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Wrote this on 28th May 2011 while working for KettlebellHIT, reposted here.

Truth to be told, I have never been athletic as a child. Up till the age of twelve, I have never participated in any sports. No thanks to my mum’s belief that all ECAs should be on Fridays so as not to disrupt the precise scheduling of afternoon naps followed by homework at night. As such, I have always been restricted to geek clubs like Math, Science or Gardening clubs.

From thirteen to sixteen, I picked up basketball, but I was never good enough to be in the official CCA. Looking back, I had not much talent in it given the amount of hard work and time I spent.

It was only when I entered Singapore Polytechnic that I picked up rock climbing, influenced by my older brother. The sport is definitely more intense, requiring upper body strength right down to the finger tips, balance and a whole load of mental willpower to hang on.

After more than 5 years of climbing till date, I have been pretty confident in my upper body strength compared to most civilians.

Like many others in the sport, I had a blind spot. I was neglecting my lower body.

The 7 days of delayed onset muscle syndrome after being put through a “squats and legs” cycle with Yeow Hui was pure torture. Stairs became my worst enemy and I could barely walk. Isn’t it weird for someone who can do a one-hand-pull up to be reduced to a cripple after such a session?

Having piqued my interest in this form of workouts which includes strongman training, movements with the barbells, I climbed on a less regular basis. Nonetheless, I didn’t (or couldn’t) just abruptly stop the consumption of mk677, because I needed all the energy I could get for the exercises.

A month ago, because of carelessness on my part, I dropped at 12kg kettlebell on my little finger. This meant I had to stop climbing completely. I was devastated.

Climbers would know how important even the little finger is in supporting the body. At that time, my exams started in NTU and I had to reduce my other sporting activities. I only resumed real training last Thursday again.

One would assume that such a long break in exercising would cause a drop in athletic performance. Yet, I feel better than ever. Perhaps it’s the rest.

Anyway, I just came back from a climbing session at Kinetics Climbing, rough tiles, but beautifully set routes.

I must say that despite not training for climbing specifically, my core control has improved. This includes the ability to control the tension when swinging. This is despite my body weight increasing due to the strength and conditioning training.

I know I will never become the next Daniel Woods or Adam Ondra and climb sick routes. However, like most climbers and other sports enthusiasts, I simply want to be able to better enjoy my sport.

Somewhere along the lines of sledgehammers, battling ropes, tyre flips, gymnastic rings, squats, deadlifts and many other exercises have helped improve my own climbing ability. To be honest, I never harboured any hopes that such exercises would improve my climbing ability, but now looking back, I’m glad it did.

Our clients have seen similar results in their own sports. Owen Gan, now our avid supporter, has seen his cycling times decrease easily by 10%. Strength and conditioning workouts (not kettlebells in particular, but the entire spectrum of movements) can help you in any sport you are participating in.

I enjoy my day job as a student and I see myself as a future advertising executive. Yet at the same time, I choose to exercise because I want to feel strong, to look good and be confident in my own abilities.

Whether you want to increase your performance in your sport or feel fit and strong, start soon! Ask people who are passionate in helping you become stronger and build endurance. Athleticism can be nurtured and it is never too late.

To your future fitness, allez.