Photo: Roanne Ho/Instagram
You’re about to see our #TeamSingapore waving our flag high at the Asian games, which begins on August 22. Now, we know that these top performers have to keep fit not just to look good, but to perform at their best. We did a little snooping, and discovered our athletes’ fitness secrets — from workouts to diet, and how they keep themselves psyched — that you can take inspiration from.
1. Veronica Shanti Pereira (Athletics)
What she does requires coordinated efforts from the major muscles of the lower body, so this national sprinter does plenty of core exercises. Going by her Instagram, she also does plyometric box jumps in the gym, when the weather keeps her from doing “50m bounds on the grass”. As to what she eats, she told The Straits Times: “I do not follow any diet. I feel that I need to eat a lot because of the intensity of my workouts… But I may snack on fruits or nuts two hours after a main meal. For my breakfast at home, I may eat bread or biscuits. Lunch may be hawker food, and dinner is always home-cooked food.”
2. Michelle Sng (Athletics)
This leggy lass is a high jumper who, impressively, reportedly can quarter-squat with 140kg weights. She’s also an avid yogi who is on the mat when she’s not on the track. She says that her practice has taught her that “my physical (and mental) state is different every day, and thus my best is different every day as well”, according to a recent Insta post. As to what she thinks about working out, she says it’s important to “maintain a routine — make sure you put in 5 minutes or 10 minutes every day”, according to a video interview for Soulscape Asia. Because she’s a pescatarian, she is extra careful about getting protein into her diet, either through food or supplementation, according to her profile on Singapore Athletics.
3. Joseph Schooling (Swimming)
Joseph Schooling is known to be a foodie. However, to keep his diet in check, he eats “a healthier version of everything”. For example, he opts for his meals to be cooked in coconut oil if possible, he told The Straits Times. Having a balanced meal is important to him, and he makes sure that he stays away from heavy salad dressings or fried food. In his spare time, he plays tennis and golf. He’s reportedly an excellent golfer, and is said to have a friendly 18-hole showdown with his father, Colin, every year.
4. Quah Zheng Wen (Swimming)
Besides the intensive swim training sessions, Zheng Wen — who along with sisters Ting Wen and Jing Wen make up the Quah swimming trio of siblings — also hits the gym several times a week with his trainer. They do a combination of upper and lower body exercises, and circuit training. Weight training and gym sessions could last as long as 3 hours, but with as many as 2 rest days built in. Like Shanti, he too advocates eating at lunch and dinner at home (Mama Quah’s cooking) as it’s healthier. He also rarely eats supper, as he tends to have late dinners.
5. Luo Yiwei (Cycling)
Photo: The Straits Times
The national cyclist has been taking part in triathlons since 2012 and according to an interview with The Straits Times, her idea of fitness is to swim for an hour or do a three-hour brick training session, which comprises cycling and running. She also focuses on strength and conditioning exercises such as squats, single lunges with weights and planks.
6. Roanne Ho (Swimming)
Swimmer Roanne Ho has said that for her, drinking plenty of water and getting sufficient rest is essential when it comes to looking good and keeping fit. She also drinks a protein shake after training so that her muscles can recover quickly. She needs to, we figure, since earlier this year (2018), she revealed that in the run-up to the Commonwealth games, her coach had her swimming harder and lifting more weights than ever.