Men’s Health Singapore
GETTING BACK TO BASICS
Most fans get so dazzled by Pierre’s youthful face that they never get round to seeing his real fitness achievement- his sculpted back. He shares how he’s built it, and how you can too.
PIERRE’S PULL-UPS Do 4 Sets Of 8
I subscribe to Ido Portal – and the philosophy is if you can’t control your own body and movement, you have no right moving anything else. Lifting weights and all is great, but he likes to go back to controlled movement and getting full range of stretches. Very much like calisthenics- in fact I used to do a lot of cardio, interval training and tabata, but these days my workouts involve pushups and situps- I’m all about AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible). While sit-ups aren’t rocket science, I do take my pull-ups seriously- in fact my home has gymnastic rings!
Behind The Neck Pull-Ups Grab the bar with a wide grip, your palms facing away from you. Lean your torso forwards slightly and pull your shoulders up towards the bar until it grazes the back of your neck. Slowly return to the start. Using this angle of attack increases the workload on your lats.
Hanging Leg Raises Hold the bar with your palms facing you. Lift yourself off the floor but keep your arms extended and your torso stable, then slowly bend at the hips and lift your legs until they are parallel with the floor. This emphasises the front of your abs. Bend your knees if you need to make it easier.
Standard Pull-Ups Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip, palms facing you. Pull yourself up until your chin is level with the bar, then slowly lower until your arms are fully extended.
Men’s Health Singapore
While Pierre Png may still look the same from since he started in showbiz, his acquired wisdom from the last two decades is definitely worth learning from.
ON MANAGING CHANGE
Its still pretty much the same- I came to the industry backwards. I didn’t set my mind out to be an actor and entertainer. Now with social media platforms, you can be an overnight sensation- it’s too late to change for me, but what keeps me on TV is my graft and work ethic, so that’s who I am on social media. I’m not going to become flamboyant or take 101 snaps of my meals before I start eating, but I do share or elevate and thing that inspires and reflects me.
TALKING CRAZY RICH ASIANS
With Crazy Rich Asians, there was nothing to lose- I auditioned for three roles- Nick Young, the lead character; his best friend, and the role I ultimately got- Michael Teo. He’s a true-blue born and bred Singaporean, which is perfectly up my alley, as I’m also from a middle income family; didn’t go overseas to study- a guy who did good basically. My character is basically the only one who’s neither crazy nor rich!
It was also a great learning experience- set discipline for Hollywood films is remarkable you get on set and everyone knows what they’re doing, and for us actors you just do your best to try not to screw it up after all that hard work!
All that effort means for actors get the best chance to put real emotions on screen, as we’re not distracted by anything else except being in that moment and right on cue.
It’s always good to expand your horizons, rather than being holed up in Asia- you could send me off to India, Thailand, and I’m game for anywhere and anything.
LOOKING GOOD PAST 40
I have to say I’ve been blessed with good genes- I’ve been told many times my father is the best looking guy in Hougang (and some say Batam) and I got his height as well. Food-wise, I do eat everything, but in moderation.
I grew up eating chili belachan- the Peranakan cuisine is just amazing and makes you sweat a lot- that does help burn calories .. and your mouth. Perhaps also it’s because of my upbringing- we laugh a lot, and we don’t take things too seriously. Religion and love at home- that’s helped a lot mentally.
On my countertop, I’m really simple, the anti-metrosexual perhaps. I used to clean myself in my younger days with just one bar of soap! These days because of all the products I have to put on from filming, I do have to clean myself properly- Andrea, the missus, does recommend certain cleansers that work well and fast. Hair-wise, because of all the hair product, I’ve found using cold water for the first rinse does help, followed by a second more vigorous scrub- this helps me get all the gunk and hairspray out of my follicles.
Hair-wise I do get great help from my wife’s salon- Cirq Salon at Scotts Square- doing hair treatments to prevent damage from all the colouring that some roles demand. Here’s a protip for guys looking to hide damaged or bad hair days though – don’t use a cap! Even if it’s a trucker’s cap where there’s ventilation you’re covering your hair follicles and not letting them breathe- just go au natural and let those pores breathe!
I wake up in the morning – first things first – wash my face, brush my teeth, talk to Andrea. I do put on a bit of sunscreen, but generally nothing else.
Men’s Health Singapore
16 YEARS ON..
So yes, I donated part of my liver to Andrea- but to put things in perspective, it’s an experience where I’m still learning as it goes along. At that moment, I had very little knowledge to work from, other than how I felt for Andrea, and she was in a critical stage where without a transplant she would die.
There wasn’t much of a window of time to decide- the doctors gave about a day or two, and this isn’t the kind of decision one flips a coin.
The timing wasn’t fantastic either as my mother had just had her own cancer battle just a year ago- she had breast cancer removed- and when my parents asked me how Andrea was doing, I broke the news I wanted to donate part of my liver.
My dad was pretty silent about it all, but my mom was very supportive, given her own recent brush with mortality, though interestingly enough in recent years when I asked her about it, she admits she was terribly worried too, but giving her blessing might help in my recovery after the donation.
Operation-wise, I did have a really tough time recovering. Despite being a macho dude and all, I found the pain quite excruciating and while Andrea bounced back quickly, with her hospital room brightly lit and full of chirpy smiles, mine resembled Darth Vader’s lair curtains drawn, television on mute, and me just “mang zhang” (irritated in Chinese dialect) the entire time. And that lasted for almost three weeks!
Post-op, it took quite a while to get used to the bodily changes- I could literally feel that stuff had moved around in my innards, and I was left with a massive scar chest down as well. It took about three to four months before pain and discomfort left, and full range of motion to return.
As the years have gone by, I haven’t felt much side-effects. To a certain extent, the trauma now feels psychological- any workouts or training involving my core makes me hold back. But fitness-wise I seem to have over-compensated and I reckon I’m actually fitter than before. I’m really happy to reach this point of my life and with the decisions I’ve made, and that’s ultimately all a guy can ask for!
By Kelvin Tan, Editor for Men’s Health Singapore