The Victoria's Secret Angels have a Even I, as a person who basically works out for a living (I'm a health and fitness writer), get a little intimidated thinking about how much time those ladies spend in the gym. So when I got a chance to try living like an Angel for a week before the, I was totally game. And if I was going to be living like an Angel, I went for the nutrition and fitness plans of one of the O.G. Angels—. I figured it couldn't be that hard—I mean, I’m in pretty good shape from all that working out for a living! But as it turns out, the life of an Angel is...not easy.
To get my full program, I went over to model-favorite gym to meet with the woman herself, Adriana, and her trainer, Michael Olajide Jr. We went over her preshow meal plan (egg-white omelets, oatmeal, protein shakes with fruit, fish, veggies, chia, nuts, Japanese yams and sweet potatoes, and fruit) and her daily workouts (boxing, jumping rope, and running for daily cardio, and a few days of lifting).
PHOTO: Getty Images for Victoria's Secr
Adriana boxes with her trainer, Michael Olajide Jr.
On my way home, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up what I’d need for the week. When I got back to my apartment, I dug out my jump rope and started practicing.
I started my day with some oatmeal mixed with nuts and fruit. I don't usually eat before I work out, so it definitely felt different to have a meal before my cardio. I felt a little full as I got ready to start jumping rope on my patio. Now, let me preface this by saying I’m not the best at jumping rope. I’m actually downright bad at it. But as Michael (Adriana’s trainer) told me, the more you do it, the faster you get and the better you become at it. He also mentioned that if you jump rope at a high intensity for 10 to 20 minutes, you can burn a crazy amount of calories. So I picked up the rope and got to it.
Let me tell you, jumping for even five minutes nonstop is hard AF, especially when you’re trying to go fast. I took a bunch of breaks before I hit that 20-minute mark, along with a few unplanned pauses when I accidentally hit myself in the head or feet with the rope. I also worked on some of my boxing punches—jab, cross, hook, uppercut—being sure that I knew how to do each,—while making sure to engage my core.
After, I showered and got dressed to go down to Philadelphia for the Green Bay Packers football game against the Philadelphia Eagles. I had tuna with veggies on my way there. Plus, I made sure to pack a bottle of water, which wasn’t easy for this Diet Coke drinker! Turns out, Adriana drinks two liters of water a day, which I knew wasn’t going to be easy for me, being as I’m far from a water lover. But I did my best, drinking both still and sparkling to ease myself into it.
I’m not going to lie here—I did have two beers at the football game. I mean, after all, I’m human! And I feel the need to share that my Packers finally got a much-needed W, so it was worth it. Plus, I drank another glass of water before bed, so I'm still basically a supermodel.
I woke up, had some egg whites and fruit, filled up my water bottle, and headed back to NYC from Philly, where I’d stayed overnight. By the time I got back, Michael wasn’t teaching any classes at Aerospace for the day (which, to be honest, was OK with me since my calves were awfully sore from jumping the day before), so I did Adriana’s other cardio workout: I went to the gym and ran a little over three miles, followed by some lifting (squats, deadlifts, curls, etc.). On the way home, I grabbed a protein shake with just fruits and veggies from a nearby juice bar.
My afternoon snack was some carrots and nuts while I prepped dinner, which was going to be shrimp scampi over quinoa pasta.
I almost got to two liters of water but still came up a little short. The hardest part today? Getting into bed at 11:00 P.M. I’m a night owl and tend to do a lot of my writing after the rest of the world goes to bed. But in true Adriana Lima fashion, I was aiming to get nine hours of sleep. Nine hours…can you believe that?!
6:00 A.M. came fast, so I made do with my seven hours (which is better than my typical four). I filled up my water bottle and headed downtown to Gotham to take their G-Box class. I love it, because instead of boxing a bag, you actually spar with a partner. And catching for someone throwing punches isn’t easy. The hour-long class is quite a workout. We finished it up with some ab work.
Michael told me that closer to the show, Adriana sometimes works out twice a day, since it’s crunch time. So I actually headed to Barry’s Bootcamp to get in a bit more cardio and some more weight work. (My shoulders had quite the day.) I grabbed a protein smoothie from their fuel bar (sans sugary juice and added in some kale) and headed home.
I felt pretty energized after getting in two great sweat sessions. I enjoyed a poke bowl for lunch and prepped cod and veggies for dinner. While I worked through the afternoon, I snacked on some homemade chia pudding, and it was the first day I managed to get in over two liters of water—go, me!
Today I actually was ready to head to bed early, especially knowing I had a flight the next day.
Since Adriana is constantly flying across the world for and photo shoots, I figured I should do the same, right? Ha—I wish! Work actually was taking me out of New York for a few days, but I figured the jet-setting lifestyle was a good way to test my Angel skills on the road. So I woke up early, headed to the gym, and worked on some boxing on my own. I followed that up with some ab work before I headed home to prep some hard-boiled eggs and snacks of nuts and fruit for the plane.
Lunch was sliced chicken breast with avocado and tomato on whole-wheat bread, along with a bottle and a half of water (I remembered to pack my water bottle in my carry-on!).
So. Much. Water.
Unfortunately for my nutrition plan, dinner was at the discretion of my colleagues, but salmon teriyaki and mint and mango chicken was quite tasty (and as close as I could come). Again, more water. (What I wanted more than anything was a Diet Coke.)
I got back to my hotel room and downloaded the 639 HZ meditation app that Adriana said she uses. I listened to one of their shorter segments before going to bed.
My alarm went off at 6:00 A.M. so I could get some work done. I had oatmeal with nuts and strawberries before heading to a meeting.
Later in the afternoon, I went for a three-mile run outside along the water. I ran at a leisurely pace, just as Adriana does, and found that the run really cleared my mind. It’s nice to get some alone time while working out. I came back to the hotel gym for a quick lifting session, followed by a whole lot of H2O.
While I was getting ready for dinner, I did notice my ab muscles seemed to be showing a bit more than usual. Up until this point, I had kept in mind what Michael said about Adriana's being a professional just like a bodybuilder or athlete, and that most people shouldn’t expect to see results right away, but that it is possible over time. I was excited and surprised to see that changes, while slight, were already starting to happen.
At dinner I had a glass of red wine to celebrate ab visibility—but also three glasses of still and one of sparkling water, along with my filet mignon with broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Today began early with a 4:00 A.M. wake-up call for a work event. I totally get how Adriana must feel when she has an early shoot. I had a banana and some oatmeal for breakfast, along with a bottle of water (I woke up uber-thirsty—this water thing must be addictive).
When I got back to my hotel room, I had some nuts and seeds as a snack before busting out the jump rope that I had packed. Twenty minutes still didn’t feel any easier, but I did sweat up a storm and worked my butt off to keep my intensity high. I followed it up with some shadow boxing before jumping in the shower.
I headed to Whole Foods and assembled a salad at the premade food bar, with tons of veggies and some chicken. I spent the afternoon doing some work before meeting my sister for dinner. We had oysters, squid, and salmon.
Before bed I did another meditation session on the 639 HZ app, then crashed for the night.
Another early wake-up call! I was actually running a race this morning, which was a perfect way to get in my cardio before having to catch my flight. Breakfast again was oatmeal, but this time with raspberries, sunflower seeds, and almonds. Because I was going to be running, I made sure to fuel up. Right before the race, I had a couple squares of chocolate. Adriana told that she does this before the show to keep her energy high, so I tried to replicate that for my run. After crossing the finish line, I downed a bottle of water.
I got back from the run, showered quickly, and scarfed down the rest of my Whole Foods salad before heading out to catch my flight. And not only because the TSA forced me to, but also because I was getting more used to it, I finished a whole water bottle before stepping onto the plane. I was already at two liters and it wasn’t even 2:00 P.M. yet! I snacked on some nuts, carrots, and celery on the plane, along with some more water while I caught up on some emails.
Dinner was a piece of salmon with veggies and some rice. As I got changed for bed, I went over and looked in the mirror. My stomach was noticeably flatter. I honestly think—and Adriana mentioned this too— that drinking so much water (and cutting out Diet Coke) really helped get rid of some bloating I may have had before. I went to bed happy with how my stomach looked and felt, compared to some nights in the past, where I’d come home after a couple drinks out with friends, feeling full, bloated, and not so hot.
What I Learned
When I woke up on the last day, I thought about how I didn’t need to jump rope or box, or run, or lift today. It was a bit of a relief knowing I didn’t need to plan my day around fitting in two (or even just one) pretty lengthy workouts Jumping rope still isn’t easy for me at all! And after sparring with a partner for a half-hour straight, I give Adriana serious props for her endurance. While yes, it’s impossible to argue that she doesn’t have amazing genes, and yes, a part of her job is to look hot, the woman works extremely hard to keep her body in shape (just check out, where she’s constantly posting workout pics—and I love that she isn’t afraid of a sweaty selfie).
I think because I work from home, fitting in workouts was a bit easier for me. But when traveling and working, I found it really challenging to stick with the same training plan. It got a little stressful and I found myself thinking about it a lot! I can see why Adriana turns to things like meditation and running outdoors to help clear the mind and reduce the anxiety—it really works.
The nutrition plan was harder for me. For one thing, I don’t have a dishwasher in my apartment, so cooking all my meals means lots of cleanup. Once I had done all my shopping, making food ahead of time (and sometimes having leftovers) made it easier to keep things on track—even though I slipped up with a glass of wine or a beer from time to time. I did find that I felt better, and I liked the way I looked too. Cooking my own healthy meals and drinking plenty of water got rid of a lot of bloating, and I liked looking at my flat stomach and not feeling nasty and full before bed.
So maybe I’m never going to look like Adriana Lima—I’ve come to terms with that. But while following her nutrition and training plan is hard work, it can be done. As her trainer, Michael, told me, it’s about having a healthy lifestyle you can live every day…not just before a big event like the.
I didn’t have any of the sexy lingerie outfits, so for my final look I chose a Victoria’s Secret bikini. Now you tell me—did I earn my wings?
Amy Schlinger is a freelance health and fitness writer based in New York City who has traded her Diet Coke and Goldfish crackers for water and nuts. Follow her journey on or.
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