What is a fitness model?
Firstly I think it’s pertinent to distinguish between a fitness model, muscle model and a ‘bodybuilder’ per se. The thing is that every one of the aforementioned are warrants the title of ‘bodybuilder’, after all they all apply themselves to the task of building their body, right? This said, there are subtle differences in that a fitness model’s main goal is to exude muscularity, marketability and a lasting stage presence, there is a definite ‘classic modelling’ aspect to this category. Conversely a muscle model is deemed too big to be a fitness model, but doesn’t wish to be considered a bodybuilder. A muscle model will be judged on overall muscularity and size, constituting around 60% of their appearance, the remaining 40% will cover the muscle models overall marketability and stage presence. A bodybuilder will of course be judged on their muscularity and stage presence, and the delivery of their routine when on stage, but there will be less emphasis placed on their marketability as quite often, an excessively muscular person doesn’t always comply with the accepted ‘health and vitality’ image that many advertisers are looking for. Consequently it’s fair to say that a fitness model and muscle model are some of the most versatile and marketable of all bodybuilders, an out and out bodybuilder is very niche but of course has a rightful place in magazines, videos and on the stage.
A Fitness Models priorities
Training & Nutrition, and not necessarily in that order! A fitness models day revolves around his/her food, doing everything in their power to ensure their body isn’t deprived. From the moment a fitness model wakes in the morning to the time they go to bed, it’s all about preparation…thinking several steps ahead! As the night is drawing in any fitness model worth his salt will be thinking of tomorrows meals, his training will already have been scheduled on a yearly periodised plan so it’s all about eating. Meal preparation entails the arrangement of balanced foods, portion selection and food preparation and cooking. Once prepped the food is placed into sealed Tupperware tubs and left in the fridge ready for the next day. Some athletes will prep food a week in advance, however this would entail the use of non-perishable foods and does nothing for nutrient variety and nutritional completeness, so most will allocate an hour in the evening getting things ready the day before.
If nutrition is the cake (excuse the analogy), and training is the icing, then supplements is definitely the cherry on top guys! The time and energy afforded to getting into fitness model condition warrants the extra investment in a well structured supplement plan. In order to sustain the intensity of exercise whilst delivering the requisite calories needed to maintain muscle mass, as well as keeping the calories clean i.e. free from excess saturated and trans fats, sugar and salt…a supplement is probably your best option.
Each and every athlete is different, so recommendations are subjective, but upon waking a fitness model will 9 times out of 10 reach for their protein shake (whey, egg, pea, hemp, soya or brown rice) in order to get a readily absorbed source of amino acids into the blood stream…this is just the beginning!
Immediately after and before anything else, including getting showered, dressed, making the bed (if you’re into that sort of thing) a fitness model will top up those glycogen stores (stored carbs) ready for their training session. Carb intakes very much depend on the athletes time of year/season, so if they are early on in the season i.e. months away from competition then carbs will be relatively freely ingested in order to fuel training for the acquisition of that all important muscle mass. Conversely, carb intake will be less in the weeks approaching competition, in fact, many athletes will carb cycle during this time in order to minimise fat and water retention, whilst simultaneously maximising muscle bulk.
It is beyond the scope of this article to give an extensive diet plan for a fitness model, but fats are definitely worth a mention. Coconut oil is of real interest to a fitness model because of the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) and the lubricating properties of a good fat source. A great option for getting these essential fats into your diet is explained on our ‘Pimp my Shake’ Complex Carb Turbo Shake, where approx 8g of coconut oil is added to a pimped out protein shake.
Once breakfast is sorted, most of us would take a shower (hopefully) and head off to work with little thought spared for our next meal, but in the world of a fitness model, who by the way do still have 9-5 jobs such as Personal trainers, Nutritionists, Builders and even Doctors for example, will be thinking about their next meal.
Mid- morning, say 10:30, is the time for more nutrition and an example may be a protein bar or flapjack, some boiled eggs or a rice cake with some peanut butter and a drizzle of honey, but above all there should be a protein source there somewhere.
Lunch - Midday meal
Before a fitness model has even washed his plate he/she is already thinking of the next meal, which will be around the midday mark. Midday see’s a fitness model stop what they are doing, crack open the Tupperware and delve into their 3rd nourishing meal.
Mid-afternoon will be the next stop, say around 3pm, at which time the Tupperware comes out again for a portion of chicken, steak, egg or tuna (nuts, quinoa, lentils and other beans peas and pulses, if you happen to be vegetarian) and a nice slow release carb source such as sweet potato and veg.
Most will be in the comfort of their own home at this point, but for those fitness models that aren’t, they’ll have their good ol’ Tupperware and protein shake ready and waiting with some nutrient dense foods to eat. For a list of nutrient packed foods check out Tone and Define Shopping List. When at home it’s time to start cooking your evening meal, whilst simultaneously prepping tomorrows food…can you see the cycle here guys?
Photo shoots & Public relations
Don’t forget the limelight! A fitness model has also got to give some time to photo shoots and interviews, after all their whole existence as a fitness model revolves around their marketability and conditioning! A fitness model must expect their weekends to be as busy as their weekdays.
In life there’s conditioning, and then there’s absolute conditioning…a fitness model is CONDITIONED full stop...and they live it every day!