The new breed of models are fearless in their health and fitness routines, boast muscle definition and are the very embodiment of peak physical condition. We’re thinking Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whitely et al who are often snapped outside the gym, or hiking with a green juice in hand. These girls are way more than just a pretty face, they are fitness inspirations and with eight days of back-to-back shows and parties at New York Fashion Week followed by a further 20 days on the fashion circuit taking in London, Milan and Paris, these girls need to be in the best condition of their lives to make it through. Personal trainer Dan Roberts agrees, “New York is very tough. It’s important that the girls have the stamina to get through it. You don’t have time to train while doing shows and it’s mentally exhausting. Careers are made there - so I have to get my clients fit and strong.” If you fancy training like the modelling elite here are the experts with the low-down on their regimes...
1. Train like an Athlete
Rosie Huntington Whiteley and Miranda Kerr (Getty)
“We begin intensively training about three weeks before fashion week,” explains Roberts. “ I don’t make my clients ‘diet’ as such, but I do tell them what they should eat and when - but it’s always tasty, real food! I see a model as an athlete who’s body is their career so I train them with the same purpose and intensity as I would an sports person.”
Robert’s varied approach includes athletics, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, weights and “some crazy stuff that I just make up on the spot”, and he doesn’t let up when his model clients are away on location shooting, “often when the girls are away they won’t have access to a gym so I teach them a set of movements mixed with high intensity full-body circuit training that they can do while they are away. These exercises keep them lean, their cores strong and sculpts what I call ‘bikini muscles’.”
This model-making technique isn’t just for the lucky few who can score some one-on-one PT time with Roberts – his book ‘Methodology X – Hot, Lean & Healthy in 21 days’ will help you on your way and the accompanying videos with model Steph Carta will put you through your paces.
2. Moves Like Rosie
Last season when Rosie Huntington-Whiteley took to the Balmain catwalk in a see-through crochet jumper it was clear to all that she’s nothing short of a fearless fitness warrior. James Duigan, the man tasked with keeping her in catwalk shape, (he’s also the man behind ‘The Body’ Elle Macpherson) has to use a different approach when it comes to training models instead of his regular clients, “When it comes to training, the real distinction between models and regular clients is that models tend to be on very limited time schedules and having to fit training in around gruelling travel timetables. This means that we need to tailor the training to be super-efficient as well as achievable anywhere in the world. In the run up to the shows, consistency and commitment are key but I always try to make sure my clients have an exercise schedule that is actually achievable. There is just no point giving a model a training session that simply won’t be adhered too. They often need to be able to carry out their prescribed workout in a hotel room anywhere in the world with something as simple as the Bodyism Exercise Band, £12.
3. SB Collective
The Skinny Bitch Collective in the KX gym in Chelsea quite frankly dominated fitness in London last year. Anyone who’s anyone was on the waiting list for a class (plus a handful of A-listers including Daisy Lowe and Suki Waterhouse). Classes are intense and varied and sometimes kick off with an SBC potion of coconut water and the amino acid l-carnitine to boost fat burning.
Founder and lead trainer Russell Bateman takes a 360 approach to fitness and addresses everything from stress to nutrition to sleep. His moto is ‘strong is the new skinny’ and prefers to keep his model clients in tip-top condition year-round instead of paying particular focus to an event, “If we were to start training girls in the close lead up to the shows there's no way they'd be able to walk properly let alone make it to the end of the runway,” he tells us. “One client had a shoot with an amazing photographer last week and he couldn't keep quiet about her abs. But this was the fruit of three months training and not a last minute regime.”
As well as his base in Chelsea, Bateman hosts events in Ibiza throughout the summer and will also be in New York during fashion week for special projects and The SBC online coaching (thesbcollective.com) has over 20 video tutorials and meal templates so you can be part of the collective at home too. If this hasn’t sold it check out The SBC Instagram account (russellsbc) trust us, it will have you reaching for the battle rope.
An SBC breakfast is all about high-protein and healthy fats (@russellbc)
4. Time for some TLC
“My advice for models is that they mustn’t run themselves into the ground. Sleep deprivation and a bad diet is the most detrimental combination when it comes to fitness. At Bodyism we always make a point of recommending that clients try their hardest to not skip meals. Doing so does not only play havoc with the body’s metabolism but will eventually just make them ill,” James Duigan explains.
5. Variety is Key
Adriana Lima is a big fan of Michael's workouts (@elcuerpodepapi)
The man behind Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima’s buns of steel, Michael Olajide Jr, is the co-founder of Aerospace in New York and former champion boxer. His technique for whipping his clients like Lima into shape focuses on a system he calls Aerobox – the method uses boxing, jump rope and calisthenics. “Every boxing teacher has a different philosophy,” he fills us in. “My system of boxing and training requires my students to move in different ways and at different speeds. These workouts require dexterity, agility, speed and coordination – real athlete attributes. The demands are quite high, but the results are even higher.” His classes in his West 27th Street gym are massively in demand but just because we’re on the other side of the pond doesn’t mean we have to miss out. Grab a copy of his book ‘Sleekify: The No-Weights Workout to Sculpt and Tighten Your Body in 28 days’, £9.66 or you can follow his moves with his online workouts at www.aerospacehpc.com.
6. Eat like a Model
“My model clients go on a strict protocol of high protein, fibrous carbs and healthy fats. Grains, sugar and dairy are cut as they increase inflammation. An ideal breakfast will include salmon, spinach and some almonds – what you eat in the morning can increase your fat-burning potential for the rest of the day. I’ll often get messages from clients on shoots saying they're eating a chicken breast for breakfast but they all get used to eating like this and don't look back,” Russell Bateman.
7. En-Pointe: Beginners Ballet
Stella McCartney and Chanel regular, Miranda Kerr, credits Andie Hecker of Ballet Bodies in LA, with her petite dancer’s frame and it’s easy to see why. The moves in ballet and pilates elongate muscles with stretching while they also craft strong and sculpted abdominal muscles. Decker – a former ballet dancer herself – tells us, “Pilates helps to strengthen the core but it can also be used to target specific muscle groups such as the butt and outer and inner thighs. Essentially this helps you feel taut and jiggle-free on the catwalk.” If a weekly trip to LA is out of the question try your local gym for Pilates classes; Virgin Active, Fitness First and David Lloyd all host regular classes. Barrecore in London utilises ballet moves and their classes are even available online so you can be en-pointe anytime, anywhere.
8. The Model Leg Move
James Duigan shares his leg lengthening tips, “In order to get long killer legs, variety is the key. I always recommend a variety of moves which target the back of the legs, the inside of the leg, and look to do a variety of types of exercise such as yoga, swimming, skipping and body weight exercises. One of my favourite exercises is the split squat – this is great for your bum, hips and thighs. It uses several muscles so it burns loads of fat and when you do it right, it will improve your posture.”
Additional words by Suzanne Scott. Ready for some serious bikini body inspiration? Click through the gallery below...