She entered her first MMA competition when she was just six years old. Now 19, Angela Lee has written herself into the history books by becoming the youngest-ever champion of a major cage-fighting organisation.
The teenager of Singaporean-Chinese and Korean descent caused a buzz when she clinched the atomweight belt in May this year. Training involved strength and technique training four to five hours a day, five to six days a week, and eating a clean diet of natural, unprocessed foods (“though I love steak and bak kut teh and chilli crab with fried mantou”).
She’s already hoping to score another fight title by the end of this year. What keeps her motivated? “I think if you want something bad enough then you’ll do whatever it takes to get there,” she explains. “I stay motivated because I love what I do and at the end of the day, I’m grateful for where I’m at. I got here because of everyone around me, I have a great team and a supportive family.
“Some days, it’s hard! It’s not always going to be easy. What gets me out of bed and to training is wanting to be the best in the world, and knowing that somewhere out there, someone else is training, so I have to keep working and stay at the top.”
And while most women have a very different fitness journey from hers, Lee agrees that being fit is one of the best things you can do for your body. “Aside from being healthy, one of the biggest things I get out of fitness is confidence. I think that’s the most important thing, and that’s what most people stand to gain. Confidence comes from being comfortable with your body, happy with progress and learning new things.” Here are more thoughts from Lee about health and fitness.
A good philosophy…
“Take baby steps, write a goal down and work towards that. Don’t try and do everything in one day, it takes time. Stay consistent.”
A good starting point…
“Go online and look up exercises that interest you — there are a lot of good ones out there. It’s hard to just think of something on your own. There are so many different things online. I love [working on my] abs and there are great ab exercises out there. Pick something and don’t just do one rep — keep going!”
A good tip…
“Get enough sleep and make sure you’re well-rested. This will make sure your workout recovery is shorter, and you’ll stay healthy, too. People overlook that sometimes. Also, eat clean. People work out but eat junk food and then ask, “Why am I not losing weight?” Like they say, abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.”
A piece of advice…
“It helps to have a coach to push you, or people whom you look up to with you on your fitness journey. You can’t always do it yourself, you need help along the way. Surround yourself with like-minded friends, who can push you and motivate you. Get friends to work out with you!”
Photo: Evolve Daily