IN THE SPORTLIGHT – Xander Huang, Triathlete

17 Jun

‘In the Sportlight’ is a new segment that i will be posting around the mid of each month, where we talk to men and women of all ages, from all walks of life and they share with us how they keep fit and stay healthy!

In today’s entry, we are featuring Xander Huang, and he shares with us his hectic routine of staying fit and juggling with school.


Xander is a 23-year-old undergraduate from SMU studying Business Administration, and also an avid Triathlete.

He has been competing in Triathlons for the past 3 years, and heads SMU’s Triathlon team as Captain.

What are Triathlons?

triathlon is a multi-sport event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance events.

Triathletes compete for fastest overall course completion time, and it is a strenuous and challenging sport that requires extensive stamina and physique, having to excel in 3 different sports.

Currently serving his summer Internship at Barclays, he recently completed a Bintan Triathlon and emerged 3rd for his age group 18-24.
The race consisted of 1.5km swimming, 40km cycling and 10km running.

Why Triathlon?

Xander has always been active since young, his love for sports – cycling in particular, has been a life-long passion.
Triathlons offer the adrenaline, the exhilarating speed from cycling, the thrill from competitions and the forging of great friendships with his team mates.

By being able to excel in 3 sports, he found it much tougher than to just train for one and thus enjoyed the challenge of it, and that was the satisfaction he got from completing a Triathlon.

Training routines:

6-7 times a week of training, consisting of two types of regime –
Off-season: Long but moderate/easy intensity workouts. Allowing his body to recover after the races.
On-season: High intensity workouts coupling with low-carbo diet, so as to drain muscles from glycogen storage.


Off-season: Maintains weight at 70-71kg, Carbo-load and breakfast includes rice.
On-season: 2 weeks prior to race, carbo-starve, ramping up proteins and fats and maintaining his weight at 67-68kg.
Mixed vegetables Rice, non-fried meat
Abstain from Fried Food ALL SEASON.


That’s not humanly possible. We are not robots.




Things that we usually don’t reveal:


He loves his fries and we all love things sweet and savory…. so how do you cope with that?


I pick on my siblings food… like finishing up what they can’t. We usually don’t remember or include them in our desired diet. 😛

2 weeks before my race, i load up on fats like eating 1 kosong and 1 egg from my favourite prata stall.

After a race, i would spoil myself for the next 3 days and eat whatever i want.

Favourite cheat food: Fish and Chips with loads of dressings and fries.

On days that i am low on carbo, i tend to be very quick-tempered, slightly depressed and experience extreme fatigue. Thus, i learn to adjust myself and cope with the psychological stress.

The transition from low-carbo to high-carbo and vice versa when switching seasons is the hardest.



It is hard to plan trainings because you have to prep your body for the next sport you are going to train for the next day.

For example, you can’t exhaust yourself too much in running that you can’t perform your best in the next training session which is cycling.

People that you train with is also very important. I am highly motivated to go for trainings because of my mates. With a healthy competitive spirit, everyone is pushed to their limits.

with fellow SMU triathletes at the recent Bintan triathlon

What are some tips you can share to keeping fit?



I usually eat before i feel hungry.

In between meals when i’m hungry, my favourite snack would be Carmen’s Oat and apricot Muesli Bar which is low in GI.

My preferred cereal would be from the brand Post, coupled with a tablespoon of Oats.



For heavy weights who are just starting off, try Swimming first. However, if you feel conscious in swimming suits, try stationary cycling, which is easy on your joints.

Maintain at  maximum 60/70% heart rate – go long for at least 25 minutes at easy-moderate intensity for cardio exercises.

Interval training is effective where you go high intensity for 1 minute and low-moderate intensity for the next.

Incorporating strength training as well as lifting weights help you build muscles. With muscles, you will burn fat faster.

Most importantly, Don’t start out too hard and end up feeling like Sh*t and don’t feel like exercising anymore.


When i was in Army, i used to tell my men:

The first one is always hardest to do, once you manage to do the first pull up, doing the next 15 or 20 will not be a problem.

A good body and a healthy life style is a byproduct of a passion of the sport. 

– Xander Huang

♥x, S.L

P.S: Xander is also my cousin, and he and my Dad have annoying never-ending conversations about bicycles 😛

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