Fit And Fab

Turning point for 'scrawny boy'

Tired of being a weakling, he worked out regularly to bulk up

Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?

A Being comfortable with who you are and keeping a positive outlook really help.

Q Was there ever a time when you weren't fit and fab?

A I had horrible acne up until I was 17 years old and I was also severely underweight. I think I had questionable fashion and hairstyle choices in my teen years too.

Q What was the turning point for you?

A It was towards the end of my national service stint when I was sick of being labelled as a scrawny boy. I felt that people viewed me as weak and thus more likely to be taken advantage of.

Mr Mohamed Hanif is now doing a communications course and plans his workouts around his class schedule.
Mr Mohamed Hanif is now doing a communications course and plans his workouts around his class schedule. ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

Sometimes, I felt that I was the type that others would not take a second look at and all this affected my self-esteem.

Q What are your fitness goals?

A To put on a little more muscle mass and reduce my body fat percentage. I've put on 20kg since I started, so now I need to fine-tune my body and improve my stamina.

Q What are your indulgences?

A Sushi is life. My own sushi bill at a restaurant can come up to $60.

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

A Extremely. I feel sluggish and uncomfortable if I don't work out for more than three days. I plan workouts around my class schedule and social activities are planned around them.

Sometimes, I use workouts as a means to socialise, encouraging my friends to exercise and teaching them the correct techniques while catching up with them.

Q How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

A There were times when I chose to go to the gym instead of hanging out with friends, but I suppose everyone has different priorities.

Do what feels right for you to live the kind of life you envision.

Q What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness or diet?

A When I was adding bulk, I ate seven to eight eggs and four bananas, in addition to four meals a day.

Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family?

A Not much, but I do give advice on healthy or unhealthy food choices and how important it is to be active.

Q What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your body?

A I don't really have a favourite but, in terms of what has shown most improvement, I'd say it's my chest. My calves, on the other hand, have shown the least improvement.

  • Bio Box


    Age: 27

    Height: 1.79m

    Weight: 70kg

    Mr Mohamed Hanif used to be an art teacher and then a full-time personal trainer, before he returned to school.

    He is now doing a communications course at the Singapore Institute of Management, while working part-time in digital marketing. He is considering a career in public relations or digital marketing when he graduates.

    He lives with his aunt, a 69-year-old housewife.

Q How does your workout plan affect your daily diet?

A I eat more on workout days to get sufficient nutrients to repair and grow my muscles. I usually eat less on the days that I don't work out.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A I have thought of it but I don't think I would do it. There are much better ways to spend money to enhance my quality of life, such as good food or travel.

Q What is the biggest sacrifice you have made to stay fit and fab?

A At first, I felt that it reduced the time I had to relax, socialise and spend time with family. But after working out became a habit, I feel like I don't know what else to do with the time anyway.

Q Do you think you're sexy?

A I have been told that before, but I think I'm too clumsy and awkward sometimes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2017, with the headline 'Turning point for 'scrawny boy''. Print Edition | Subscribe