Models may have been decked out in velvet and glitter at last month’s Fashion Week shows, but off the runway, many of them were donning a slightly less glam but no less fierce accessory: boxing gloves.

Yes, the sport known for black eyes and bloody noses is now the workout of choice for the industry’s most prized faces, with new examples of young women sweating it out with jabs and blocks every single day.

Want proof? Victoria’s Secret models train at Chelsea’s chic Aerospace with Michael Olajide, Jr., former pro boxer. Gisele shows off her punches in her Under Armour videos, Helena Christensen spars with Jason Lee at Mendez Boxing, and it-girl Gigi Hadid is public about her love affair with Gotham Gym in New York’s West Village. On the West Coast, Olivia Culpo hits up Prevail Los Angeles.

Trendy fitness fashion brand Alala even shot its spring lookbook at old-school boxing spot Gleason’s Gym, and next month, Flatiron (NYC’s “Fitness District”) will welcome Shadowbox, a boutique studio for boxing classes.

“Aerospace was the first boxing concept to start in the fitness industry,” says Olajide, who started using the sport’s techniques with clients as an Equinox trainer after his career as a fighter ended in the early ’90s. He later picked up clients in the fashion world and has now been training Adriana Lima for the last decade—and he’s seen interest in the workout explode along the way. “It’s starting to hit the tipping point. I’ve seen it grow from nothing to where it is now,” he says.

So what’s the draw for the fashion-world elite (who are jumping on the trend via bags, pads and shadowboxing, not person-to-person contact)?

The fact that it’s an intense workout that burns calories and builds lean muscle fast plays a big role. “Boxing demands that every muscle serves a purpose,” says Milan Costich, who opened Prevail Los Angeles about three years ago after he was struck by boxing’s transformative power. The gym is now frequented by many models, he says, because of the sport’s innate ability to sculpt a strong, lean physique.

Click through for more on all the benefits of this badass workout.

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