KOTA KINABALU: After being a champion at a recent world competition, strongwoman Joyce Heng Shu Xia now wants to start training aspiring strongmen and strongwomen in an effort to make promote the sport.
The home-grown athlete, who took home the women's open title at the Static Monsters World Championship at Australia in June, is initiating an informal academy for free in the hope that more youths in Sabah will be interested to take up the strength-based sport.
"I believe we have a lot of potential strongman athletes... So with this academy, I hope we can produce world-class athletes and bring glory to Sabah and Malaysia," the 32-year-old told The Star.
Heng has invited those interested, including those who simply want to get into a fitter lifestyle, to reach her on Facebook.
She plans to do the training from this month onwards on weekends.
She said so far she had received good response with many texting her to ask about the location and activities.
"I call it Anytime Strongman Academy, but the training would be at the outer compound of my house in Kolombong.
"Anyone can join regardless of age or weight because the strongman/strongwoman competitions are categorised according to different age and weight groups.
"For those who are really serious in doing the sport professionally, they can do weight training in my gym and then do strongman training at the academy on weekends.
"They will learn how to do all the strongman stuff such as Tyre Flip, Atlas Stone, Truck Pull, Farmer's Walk, Yoke Walk, Log Press and Car Deadlift... It is similar to a 'boot camp' style," she explained.
Heng said that going through such training would not only develop strength and endurance, but also be beneficial for routine work and carrying heavy loads such as cooking gas cylinders.
"While the training is currently free of charge, anyone is free to chip in money as I could use such funds to get more training gear.
"My items are still limited now and I am still in the process of making some of the equipment myself," she added.
She said apart from passion for the sport, one needed to have discipline, self-motivation and mental strength, as well as the willingness to join competitions in every few months.