Where and when were you born? Scarborough Ontario, 1972, My parents were living in Florida, and flew back to Toronto where there would be family around for my birth. We than went back to the states and lived in the better part of all of North America. My dad was a successful musician at the time, and my mom was a professional model which kept me in a lot of beautiful places when I was young.
What is your profession? I am a stay at home, I do some personal training and I also am a care giver. Half of my basement has been made into a suite, and I take care of. and rehabilitate a gentleman with a brain injury.
Were you involved in sports or fitness prior to bodybuilding and how did you get started with weight training? Ok, this is a long one…I was a swimmer, from a very young age. My dad was very big on athleticism, and being the only child, I became daddy’s little girl and the boy he never had. I played football, I played baseball and than I began weight training at the age of twelve. Eventually I quit swimming out of boredom and focussed on changing my body with weight training and with my improved strength I became a better ball player (fast pitch). After watching my dad up on stage and seeing his wins I knew I wanted to have the same accomplishment and prove to myself that I was mentally strong enough. Things didn’t go as planned and there were a lot of curves in the road. I won’t get into it here, but if you would like to read about it, it is posted at www.bcmuscle.com in the inspirational stories.
Was it a goal for you to compete in bodybuilding competitions right from the beginning or was it something that grew in your mind as time went on and you saw the progress in your body? I would say I had the thoughtof competition in my mind from the get go, because that was the aspect of the sport I was exposed to from the beginning.
Can you give me your competition history? 1st. Heavyweight @ the SWFC
Which contest has been your biggest success; which has had the most meaning to you? My first and only show at this point was my biggest success; walking away with a win. Regardless of how many more shows I compete in, or how many wins I may walk away with, this past show will always be the most meaningful for me.
If you read my inspirational story, you will see how far I have had to come and all that I have had to overcome. My dad, my greatest strength and now, my weakest link, passed away of cancer. When he past I was 320lbs. and wearing a size 29! I promised my dad that I would use all that he had taught me and get back into shape.
At my last show, I walked on stage dedicating the show to my dad, winning the show for my dad, and overcoming everything I did with the love of my dad. No show will ever mean more to me.
Please tell me something about your training routine (ie: how many days per week / training split /cardio, etc.) I switch back and fourth between and four day and five day split. My four day is: chest, abs, bis / legs & abs / shoulders, abs, tris / back
My five day split is: chest, abs / arms, abs / back, abs / shoulders, abs, hams / squats, presses, quads, & calves.
What is your favourite exercise in the gym and which one you don’t like so much? Ahh, probably my favourite is not an exercise; it would be training abs and bis. My least favourite is any and all back exercises, which is weird because my back is probably my best body part.
Which body part is your best in your opinion? Again, my back. My back develops easily, and is always lean. I am also fortunate to have big legs, without having to work on getting them big, I just have to work on getting them lean!
If you don’t mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)? I don’t have any best lifts, because I have never trained like that. I do four or five sets of compound movements for each body part before going into supersets etc. and I keep my reps around 6 – 10. My measurements right now (lean) are 15inch arms, 29inch waist, and 24inch quads, and I am 6’0
What do you enjoy about training for competition....what do you enjoy about the 'off season'? I don’t really enjoy much about the off season because I struggle with wanting to look like I did on stage all the time. The one thing I do like is not having to spend as much time at the gym and not feeling guilty if I don’t make it to the gym.
I love feeling tight and hard when pre contest, and I love the focussed, determined energy I feel inside.
Please describe a typical day in the life of Shawn Tan. Ok, I am up early, around 6:30am, to get my two five year olds ready for kindergarten, I am a clean fanatic so I will not leave the house until all the beds are made, clothes, dishes etc. put away and house vacuumed. I drop the kids off at school, do my grocery shopping etc. Come home get dinner ready, take care of the gentlemen with a brain injury, whom lives downstairs, make lunches etc. for the next day, pick up the kids from school, have a kids play date, come home eat dinner, clean again, and of course there is Scouts, ballet, soccer, and martial arts, than I bath the man I take care of , bath the kids and get them ready for bed. When everything is done I hit the gym and soon after the kids are in bed. When I come home everyone is asleep and I catch up on any last minute things that need to be done for the next day. I try to be in bed by 12:30am. Of course this average day will vary slightly when I have to train clients. Somehow I manage to squeeze that in too! I am a very energetic person, and unfortunately everything in my life is a priority, so I force myself to to it all!
Please tell me about what you do when you don’t work out ( hobbies, what do you do to relax?, etc.) Well, as you can tell by my day, there isn’t much time for relaxing. However I do love to go for drives by myself and listen to music, or go out for a chicken / salmon Caesar salad and an ice cold bottle of Bud with a friend.
What do you enjoy most about the bodybuilding/fitness lifestyle? That it has helped me to believe in myself, and become a more confident person. This in turn has changed my life!
Tell me something interesting about yourself, something people may be surprised to hear. I do not eat near enough, in fact I have been known to not eat more than 1200 calories for days on end and I am one of the fortunate few that can do this without losing muscle.
What are your competition goals or personal future goals? I plan on competing at the
BC’s in August 2006, and Go to the Canadian’s in 2006 or 2007. I would love to one day obtain my pro ticket, but along the way I want to inspire others to obtain their goals regardless of their circumstances. I know everyone has it in them to do and be anything they want, and if I can help them to believe in themselves, than nothing would make me happier.
Shawn does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!