How Taking Up Boxing Gave Adriana Lima a Ton of Confidence

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Adriana Lima is no stranger to the fitness world—she started walking on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk since she was 18 and the training is no effing joke. But after retiring last November, ending her 19-year stint for the lingerie brand, she had another announcement up her sleeve: Lima is PUMA’s newest ambassador, and the Miami-based model—who boxes on the reg—says it was a natural next step.

“Working out and sports have always been part of my life,” she says, although not every type of exercise has stuck. She’s tried aerobics, lifting weights, yoga, you name it, but it wasn’t until she took up boxing when she was 19 that she found her fitness calling.

At a PUMA’s Mode XT event in Miami in December, where the brand gave influencers and fitness instructors a sneak preview of its newest shoe, Lima strapped on her gloves and sparred with her coach Dino Spencer and later with Olympic champion and fellow PUMA ambassador Usain Bolt. As someone unfamiliar with boxing (outside of watching Creed, of course), I had never seen anyone look so badass.

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“The first time I saw boxing in my life, I was six years old,” Lima said. “My mom’s friend came into the house and brought boxing gloves, and this lady to me was the coolest woman.” She finally tried it out herself when she was 19 and never looked back.

“It wasn’t easy, but I wanted to challenge myself to learn. I’m 37 now so almost 20 years ago back in the day, boxing wasn’t really known for women, and I believe that now it’s different. It’s global. I felt very empowered after learning the combinations, and then I could see how strong I can be. I never saw myself like that, so it really gave me confidence.”

She loves the intense full-body workout that punching, ducking, and blocking give her—along with the benefits of improved core strength and better balance.

Oh, BTW: Although she said she’s not one to compare, she thinks [women] are more technical than men when it comes to boxing. “I think we are better with coordination,” she says. “It takes a lot of coordination to be moving your legs a certain way and your arms a certain way, and I think we have that on our side naturally.” So if that doesn’t make you want to sign up for a class and put her theory to the test, IDK what will.

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