The fitness industry is currently booming. Because of that, fitness modelling has become an increasingly popular and competitive profession.
You’ll need more than big muscles to make it as a male fitness model; read on for our biggest tips on making it in the fitness industry.
What Makes Fitness Modelling Different?
Unlike other forms of modelling, fitness modelling requires you to have a certain amount of athletic or sports capabilities. You’ll need big, defined muscles and a positive, upbeat attitude. Fitness modelling comes under the commercial modelling header, so you won’t be walking the catwalk. Instead, you’ll be seen in fitness magazines, on sports brand websites and on billboards. Fitness models are required to promote and advertise sportswear, fitness equipment, gyms, events (like the marathon), specific exercised (like spin classes) and more.
What is Required for Fitness Modelling?
Unlike high-fashion modelling, there aren’t any specific measurements or requirements that need meeting in fitness modelling. All body types are considered, as long as you’re fit.
Modelling agencies and brands will look for fitness models who are aesthetically pleasing but who also have an inspiring attitude; they’ll want to hire people who make others want to work out. That’s why many fitness models are fitness influencers, celebrities or athletes.
Obviously you will need a great physique, but brands and agencies will also be on the lookout for models with a great smile, good facial structure and nice skin.
You don’t need to be a certain height. Generally, a proportional figure is what is most looked-for.
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How to Stay in Shape
If you hate working out, fitness modelling will NOT be for you! Fitness models live and breathe fitness – they enjoy it, and find the time to work out no matter how busy their schedule. A fitness model’s gym is their second home. This is important for fitness models as it doesn’t matter how hectic a week looks, a fitness model must always find the time to workout and maintain their bodies.
Many fitness models choose to study personal trainer programs so they have some science and credentials to back their routines.
Like all models, fitness models need to maintain their looks year-round. They might amp up the workouts leading up to a certain shoot, but generally speaking they need to be ready for whenever a job opportunity comes up (which could be any time!) That means you may have to skip the social beer in the pub with your friends and swap it out for a more healthy option instead.
Diet and exercise go hand in hand, so fitness models will also have fairly strict healthy diets they stick to. Many like to speak to nutritionists to make sure they’re getting the right amount of nutrients and vitamins for their bodies. When you’re working out, you’ll need more calories and protein than the average person to help keep you fuelled and to help muscles heal and grow. Protein shakes and other fitness supplements are regularly used by fitness models alongside a healthy diet. As the saying goes – abs are made in the kitchen!
Your Modelling Portfolio
You need to cater your portfolio to suit the specific modelling niche you’re trying to enter. A fitness model should ensure their modelling portfolio contains lots of physique photos, as well as some head-shots.
As an aspiring model, you may not yet have any professional photos to put into your portfolio. It’s a really good idea to hire a professional modelling photographer (or a fitness photographer) for a photo shoot to capture some high-quality images you can use for applying to agencies, as well as for putting into your portfolio and on your z-cards. Your portfolio is the number one tool you have to help you stand out from a very saturated crowd. Make sure it is as good as it can possible be to give yourself the best chances of success.
Utilising Social Media
We already touched on this, but it’s worth going into more detail. Many fitness models are influencers, celebrities or athletes. That’s because they already have an influence on a ready-made audience. Brands can hire these people knowing they already have an audience to target. Brands are far more likely to make money using a known face, because fans are usually willing to spend on things their heroes use or buy.
This may seem unfair to aspiring fitness models – and it is – but unfortunately, that is what you’re faced with. You can find work as a fitness model, but the bigger campaigns will likely go to the familiar faces.
So how do you become one of these familiar faces? It can be done in one of several ways:
If you’re an athlete competing in some well-known competitions, or if you break world records, or if you have medals in your chosen sport – you’ll likely have already made a bit of a name for yourself. All you have to do is use this to your advantage and grow your following.
David Beckham, Ross Edgley and Serena Williams are all examples of this. They work regularly and advertise with large sports companies due to their sporting careers and achievements.
If you have a decent following on social media and regularly post fitness-inspired content, you may well be on your way to being a recognised face in the industry. Joe Wicks is a great example of this; as well as having successful Instagram and YouTube accounts, he has also released several popular books, all of which will bring him income. With enough followers, you can make a full-time career out of social media, though as with all popular mediums it is becoming more difficult due to the highly competitive nature of social media. Endorsement deals with brands on social media platforms can be very lucrative, especially if they are ongoing.
If you’re already famous for something else – say, singing or acting – naturally, a lot of people will want to know how you stay fit and active. Chris Hemsworth is a Hollywood actor who has released his own fitness app.
Other Things to Consider
As well as your well-honed physique, there are other things an aspiring fitness model should consider.
Good teeth, hair, skin and nails are all required to make it as a fitness model. Good fitness is attributed to good health. If you suffer with bad skin or hair, it’s worth going to see a dermatologist to get it sorted if you’re serious about a career in fitness modelling as it will negatively impact your career to have regular blemishes or thinning, oily hair (don’t forget, these things can be masked with make-up and post-photoshoot editing, but it’s best to try and get it sorted if possible).
Finding a Modelling Agency
As with all forms of modelling, finding a decent and reputable modelling agency will really help to nurture your career and lead you on the right path. As a fitness model, you’ll want to research and find as many agencies as possible that are fitness model agencies, or who work with other fitness models. A lot of agencies do not work specifically with fitness models, so it’s your job to make sure you find the right ones.
You can apply to as many agencies as you like, as many times as you like. Try not to re-apply more than once every 6 months or you might end up on the agency’s blacklist for pestering them.
If they like your look, you’ll be invited to an audition so they can judge your appearance in-person and decide whether you’d be a good fit for them. They will inform you there and then whether they want to sign you.
As with all forms of modelling, the key is not giving up. Rejection is a nature of the job in modelling, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t find any work or an agency at first. Keep trying and keep practising; focus on building your modelling experience and improving your modelling portfolio. If you’re driven and hard-working, you’ll soon find your break into the industry.