We received hundreds of entries from Singapore’s fittest. Here’s the winner.
We’d never put a reader on our cover before, so we didn’t know what would happen when we opened up nominations for the Men’s Health Cover Guy 2018. Who would he be?
Of course, you see “cover guys” on the cover of this magazine every month: From Hollywood and TV stars like Ludi Lin and Allan Wu, to fitness champs like Matthew Yap and Muhamad Ridhwan
– they’re guys we admire, guys we pattern ourselves after, guys we learn from.
And yet, we’ve always wondered: What about the real-life MVPs of the Men’s Health world? These are the guys who spend hours at the gym with no fanfare and little Instagram love; the ones who choose to live healthily day after day in spite of health conditions; and last but not least, our fellow busy Singaporean men who juggle work, family and the dream of having a six-pack.
After an exhaustive search, we’re pleased to announce we found our man: Syafiq Hassan.
Back in school, Syafiq embarked on his sports and fitness journey through track & field thanks to the influence of his siblings, and trained hard to be the best that he could be. However, something clicked when he first stepped into the gym, which led to his foray into fitness and bodybuilding.
But it wasn’t just about building a physique he can be proud of. In our interactions with him, his passion and devotion to fitness and sharing it with his fellow man has impressed us. Despite how difficult it can be to find a balance between career and health, Syafiq had the drive to push himself, and others as well.
“When [my clients] achieve that target that they were going for, the amount of happiness and joy that I can see through them is really unexplainable,” Syafiq says. “And that’s really what I look forward to in my job as a personal trainer. To bring happiness to them to achieve their goals, and I feel joy doing it.”
Speaking about his win, Syafiq recognises that staying humble despite success is what’s also important to reaching your goals. “For me, there are two takeaways from this competition – friendship and humility,” he says. “I forged many friendships during this competition and my fellow competitors were so encouraging to one another. Throughout this journey, I learnt that friends and family will always be there to support you, and we need to be humble knowing that there are many out there who are equally good or better.”
Syafiq also speaks about his intention to shine a spotlight on not just physical health, but mental, social, and emotional health, as he recognises that the different challenges facing Singaporean men today require a multi-faceted approach to being healthy as whole.
His desire and dedication to go all out to help people, no matter how challenging it may be, showed us what health and fitness truly mean to him.
You’ll certainly be seeing a lot more of him in Men’s Health. Just as a quick introduction, here’s the man below!
While Syafiq ultimately came out on top, make no mistake – The five other finalists were no less impressive. Meet Andrea Scarpa; Danie Dharma; Gordan Tay; Preston Sin; Tan Koon Yong – guys whose fitness and life stories hold lessons for the rest of us.
Andrea Scarpa (@andreascarpa)
Andrea is 31 this year and is a Group Executive Chef and a CrossFit trainer.
Danie Dharma (@daniedharma)
Danie is 32 this year and is an Engineering Support Specialist and a bodybuilding champion.
Gordan Tay (@gordantay)
Gordan is 28 this year and is a personal trainer who’s passionate about all things fitness.
Preston Sin (@pressonpreston)
Preston is 23 this year and is an entrepreneur who lives and breathes fitness.
Tan Koon Yong (@aty_2888)
Koon Yong is 46 this year and is in sales, and his positive attitude and healthy lifestyle helped him beat cancer.
Find out what prizes they won, as well as whether you did too! Head to our contest page at https://campaign.menshealth.com.sg/coverguy/prizes.php.
If you think you’ve got a fitness and health story that’s Men’s Health worthy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!