fbpx

ToughASIA

Just when you think you're tough enough

Cross Train Tough Takes

Jonathan Wong and Anna-Rina breaks records at Strength Alliance Meet Powerlifting competition

Anna Rina (right) and Jonathan Wong (left) breaking records in honor of glory. Photo from Facebook/Pushmore
Anna Rina (right) and Jonathan Wong (left) breaking records in honor of glory. Photo from Facebook/Pushmore

Malaysia Powerlifting Alliance (MPA) organised their second household powerlifting competition – the Strength Assembly Meet 2015, open to both local and international competitors in A.P.W Bangsar recently.

MPA is a not-for-profit organization formed in 2015 for powerlifters by powerlifters, is the official alliance and sanctioned member of the Global Powerlifting Alliance (GPA) formed in 2009 with its headquarters in USA. 

We caught up with Jonathan Wong and Anna-Rina from team Pushmore who won 1st place in the U67.5kg and U52kg categories respectively. Anna Rina also took 1st place overall while Jonathan Wong took 3rd overall based on their Reschel scores. Plus, Jonathan notched two new national records in Deadlift and overall.

Anna Rina achieved a PR in Back Squat with 105kg. Photo from Anna Rina.
Anna Rina achieved a PR in Back Squat with 105kg. Photo from Anna Rina.

Anna Rina – 1st place in the U52kg and 1st place overall at MPA SAM.

Meeting a petite and demure Anna-Rina, you’ll never figure that she can lift more than twice her body weight. Perhaps Ant Man might learn a thing or two from this pretty lass. Representing team Pushmore aka CrossFit Malaysia, Anna-Rina gives us an insight on her experience at the Powerlifting competition.

Which movement is your favourite – The Back Squat, Bench or Deadlift and why?

Deadlift because once you get used to the technique and train hard for it, it’s one of the lifts where you can move the most weight with.

How did you train to achieve PR in Back Squat and Bench?

By being very consistent with the programming set out by my coach Eric Koh. We focused not only on the main lifts, but also accessory work to strengthen my weaknesses.

How close were your rivals in each of the movement and overall?

Frankly speaking, I didn’t check their numbers as my main goal entering the competition was to actually top my previous competition numbers, which I did.

Golden nuggets for Anna (left) and Jonathan (right). Photo from Facebook/Pushmore
Golden nuggets for Anna (left) and Jonathan (right). Photo from Facebook/Pushmore

Are you happy with your achievement? How are you going to improve yourself further?

Definitely. Considering that I had just finished a Crossfit training cycle and just started to refocus back on powerlifting only two months prior to the comp, my numbers weren’t too shabby. Will definitely have a longer training cycle to improve on my strengths as well as hopefully lessen my weaknesses before the next competition.

What goes through your mind during the competition? How do you push yourself over the edge and to top your rivals?

Mentally, when I go into competitions, I think about meeting my goals which would already have been preset before the day. I’ve always been a big proponent on having fun even whilst “competing” so I try not to stress myself out by looking at others as “rivals” but as friends who are pursuing the same goal of being stronger within our own capacity.

What’s your favourite recovery food/drink/meal after a big win?

Banana leaf rice 😉

Anna-Rina lifted these weights in the U52kg category and overall road to glory :
▪Back Squat : 105kg (PR)
▪Bench : 57.5kg (PR)
▪Deadlift : 127.5kg
Total : 290kg

Pushmore's power duo Jonathan Wong (left) and Anna Rina. Photo from Facebook/Pushmore
Pushmore’s power duo Jonathan Wong (left) and Anna Rina. Photo from Facebook/Pushmore

Jonathan Wong – 1st place in the U67.5kg and 3rd place overall at MPA SAM.

Jonathan is a familiar name and face as the founder and co-owner of CrossFit Malaysia, the pioneer CrossFit affiliate in Malaysia and South East Asia. Representing team Pushmore aka CrossFit Malaysia, Jonathan shares with us on how he broke two national records at the Powerlifting competition.

Which movement is your favourite – The Back Squat, Bench or Deadlift and why?

My favored movement would be the Deadlift. I’ve always been good at this movement and it is my strongest lift overall. In fact, I won the recent MPA SAM in the U67.5kg category thanks to my final Deadlift of 225kg.

How did you train to achieve PR in Bench Press?

I don’t usually train the Bench Press! I started training specifically for it about 4 weeks from the competition. I managed to achieve a new PR thanks to adjustments in technique and advice from powerlifting world record holder Brett Gibbs. In terms of base strength , I attribute it to all the upper body gymnastics work that I normally train.

How close were your rivals in each of the movement and overall?

For the Back Squat, U Kern Wen finished that portion of the competition with 190kg(new national record), with me trailing behind with a 182.5kg lift. I made up this difference with him in the Bench Press. However, in the Bench Press portion, David King did a massive 137.5kg (new national record).

So going into the Deadlift portion, I was in second place, with David having a 10kg lead over me. After our second attempts, we were both level in the total with 517.5kg. With my final successful attempt at 225kg(new national record), I placed first overall with a total of 522.5kg (new national record).

Groupie fans from Pushmore supporting Jonathan and Anna. Photo from Facebook/Pushmore
Groupie fans from Pushmore supporting Jonathan and Anna. Photo from Facebook/Pushmore

Are you happy with your achievement? How are you going to improve yourself further?

Yes, I’m happy with the performance overall as I went down a weight category for the MPA SAM. In the last MPA competition in March this year, I competed in the U75kg category. I am looking forward to the next MPA competition where I am aiming to make an Elite class total of 538kg in the U67.5kg category. I will be focusing my training efforts to work towards this goal in the coming months.

What goes through your mind during the competition? How do you push yourself over the edge and to top your rivals?

During competition, I am focused on staying calm and composed. The training has already been done, so on competition day, the aim is for the mind and body to move as one to achieve the lifts I have set out to do. I feel that a calm mental state is the biggest factor in getting the extra edge over my fellow lifters. As I mature as an athlete, I find that I need to be more mindful with my training and recovery to ensure I can continue to perform at a high level.

What’s your favourite recovery food/drink/meal after a big win?

Best way to celebrate is a meal with family and friends! I gravitate towards a good steak or Japanese food, but banana leaf rice is a pretty close contender too!

Jonathan lifted these weights in the pursuit of gold in the U67.5kg category:
▪Back Squat 182.5kg
▪Bench Press 115kg (PR)
▪Deadlift 225kg
Total: 522.5kg

“I would encourage everyone to compete if they have the opportunity. For me, competitions are great opportunities to push yourself further. In addition, it will keep you motivated and focused in training. With competitions being the end goal, take the time to enjoy the training process leading up to it! That’s where the “gold” is – honing the mind and body to perform at its best,” says Jonathan Wong from Pushmore.