Fitness who's who

Meet Danielle Means, Strongman and Powerlifting athlete, with an uncommon drive to win

Seasoned athlete, Danielle Means started with 7 years as a National HK Rugby Player (2007-2014) before getting seriously into Powerlifting and Strong(wo)man, setting records in those disciplines. Dont let the petite silhouette and sweet smile fool you, this young lady is a fierce competitor:

  • 2016 HK u63kg Record Holder Squat, Bench and Deadlift
  • 2016 Singapore u60kg Powerlifting Record Holder: Squat, Bench and Deadlift
  • 2017 Arnold Classic Strongman World Championships 7th Place
  • 2017 Arnold Asia Strongman Champion
  • 2017 u63kg Deadlift Champion and Overall Wilks Champion
  • 2017 u63kg Bench Press Champion and Overall Wilks Champion


Who/what inspired to start your competition journey?

I’ve always been involved in sports. My mom started me off in gymnastics when I was 6 years old, and I did that for 8 years competing in annual inter-school competitions. Competing was normal. I also have four younger siblings, which I think helps! I discovered the game of rugby when I was 17. I started representing Hong Kong in under 20s, before being invited to join the Hong Kong national 15s squad, and then the Hong Kong national 7s squad. Once I retired from rugby, my competitive side needed to be channeled elsewhere and I got serious with powerlifting and strongman.


What is your daily/weekly workout/training regimen?

It really depends on what I’m training for: whether it’s a strongman competition or a powerlifting meet. If it’s strongman training, it will be specific to the competition’s events. If it’s a powerlifting meet, my training will also be defined by the competition itself: I’ll train squat, bench press and deadlift if it’s a three-lift competition or just one of those movements if the competition is on one of them only.

Generally, I train 5 or 6 times a week for roughly one hour. 3 of those days will be “heavier”, based on squat, bench, deadlift; 2 will be more focused on Strongman movements or Olympic Lifting and one will be dedicated to cardio training.


How do you get ready to face a challenge that you know will be hard to overcome?

I take a lot of comfort in the fact that I have worked my a$$ off in my training preparation and following the regime. At the end of the day, I can only do my best, and if I’ve done my best, that’s ENOUGH.

I also try to visualize the best case scenario: not only to get a personal best but also to come first. I envisage what that would feel like, how badly I want it, and the things I need to do to make sure I get there.


What advice would you give to someone to stay motivated?

The days I least feel like working out, are the days I know I need it most, and it could be the same for you. You’ll thank your future self, and you’ll feel tons better after a workout. No one ever truly regretted a training session.


What would you say to the 10 years younger you?

Stop trying to do everything! Spend time figuring out what YOU want and love to do, rather than just doing everything.


What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Quesadillas, and more recently, Cheesecake Factory.


A hobby that has nothing to do with fitness?

Read fiction books that are based on history. My favorite is an author called Conn Iggulden who writes about Genghis Khan and Caesar. So epic!


A quote you live by

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill


Where can you meet Daniella?

Daniella trains at Ultimate Performance Hong Kong, where she also works as a Project Manager, so you may bump into her there.


Follow Daniella!

You can follow Daniella on Instagram: @daniella.may.lee


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