Cindy Witono (Asian Silver Medallist, 2019)
"When I first found out about CoachByMarc in 2018, I was instantly intrigued by how the team was practically made up of champions. Many of which were also young, and women!
Even though I was a mere casual gym goer back then, I could feel that my hunger and ambition would fit well with the team’s values. I did not ponder too long before signing up for their coaching, and my instinct was proven to be right. Just within my first year of being competitive, Marcus and Matthew has pushed me to break 8 national records and I became an Asian Silver Medalist. Even though the journey was far from easy and I often faltered, my coaches stuck to our game plan and never once did their faith on me waiver. I’ll always remember Matthew’s words to me at times that I struggle to have that faith on myself: “The weights will always be heavy. Recognise that it’s heavy, but also recognise that you have the fight in you to lift it anyway.”
The coaches in CBM are always committed to guide me through everything I need to learn in powerlifting. My technique progression, capacity, and nutrition were considered carefully into the programmes. The improvements in my numbers, technique and mentality have proven how tactful their strategies are.
Besides these achievements, the team has also warmly welcomed me into the scene. It’s easy to get intimidated in the powerlifting scene when you’re built like a small girl, but never once did they make me feel weak. Instead, they did the opposite and always made sure that I feel right where I’m supposed to be. I will forever be grateful for the roles Marcus and Matthew played in my growth as a young powerlifters and I would not have it any other way."
Brandon Er (Asian Bronze Medallist, 2019)
"“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)The coaches and athletes of CBM are immensely supportive and treat me with such courtesy and fellowship that I believe they play an instrumental part in my improvement as both an athlete and as a person.
I approached Matthew seeking strength coaching after finishing my second powerlifting competition. After seeing a news article about Matthew, I decided to seek guidance under CoachbyMarc with the intention of improving my strength for American football as well as for future powerlifting competitions.
As I was living overseas, I signed up for online coaching and occasionally met up with Matthew and the rest of the CBM athletes upon returning to Singapore for holidays. Despite the 16 hour time difference, I always received my weekly programs on time, and answers to any of the questions I asked promptly. Matthew kept me on track, with frequent updates and check-ins, making the hindrance of being in another country feel non-existent.
Under CBM, I competed in the Singapore Powerlifting Open 2019 (SPO19), which qualified me for the Asian Championships in Kazakhstan. Having been relatively over my weight class for both competitions, I was guided through a meticulous and carefully planned out procedure for me to make weight, without any major changes to my diet. Leading up to each competition, I would frequently discuss with Matthew what I hoped to achieve, to which he would advise me, and tweak the training/programs for the best results. There were fail-safes set in place for both the weight cut and the training leading up the competition, which made the overall competition preparation much less stressful, allowing me to focus solely on my training. During both competitions, the coaches handled all of the technical work, giving me the peace of mind that all I needed to do were my three lifts. They rushed around all day but maintained professionalism and composure, all while instructing and preparing me for my attempts.
As a 17-year-old travelling to a predominantly non-english speaking country for my first international competition, I was extremely nervous. However, being with the CBM team and listening to their past experiences calmed me. The immense amount of experience that the CBM team has assured me that I was in the right hands for any competition. Even as a relatively new athlete to the competitive powerlifting scene, the CBM team made me feel just as prepared as my competitors with many more years of experience, and no intimidation for not being as experienced as the rest of them.
Having returned to other sports that I partook in before powerlifting, I have found a massive improvement in both my general athleticism and self-confidence. My experiences with CBM have made me feel more empowered and confident in all parts of my life. Apart from that, I have made many amazing memories with the team that I cherish and will remember for many more years to come. I am certain that it was the right choice to choose CBM and am grateful for all the effort and thought that the coaches have put into my training."
Farhanna Farid (Asian Champion, 2018 & 2019)
"When I finally decided to take that leap of fate to compete, I was already set on who I wanted as a coach. CoachbyMarc was not just one of the options for me; the team was The Only Option and Marcus was only the coach I wanted to be trained by.
Aside from head coach, Marcus, the CBM team consists of a golden bunch of athletes. They all come from various backgrounds, with colourful personalities but all shared the same drive and heart. Everyone cared for each other, cheered on for each other and stood up for each other. They are a talented bunch, with several of them being record holders but all still extremely humble and down-to-earth. I was impressed by the vast knowledge and experiences held by each of them and how generous they were with sharing their advice and insight. It really felt like being part of a big, crazy family.
I have heard and seen how Marcus take immaculate care of his athletes and I had the opportunity to experience it myself. Marcus was very understanding and accommodative but ultimately he knew how hard to push me both mentally and physically. He takes time to understand the blueprint of each individualised athlete; her psyche, her motivations, her strengths and weakness. All of which he weaves into his customised training programme for his athlete. It takes a coach of worldly experiences and great intuition to be able to do that.
Training plans were clear with specific technical issues to tackle and certain goals to achieve, block by block. If I performed better than planned, he will push me to do more. If I was underperforming or an injury struck, Marcus was ready with contingency plans to account for sufficient recovery. As we inched closer to competition day, I was a bundle of nerves as I was racking up injuries one by one and we had to shave off some training volume and intensity. Marcus kept his calm as usual and reassured me everything will fall into place, which did.
Competition day was the capstone of the CoachbyMarc experience. As soon as I made weight, Marcus told me to only focus on my refeed. As I was happily stuffing my face, Marcus handled the submission of my openers and got Matthew to handle my equipment check. I remembered feeling like a burden as they fussed about for me but Matthew’s reply “Powerlifting is a team sport!”, not only comforted me, it made me even surer I made the right choice in choosing this a-team. I do not know of any other teams that takes care of their athletes the way CoachbyMarc does.
I was impressed by the precision of how everything ran on competition day. After bombing my first squat attempt, I was shaken but Marcus managed to lift my spirits and kept reassuring me we were still on track. Marcus reminded me to only focus on hauling the weights and he will handle the numbers. Marcus studied the numbers like a stockbroker and made sure he submitted numbers which pushed me as an athlete but never too far. His calamity and positive spirits kept me calm and focused, exactly the concoction I needed to hit the subsequent lifts.
I was never prouder of myself for not only surviving my first meet but for hitting the numbers as planned. All of this would not have been made remotely possible without the great support and involvement of the entire CoachbyMarc team. Marcus has pushed me as an athlete and he has pushed me as an individual. I learnt to ‘Embrace the Hustle’ and I will keep hustling. I look forward to taking this team to greater heights.
Let’s do this!"
Yeong Qing Quan (Asian Squat Gold Medallist)
"A fantastic coach and an even greater friend. Others before self and willingness to sacrifice. Those are just some of the many praises I have for Marcus.
I joined CBM in 2016. As an athlete under Marcus, I have progressed far more than I can ever imagine, he taught me now to be more technically proficient and how to ‘lift with your mental strength’ rather than just brute strength.
Since then, my numbers have improved a whopping 40kg, 45kg, 30kg in squat, bench and deadlift respectively. As a coach in CBM, coaching alongside Marcus has been a fantastic experience too, he has taught me how to analyse the Athlete and understand what they need best when it comes to training/meet day.
He is one who will stay up late till 3-4am even after a 10 hour work day to do up personalised program for each and every athlete and constantly checking on their progress, asking for feedback.
Though a coach, he still sees himself as a student who always strive to learn from other coaches in the field of strength sports. I’m really Glad to be in the CBM family."
Cider Lin (2x National Silver Medallist)
"I first started working with Marcus in 2015 leading up to my first national Powerlifting meet. While I have had a couple years of (bodybuilding-style) training experience under my belt, I had very little, if zero knowledge of actual Powerlifting technique and programming.
I recall Marcus working with a smaller pool of athletes back then and was interested for us to work together. Over the next few years until the present day, I have worked with Marcus and his team for meet prep, having been offered invaluable advice over the years when it comes to execution of the lifts and programming principles.
Marcus and his team also consistently pushed me on meet day with effective handling and sound attempt selections. I thoroughly enjoyed working with CoachByMarc and making numerous PRs over the last 3 years was a sweet bonus. To top that off, I did not just gain a knowledgeable coach, but made a friend who is kind, sincere and more than willing to lend a hand everytime.
Thank you CoachByMarc."
Jasper Quak (2x National Silver Medallist)
"Marcus is more than just a coach. He is also a good friend whom you can share your problems with, which I personally think it is an important factor because as a coach he has to understand the athlete’s problem to get their mindset on the right track for training. Besides taking care of our training and health, he also makes sure that we are always stress-free when it comes to training. Although Marcus is a competitive person and drills us hard, his main objective for us will always be ‘enjoying the process’.
To me, Marcus is like a big Brother . He takes care of my well-being and constantly asks me for feedbacks with regards to training. He is always concerned about my training as there are always many factors which can affect it. Despite that, he will always motivate me to work harder. Marcus never gives up on me whenever I have a tough and disappointing session, instead he would always assure me that everything would be alright and motivate me to do better for my next.
Till date, I have participated in 4 competitions and Marcus has handled me all 4 times. He wakes up early despite not having any sleep the night before in order to make sure I am ready for the competition. Without him, I would just be a headless chicken. Marcus knows when to stimulate my mindset, when hype me up and when to calm me down at the same time. He makes sure that I am in my best condition before making the lift. The most unforgettable moment about Marcus is when he contest the jury in order to make my lift a good lift. He is always calm and composed to ensure everything is under his control.
Marcus has indeed changed me not only as an athletic but also a better person in life. In times of difficulty, he is someone that I can look for and Marcus will always be someone I will look up to as my idol."
Adele Lau (National Record Holder)
"If you told me POWERLIFTING was going to be a big part of my life 5 years ago I would laugh at your face and tell you to stop dreaming.
Lucky for me , Marcus changed that and gave not only my numbers/physique a 180 degree makeover but also my mentality and perspective.
I am someone that needs to work with a coach closely in order to achieve my goals and I never worked extremely well in team environments but Marcus carefully knitted the team and even during training.
If I have a problem or question , I will send him a video and he will immediately respond, never leaving me hanging.
He is always enthusiastically trying to improve our mental state and physical state. Giving team talks once in awhile really boosts the morale of the team and puts all of us in a better state of mind.
He is a coach with many years of personal experiences that can easily make your strengths and weaknesses primarily transparent enough to work around it to better my performance. He thought me that Powerlifting was never just a sport. It was supposed to teach me many values in life and to make me not just physically but mentally stronger. He never fails to brush off responsibilities even when situations look rough , he will always roll with the punches and guide the light for all of us in the team. He's always down for good communication and trying to know you and how your workouts went inside and out , it's amazing working with Marcus and I 100% recommend it because with every experience and every meet , I definitely took away many many lessons that helped me through my personal growth and development. I don't have another coach to compare to him but i cannot imagine having a better one."
Thor Qian Qi (Asian Champion, 2017)
"Throughout my powerlifting journey and multiple competitions, Marcus has always been a great coach and nothing less. He gives us his 110% no matter what. He has always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.
He kept telling me to keep my head high, to keep fighting and to stay positive when times got hard. He had my back since day one. I can't even count how many times he has told me," I'm proud of you." or "I will always be here for you!".
Also, Marcus quickly became from my coach to what I consider my family. He is the one person I know that wouldn’t judge when I confide into him.
Marcus is, steadfast and reliable."