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5 Moves To Build Explosive Upper Body Strength with Lewis Chua

In 2014, Lewis Chua made a massive mark at the Singapore National Weightlifting Championships by lifting a personal best of 316kgs. Ever since, the national athlete has been consistently pushing Singapore's weightlifting scene forward with his explosive strength and dedication. Known as 'The Buffalo', Lewis has since established two gyms, CrossFit Statera and Solitude of Strength, where CrossFit enthusiasts and serious weightlifters can go for professional guidance.

Anyone looking to build strength and improve their lifting technique can turn to Chua for inspiration. Here, he demonstrates five essential moves to build explosive upper body strength.

Here are some tips for the moves. For beginners, you are recommended to start at 10 Reps x 5 Sets per exercise, at 50% of your 1 rep max. As you progress, you can adjust to lift heavier (85% of your 1 rep max), whiles reducing the number of reps (5 Reps x 5 Sets). Most importantly be safe and feel free to adjust the amount of sets based on your personal capacity.


1. Muscle Snatch (10 reps x 5 sets)

Tip: Use strength to yank the bar up, and as it reaches your neck, whip the bar up with your elbows underneath.

Benefits: The muscle snatch is a highly underrated move that helps improve rotational strength and utilises almost every muscle to improve overall upper body strength.


2. Overhead Squat (10 reps x 5 sets)

Tip: Your muscles should be flexed to form a solid base of support for the weight as you lift, so press into the bar with your strength to improve the lift.

Benefits: This is the core exercise of all core exercises, training your ability to snatch and move explosively while developing your flexibility.


3. Muscle Clean (10 reps x 5 sets)

Tip: Push away from the ground with as much force as you can, and catch the bar by pulling yourself underneath it.

Benefit: Develop better coordination and balance when you correctly perform the muscle clean. Your lats and triceps will be the main beneficiaries of this move and it improves the strength of your posterior chain.


4. Sumo Deadlift High Pull (10 reps x 5 sets)

Tip: Use your legs and hips to accelerate the weight and drive it under your chin. The power output is extremely high, given how fast the movement is and how the weight travels a long distance.

Benefit: This is also a CrossFit move that is foundational to building explosive strength, also boosting your lower body's ability to propel a lift.


5. Thrusters (10 reps x 5 sets)

Tip: Thrusters are ideal for improving strength in your legs, given that it engages all the main muscle groups in your lower body.

Benefit: This is a compound move that combines a clean, push-press and front squat, working all your key muscles and joints that are responsible for generating explosive power.

Solitude of Strength is located at #07-09 110 Lorong 23 Geylang, 388410,


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