Aussie-born and NY-based Stephen Cheuk is the founder of S10 Training, a members only boutique gym in Tribeca, as well as the House of Matcha. Some of the most high-profile women in the NY lifestyle industries go to Stephen to improve strength, health and appearance through his unique and scientifically-backed hybrid of weight training, nutrition and personalized coaching.
In addition to gathering a few tips and resources that he shares with his fit following, Inside/Out digs deeper, to learn as well how he takes care of himself through mindful practices, workouts and food, his passions and future projects.
I/O: What is your genesis story?
S.C.: I have my parents to thank for everything I am today. They were extremely stoic, humble and hardworking. When I was young, they grew almost all of the vegetables we ate, and cooked very healthy meals every day. They would travel the world and take my siblings and me along. Their type of work ethic is rare to find in this generation... All of these things transcended to shape who I am today: my love for food, obsession with travel, adventure, exploring new countries and my work ethic.
I/O: What are you doing today and dreaming of for the future?
S.C.: I am working on opening a 2nd S10 in NYC then another LA next year. And on opening a spa and wellness concept.
I/O: You work with incredibly talented and beautiful women. Can you tell us a bit about this? How does your training program differ for women? Why do they choose you? Why S10?
S.C.: I’ve been extremely lucky to work with so many amazing, strong and talented woman. My mother is very strong woman as are my 2 sisters. Growing up around them, I think I naturally gravitate towards woman of that caliber which makes training them all that much easier because I can relate to them. Our training programs are all strength- and conditioning-based which is often something new to many females and at the same time can be very empowering. All of a sudden they are doing pull ups and pushing 200 pound sleds, etc. Things they never thought would ever be possible.
I/O: What are your thoughts on feminism / female empowerment?
S.C.: I’m a firm believer in equal rights for men and women so very pro-feminism and female empowerment.
I/O: How do you achieve - or strive to improve - your professional, emotional, mental and physical harmony in your life?
S.C.: For me it’s all about balance, staying focused on what I want or am trying to achieve and learning to say NO.
I/O: What experts do you admire? Who are your teachers?
S.C.: The Dalai Lama and Marcus Aurelius (even though he is dead his Stoic teachings are something I constantly refer back to).
I/O: What does your community look like?
S.C.: Like-minded movers and shakers from all around the globe.
I/O: Who or what helped you get where you are today?
S.C.: Family and friends, and in particular Jeff Staple and Brendan Fallis. And having a dream of living and making it in NYC.
I/O: What challenges have you faced and what obstacles might you be experiencing at the moment?
S.C.: Time management. Time is so fleeting and one of the only things you can't ever get back.
I/O: Any challenges that you see women facing in their workouts or in the wellness industry?
S.C.: I think the biggest challenge is the level of false information out there and both women and men that follow these fad diets, workouts and wellness trends that have no merit. I think there needs to be some regulation.
I/O: A mantra, tagline or motto?
S.C.: Yes, every morning when I meditate I say to myself “better everyday" as a constant reminder to strive to be better everyday in all aspects of my life.
I/O: What does your community consist of? Do you feel part of a tribe? Or more of a leader?
S.C.: I have so many different groups of friends all over the world, so with some groups I feel like a leader and other groups feel like i’m part of a tribe.
I/O: Three words.
S.C. Loyalty, strength and community.
I/O: Tell us about your rituals. How important are these to you?
S.C.: I start every morning with matcha and meditation. If time permits, I try to meal prep; if I can’t I will always eat something healthy. I NEED to train or move everyday or I get sluggish and moody. In a perfect world, I would do sauna, steam room and swim every morning before my day starts.
I/O: Do you ever ‘fall off the wellness wagon’? If so, what does this mean to you? If not, how do you avoid temptation?
S.C.: Yes I fall off, you need to live a little. But me falling off entails one night out, not falling off for, like, a whole week or more. I avoid temptation by not having it in front of me. For example, don’t have ice cream stocked up in your fridge if you have a problem with ice cream binge eating.
I/O: What websites, books, podcasts or other tools would you recommend to our community?
S.C.: The Adidas All Day app that just come out. :-) (Editor's note: More on that coming soon.)
I/O: Tell us about your food and fitness programs for your female clients.
S.C.: This is so broad as everyone is different. But good guidelines would be to follow a 3-6 week training block with micro progressions every week then periodize. (Editor's note: More on Stephen's tips for fat loss, athletic performance and strength training coming soon.)
I/O: What would you recommend for people without the means or geographical access to prestigious materials, products and practitioners?
S.C.: In this day and age, I feel like people have access to everything. Figure out what you are trying to achieve and seek out the best in that field.
A few examples:
- If you are working on your conditioning, Joel Jamerson is one of the best;
- To improve movement, Ido Portal is one of the best;
- For gymnastics, look into Coach Dean Somerset - he is is amazing;
- For nutrition, look into Precision Nutrition.
- In regard to supplements, I'm not sure about the validity but some claim that Pubmed and Examine.com are backed by clinical based research studies.
All of this is available online.
I/O: What role does travel play in your life? Where have you been and what’s next?
S.C.: Travel is life for me, it gives me a chance to step outside of the bubble I live in, experience new cultures, get inspired and come back recharged with a new perspective. I just came back 3 weeks ago from Morocco where I went to a beautiful wedding then hiked the Atlas mountains. I then cliff dived in Mallorca, Spain and am currently in Hong Kong typing at the airport lounge waiting for a flight to Australia.
I/O: What role does music play in your life? Do you have a playlist to share? Or a ‘power’ song?
S.C.: Music is a part of my every day life and I can’t live without it. My music changes depending on my mood and what i’m doing. (Editor's note: Check out Stephen's mixtapes with DJ MICK in our Lifestyle section.)
I/O: What makes you happy?
S.C.: Travel, being creative, great friends, adventure and helping others.
I/O: What do you do when something makes you unhappy?
S.C.: Happiness is all about perspective and there is a positive to every negative. I always focus on that idea, so I am very rarely unhappy.
I/O: What inspires you more than anything else?
I/O: A desire, a wish, an intention or manifestation?
S.C.: An intention.
I/O: Where can our community find you?
S.C.: If I’m in NYC then I'll be at S10. Online through the Adidas All Day app.