Sophie Habboo on how lifting weights has bolstered her love of fitness

Sophie Habboo has thousands of social media followers, a celebrity husband, and a glittering TV career, but there's one thing that she has in common with the rest of us... she hates a VPL.

It's one of the reasons Sophie, 30, has joined forces with USA Pro for a second time, putting her name to the brand's summer collection — which includes brightly coloured shorts, leggings, sports bras and oversized hoodies, made in a gorge, luxe-feeling fabric.

'I hate it when you can see your underwear underneath your leggings,' she admits to Women's Health, which to be fair, should be the minimum requirement we all expect from our gymwear.

'We've used amazing material with this collection - it's buttery soft, but it's also quite thick,' she explains. 'Another important thing is I want my sports bras to be comfortable so you can wear them all day, and have the room to move in them. So they're comfy but also really sturdy. I don't want to be doing burpees and feel like things are moving out of place.'

Partnering with USA Pro was a natural choice for Sophie, who says that fitness is a non-negotiable for her mental health. 'I think exercise is one of the greatest things for mental health. It's all linked to body confidence so exercising and getting those endorphins in can really help,' she says. 'Earlier this year, I got a PT for the first time, and she introduced me to weight training, which I love.'

Sophie also raves the 'addictive' VersaClimber class at Sweat by BXR, and although she admits she's not the kind of girl who will be pulling on some trainers and heading out with a running club for a quick 5K, she does harbour hopes of taking part in the London Marathon one day.

'It was so impressive this year - it made me want to do it, but no, I will not be looking at the time. I'd just be so happy that I'd completed it, and I wouldn't care if it took me six hours.

'I feel I have a clearer mind when I run [but] I'm a really bad runner and I don't take it seriously - I'm not even on Strava,' she says. 'I like running on my own because I can't move fast.'

Bride of place

Sophie, now officially Sophie Laing, found fame after she joined E4 reality show Made in Chelsea in 2013. In 2019, viewers got a front seat to the start of an iconic TV romance which would lead all the way to the altar, and enviable podcast success. Her husband, newly appointed BBC Radio 1 drivetime presenter Jamie Laing, proposed in 2021, marrying in a glamorous Spanish ceremony two years later. The nuptials, and the finer details, left her 846,000 Instagram followers agog, thousands of likes clocking up for her stunning dress, the Med-infused location and of course the celeb guest list.

But while she found true love in front of the cameras, she hints that not everything people saw was entirely accurate. 'We did the show for ages, and that put pressure on our relationship because some things aren't portrayed as they really are,' she says. 'It's a TV show that revolves around drama so anything that's not dramatic isn't interesting to watch.'

After leaving the show in 2022, the couple started their podcast NewlyWeds. For people unfamiliar with the show, nothing about their relationship is off limits, but she describes it as being a cathartic experience.

She says: 'We share our ups and downs, but I think that's relatable as most relationships have them - so, if anything, it's actually quite therapeutic. We've also got such an amazing community and our listeners really root for us.'

Have mic will travel

They've recently taken the podcast on tour, with the model revealing that appearing on stage is actually 'scary and intense'. She explains, 'I thought I'd be fine and I don't tend to get that nervous about anything, but I get so nervous before getting out there on stage. But weirdly once the first half is over, the second half is "easy breezy".'

And how does she feel about it after? 'We get home and can’t sleep for hours - we're full of adrenaline, like high on life. It's been an amazing experience.'

Sophie admits, however, that social media can be tough when it comes to loving your body: 'Everyone is on social media - the pressure and comparisons can be really damaging. I commend anyone who has full body confidence and I hope one day I get there. I have much more body confidence now than I have done in the past, but, like anyone, there are always those days when you don't feel confident.'

Opposites attract

And while many may think that Sophie is an extrovert, as she has a very public life, she admits to being an 'introverted extrovert'. She explains: 'I don't gain energy from being around people. Jamie is such an extrovert, he thrives off being busy and doesn't need downtime.

'I'm the opposite, I need time on my own. I'm not afraid to say that I love an early night. I like socialising but I crave "me" time. It's something I've learned to do more as I've got older because when you're younger you just can burn yourself out without knowing how to deal with things.'

a woman posing for a picture

With wedding season upon us, does Sophie have any advice for brides-to-be to help them ? Especially when it comes to stressing less about every detail. 'I wanted everyone to like the flowers, the food, music, for the day to run smoothly... [but] ultimately, you are there to marry your husband. You need to shut the noise out, and just picture you and your husband. That takes away a lot of the stress.

'Also, everyone's there to have fun anyway, they're not there thinking about the little things so just enjoy it, the planning and the day.'

Sophie Habboo’s USA Pro collection is available now - use code SOPHIE10 for 10% off.

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