The game chang­ers, icons and in­no­va­tors that shape the world

The big­gest con­tri­bu­tion JOHN CHAN has made to the fit­ness scene is to spice up cal­is­then­ics with pos­i­tiv­ity, writes STEPHANIE IP

#Legend - - Contents -

Have you al­ways been ath­letic?

I was the kind of kid who couldn't sit still for more than 10 min­utes at the din­ner ta­ble. When I joined the school gym­nas­tics team, at six, I had a coach who was se­ri­ous about win­ning medals but I was more con­cerned about the fun-and-games as­pect. Look­ing back at it, I am very lucky my par­ents put me through train­ing at such a young age. I was sent to a tra­di­tional board­ing school in Bri­tain when I was 10 and all I did was sports: rugby, hockey, cricket, foot­ball, track. I was good at it and I con­tin­ued with it through­out my school­ing.

I’ve heard weightlift­ing isn’t your favourite style of train­ing.

Fit­ness cov­ers many dif­fer­ent styles of train­ing and weightlift­ing is one facet. I do like weight train­ing and I have been do­ing it for many years. Af­ter a while it can get bor­ing and repet­i­tive. You can lift heav­ier weights, do more reps, take shorter rests to get your body stronger but you are still do­ing the same ex­er­cises over and over again, day in, day out. Some peo­ple love it and can do it for years, but it wasn't ex­cit­ing enough for me. I still do it from time to time, as it does have its ben­e­fits.

How did you get into cal­is­then­ics?

Cal­is­then­ics, also known as street work­out train­ing, has re­cently be­come pop­u­lar, es­pe­cially in Hong Kong. It is a train­ing style based mostly on body weight ex­er­cises with­out the use of ma­chines and fancy gym equip­ment. The idea is you can have a six­pack with­out go­ing to the gym. I found it a fas­ci­nat­ing idea and as more videos popped up on­line, I was im­pressed with what peo­ple were do­ing. It was re­lat­able to gym­nas­tics and I de­cided to try it. It wasn't as pop­u­lar a few years back and I got some funny looks for

climb­ing and jump­ing about in a com­mer­cial gym, but I had my mu­sic on and didn't care.

What is another work­out that you love?

Swim­ming. I'm not a good swim­mer but it's fun and it's a hell of a work­out. Swim­mers are su­per-fit and durable but swim­ming in Hong Kong is a bit of a lux­ury, for me at least, be­cause it can be time-con­sum­ing. Another fun work­out would be dancing. It's fast, it's tir­ing and it's a chal­lenge for the brain. I am the worst dancer in the world, mum might be bet­ter than me, but it's an area I would like to ex­plore.

What is one thing peo­ple would be sur­prised to learn about you?

Some­thing only my close friends would know is that I used to play the flute. I was also in the church choir. I was a so­prano, too, but I am a hor­ri­ble singer.

What’s the best part about be­ing a per­sonal trainer? What’s the tough­est?

There are many things I like about my job.

It's a joy to be able to share my pas­sion with oth­ers. I'm in the zone when I am coach­ing and it makes me happy when I see clients achiev­ing goals that they didn't think was pos­si­ble. It makes me more ex­cited than them, some­times. But I guess the best part about my job is I get to be ac­tive, and to en­joy good food while main­tain­ing a rea­son­able shape.

What has been your great­est achieve­ment?

I have had some proud mo­ments. The proud­est so far must have been the night I in­vited my par­ents to the open­ing party of my fit­ness stu­dio.

What’s your big­gest fear?

Com­plex car­bo­hy­drates. Joke. I would love to claim that I do not have any but that would be far from the truth. I have the most un­usual fear. I am un­able to put on con­tact lenses. I am terrified of the idea of touch­ing my eyes.

Tell me your favourite In­sta­gram ac­count to fol­low.

9GAG is by far my favourite. It cracks me up.

Do you have any guilty plea­sures?

I love any­thing sweet: ice-cream, cheese­cake, all kinds of Ja­panese desserts, street food. I don't feel that guilty, though. I pay my dues in the gym, as they might say.

Apart from work­ing out, do you also eat clean?

I don't like to diet un­less I am pre­par­ing for a shoot or an oc­ca­sion. It's part of my job to know what foods to eat but I am never too harsh on my­self. I'm not the guy that eats chicken breast and broccoli with co­conut oil and no salt six times a day. Where is the fun in that?

What’s your favourite time of the day?

Wak­ing up in the morn­ing. I love walk­ing down the stairs to see my dog wait­ing pa­tiently for me. Then I get to sit down and have break­fast, usu­ally fruit and a cof­fee. My old man will sit across from me and we'll talk about the news and world is­sues like a pair of politi­cians. It gets me out of bed ev­ery morn­ing.

Tell us how you stay mo­ti­vated.

I am a highly com­pet­i­tive in­di­vid­ual in all as­pects and I al­ways try to work harder than the hard­est-work­ing per­son in the room. But, for­tu­nately or un­for­tu­nately, I have part­ners and col­leagues that work out like ma­chines. They drive me to work harder. So­cial me­dia is another place where I can find mo­ti­va­tion. There's a quote: “Don't fo­cus on oth­ers, fo­cus on your­self”. But I don't see it that way. I think if you see some­thing great done by oth­ers, you can also feed off of that, but never be bit­ter or neg­a­tive about it. That's how I stay mo­ti­vated.

Is your glass half-empty or half-full?

One hun­dred per cent half-full. Don't get me wrong. I am not over­joyed all the time. I have my down mo­ments. But I have lit­tle rea­son to be sad and too many things to be happy and grate­ful for, which means it is easy for me to see the glass as half-full. I un­der­stand it might not be as easy for oth­ers, es­pe­cially in Hong Kong where every­one is stress­ing and fight­ing their own bat­tles. I try to spread pos­i­tiv­ity with my job.

Who is your leg­end?

I have a few peo­ple I draw in­spi­ra­tion from. Muham­mad Ali would be the first one that pops into mind. Not only was he a phe­nom­e­nal boxer, the big­gest name in sport­ing his­tory, but he was also charis­matic and fought for his be­liefs. His story and his name will con­tinue to in­spire gen­er­a­tions to come and that is what a leg­end is.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Hong Kong

© PressReader. All rights reserved.