Elle Chats With Gigi Hadid's Personal Trainer, Rob Piela: 'She Can Punch, Man'

From donkey kicks to arm curls, we sat down with personal trainer Rob Piela to learn his top tips on how to get a body like Model of The Year, Gigi Hadid

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'She punched me in the face once. Hard. It was bad. My nose hurt for three months.' It's not exactly a sentence you expect to hear when someone describes a supermodel who has just been crowned International Model of The Year but, then again, Gigi Hadid isn't exactly your average supermodel.

This year alone, the Californian beauty launched the Tommy Hilfiger & Gigi Hadid capsule collection, strutted down the catwalk for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Versace and Giambattista Valli, hosted the 2016 American Music Awards, walked the Victoria Secret's fashion show alongside sister Bella and was recently voted by the fashion industry's most powerful players to become international model of the year at 2016 Fashion Awards.

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That's not to mention she's regarded as one of the nicest people in fashion, is currently dating music artist (and ELLE September cover star) Zayn Malik, forms part of Taylor Swift's squad and rocks the glossiest of manes on the catwalk.

But, if we're really honest, what we covet most from Hadid is her body. I mean, just look at it.

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Contrary to many models who grace the runway, Gigi's figure is one of pure athleticism. A former competitive horseback rider and volleyball player, who qualified for America in the Junior Olympics, the 21-year-old has drawn strength from her figure – first as an athlete, second as a model.

Growing up, Gigi personally revealed to ELLE:

Being an athlete was such a big part of me being proud of myself and my skin. My coaches didn't care about how I looked, they cared about me because I was a good team mate, a good friend and those were the things that helped me feel strong.

But, how do you actually get a body like Gigi's?

Earlier this week, we sat down with Gigi's personal trainer and owner of New York's Gotham Gym and Gotham G-Box at Reebok Women's #PerfectNever launch in New York City to find out how to 'be more Gigi' in the gym.

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What are your top tips on toning up the body?

I'd split it into three – bum, stomach and arms.

Bum: 'I'd start with around 20 repetitions of donkey kicks. Go on all fours and externally rotate and extend your hip by bringing a bent knee into the middle of your body and out. Start without weights and then, if you're at home or in the gym and feeling you want to test yourself a bit more, increase the amount of reps you're doing or add resistance with an ankle weight or rubber band.'

@reebok @reebokwomen #PerfectNever #BeMoreHuman

A photo posted by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

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Stomach: 'Your diet has a lot to do with the muscles that show through your stomach but in terms of strength, I'd recommend bicycle crunches because they hit the different areas of the stomach at the same time. Twenty reps are a good starting point but if you're already quite fit, that probably wouldn't warm you up, so my advice is to keeping going until you feel the burn and need a rest. Then, pick it up again.'

Arms: 'Anything where you curl, flex or extend your arm is great for toning up the biceps and triceps. Rubber bands are great for this because you can take them anywhere and they're easy to use. I like to do curls and extensions with the rubber band, standing on the bands while alternating in bring your arms up and them down again.'

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It's so easy to feel bored while exercising so how should we be mixing up our training?

Doing circuits is a great way of maintaining interest and variety. I'd suggest doing a bit of cardio before practicing some strength training with something like kick backs during your active rests as you bring your heart rate down. It's incredibly important for your mental state to make sure you're not feeling bored or stuck in one exercise.

And what were you doing at 6AM? @gigihadid putting in work #workwhiletheysleep

A video posted by 600 Washington Street (@gothamgym) on

For example, in terms of boxing, no one wants to come into the gym and put on gloves for a whole hour, unless they're training to be a boxer. Most people are looking to enjoy their fitness and mix it up.

In terms of diet, what should we be eating if we want to get a stomach like Gigi's?

Eat healthy with a diet that contains a lot of protein to rebuild muscle but remember that you need a good balance. I recently had a client who I met on a Friday and our next appointment was on the Monday. When I next saw him, he said: 'Oh my god, I really wanted to call you so badly over the weekend because I wanted a piece of pizza'. I replied: 'You should've just eaten the pizza.'

No, you can't have pizza all day every day but it's more unhealthy to be concerned about eating a slice of pizza for 48 hours, in my opinion.

It's quite easy in the run up to Christmas to lack motivation to hit the gym or go for a run. What would you say to people who can't be bothered to work out right now?

I've always said I don't know why people don't get motivated. It's such an easy thing to do if you're consistent – for anyone. No one is any better than anyone else, we're all equal. You might have a long way to go but a fit body isn't unattainable.

Anyone can be really fit. You can overcome any obstacle if you just put one foot in front of the other and don't look too far past that line. It's all about consistency. Go to the gym today, go tomorrow and before you know it, you'll be going every day.

Why do you like working out with Gigi?

She's a great person. She's fun, bubbly, energetic. She's always on time and respectful. It's just her whole persona. She's not jaded in the slightest, which could have easily happened with her success. She's just a really nice girl – a pleasure to be with.

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