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Articles & Videos Author
by Shaun Pang, SSC

Iron Plates vs Bumper Plates: Why Does Iron Feel Heavier Even With The Same Weight?

Since you’ve started training, you’ve always used bumper plates. Maybe those were the plates you started using when you first started lifting and you’ve stuck to it out of habit. But one day, all the bumper plates in the gym were used up. No biggie – weight is weight, right? You load the bar for deadlifts with iron plates. As the weight got closer to your working weight, you noticed that it feels harder than usual. You double-check the weight to make sure it’s correctly loaded. Yup, it’s correct. Does it make a difference which plates are being used? Turns out it does and here’s why.

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Sandy’s New Chapter of Life

Sandy was experiencing pain in her left knee due to arthritis, which greatly impacted her quality of life. She couldn’t run, climb up stairs or walk her dog. Every step she took was excruciating. Sandy decided to do something about it started training. As she got stronger, her knee pain decreased. Now, Sandy can run up and down stairs and walk her dog without experiencing knee pain.

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Testosterone: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly by Dr Sanjay Doshi

It’s an anabolic steroid and helps build muscles, right? So why shouldn’t everyone start taking it? What can go wrong? Learn and understand what testosterone really is and what it does. The ugly side of testosterone can be quite unpleasant – find out why from Dr Sanjay Doshi it’s important to treat low testosterone correctly.

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Getting Back To The Gym – How To Start Training After a Long Break

Right now, strength gyms in Singapore are being forced to close from 8th May until 13th June. No prizes for guessing why. So if you don’t lift barbells for a few weeks, what’s going to happen? Will you lose all your gains? Will you be a weak puddle of mush when you finally get back under the barbell? Here’s how to get back to strength training after a break.

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How To Warm Up For Barbell Lifts – Improve Your Performance With The Optimal Warm-Up Routine

Most of us have a clear training routine. You know that you’ll walk into the gym, change into lifting clothes, put on lifting gear and head to the rack. You know that you’ll start your training with squats, and you know the exact numbers for your working weight, sets and reps.

But what about your warm-up weights? And how many sets or reps? Actually, how much warm-ups do you even need to do?

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Your Complete Guide To Lifting Belts

If you’ve been lifting for a while, you know that weightlifting shoes are essential. What about weightlifting belts?

We usually hear a range of reactions from lifters, from “Nah, I’ll wait till I’m able to lift X kg before I start using a belt!” to “I see guys who wear a belt for their entire gym session, so do I need one too?”

Belts are important if you’re serious about lifting. Here’s a guide to why you might need one, and what to look out for.

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An Interview With Shaun: The History Of Hygieia

Happy 4th anniversary to Hygieia Strength & Conditioning!

This month marks the 4th year since Hygieia Strength and Conditioning opened its doors. Usually, we’d commemorate every anniversary with a BBQ outside the gym, to thank everyone for their support, to celebrate another year of being in business, and to look forward to the next. While COVID restrictions have prevented our traditional BBQ this year, one of our clients, Patricia, suggested having an article on the history of Hygieia mark the occasion.

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How To Rehab Muscle Strains Or Tears – Rehab, Not Rest, Will Speed Up Recovery

If you’ve strained or torn a muscle, most doctors will tell you to take some painkillers and rest the affected area. But extended rest and waiting for the injured muscle to heal on its own means that its recovery will be slowed down and the muscle fibres don’t heal back properly. Find out what you should do to speed up your recovery and lower the chances of injuring the muscle again.

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3 Tips to Speed Up Your Workout – How to Save Time in the Gym While Still Making Gains

It seems like there’s never enough time in our busy lives. Do you rush to the gym, then rush to complete your lifts while your mind is constantly thinking about how little time you have left before you’ve got to go back to work or to pick your kids? Within the time you have, how can you be more efficient while still maximising your strength gains? Here are 3 things that you can do to speed up your workout and still continue to make gains.

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The Barbell, The Teacher (Part 3) – Committing to Consistency and Excellence

While barbells are the best way to get strong, the improved physical capabilities isn’t the only benefit.

In Part 1 and Part 2, we saw how Patience and Hard Work can positively influence your life, by encouraging you to forgo short term gratification for long term benefit, and training up your ability to stick with doing hard things. 

Now in Part 3, we’ll look at the lesson of Practice and how it helps you get better in just about anything you want to do. 

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The Barbell, The Teacher (Part 2) – Becoming a Better Version of Yourself

The apparently simple process of barbell training will teach you life lessons that are useful both inside and outside the gym.

In Part 1 of this article series, we learned the lesson of Patience — how you should use it to train consistently and get strong slowly, instead of looking for unrealistic shortcuts.

Now in Part 2, we’ll look at the lesson of Hard Work, and how it helps you become a better version of yourself.

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The Barbell, The Teacher (Part 1) – Lessons with the Power to Change your Life

The barbell – it’s simply a piece of machined steel, a useful tool to get you strong when used correctly. But if you immerse yourself and commit to training, you will find that it does more than just get you physically strong.

The barbell and the process of training teaches you many lessons, and develops uncommon character traits that will positively affect your life outside the gym.

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Stop Wasting Your Time In The Gym

If you’ve been training at a commercial gym for a while, pause, take a look around and observe the regulars. You’ll realise that most of them are performing or look exactly the same as they did a few months (or even years) ago.

Now, take a moment and review your own training. Have you been making steady progress or have you been going around in circles?

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Andrew, The Triathlete With Lower Back Pain

Do you have lower back pain that’s getting in the way of you enjoying your time in the saddle?

If you’re an avid cyclist, this might sound familiar to you. You’re enjoying the ride, feeling the wind in your face and clocking in the miles. About 30 minutes in, you start to feel a little dull ache in your lower back. As you keep going, that little ache gradually gets more pronounced.

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Embracing The Discomfort Of Training

Training isn’t meant to be comfortable – it never was, never is and never will be. If you’re serious about your training and want to make progress, you must shed the mindset of ‘working within your comfort zone’ and start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

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Is Your Back Causing You To Lose Money And Time?

If you’re above the age of 30, it’s certain that you have experienced or are currently experiencing lower back pain.

Martin had to travel extensively as part of running a successful patent law firm and spent at least 30 hours a month on planes. Back then, he flew business class not because he wanted to but because he had to – flying economy would cause him to suffer from excruciating pain for the next few days.

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Gyms: Are They Necessary?

In this article, we’ll dive into the importance of gyms when it comes to training, not exercising, and how your mindset and outlook inevitably impact your view of gym culture…

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Strength and Older Adults

Strength is something that everyone loses as they age – this is an irrefutable fact and occurs whether you like it or not. One does not appreciate the role that strength plays in their life until they find themselves in a situation whereby they lack the strength to perform simple activities of daily living. Getting a weak older adult stronger is like handing the keys to their independence back to them. But how does an older adult with aches/pains/injuries and no training experience get stronger safely using barbell training? Here’s a brief look at it’s done.

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Training and Travelling

You’ve finalised your flights, booked your hotel and ready to go on your well-deserved holiday. While researching the location for places to see and things to eat, it…

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How to Start Squatting

If you’re able to squat to proper depth (hip crease below the top of your kneecap) with a barbell on your back, this article isn’t for you. If you’re able to do a bodyweight

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Bio

My interest in fitness started when I was around 19 years old. Being overweight for most of my growing up years, I decided to do something about it. After months of not being able to achieve the desired results, I began poring through books and articles about training and nutrition. The more I read, the more interested I became in this field, and got better results when the the newly discovered knowledge was applied. After 1 year of persistence and hard work, I lost 24kg and felt fantastic. The sense of achievement motivated me to pursue a career in working with people to help them achieve their own fitness goals.

After achieving my weight loss goal, I tried a variety of training programs for a few years, looking for a new goal to train towards. After aimlessly moving around from program to program, I chanced upon a book called Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, written by renowned strength and conditioning expert, Mark Rippetoe. Little did I know that this book was about to change my life and coaching career.

At that point, I had experience training with barbells and was relatively familiar with it but never have I come across any material that gave such explicitly detailed explanations of how to perform the barbell lifts. I devoured the book and modified my lifting technique and program. In just a few months, I was pleasantly surprised by how much stronger he had become. I now had a new goal to work towards – getting strong.

With full confidence in the efficacy of the Starting Strength methodology, I began coaching my clients using this program and got them stronger than they ever thought was possible. The consistent success my clients achieved through the program cemented my confidence in Mark Rippetoe’s teachings. I then decided to pursue the credential of being a Starting Strength Coach and I’m currently the first and only certified coach in Singapore and South-East Asia

In my 9 years of experience, I have given talks and ran programs at numerous companies and worked with a diverse group clientele of all ages with a variety of goals. Today, I specialise in coaching people in their 40s, 50s and beyond because it brings me a great sense of satisfaction to be part of the process of improving this demographics’ health and quality of life by getting them stronger.

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