in Mr.Penang Junior Competition 2011 (under 21yo). I told myself: Gosh… This is my last bodybuilding competition, ever.
But no, never.
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START, ALWAYS TOO EARLY TO QUIT
1st runner up - Mr.KL Junior Competition 2012
1st place - Mr. Putrajaya Junior Competition 2012
1st place - Mr.Selangor junior Junior Competition 2012
CHAMPION - Mr.Gym 1 Junior Competition Malaysia.
In 2012, my gym friend and colleague decided to join their first bodybuilding competition, and I decided to join the competition again. This time, I’ve gained so much experience from the past competitions. Instead of doing an extreme diet, I did it step by step – allowed myself to eat carbs during on-season until one week before the competition.
That year, I won 1st runner up in Mr.KL, Mr.Putrajaya, Mr.Selangor – 3 different events and CHAMPION of Mr.Gym 1 Malaysia.
Mr.KL Bodybuilding Competition 2011
In 2013, I joined Gorgeous Fitness as a personal trainer. Again, I was thinking to retire from bodybuilding.
Of course… no.
The gym owner of Gorgeous Fitness encouraged me to join “The Hottest Hunk 2013”, at the same time, I received an invitation from a coach from Wilayah Persekutuan to join a bodybuilding team - SUKMA. We were sponsored to attend a 6-days seminar from former Mr.Olympia (highest level of bodybuilding competition) - Milos Sarcev. He is the coach of Malaysia 10x times Mr.Universe - Sazali Samad and many world-class bodybuilders.
6-days seminar from former Mr.Olympia - Milos Sarcev
That year, I qualified for “The Hottest Hunk” 30/20, but I lost from the SUKMA competition.
I was supposed to join the 65-70kg weight class but my weight was 70.8kg at the time. I had to join the 70kg-weight class. I was the smallest contestant in the event, and the result wasn’t unexpected.
SUKMA Competition - I was the smallest contestant in the event
"Fitness is more than just building up muscles"
In 2015, I resigned from Gorgeous Fitness and back to Celebrity Fitness. The company has changed a lot, trainers must be able to keep up their fitness level to pass a fitness every year, and it’s not just about how much you can lift, but also your muscle endurance and cardiovascular level. As a bodybuilder, I didn’t do much cardio and my endurance was really bad… imagine how does it look like when you’re asking an elephant to run on the treadmill? That’s exactly how it is.
I had to change my whole training to another level, this is tough. 2 months before the fitness test, I've been running on the treadmill almost every day. During my first fitness test, I was the 2nd trainer who completed the fitness test in my club, which quite surprised me.
In my early fitness journey, I used to think that FITNESS is to look fit and be muscular, “building muscles” is what I've been pursuing in life. Although I’ve been working out for many years, it took me long enough to understand that “fitness is about balance”. You can be muscular, you can be huge, you can eat chicken breast in every meal and every day, but that doesn’t mean you are healthy. If I can’t even walk the staircase up and down without getting tired, what were all the purposes about?
Now, the way I look into fitness is to be healthy, fit, be able to move around without getting an injury.
Joining a bodybuilding competition was because of interest and hobbies, and I’ve been surrounding by bodybuilders most of the time. It makes me feel motivated and to join a bodybuilding competition seems to be a “dream-come-true”. A lot of people admire bodybuilders because they are different from others, but the ugly side of the unspoken truth is what other people didn't see:-
I need to sacrifice my entertainment – my friends who around my age would prefer to hang out in the weekend and clubbing till midnight, but I had to discipline myself.
A strict diet for life is unrealistic – Chicken breast… boiled?
Unrealistic lifestyle is NOT the long run, it Is IMPOSSIBLE for me to maintain the lifestyle like this for my whole life. Regular exercise , healthy diet and a balanced lifestyle are what we need. Over the years, I have learned my lessons. Instead of focusing only on muscle building, now I apply cardio and strength training in my workout. With my program, you will be able to gain lean/strong muscles and build up overall strength. Now, I'm ready to train with you in my PERFORMANCE by Nicholas in BADASS Fitness.