Film director: Lester Jones from IDigYourSoleMan.com. Location: 98 Riley Street
‘I could totally look like that if I cut carbs for a week and did some squats’ – it’s a thought that might cross your mind while watching the Victoria’s Secret runway show, simultaneously munching your way through a packet of chips on the couch.
But what does it really take to look like a Victoria’s Secret angel? Of course, we know that the hard-working models eat well and train like demons all year round to maintain those epic bodies. But it’s the week leading up to the show where they really pull out all the stops to get those photoshopped-looking abs poppin’.
While each of the girls have different routines for the week before the show, the general consensus is this: they train twice a day and eat only small portions of protein and non-starchy vegetables. Oh yeah, and they chug plenty of water. So, is this something regular folk can do themselves at home to get themselves photo-ready before a big event? Bailey Brown, a Sydney-based pilates instructor and the fitness YouTuber behind Summer Body Pilates, decided to find out.
For one whole week, Bailey ate and trained exactly like a Victoria’s Secret model. For the duration of the experiment, she swapped her usual balanced diet of fresh juices, salads and lean protein (and the occasional treat) with the below menu.
2 protein shakes per day
1 protein bar per day —1/2 to be consumed in the morning, 1/2 in afternoon
100 calories worth of non-starchy vegetables, cooked in 1 tablespoon olive oil
Yep, pretty bland! She also took on a different workout regime inspired by various Victoria’s Secret models each day — as they often share their workouts on their Instagram accounts and YouTube channels.
So, was eating like a bird while working out like an athlete worth it? As someone who was already fit and healthy, did Bailey find the VS model regime easy, or did she want to bite her own arm off by the end of the experiment? Check out the video or read on to find out what went down.
Bailey starts day 1 on a high note by doing a run along the beautiful Bondi Beach — à la Candice Swanepoel, who swears by soft sand running. However, it’s when she has to do her second Candice-inspired workout of the day (a booty-focused session with resistance bands) that she has to psyche herself up. “I just want hommus!” she laments, after a long day of eating broccoli and drinking protein shakes.
On day 2, Bailey found herself in an unlucky predicament — her period had arrived and she was plagued with stomach cramps. Despite just wanting to curl up on the lounge and “eat the world covered in chocolate” watching the VS runway show reignited her motivation. She sucked it up and headed to the gym for a Romee Strijd-inspired resistance workout.
By the third day, Bailey was well and truly over the lack of variety in her diet. She was also exhausted, thanks to waking up with a rumbling tummy throughout the night. Nevertheless, she started her day with a walk on Bondi beach, then headed to a pilates class (VS model veteran Alessandra Ambrosio’s favourite form of exercise.) Alessandra also swears by the Tracey Anderson method, so Bailey streamed a workout at home.
After a series of pretty hardcore workouts, Bailey reported feeling sorer than she ever had before. These VS models don’t mess around when it comes to their training! As a result, she found day 4 the hardest to get motivated. But somehow, she managed to find the energy to replicate Elsa Hosk’s go-to workout: intense cardio followed by a strength session on a pilates reformer machine.
On day 5, Bailey learned one of the biggest lessons of the experiment — Victoria’s Secret angels must always be prepared. After a Lily Aldridge-inspired barre class, she found herself running around a food court trying to find something to eat before a meeting. As she forgot to bring her protein shake, she ended up having to eat raw broccoli and cauliflower from the supermarket. Not fun!
Day 6 started off pretty smoothly. Bailey did a workout from Lais Riberio’s Instagram — a mix of dance cardio and moves with resistance bands. However, that evening she headed out to dinner and drinks for her partner’s birthday. Despite her best efforts to stick to the meal plan, she ended up doing a few cheeky patron shots. Hey, you gotta live your life!
On the last day, Bailey could feel those aforementioned patron shots. Despite planning on getting up early to do one of Adriana Lima’s boxing workout, she nursed her hangover by sleeping in and ordering pizza.
“I was really surprised I made it a week on the diet, considering I’ve never even lasted a day on a juice cleanse,” Bailey told Amodrn. But would she consider eating this way long-term? Definitely not.
“The diet was brutal and very isolating, as dinners and drinks with friends were out of the question. It’s not worth being miserable and missing out on life 90% of the time to weigh 10% less.”
As for the workouts? “I did love those and I have a whole new respect for the angels’ motivation and willpower.” So, while the diet may be off the table for a regular person who isn’t doing it under the guidance of a trained professional, there’s nothing wrong with looking to the VS models for workout inspo!
Bailey’s biggest takeaway from the VS experiment? While it’s fine to admire the VS angels, don’t ever beat yourself up for not looking like one. “It’s their job to be 5’11 with long lean muscles. Are they gorgeous? Of course! But I don’t want anyone to feel they need to look like an angel to be beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful than embracing the healthy body you have.”
For more of Bailey’s refreshing and real approach to health and fitness, you can follow her on Instagram at @summer.body.pilates