Miranda Kerr’s slender frame is the result of effort and dedication. We caught up with her personal trainer to discover the secrets to her slim, toned shape.
Justin Gelbrand’s Rolodex carries the names of Tinseltown’s A-listers: From The Devil Wears Prada star Anne Hathaway, to pop princess Fergie and on-again, off-again starlet Lindsay Lohan.
It’s a clientele list that any personal trainer would kill to drip their sweat on, but for Gelbrand, it is what it is. They’re his clients – and they keep coming back. Gelbrand shot to prominence after training Victoria Secret model Angela Linvall, as she searched for help to get rid of her post-baby fat.
“Angela wanted to work the Victoria Secret runway again, but she knew she had to lose the baby weight,” Gelbrand tells.
“From there I was lead to a whole new world of fitness that I didn’t’ realise needed it so badly.”
When Linvall started looking fit, toned and healthy – and without putting on any excess weight – other Victoria’s Secret models came looking for the secret to her success.
One of those was a fresh-faced brunette from Australia. Together with Gelbrand, Miranda Kerr crafted a lingerie-ready physique that has won them both worldwide acclaim.
At 26, Kerr is one of the best-earning models of the moment, and her contract with Victoria’s Secret alone being more than enough to bring her international exposure and prominence, and a pay cheque most other models could only dream of. She’s also got contracts with David Jones and is rumoured to have a natural beauty product line in the works.
So how does she do it? “Miranda works out three to four times a week,” Gelbrand dishes from his hometown of Hollywood. “For about 75 minutes at a time, too. Miranda would normally spend about 30 minutes on her legs, 30 on her core, arms and balance, and 15 minutes on stretching.”
The Miranda Kerr workout
Exercise 3 to 4 times a week for 1 hour and 15 minutes each time.
Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of stretching.
Target all aspects of your body: 30 minutes on your legs, 30 minutes on core, arms and balance and 15 minutes of stretching.
Running is essential
“I make sure all my models run; whether they’re lean, fit and skinny or overweight as the cardiovascular system helps them stay lean and fit,” says Gelbrand.
Kerr runs between two and three miles (three and five km), once or twice a week. “Miranda and I then go to a running track and run for one-and-a-half miles (about two-and-a-half km). At the end, we walk it out, then we take a one minute rest and run back.”
Mix things up
Most supermodels are concerned about their butt, hips and thighs, Gelbrand reveals. “I have devised a circuit class that is based on all the different body parts. I also like to shake it up and do different things every workout, which is why the models like me as well: They never know what they’ll be doing.”
Work on your legs
Kerr does leg extensions, leg presses and calf raises. “She’ll do 20 leg kicks each side, and then balance on one foot holding a ball or weight for 30 seconds. She’ll do three sets on each leg,” says Gelbrand.
Work your butt
“Lay on the ground on your back, put your legs up on a stability ball, lift your hips up and down; do three sets of 15 reps. If you want to make it harder, lift from your hips and lift your right leg up, and put your leg back down. “Lying flat on the floor, come up on your hips with one leg bent. Take your right or left leg and push up from your heels toward the ceiling. Do a set of 15 reps.”
Boost your breasts
“Using three-pound weights; start from the hip and squeeze it to the chest. I also put the girls on the decline bench and give them a stability bar. They do two sets of 15 reps.”
The Supermodel diet
Gelbrand doesn’t have a specific diet plan, but his advice to his clients is to follow a balanced diet.
“The best thing is to combine food, nutrition and exercise together. Because a lot of models don’t eat – and live on sugar – I advise them to look at how they consume sugar, differently,” he explains.
“I don’t mind if they get the sugars from fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries and pomegranate juice because they all contain antioxidants. Eating more fruits, and incorporating more exercise into their routines doesn’t make them feel a necessity to live on sweets.”
Gelbrand lets his clients eat the right types of sugar, but he forbids salt. “When my clients go to restaurants, I advise them to stick to the boiled, steamed and grilled dishes; like fish, salads and vegetables,” he adds.
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What to eat
Breakfast: “I encourage them to go to the supermarket and buy old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast, egg whites, vegetables, cottage cheese and fruit, granola and yoghurt. Everyone needs to eat a good breakfast with carbohydrate. Especially models, as they are often at all-day castings.”
LUNCH: “For lunch, salad with chicken and fish and a side of fruit, is the best.”
DINNER: “When it is dinner time, you can’t look past sashimi with brown rice, but you need to stay away from soy. Chicken, fish, turkey and vegetables are also great items to consider.”
DESSERT: “iI’s everyone’s indulgence. Believe it or not, I advise my clients to eat a little bit of dark chocolate or ice-cream twice a week, to ensure they don’t splurge and start living with these indulgences everyday.
“You should eat medium portion sizes and eat so you’re semi-full, but not totally full. I advise my clients to monitor their caloric intake.
“If exercising, the count should regularly to be between 1300-1500 calories, but due to some model’s metabolisms, some can consume up to 1600.”
It’s no surprise Miranda Kerr’s slender and toned look is the fruitful result of long hours at the gym and a very careful diet – a challenge in itself for someone who travels the globe – criss-crossing from catwalk-to-catwalk – and works on an obscure time clock.
According to Gelbrand, when he first began working in modeling, it was all about “smoking, drinking coffee, taking drugs, not eating and eating sugar” – all just to look as thin as possible. “The past few years have also seen an epidemic in anorexia and bulimia, so I really wanted to change all of that through being fit and healthy,” he adds, with a glint of anger.
Luckily, Gelbrand didn’t need to transform Kerr.
A devout spiritualist, the New South Wales raised glamour has long looked after herself. Kerr tells she was raised only ever wanting to do things that were good for her body, to the point she even considered studying health and nutrition before her modeling career took off.
“It is sad to see anyone neglecting their body no matter who they are and what they do,” explains Kerr. “You can’t be healthy or look great on the outside if you are not healthy on the inside. When you are healthy you look your best and in modeling when you look and feel your best, you get the best results.”
While Gelbrand admits Kerr is “genetically gifted”, he says her biggest challenge is resisting the temptation to let herself get too thin. To that extent, he stresses to her – and us – the importance of being strong and limber, rather than weak and frail.
“Ideally, Miranda’s workout should be two to three months of working out three to four days a week with me, but because she travels so much at the moment she has to do a lot of her workouts by herself,” he says. “But she’s a good example of someone who gets creative with her workouts when I’m not around to train her.” When Gelbrand’s not by her side, he gives her workouts to do, which she also mixes up with swimming, yoga and meditation.
Kerr enjoys Kundalini — a form of yoga designed to balance and energize the body by awakening energy at the base of the spine through breathing, poses, chanting and meditation.
Kerr practises Kundalini with her silver screen partner Orlando Bloom at an exclusive Hollywood clinic. “Kundalini is a powerful science,” explains their teacher, Gurmukh, who has been teaching the art of yoga for over 35 years and whose clientele includes Madonna, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Cindy Crawford and Courtney Love.
“You come here to get healthy, happiness and to de-stress; you come because that inner self brings you. It’s not just ‘get on a mat and do these postures.’ It is not the typical pose-and-hold style. It doesn’t focus so much on flexibility as in other types of yoga classes, which makes it one of the most powerful yoga practices around.
“It’s hard work and you sweat, but it’s not impossible. It’s a wild experience. I watch people change right before my very eyes,” Gurmukh adds. Gelbrand stresses it’s important for anyone to do what they enjoy. While Kerr, he explains, is a treat to train, not all his clients are cut from the same cloth.
He admits working with some catwalk queens can be quite challenging. “A supermodel can’t be 10 to 15 pounds overweight, which for the average person is normal. They also need more toning. It’s hard for them because in the industry today, the sizes are based on zero and double zero and my goal is to create’ the new size two’, which is being lean, fit and healthy. Ideally I’d like to get them to a size four, but unfortunately the industry dictates tiny sizes: Haute couture designers want models who are a zero and double zero.
“Miranda is not that – and look where she is today.”
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