Yes! Finally, it’s over! After 10 weeks of constant training on a restrictive diet, I can finally sit back and enjoy some good food, while being proud of the condition I was able to achieve on contest day.
The Mr Kuala Lumpur 2012 experience was a memorable one. Weeks before I competed, I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?”. It’s definitely not for the prize (which was just a medal, trophy and small hamper). But it was to make my family and friends proud of me and to prove to the local bodybuilding community, that I know my stuff, I have put in the hard work and I’m a rising force in the local bodybuilding scene. Have I achieve those goals? Well, read on.
Here’s an account of what I’ve experienced during Mr Kuala Lumpur 2012.
After weighing in and registering, all I could do was to sit and wait until my category starts. And it was quite a torturous wait. I was at the contest venue since 10am, and my category starts at 4pm. Between that time I can only munch on bland chicken breast and sweet potato while drinking limited amounts of water (I don’t believe in totally cutting out water).
Other than that, I admit, I was being too negative for my own good. I didn’t know how I looked (I was wearing a sweater and long pants) but I knew, everyone else looked great! Plus, I found out that there are 14 competitors in my category. My mind was going, “Fourteen?? Oh shit! How can a first-timer in the open category like me do well in such a competitive category??”.
At 3pm, it’s time for me to pump up, apply my tan and get ready to hit the stage. I knew that if I were to beat the rest, I would need to be fully pumped. And that was an advantage I had. The night before, I carbed up A LOT. I took in at least 800g of carbs! And on the day itself, I ate a lot too. So I had the energy needed to really pump myself up. And I used that to my full advantage. I did several sets of chin ups, loads of push-ups and some other exercises using a face towel and with the help of my pal and PA for the day, Ashley.
After pumping up and putting on my tan, the competitors for the welterweight category lined up backstage for pre-judging. During that time, I noticed lots of attention from photographers and the other competitors. I was thinking, “Hmm, is that a good or bad thing? Do I look really good, really bad or did Ashley draw a smiley on my back?”. Anyway, I’m about to find out soon.
It’s now time for the welterweight competitors to step onstage. I must admit, when they announced my name and I finally stepped on stage, I had a nostalgic feeling of when I competed in Mr Kuala Lumpur 2010. The cheer of the crowd, the shouts of encouragement from friends and family and all my efforts, fully displayed in front of everybody.
After the initial comparisons, it’s time for the callouts. So, out of 14 people, do I have a chance? The emcee then started calling out numbers. “59…. 61…” Yay! I’m in the first callout! So I guess I DO have a chance in the top five.
So, first callout’s over and I was relieved. The bodybuilders in the first callout stepped back in line to join the others. The emcee then announced the contestants for the second callout, “59, 61…”. “Wait what? Again? Seriously?” Right at that moment, I was beginning to feel more confident and positive. I gave it my all during the comparisons, making sure I outmuscle as many of my opponents as possible.
After pre-judging, I went to speak to Ashley; my cousin, Keith and another friend, Vis.
Me: Hey, so what are my chances???
Ashley: Top three! Watch out for 59. He’s your closest competitor.
Vis: Your quads and back stands out a lot! Your back poses dominated the lineup!
Keith: You look great bro!
“Whoah! Are they serious, or are they just being nice?”, I thought.
A backstage announcer then started announcing the top five of the welterweight category who will duke it out in the finals, “Ya, sekarang ini peserta-peserta yang akan masuk finals untuk kategori welterweight. 59, 61, 63, 65, 68”. I’m in! Yup, it did take a while for me to fully accept that I’m actually in the top five. Right now, my motivation level is as high as it can be. I’ll be aiming for the top spot!
Next, after a competitor and good friend, Aimi (59) did his one-minute posing routine, it’s time for me to show the crowd my routine, which I have diligently choreograph. Did it go well? No. The DJ didn’t play my song. What’s worse is that instead, he played this soft, traditional mantra. WTF?!?! Totally ruined my mood to pose. I just hit a few of my best shots, took a bow and walked off stage. That was disappointing.
Finally, after the finals are over, the emcee is ready to announce the results. I was hoping to be at least in the top three. Anything above that will be an added blessing. One-by-one, the contestants’ names were called, starting from fifth place.
“Tempat ke-lima, nombor 63!” (phew! one step closer)
“Tempat ke-empat, nombor 65!” (yay! top three!)
“Tempat ke-tiga, nombor 59!” (Woohoo! Top two!)
At this point, I could see that my uncle, his wife and their daughter are ecstatic. I can feel the excitement and the tension in the air.
The emcee actually announced second place in normal speed, but somehow, everything seems slow-motion to me.
“Tempat ke-dua… jatuh kepada… … nombor 61!”
“Dan pemenang kategori welterweight adalah peserta nombor 68, Ray Leow!”
I wasn’t in first place. I was the bridesmaid. But I’m satisfied. I have no complains and I think Ray deserved the win. His wife and kids were all jumping for joy in the front row seats of the hall when the announcement was made. And I feel happy for them. 🙂
After my category was over, my family and friends were all waiting for me backstage, all of them happy for my placing, of course.
So, back to my goals which I’ve set out to achieve. Did I make my family proud? Did I show that I have potential to take on the local bodybuilding scene? Well, you tell me. 🙂
Other than just placing second in my category, I found out later that I was the YOUNGEST in my category, being only 21, 19 years younger than the champ. Guess that’s a tiny achievement in a way. I’m not stating this as a reason for me to be arrogant, relaxed and take it slow, of course, thinking that I have loads of time to catch up. In fact, I’m gonna work HARDER and make sure that I keep on winning while age is on my side. Now that I know where I stand among Kuala Lumpur-level bodybuilders, I’m going to compete again in Mr Kuala Lumpur 2013. And I’m MORE motivated to WIN!! In fact, after two days of pigging out and eating whatever I want, I’m already back on a strict bulking diet. To me, this is 52 weeks out from Mr Kuala Lumpur 2013!
Other than that, I’ve made some massive gains compared to the last two Mr Kuala Lumpur events which I’ve competed in. Here, check out my progress from Mr Kuala Lumpur 2008 to 2012.
Just a few words about the organization of the event. Overall, everything is pretty good. The lighting was good. Venue, accessible. Crowd, big. But there are three things which I humbly hope that KLBBF could improve. Firstly of course is the DJ. I wasn’t the only one whose posing music he screwed up. I bet there are tonnes of other guys who were disappointed when their music got mixed up. Secondly, publicity – there wasn’t anything on Facebook about Mr KL until I started the event page for it. Lastly, the registration process could have been more efficient if they allow whoever who is at the counter to register, instead of going by categories and having to clear each category one-by-one.
I want to thank everybody who has encouraged me and pushed me through my pre-contest preparation and on that day itself. It’s impossible for me to name all of you, but every one of you mean a lot to me and I’m truly thankful for your support. Special thanks to Adrian Tan and Sam Adnan for giving me useful tips during my prep. Also thank you to my sponsor, Nutrifirst for supplying all the supplements I needed for my contest prep! And lastly, thanks Ashley for coming all the wayyy from Singapore to help me backstage. 🙂
So, after the contest is over… what should I do? Hmmm… EAT!!!!!! To be specific, I had Japanese food with my cousin, mom and Ashley at Ichiban Boshi, Publika! Mmmm… Enjoy the foodporn! Nom nom nom nom nom.
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