We speak to Mr. Adrian Tan to find out more about this celebrated trainer and fitness icon.
At what age did you start training? And why?
I’ve never been athletic in my life. I did try out many different sports like swimming, tennis, basketball but was never good at it and thus never pursued and excelled in any of it.
The turning point was back in 1992, I was hanging around a bunch of good friends, and when they started doing some weight training at the gym, I noticed their bodies change before my very eyes. I was hooked! I was amazed at the human anatomy and how beautiful muscles looked on a person’s body.
From that moment on, I drowned myself in every single bodybuilding literature available and memorized and practiced the use of nutrition, exercise principles, and biomechanics. For once in my life, I loved everything about this endeavor, and the best part is, I’m responsible for the progress I make because I am in control of EVERYTHING. The training, the nutrition, the amount of rest I get every night.
How do you stay motivated after all these years?
Started training at 18. The key to staying motivated is to continually set small goals in your life and set aside time to attain them. Fitness is a lifestyle, and if you enjoy every minute of it, you will be good at it and indirectly be successful. Being disciplined can also apply to other aspects of your life.
What do you think are some of your achievements so far?
After training for a few years, I entered my first National bodybuilding competition in 1997 and won my class (Welter weight). Subsequently won my second National bodybuilding competition in 1998 at age 23. And the rest, as they say, is history.
1997 Singapore National Bodybuilding Championship – Champion, welter weight.
1998 Singapore National Bodybuilding Championship – Champion, middle weight.
2001 Singapore National Bodybuilding Championship – Champion, light middle weight.
2006 Singapore National Bodybuilding Championship – Champion, light middle weight and overall champion.
2011 Singapore National Bodybuilding Championship – Champion, light middle weight and overall champion.
2014 MuscleMania Asia Overall Champion – Physique division. Turned professional.
I must say you are an inspiration to many young fitness athletes. Tell us more about life as a Pro?
Success has never been easy. I had my ups and downs in my career, dealing with many things, personal issues, etc. It took me almost 20 years of hard work to earn my Pro Card. It was a relentless pursuit of constantly pushing and motivating myself beyond what I would ever imagine. Even up to today, I’m never satisfied with myself, and there’s always room for improvement in every aspect of my life, not just bodybuilding.
What are your nutrition plans like?
If I’m not competing, I will keep my food 95% clean and allow myself a cheat meal or 2 over the weekend. If I’m prepping for competition, there will be no cheat meals. I do enjoy eating clean, and I’ve been very consistent with it since the first day I started.
Do you have diet tips for us?
Make sure to enjoy the healthy foods you eat so that you can remain consistent and therefore see the desired results. Dreading what you eat will just lead to failure.
Last but not least, do you have any advice for aspiring trainers?
Enjoy what you are doing. Keep learning new things and always upgrading yourself. Surround yourself with the positive, intelligent and like-minded company.
A bit thank you to Mr. Adrian Tan for granting us the interview and Dynamik Muscle Singapore for making this article possible.