Are you in great shape? Does the camera love you? Are you 100% committed to physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle? Then you might just have what it takes to become a fitness model.
Fitness modeling, sometimes referred to as sports modeling, is a highly competitive industry that takes hard work and dedication. And even though fitness models are seen everywhere—on the cover of magazines, in commercials, and in advertisements—many people don’t know a lot about fitness modeling or what it takes to become a fitness model.
Common Misconceptions About Fitness Modeling
Many people equate fitness modeling with the rippling muscles and extreme definition of bodybuilders and figure competitors. But in reality, most fitness models are toned and in good shape, but not in an extreme way.
Fitness models should also not be confused with fit models, who are the models who work behind the scenes with designers and manufacturers to ensure each garment has the ideal sizing, fit, feel, and movement.
What Are the Physical Requirements of Fitness Modeling?
The great thing about fitness modeling is that the physical requirements aren’t as strict as other modeling divisions, such as fashion and runway. Body type matters more than measurements. Both male and female fitness models should be lean and fit, with firm muscle tone. Women typically range in height from 5’ 4″ to 6’ and men are anywhere from 5’ 10″ to 6’ 3″ and beyond.
In addition to killer bodies, fitness models also need to be attractive and healthy looking, with great skin, glossy hair, and a beautiful smile.
And unlike fashion models, fitness models need to have a commercial, marketable look that appeals to a wide range of clients and consumers.
What Kinds of Companies Do Fitness Models Work For?
Fitness models often work for supplement manufacturers, athletic wear companies, fitness companies, and fitness magazines.
Their photos can appear in everything from catalogs and magazines to promotional materials and billboards.
Most fitness models work part-time as a secondary source of income. Don’t forget, though, that maintaining your physique requires full-time dedication!
Who Are Some of the Top Fitness Models?
Jennifer Nicole Lee
JNL, as she’s known in the modeling world, is one of the world’s most successful and accomplished female fitness models. She’s landed over 40 fitness covers, has appeared on national talk shows (including Oprah!) and has countless swimsuit calendars, workout DVDs and endorsement deals under her belt. She’s written several books and cookbooks and even has her own online cooking show.
What’s interesting about Jennifer Nicole Lee is that she had no athletic background whatsoever before becoming a fitness model. After the birth of her second child, she lost 70 pounds, was crowned Miss Bikini America 2006, and, well, the rest is history!
Gregg Plitt is one of the fitness modeling industry’s most recognizable faces. He’s modeled for Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Old Navy, Modell’s and Skimpies, and has appeared in Maxim, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, Men’s Exercise, American Health & Fitness and Muscle & Fitness, just to name a few.
He’s also done TV commercials for Under Armour, MTV, Bowflex, ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, and Old Spice Body Wash.
In case you’re not convinced of Gregg Plitt’s superstardom, consider this: Images of his body were used to create Dr. Manhattan’s muscular physique in the 2009 film, Watchmen.
How To Get Started as a Fitness Model?
One of the most common ways to get noticed by top fitness companies, magazines, photographers, and agencies is to enter a fitness modeling competition. If that’s not your scene, it’s also common to get scouted online.
By submitting your photos to a reputable online model scouting agency, such as, your photos will be seen by the most important agents and scouts in the world. It’s the most legitimate and cost-effective way to gain the direct connections you need to kick start your fitness modeling career.