The Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima swears by boxing to stay fit. On Wednesday morning, she led a workout with her trainer, the former champion boxer Michael Olajide Jr., at Aerospace gym in New York.
“I’ve been coming here for 10 years, working out with Michael,” says the Brazilian-born beauty. “The first time wasn’t easy, it was very hard, you know, you have to learn how to move the rope and then breathing was the most difficult part.”
The workout, which began at 8 a.m. and lasted for about 45 minutes, consists of shadow boxing, jumping rope and sculpting. Olajide led the room in an Aerobox class while Brazilian drummers provided a samba beat. With nary a hair out of place, Lima stood front and center with fellow models Arlenis Sosa Peña and Emanuela de Paula. They were joined by a roomful of fitness fanatics who were hanging on the models’ every move.
“It gets results,” says Olajide, motioning to Lima’s perfectly toned physique.
The workout was divided into three sections, all based on traditional boxing moves. The first found the group doing jumping jacks, jump squats and mountain climbers. The second had Lima and co. shadowboxing, and the final round took the team through a grueling jump rope section with crossovers and double-jumps that left even the models wiped.
“It’s something that is like part of your routine, you wake up and brush your teeth,” Lima says, drenched in sweat post-workout. “And I don’t do it because of my job, because I’m a model. Even later on, one day my job is going to stop. But this is never going to stop. I’m going to continue. It’s a passion, I love it.”
The gym session, sponsored by Amazonia Beverages, wasn’t just for the sake of fitness, but also doubled as a fund-raiser for the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, a personal cause for the model.
“A couple of years ago, I went to visit Haiti myself, and I was pregnant at the time. I met a few people at the hospital that were very inspirational to me,” she says. “At the time, they only had one surgery room for cesareans — only one — and I thought, ‘We should do something.’” Last year, she teamed with Kenneth Cole to raise funds for the hospital and raised $3 million. She says the organization now provides more than 150,000 people in Haiti with education, medical care and humanitarian aid.
Beyond her charitable efforts, and workouts, the model is looking forward to attending the 2014 World Cup, which will be held in June in her native Brazil. She has her favorites on the home team, like Dani Alves, who’s from her home state of Bahia, and Neymar.
“The fact that it’s in Brazil is beyond exciting,” she says, hardly containing herself. “If we win? Oh my god! It’s going to be a national holiday.”