Fitness model does it all: boot camps, boxing, real estate

Viktoria Telek won Wilhelmina Models' 2009 Hot Body Model Search, which awarded her with a five-year contract. She entered at an open casting call at a Vitamin Shoppe in Miami and competed against thousands nationwide. Since then, she has appeared in Shape and other magazines while still teaching boot camp on South Beach, exercising nonstop, and selling real estate.

Why do you like keeping fit?

Being physically active every day increases your energy. I can have a day that's stressful but the time I'm working out I'm totally relaxing. And I like to push myself, to challenge myself, get faster, stronger, to better myself. You get that good feeling afterwards. Your body feels rejuvenated.

What exercises do you do?

I play different sports one or two days a week. I have a group of pretty committed friends and we play volleyball on South Beach, on the sand, during happy hour on Friday and Saturday or Sunday. I also wakeboard and kiteboard — kiteboard season is coming up. I do boxing on my own. This year, I was an Everlast girl, so I have a lot of boxing equipment. I trained for that on the beach but now do it at my house.

I do spinning. I ride my bike up and down the bridges on South Beach. And I run on the beach. Used to run a lot but after a while my knees started to hurt. But every day I'm doing something like sprints on the beach, which works your calves a lot more and engages all the muscles in your leg.

Five days a week, I teach boot camp on South Beach. It's very functional training. We work on speed, agility and using my own body weight. The main focus is on your core. After boot camp, I usually train another person that day.

Do you lift weights?

I have weights and resistance bands that we use for some boot camps, but I don't use machines usually. Once in a blue moon. I do push-ups, shoulder press with light weights, squats with light weights…

Traditional going to the gym and lifting weights serves a purpose to look good, but functional workouts are more effective for sports or your daily life because you're using more muscles. Just because you can bench-press a lot doesn't mean you can play volleyball. And volleyball incorporates your core. Without [exercising] your core you can't do much. You'll mess up your back.

What's it like being a fitness model?

It can be tough. You're not just sitting there looking pretty in front of the camera. You have to hold a weight for a long time and it's not easy. For Everlast in the boxing ring, it was kick, kick, kick. For Shape magazine photo shoots, I do various different exercises. You have to hold the position, sweating but trying not to. It's fun.

Did you do any competitive sports in school?

I ran cross country in high school and my first year of college.

Do you have a personal fitness motto or philosophy, like Nike's "Just Do It"?

"Take no shortcut." I don't believe in a diet pill or "use this machine" to get all the results you want. Fitness is a lifestyle. You have to incorporate it into all aspects of your life. You have to do it all.

My other motto is "Exceed your limits, take your life to the next level." You have to motivate people to get to the next level.

Do you have any physical problems that hinder workouts?

The major thing is when I was 18 I broke my heel and that's why I don't run as much. My heel can't take all that impact. After every workout I ice it and stretch it. I dislocated an elbow snowboarding, but it's better.

What's your typical daily diet?

I don't like when people ask what I eat. The amount depends how active I am for a particular day.

Starting with breakfast I have small meals every two to three hours. It's important to get your metabolism going in the morning, and keep it going, so I always eat carbs and protein for breakfast. A couple of hours after breakfast I have a snack, then lunch, then snack, then dinner.

I don't eat fried food. I cook a lot of fish with sweat potato and rice. I eat lean red meat, nuts. But raw nuts and not salty. I really like fruit even though it has sugar. That's OK.

I believe in portion control, stopping when you're full, filling up on what's good.

Do you take any sports supplements or vitamins?

Every afternoon I drink a protein shake that I make from a protein powder that's designer whey, 100 calories (per serving). It's all-natural ingredients. I add a banana, blueberries, a little yogurt. I take a daily multivitamin and occasionally some iron because my iron gets low.

Viktoria Telek

Age: 28

City of residence: Miami Beach

Height/Weight: 5 feet, 7 inches; 118 pounds

Occupation: fitness model, trainer, commercial real estate agent