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Victoria’s Secret bodies – how they do it

Models generally have a reputation for being `naturally thin` but the Victoria Secret models work hard for their slender and toned bodies. We take a look at the gruelling workouts and diets it takes to become an `angel.`

For the very first time, the prestigious Victoria Secret fashion show was held in London at Earl’s Court last night. The show is renowned for beautiful women modelling high-fashion lingerie.

The label caused controversy when they released a new campaign with the strapline `The Perfect Body` over ten of their slim models in late October this year. Cue legions of unhappy people arguing the ad was damaging and unrealistic. Victoria Secret quietly changed the strapline within a week to ‘ A Body for Everybody’.

So what does it take to achieve their bodies?

We decided to take a look at the workouts and diets these ladies claim they live by to get their bodies ready for one of the most famous catwalks worldwide.

ADRIANA LIMA  2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway and Show Adriana Lima 1 The gorgeous Brazilian model keeps fit and toned by doing 90 minute boxing sessions at least two times a week with former middle-weight champion, Michael Olajide.

Lima takes boxing seriously, training `like a professional boxer getting ready for a fight.` She told Vogue magazine earlier this year that `it’s the only exercise I do` but insists that `everything starts with nutrition and what you eat.`

The full body workout starts with ten minutes of complicated combinations of exercises such as shadow-boxing and jumping jacks, meaning full concentration is necessary with no chance of becoming bored.

The 33 year old will then do various jumping rope techniques with complicated footwork for half an hour – yes, that’s 30 full minutes of jumping rope! – which is a full body workout in itself, strengthening the lower and upper body and increasing cardiovascular fitness. Jumping rope is fantastic for burning calories, reportedly burning the same amount of calories in ten minutes as you would jogging.

to be the best you have to make it rain baby
Adriana’s selfie on Instagram, stating `To be the best you have to make it rain.`

Uppercuts, jabs and hooks are then swung at the speed bag for ten minutes followed by double-end bag work for another ten minutes. This sort of high-intensity and rhythmic workout is great for muscle definition, particularly on the arms and abs.

Lima and Olajide will have an intense 40 minute sparring session and end the workout with bodyweight resistance and strength-training exercises. Olajide says `Through bodyweight resistance and high repetitions, everything she does burns calories.` For 90 minutes, we sure hope so.

Adriana shared a snippet of a sparring session on Instagram this November.

As Michael Olajide says `Variety is important, but so is repetition. Too much variety and nothing gets accomplished. In fitness as in sport, the faster and harder you can work a specific muscle group the faster you receive the benefits because you muscle adapts to execute the exercise.`

To maintain strength and tone whilst travelling, Lima needs to jump rope for ten minutes everyday so it seems there’s no rest for angels either. Not only does the workout leave Lima with a body worthy of being a Victoria Model model but it also has a positive influence on her confidence, as she says `You know how powerful you are and how much strength you have.` ADRIANA LIMA TRAINING

To work-out like Lima, watch her full body workout on the Victoria Secret website.

If Adriana has inspired you to try out boxing, find a class near you here.


doutzen kroe catwalk insta
Sharing her hard earned body on Instagram

How long before a show does a Victoria Secret model prepare for? Well, for Doutzen Kroes, there isn’t time-off. `I maintain a healthy lifestyle all year round for my job` she told Vogue last year. Even once she had given birth, Doutzen was working out `like crazy`.

The 29 year old mother is another fan of boxing and jumping rope, taking her skipping rope `everywhere`; and who can blame her considering how beneficial and portable it is.

She is also a fan of ballet, taking Ballet Beautiful classes with professional ballerina, Mary Helen Bowers, who trained Natalie Portman for the film Black Swan. Even though she’s not so keen, Doutzen also partakes in Pilates for posture and stretching purposes. Her strategy is to do simple (yet effective) workouts for long periods.

doutzen kroe insta
Instagramming a pic during a Ballet Beautiful class

For Doutzen, eating healthily is a major part of her regime, believing what you eat has a big impact on the effectiveness of a workout. Unbelievably, she has three shakes every morning, before breakfast.

She starts by juicing grapefruit, orange and lemon then moves on to a combination of green powder, wheatgrass, chia seeds and water which she says is `disgusting but you just have to drink it all at once.` Finally, she blends banana, cacao beans, chia seed, Camu and Macu oils.

She also has pre-workout snacks (wheat-free granola with low fat yogurt and coffee) and post-workout snacks, (dry fruits, oats, unsalted nuts, hemp or brown flavoured rice) proving just how prepared and strict she is.

Generally, the Dutch model’s diet consists of organic vegetables and fruit, whole-grains, lean meats and plenty of water to keep hydrated. To maintain a flat stomach, Koutzen cuts out alcohol, broccoli and onions as they make her bloated. Let me just reiterate – no alcohol – that is some dedication in itself.

Although she eats well and works out throughout the year, Doutzen puts a lot down to her healthy childhood, stating `I have worked out my whole life. I was always biking to school, doing sports…etc, so I have good muscle memory.` doutzen kroes workout 1

To see Doutzen in action, click on this YouTube link.


ROMEE STRIJD  romee strijd `I hate training but I work out everyday` says newest angel Romee Strijd. Strijd prefers to take classes such as SLT, which stands for Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone, hailed with the description `If cardio, strength training and Pilates had a baby, it would be SLT.`

SLT is based on Pilates but adds high intensity cardio training and strengthening techniques for a full blown body workout. The main feature in an SLT session is the Megaformer machine which has sliding platforms, resistance bands, pulleys, front and back panels and resistance weights and springs so each person can tailor just how difficult they wish their workout to be. It will definitely get your heart pumping as it enables you to easily change position, provides continuous resistance and gives many exercise options.

romee strijd workout insta
Instagram followers could see Strijd was working out on the day of the show.

The workout leaves the Dutch model with a toned, strong and flexible body with elongated and defined muscles. It also increases her metabolism and helps her posture. No wonder Strjid is the youngest VS model at 19.

Even when she’s travelling around the world, Strijd will either watch online live classes from renowned ballet dancer Mary Helen Bower or attend the gym where she’ll do a mixed routine, put togehter by Michael Olajide, of 15 minutes focusing on toning her abs, 15 minutes jumping rope, and 30 minutes on the treadmill. Intense? We think so.

To have a little sneak peak of her workout, Strijd posted a clip on Instagram.

JOURDAN DUNN  2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway and Show British born Dunn’s heavenly physique is down to Barrecore classes – one hour sessions that stretch and elongate every muscle group resulting in a more flexible, toned and lean body.

Barrecore uses Pilates and yoga techniques along with gentle weight training exercises to exhaust your muscles therefore helping to improve posture, alignment, flexibility and core strength. It also helps to reshape your body.

jourdan dunn insta barcorre
Jourdan, centre, shows how she prepares for the runway on Instagram

Using your own body weight for resistance, along with a ballet barre, exercise ball, stretch bands, light weights, and isometric exercises (where the muscle contraction doesn’t affect the length of the muscle but strengthens it), you will build lean muscles meaning you’ll burn calories even after the workout.  Victoria Secret models Eva Herzigova, Suki Waterhouse and Arizona Mews all take Barrecore classes to maintain their body figures.

To find Barrecore classes, click here.


Prinsloo told Elle magazine on March 28th this year that `I think trying something fun that challenges you is always fun. I can’t deal with the gym too much if I don’t have somebody telling me what to do.`

The Namibian model’s exercise of choice is anything that involves water – swimming, surfing, paddle-boarding and general watersports, stating `I am a Mermaid afterall` in a Vogue interview in 2012.

2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway and Show However, the wife of Maroon 5’s front-man Adam Levine, also spends a lot of time using a Pilates Reformer which strengthens her hips and bum as it has ankle straps, a set of springs to increase resistance, an adjustable footbar and stretch bands.

Despite all of the above, the 25 year old `also has a trainer that kicks my butt when it’s needed.` Before a photo-shoot or the all important runways, she’ll `usually do some kickboxing, eat a little healthier, try to cut out salt.`

Want to try Pilates? Click here to find the suitable class for you.

CANDICE SWANEPOEL 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway and Show The South African model was an aspiring ballerina when she was younger. Her years of ballet classes helped teach her discipline, good posture and elegance. Ballet is great for toning and sculpting muscles, as well as strengthening the core and increasing flexibility.

candice instagram
Candice strikes a ballet pose for her Instagram followers

The 25 year old also focuses on resistance by doing boxing and body strengthening workouts three times a week with trainer Justin Gelband, who believes the quality of a workout is more important than the quantity.

She uses two pound ankle weights to help increase strength, stability and balance. They’re also `great for travelling for a quick workout in the hotel room.`

Swanepoel also performs a series of exercises on a mat which are brilliant for when she’s been running around all day as she can `just lie down and do all the work.` But don’t be fooled into thinking they’re easy just because she’s lying down.

Candice Swanepoel workout

Join in with Candice’s ballet core exercises with Mary Helen Bowers at the Victoria secret website.

If you would like to take a ballet class, please click here. 

To `Train like an angel`, visit the Victoria Secret website.    

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