Seeing a Victoria's Secret Angel up close and IRL is a conflicting experience. On one hand, you feel slightly vindicated that they are indeed just as toned, tall, and painfully beautiful in person; it seems proof that our obsession with them is actually warranted. On the other hand, you can't help but feel less than thrilled about your own lackluster gym habit. As someone who has spent the past week in the presence of these leggy beings, I can attest to both of these emotions. But VS Angels work hard for their sculpted physiques, and as it turns out, they're not just spending their days mindlessly running on a treadmill. I interviewed multiple Angels in the day leading up to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and I started noticing a surprising workout trend. The workout Angels like Josephine Skriver and Romee Strijd credit for their long, lean muscles is not cardio, nor anything that's traditionally thought to be fat-burning. Keep scrolling to find out what it is instead.
A few weeks ago I went to Dogpound gym in NYC to shoot Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes demonstrating some VS Angel–approved BFF workouts. Their bodies were practically mirror images of each other; I'll refrain from saying "long and lean" once more, but that's exactly what they were. Between takes, I caught up with Josephine and asked her about her workout of choice. What she said surprised me. "I swear by weight training," she told me. "Ever since I started doing it this year, I've seen more results in my body than any other workout." A few weeks later, I asked the equally lithe Romee Strijd the same question, and her response was the same. "I like weight training a lot lately," she said. "I see a difference in my body, and I never saw it before like that. You're always scared as a woman to bulk up, but you don't. I've seen the most results this year [from it]."
The belief that weight training will leave you looking Arnold Schwarzenegger–esque has in recent years been dismissed as a myth as more and more women find that targeted strength training can actually strengthen and tone, not cramp, their muscles. Many trainers attest that when paired with a healthy diet, strength training can help define your muscles as well as burn the fat on top.
But at the end of the day, you know your own body. VS Angel Taylor Hill told me she used to go to CrossFit all the time, but because she used to be a gymnast, she found her muscles were becoming hard and bulky. "I have to focus more on the lengthening part," she said. "Because I'm so tall, having my muscles too compact, I end up not being able to touch my toes."
These dumbbells from Crown Sporting Goods will keep you toned on the go.
Do you swear by strength training, or do you prefer cardio? Sound off below! And watch Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes demonstrate their favorite BFF workouts below.