The idea of being a fitness model appeals to many gym rats who’ve earned a lean physique. My personal journey into modeling began because of my interest in fitness. Unfortunately, I soon found out that there isn’t a ton of work in this niche.
I was recently asked by a modeling coach if I had any advice for aspiring fitness models. This is a popular question with a complex answer. There is a huge variation in what it takes to be a fitness model. Overall, there seems to be more opportunity for popular fitness work — the ads that feature the “ripped,” tan model with six-pack abs in the warmer climate markets (such as Los Angeles or Miami). Yet, very often there are select fitness models that appear to have a “monopoly,” if you will, on these jobs. However, the demand for more general fitness modeling (for products such as yoga mats, health and diet foods, or spa and pool merchandise) exists in any major market and requires an attainable, thin, but toned look. Here are some tips to help you get into fitness modeling.
Define what type of fitness modeling you want to do. Many women want to be featured in magazines like Oxygen or Muscle and Fitness Hers. If being featured in this type of publication is your goal, you should strive to have an extremely chiseled and athletic physique. In fact, almost all of these women are professional fitness, figure, and fitness Olympia competitors. It also appears that they have built solid and ongoing relationships with (the now late), great magazine publisher, Robert Kennedy; he features the same girls over and over again. So if this is your ultimate goal, you should start competing in shows, move to Los Angeles, and try to contact his lovely wife Tosca Reno.
Consider being a parts model. Is your interest in fitness modeling based solely on your physique or certain body parts? In other words, if you don’t realistically have an equally photogenic face, your opportunities will be even more limited. However, you don’t have to abandon your dream of becoming a fitness model. You simply need to find an agent like any other aspiring model.
Don’t be discouraged! There are multiple opportunities throughout the year for print models to attend castings that require a fit and toned look. You might be asked to perform certain yoga poses or positions (like plank, downward dog or bow). The waif-like, non-athletic, “soft” model will often not be asked to attend. Want an example of what casting agents are looking for in a fit model? Take a look at health-related advertisements in a typical, everyday women’s magazine, or at the packaging on fitness equipment, or diet products (slim-fast, special-k cereal, protein bars, etc.).
Whether you decide to compete in a fitness show or find an agency representing print models, decide what you are best suited for and start taking steps toward accomplishing your goal.
Good Luck, and Go Get Em’!