Fit And Fab

Sports nut with a love for muay thai

Ah Boys To Men actor Joshua Tan got interested in muay thai when he was 18. He also enjoys playing football and going to the gym.
Ah Boys To Men actor Joshua Tan got interested in muay thai when he was 18. He also enjoys playing football and going to the gym.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Actor Joshua Tan piled on the kilos for a movie role but he is back to being fighting fit

Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?

A I don't think I look particularly fabulous but I'm happy with how I look. Obviously, I'm not perfect and certain aspects could be better but, overall, I'm pretty contented with life.

Q Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

A Yes, that was earlier this year as I had to gain 20kg for my role in the movie Ah Boys To Men 4. It took six months for me to put on the weight. It was really difficult because I am a really active guy.

I represented my school in football, badminton and track and field. I also played tennis, table tennis and other sports recreationally.

To stop exercising and playing the sports I love was really hard, not to mention seeing my body gradually morph into something I was not used to seeing. The hardest part was probably the fear of having stretch marks and loose skin if I were to shed the weight too quickly. Thankfully, I have not suffered from either.

Q What was the experience like?

A I fell sick quite a lot when I was (carrying the extra weight) during the movie's filming, which never happened to me when I was fit.

Q When did you develop a love for sports?

A I've always been a sports nut. I've been playing football since I was seven and went on to train with prime league teams. I represented the Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association and Ngee Ann Polytechnic when I was studying there.

I started going to the gym when I was 16 and took the training seriously when I was in polytechnic.

My love for muay thai started when I was 18. I was really inspired by muay thai reality TV show The Contender Asia and have been doing muay thai recreationally on and off.

SUFFERING FOR HIS ART

To stop exercising and playing the sports I love was really hard, not to mention seeing my body gradually morph into something I was not used to seeing. The hardest part was probably the fear of having stretch marks and loose skin if I were to shed the weight too quickly. Thankfully, I have not suffered from either.

JOSHUA TAN, on gaining 20kg earlier this year for his role in the movie Ah Boys To Men 4.

Q What did you eat to gain 20kg?

A Basically, when I was gaining weight, I tried to do it as healthily as possible even though that doesn't sound logical.

I knew that eating fast food and junk food was probably the fastest way to gain weight and fat, but it would also be detrimental to my health in the long run.

Hence, I focused on a high-carb, high-fat and dairy-rich diet.

  • BioBox

  • JOSHUA TAN

    Age: 27

    Height: 1.75m

    Weight: 73kg

    The actor recently lost about 15kg in about two months to prepare for a theatrical production, after gaining weight for his role in the movie Ah Boys To Men 4 earlier this year.

    "I was under quite a bit of pressure to lose weight because during filming, I was about 88kg," he said. "I did boxing, circuit training, muay thai, weights, running, basically, any sport that I could, to get back into shape."

    While he was pressured to shed the weight before the start of the theatrical production on Saturday, he did not have any problem with his intensive fitness routine as he loves exercise.

    The actor is the middle child and has two sisters. His father is a civil servant and his mother is a teacher. They are Australians and Singapore permanent residents.

    Tan, who is single, had help from a personal trainer, who coached him in acrobatics and gymnastics moves as he is required to execute these moves for his role.

    He plays a noble warrior in an original theatrical production by Resorts World Sentosa, Flying Through Time, whose run ends on Jan 21.

Q What is your diet like now?

A I still eat carbs (rice, noodles, bread and potatoes) because I exercise a lot. I need a lot of energy.

However, I do try to eat less rice during dinner. I just make sure I load up during breakfast and lunch.

I also do not take sugary drinks and try to drink a cup of green tea at least twice a day.

Q What are your indulgences?

A Like everyone else, I have a soft spot for unhealthy foods, especially roti prata, burgers, chips, beer and curry rice. I try to avoid them, but I do let myself cheat about once every one to two weeks.

Q What are the three most important things in your life?

A God, my family and my work, in that order.

Q What's your favourite and least favourite part of your body?

A I'm pretty happy with my arms. At the moment, I'm not too happy with my obliques because I'm still in the process of losing weight.

Q What are your must-dos before and after a workout?

A Sleep. I always make sure I am well rested. I try to sleep by around 11pm to 12.30am. I also make sure I eat well to maximise my gains after working out.

During a workout, if I feel that I'm close to getting an injury, I stop and focus on working out other parts of my body instead.

Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

A Without it, I would feel restless and unsettled.

I love to exercise and I love the aching sensation after completing a workout. I have a mantra - if it doesn't hurt, it didn't work.

Q How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

A It's minimal.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A Nope, I'm happy with what God has given me and would be a fool to think I know better.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2017, with the headline 'Sports nut with a love for muay thai'. Print Edition | Subscribe