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Staying active during injury recovery: Samuel Chua

This Hybrid Fitness athlete shares how staying active and disciplined helped his recovery process post-injury


Coming back to sport after an injury is challenging both physically and mentally. The process can be long and discouraging in many ways, but also requires discipline and patience.

Hybrid Fitness athlete Samuel Chua (@xtriderunning), experienced a spiral fracture on his humerus bone that would take months to recover, but he refused to let it slow him down.

“There was an internal war going on in my head, with one part of me wanting to give up everything I worked for over the years and the other part of me knowing that the situation had already occurred and I needed to look for the next best move given my current circumstances.”


Having read a study on how working out one side of the body could help decrease

muscle atrophy in his injured arm, Samuel was determined to stay active. After one surgery and 4 days in the hospital, the first thing he did upon returning home was to pick up some weights and exercise the unaffected side of his body.

“I continued working on the left side of my body, not caring about looking disproportionate, as well as my legs and core muscles to ensure maximal blood flow throughout my body to speed up my healing process.”


Samuel was eventually able to get back to running a little over two weeks after his injury. Once he was cleared by his doctor to run, he made sure to run almost every day and found that his arm felt much better after each workout.

As someone who enjoys casual reading of studies on sports science and injury prevention and recovery, Samuel could put some of what he had learnt into practice. He knew to take a careful approach towards recovery and to build his strength back up slowly.

“With a broken bone, one has to be very careful and methodical in planning recovery and rehab. The bones and tendons take a much longer time to adapt than muscles, and one needs to know what he or she is doing or risk re-injuring that area,” he shared.

“I challenged myself and backed off whenever I felt mild discomfort. I remember using the chest press machine and loading up 50kg on my left side and 1 kg on my injured side and was struggling more on the right.”



On top of strength training, Samuel was extremely consistent with performing flexibility and mobility exercises, and would do these exercises multiple times a day. Whilst Samuel’s pre-existing knowledge and awareness aided his recovery, it is still important to consult a physiotherapist when injured as every individual’s recovery process could be different.

Working out regularly had been a lifestyle for Samuel even before breaking his arm, and by continuing his routine and staying active throughout his recovery process, he did not feel that there was too much of a transition between pre-injury, injury and post-injury.


“The whole routine was never really a transition to me, as it had been a lifestyle even before breaking my arm. The only thing that changed was my approach. I continued to train carefully and listened to my body.”

Through the inevitable difficult days, discipline kept him going.

“I understood that motivation would help start a habit, but discipline would keep me going when the motivation was gone.”

His perseverance paid off when his recovery progressed well and he managed to complete his IPPT just three and a half months after breaking his arm. He also set a personal record of 92 push-ups in 60 seconds, shocking his own doctor.

Samuels first foray into the world of sport and fitness began at just 9 years old when his parents introduced him to Triathlon. He trained as a triathlete till he was 19 years old before he found his true passion - Hybrid Fitness.

“With my small frame and Triathlon being a cardio-centric sport, I was constantly being told I wasn’t eating enough and that I was really skinny. Being skinny made me an easy target for bullying.”

“Over the years, I started getting sick of not being able to defend myself when encountering those negative situations. I realised that I needed to take control of my life and that’s when I started incorporating strength training into my routine on top of my cardio sessions.”


“I started with simple bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and pullups, before mustering the courage to go to the gym thanks to a friend.”

For those new to the term, Hybrid Fitness is the combination of different types of training, for example, aerobic and strength training. There are many ways to train both aspects, with more popular ones being High Intensity Interval Training (HITT).

“Personally, I stick to running and weight training in the gym. I keep my strength and cardio sessions separate so that I can really focus on each session’s goal.”

Samuel’s workout routine sees him going to gym 3 to 4 times a week and 4 to 5 runs, averaging at over 40km altogether.

“Staying active is not only about keeping physically healthy and looking great. I go to the gym to lift weights, but the gym lifts life’s stressors off me. Running is an activity not only to improve my fitness, but it’s also where I find solace.”

“I exercise because it brings me an incredible mix of empowerment, peace and control.”


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