Supermodels may be genetically gifted, but their toned and tight physiques are also the product of serious work. From special workouts to tailored meal plans, some models have likened their fitness routines to that of elite athletes. So, who are the best personal trainers for models? Beauticate unearths the experts and exercise regimes that famous supermodels rely on to get runway ready.

Gisele Bundchen

The bodacious Brazilian that brought Amazonian curves back to the runway (at the turn of the millennium!) favours workouts that simultaneously target and refine the mind, body and soul. Her long-time trainer, Jill Payne (considered one of the best personal trainers for models), is a spiritual healer that employs a mix of yoga, Pilates, cardio and breathing exercises to sculpt Gisele’s body and calm her mind.

Jill Payne’s top 3 tips

1) Payne believes exercise routines that target the diaphragm and glutes are essential, as the strength of these muscles are pivotal to preventing injury and building endurance. Jills believes the most effective way to tone these muscles are through a yoga pose called the ‘bridge’.

2) Leg toning exercise: Fake jump squats

  • Position your legs apart horizontally and lower your legs into a squat position. Make sure your upper body is straight.
  • Rise up on your toes and stretch your arms over your head.
  • Lower your toes and return to a squatting position.


3) Overall body trimmer: In-and-out jumps

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Then jump and make sure when you land – your feet are spread apart in a horizontal position.
  • Staying in this position, reach for the ground with your fingers – whilst ensuring your back is straight. Then jump your feet together, whilst simultaneously lifting your arms vertically in the air.

Candice Swanepoel

Candice Swanepoel does high-intensity workouts, favouring a mixture of boxing, resistance bands, jump rope, spinning, ballet, weightlifting, running, circuit training and bosa balls. Candice exercises twice a day in the lead up to major shoots, with her fitness routines generally lasting 75 minutes. Swanepoel’s fitness guru, Justin Gelband, is lauded as one of the best personal trainers for models, with a clientele that reads like the who’s who of the modelling world — from Romee Strijd and Miranda Kerr to Karlie Kloss and Abbey Lee Kershaw.

Justin Gelbrand’s top 3 tips

1) Justin believes that food is a significant factor to maintaining a lean physique. Candice’s personal trainer specifically sends his model clients to clinical nutritionists to accompany his workout regimes – ensuring their meal plans are tailored to their blood type and the specific needs of their body. He works closely with the “Dr D’Adamo’s blood type diet”. Justin advises his model clients to eliminate sugar (besides berries), salt, and alcohol if they want to achieve faster weight-loss results. However, the personal trainer does not believe carbs should be entirely restricted, instead he claims good carbs should be limited to two meals per week. According to Justin, ‘good carbohydrates’ he recommends to models include vegetables, Ezekiel breads and brown rice.

According to Justin, healthy foods are not automatically great for trimming the physique. Based on his experience, pure juice diets have not been effective for models who sought to lose weight. Some of his model clients went on a juice diet and according to him, none of them lost weight – in fact some gained weight.

2) Effective at toning the arms and lifting the buttock: Standing bicycle row

  • Begin by positioning yourself in a push up position.
  • Lift one arm upwards, as though you’re attempting to reach the wall and then move the arm back towards your hip. At the same time, raise the leg (ensure it is straight) that is opposite to the arm you are raising (example, if you are lifting your right arm, lift your left leg).
  • Then bring the legs down, whilst tightening your abs. Justin recommends doing 12 reps on both sides.

3)  Ab tightening and strengthening exercise: Ab crunch

  • Lie on your back in a sit up position (Place your hands at the back of your head and bend your legs).
  • Raise your head above the ground whilst ensuring your feet is firmly placed on the ground. Lower your head down after 5 seconds.
  • Lift one leg up to a 90 degree angle (hold for 5 seconds), then lift the leg straight up (whilst your head is on the ground).
  • Lower your leg to the 90 degree angle and simultaneously raise your head slightly above the ground.
  • Repeat this exercise 12 times, but remember to alternate the leg you use.

Adriana Lima

Adriana Lima’s high-intensity workouts have gone viral, with her special kickboxing and jump-rope routines responsible for getting her body swiftly back into shape post-pregnancy.  The mastermind behind her exercise routines is Michael Olajide Jr – a former middleweight boxing champion widely regarded as one of the best personal trainers for models (and elite athletes). Michael believes cardio is the most important category of training for aesthetic reasons, but also for overall physical wellness. Specific to Adriana’s exercise routine, he begins exercises with finger tip pushups, jumping jacks and shadowboxing, followed by 30 minutes of intense jump rope (which according to Michael is the greatest exercise for “incinerating fat”).

Michael Olajide Jr’s top 3 tips

1) Arm toning exercise: Jabs

  • Start with clenched fists positioned below your cheekbones, with your elbows positioned on the middle of your ribcage.
  • Punch forward with your left hand at the fastest speed possible.
  • Alternate this with your right hand.
  • When Adriana wants to challenge herself, she holds weights and punches the air.

2) Leg toning exercise: Squats with jumping jacks

  • Lower your legs into a deep squat form.
  • Jump upwards and whilst in the air do a jumping jack and land back into a squat position.
  • Continue doing this exercise for 2 minutes.

3) All-rounder exercise that helps maintain taut arms, legs, and stomach: Medium plank

  • Begin with a push up form.
  • Push your body down – but unlike a regular push up, do not move your body all the way down. Instead, stop halfway between the ground and your starting position.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Always remember: the best personal trainers for models can deliver fantastic results. However, our bodies are all unique and we all have different body ideals, so what works for most people may not work for you. Have fun experimenting with different exercise routines to identify which one is the most effective for you!

Story by Kristina Zhou. Holding shot: Savoir Flair

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