Not As Scary As It Sounds: We Worked Out With Victoria's Secret Angels

We don't normally reapply our lip stain before heading to the gym, but Tuesday was a very different story. With makeup touched up and donning our own Victoria's Secret VSX gear, we took off for Aerospace in the Meatpacking District to work out with Adriana Lima and Erin Heatherton. Now, agreeing to sweat next to Angels is not our normal exercise of choice. We prefer gym sessions that are quick and effective, using minimal eye contact with anyone we may know, anyone we'd like to know, and specifically, anyone that looks like a model. But this writer (looking for a story, or, y'know, an ego check) decided to take on the challenge: a class with Lima and her personal trainer, Michael Olajide — the one that helped get her runway-ready two months postpartum for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
When we met Heatherton and Lima at the studio, they were energetic, lovely, funny — because good looks and a killer body are just not enough. After a bit of chatting, Olajide's session began. The one-hour class consisted of a jump-rope series, abdominal crunches, resistance-band leg work, and fiercely fast boxing that turning our arms into spaghetti. Meanwhile, Lima stayed on the mark. (We swear we saw wings spout from her hoodie.)
While Heatherton couldn't stay for the entire workout — hey, we were kinda scared of Lima's right hook, too — we were able to grab a moment with both of the ladies to find out what two of the world's most beautiful women do to stay in shape, what bodies they aspire to have, and what seriously bad habits they're going to break this year. Refreshing and inspirational, they didn't hesitate to share some very real confessions and admit they're not perfect. Their words, not ours.
Muscles exhausted, hair a hot mess (but lip stain intact!) here's what we took away from our experience working out with Victoria's Secret models. Read ahead for the exclusive one-on-ones — boxing gloves off.
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Photo: Courtesy of Victoria's Secret
Adriana Lima, with trainer Michael Olajide
What does your typical get-fit routine consist of?
"I always was a fan of boxing — not only on the athletic and exercise level, but I'm a fan of the sport. I have been boxing with my coach here at Aerospace for eight years. Boxing is like therapy; it really takes away all your thoughts. It's so intense and you have to focus a lot on what you're doing — body and mind. And the results, of course, are great."
What's one exercise that you absolutely hate to do?
"I don't like anything that is slow, but sometimes you have to do things you don't like to do for yourself. I tried to do Pilates for a few months and I'm really bad at stretching — I mean really bad. Very bad."
A lot of women may post your photo on their inspiration boards as motivation to get to the gym. Who's your fitness inspiration?
"I always pay attention to athletes. I think they always have good bodies. Female athletes. I have one male athlete: My husband. Being married to an athlete, it's really a great challenge, and he inspires me to be in good shape."
Did you make any New Year's resolutions this year? And more importantly, did you keep them?
"Every year I make New Year's resolutions and I try so hard to to make them happen. I started playing tennis. Only two classes. I hope to keep it up, but we'll see."
Spill it. Now that the holidays are over, what was your biggest indulgence?
"Everything. I love the holidays because it's a time of gathering with the family, and my mom comes and she cooks all Brazilian food. It's wonderful. Brazialians eat turkey on we have turkey, we have beans, and there is something from my hometown, Moqueca de Peixe. It's a dish with coconut oil, palm tree oil, and spices. You can make it with fish or shrimp."
Finish this sentence: After a hardcore training session, the best reward is...
"I do it because I have passion in the sport. It really helps me with my self-esteem, I think. It makes you feel confident, it makes your skin glow. I've been doing it for so long and I have this athletic mind. I'm energetic — even though it doesn't seem like that when I talk — but I gotta keep up."
Photo: Courtesy of Victoria's Secret
Erin Heatherton
What does your typical get-fit routine consist of?
"My normal fitness routine is a mixture of different things. I don't do just the same thing. I do body resistance training, like bands and balls and using my own body weight. And I do yoga — that's probably the bulk of what I do — and I run."
What's one exercise that you absolutely hate to do?
"That's how I think I maintain working out. I don't do anything I don't like. If I hate doing it, I won't do it. I just find loopholes."
A lot of women may post your photo on their inspiration boards as motivation to get to the gym. Who's your fitness inspiration?
"I think all the girls I work with have insane bodies. All of their bodies are different, but they all have different parts that are just insane and awesome."
What's your go-to healthy, delicious meal?
"I love salad with avocado, with shrimp or chicken. It's my go-to. Avocado is my favorite food, so you can put that with anything and I would like it."
Did you make any New Year's resolutions this year?
"I quit smoking, so I guess that's exciting."
How's that going so far?
"Great. Three weeks."
Cold turkey?
"Yeah! It's not a good habit to have as someone who promotes health and fitness. We're not perfect, so it's really cool to take such a big step in a positive direction. That makes me feel even more empowered."
What's on your workout playlist?
"I'm listening to David Bowie, The Doors, and George Harrison and The Beatles. It depends on my mood. I used to listen to more crazy music but now I listen to more mellow music and rock, like The Rolling Stones and older stuff. And I also listen to like Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Madonna. I love female vocalists and empowered women."
Have you ever tried any particularly extreme or weird diet trends?
"I think that your diet should never be extreme, because I think the point of a diet is to maintain it and to teach your body something healthy. I'm not a fan of doing things that are just for a time period, like drinking juice for two days. You should do things that balance and are easy to maintain. It's a lifestyle."
Finish this sentence: After a hardcore training session, the best reward is...
"It's not a cigarette! (Laughs) The best reward is walking home and feeling good. That walk home from when I do yoga, it's just a beautiful feeling."
Photo: Courtesy of Victoria's Secret

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