Shane Pow has clearly not done his homework when we talk to him about the nine challenges he's going to face in the upcoming Men's Health Urbanathlon. He can't help but raise an eyebrow as we run through the gamut of obstacles such as The Network, Workload, Balance Sheet and Leap Of Faith.
But it's clear that while they sound daunting, the 24-year-old is hardly discouraged. After all, he used to play for our national youth basketball team, representing Singapore in numerous competitions locally and regionally.
The Beam artist may be better known for his handsome mug, which has graced many a Mediacorp serial, but what's less known is his keen interest in health and fitness, which was drilled into him during his younger, basketball-crazy days.
"When I was still a secondary school student, if I hadn't played basketball for even one day, I'd feel the itch," he recalls.
The trouble is, he suffers from the same woes all active guys have - finding the time and energy to stay fit in spite of long work hours and commitments. In Shane's case, it's about achieving a certain look for the roles he has been given.
"I'm in the midst of a show called The Journey: Our Homeland, and it's based in the 1970s," he reveals. "In those days, there wasn't much of a gym culture, and the producer told me I looked too buff - in those days, no one really looked that defined. So to look convincing, I had to make sacrifices both physique- and diet-wise."
There's also finding the time and location to exercise. "Sometimes, the hours that I work can be quite irregular. If I can, I'd try to squeeze in an hour or two for a run or at the gym. If I have no time, I'll just use Mediacorp's gym - it's a bit sparse, but good for minimalist regimes like body-weight workouts and skipping rope," he reveals.
While we go through the rest of the Urbanathlon obstacles, an interesting fact pops up: Shane's not really a runner at heart.
"The longest distance I've ever jogged was 10km. I'm not really a long-distance jogger," he laughs. "The invention of MP3 players is a real boon. Usually my playlist consists of rock and pop tunes that are a bit more upbeat, and I also put on long DJ sets that last an hour, which usually last the duration of a run. The other plus is there's no need for changing tracks."
Apart from adding kilometres to his routes while training for the Urbanathlon, Shane also plans to regain his physique at the same time by getting back into Crossfit and muay thai.
"In terms of upper body, I'll be speaking to friends who are personal trainers to get me back in shape, and I'll probably be tapping into those who do Crossfit and muay thai. The body-weight and explosive exercises will definitely help me build the strength and power needed to complete the race," he reveals. "It's not so much about just doing reps, but focusing on circuit trainings that develop the mental fortitude so I won't falter at the obstacles."
We'll certainly look forward to seeing the results of his effort next month.
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Also, check out the February 2015 issue of Men’s Health for these stories: