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The Contenders - The Guys

By: Nick Ross Posted: October-05-2010 in
Rio Domingo trains with Sumesh Manickam at Elite Fitness Hanoi
Nick Ross

Part one in a two part feature From The Word Hanoi. Fisrt the guys and then the girls

We’ve had such a great response to The Word Ha Noi Challenge that we’ve decided to up our contestants to 13. So, time to introduce them as they embark on their two-month journey to transform themselves from overweight or even underweight, into the physical Atlas of their dreams. The challenge will finish in early November.

Running from early September to early November, 13 contenders are battling it out to make the largest physical transformation in The Word Ha Noi Fitness Challenge, all in the name of transforming their body shapes, creating a new healthy you and, of course, the lure of a number of prizes for the winners. Time to meet the contestants.

Alexander Falter
I am “big boned” as it is. But I still feel I am about 15kg overweight. I have never been athletic but I certainly enjoy doing sports and having endorphins coursing through my body. I’ve not had the motivation of late due to various reasons — weather too hot, lots of travel — but excuses aren’t good enough. A person’s body is their temple, so I am keen to invest in my health. The Word challenge is just the motivation I need.

Chris Pieters
In my job managing a hotel, I seem to spend my life working. And then at night, I like a beer, which has resulted in me becoming lazy. Now, as I get older, I’ve started to dislike my body. I no longer feel good about myself. So through a mixture of martial arts and gym work, this will be the opportunity for me to make a difference. I want to feel confident again.

Craig Burgess
As a 43-year-old newcomer to Hanoi from Geneva, mid-life crisis looms, along with a sedentary job, too much good food, lots of wine and lazy days at home. Potentially my body could start falling apart. The challenge will help me to catch my wife's eye again and feel proud in swimming trunks. I want more energy, too. Two months of discipline here we come!

Hugo Balandra
I have lived in Hanoi for just over five months. I’ve been gaining weight and am now in the worst physical shape that I've ever been in: I don’t dare have a health check because I was diagnosed with a mild heart condition before arriving in Vietnam. The doctor said it could get worse with no regular exercise. I really need to step it up.

Daragh Halpin
I was enjoying a cold beer when my wife came to me with The Word magazine and her thumb on the Fitness Challenge page. She had one of those “hello sweetheart, I want something…” looks on her face and began to explain the concept of both of us getting fit and improving the PUKU menu while doing so. I asked her about the rules, which she explained. She was just about finished, when her eyes turned big with surprise, “Oh, it says you can’t drink alcohol for the two months during the challenge.” I nearly spilled my beer. But with the best poker face, I shrugged and said, “I can do that.” She looked at me, unconvinced. “What, and you think I can’t?” she said. “Ok then, you just watch me.” Consider it game on.

Vishal Kumar
I have a history of being unfit, which I would like to change NOW! I used to be teased and bullied when I was young, which has kind of affected my confidence ever since. I used to be 108kg and currently I am around 82kg, but I still feel overweight. If I have to take off my shirt in public, I feel awkward and uncomfortable. I am willing to give 110 percent to improve my over all health. And my confidence!

Nicolas Russo
My family has a history of back problems resulting from poor core strength. I have witnessed the issues resulting from this and I do not want to have the same problems. Also, I would love to have a flat stomach or six-pack to show off. I want a lot more endurance under my belt so that I can run around for a whole footy (AFL) game without being tired by the end of the first quarter. I am the sort of person who can set my mind to something and achieve it, and right now I have the time to focus on my fitness before I move back to Australia — which comes with the temptation of McDonalds.

The contest will be judged on mainly on “before” and “after” photos to gauge the change in physical appearance achieved by each contestant. In addition, we will look at the Body Mass Index (BMI) and weight change as well as a few minor factors like heart rate at rest and blood pressure. The winner of the US$2,010 prize will be the person who makes the biggest visual transformation during the challenge.

Grand Prize

US$2,010 cash

Runners’ Up Prizes
- 6-month membership at N-Shape
- 6-month membership at Elite Fitness

Prizes for Trainers
Prizes will be given to trainers whose clients make the largest transformation during the challenge. These are:

- 2 nights, 3 days at The Nam Hai Resort, Hoi An
- 2 nights, 3 days at Princess d'Annam, Phan Thiet
- 2 nights, 3 days at Sofitel Palace Dalat

*The fitness challenge is sponsored by Ultimate Nutrition, Seara Sports, N-Shape, Elite Fitness, The Nam Hai Resort, Princess d'Annam Resort, The Sheraton Hanoi and Zenith Yoga. A TV version is being made by VTV 4 for the programme 'Expat Living'.

Republished with Kind Permission of Wordhanoi


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