Fabulous in his fifties

Fit in his 50s… Mr Wilson Chay at the Fitness Movement League National Championships in 2017 where he was the oldest competitor. All photos are courtesy of Wilson Chay.

ABOUT four years ago, Mr Wilson Chay looked different from the photo you see now. He was overweight – the 1.76m-tall man weighed 78kg – and he had high cholesterol. The 55-year-old adjunct communications lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic decided to do something about it and took up his former hobby, bodybuilding. He now weighs between 65 to 66kg and competes in bodybuilding contests. 

Mr Chay also enjoys flexing his vocal chords and has won multiple singing competitions! Find out more about this multi-talented senior:

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“I started bodybuilding in 1978 when I was in Secondary 3. It was a hobby and I wanted to get fit for National Service.

When I started working and got married, I tried to lead a healthy lifestyle through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

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However, I stopped exercising in my 40s due to work and family commitments. My weight ballooned to 78kg after I left my job in 2014; I was at my most unhealthy state. That’s me in 2014 (left). I decided to turn my life around and focus on my health. That’s me in 2017 (right) at 65kg.

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I train four days a week:

Mondays and Thursdays:
Full body rolling and stretching - 30 mins
Warm up - 10 mins
Upper body weights (targeting multiple muscle groups) - 60 mins
Cardio (inclined brisk walking on the treadmill) - 30 mins

Tuesdays and Fridays:
Full body rolling and stretching - 30 mins
Warm up - 10 mins
Weights for lower body (legs and abs) - 60 mins
Cardio (battle ropes) - 5 sets of high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Eating well

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As for my diet, breakfast is typically one bowl of organic oatmeal with mixed berries and a banana with whey protein (left). Lunch is steamed fish or chicken with mixed vegetables and brown rice. I will have three to four egg whites with wholemeal bread or mixed vegetables, as well as a whey protein drink for my afternoon snack. For dinner, I usually eat steamed fish or lean meat with mixed vegetables and lotus root soup (right).

I also choose foods which are low in salt and sugar, as well as avoid processed food, desserts and refined white flour.

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In May 2017, I entered my first bodybuilding competition, the Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Association (NBFA) Singapore International Championships (Men Grand Masters category). I was the oldest bodybuilder and I won first place. I’m third from left in the photograph.

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In October that year, I also entered FM League’s National Championships. FM League is Singapore’s largest bodybuilding and physique sports organisation. I was the oldest competitor and was up against more experienced bodybuilders who were 10 to 14 years younger than me. However, that didn't stop me from placing third (Men Masters category). That’s me on the extreme right in the photo.

Bodybuilding in the blood


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The love for bodybuilding runs in my family. My late uncle, Mr Chay Weng Yew (centre photo), represented Singapore in weightlifting at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and got sixth place in the featherweight division. My dad (lower photo) competed in Australia in the bantamweight division in the 1950s.

Carrying a tune

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Besides bodybuilding, I also enjoy singing and have won several karaoke competitions. I find that singing keeps me young and happy. I may be 55 but I am taking up vocal lessons to improve my voice and I am entering more singing competitions. You can say I am a late bloomer!

Successful ageing to me means living life to the fullest. Life is more than just work and paying the bills. I want to live a truly fulfilling life knowing that I have maximised all my talents and passions to the fullest. That way, when I am 90 and looking back at all that I have accomplished, I will have no regrets.”

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