How to Make It As a Fitness Model!
How to Make It As a Fitness Model!
So You Wanna Certainly be a Fitness Model?
People who follow my stuff know I generally talk about nutrition, supplements, training, along with other topics that are more science based than subjective topics, such as what is covered in this article. I chose to shuck my science geek persona, and write on a topic I know will likely be helpful to thousands of can be and want to be fitness models.
At the same time a known "hard core" science based no BS writer, why I'm writing what some will perceive as a "fluff" article? In the past I have gotten hundreds, perhaps thousands, of gals that ask me via email, letters, or perhaps in person "how do I turned into a fitness model Will? You've been in the business a long time, surly you of most people should know." I get this from newbies and I get this from ladies have been at it a little while but have been struggling to "break in" effectively.
The fact is, I have been previously in the fitness, health, and bodybuilding biz quite a while, and though I am termed as a science and nutrition based "guru" type, I have trained many a workout athlete, and judged fitness and figure/bikini shows for your NPC, Fitness America, Fitness USA, as well as other federations as well as given marketing and business advice to all or any sorts of athletes, including fitness models. So, it's not as far fetched as it might seem that I am going to use this space to pay for a non scientific topic, that is, how one goes about being a fitness model.
This document will be useful to both experienced and novice types looking to "break in" to the biz. If you are already a professional and successful fitness model, I am sure you may still glean some valuable information from this article.
First unhealthy news, there is no one way to become a successful fitness model. There is no single path or magic secret. There are however some key things an individual can do to greatly improve their chances of "making it" in the fitness biz like a model, and perhaps using success as a launching pad to greater things, including movies, TV, etc.
Several of the top fitness models (Trish Stratus and Vicki Pratt come to mind but there are many others) go onto careers in entertainment of all. Bottom line, though there is not any magic secret to becoming successful as a fitness model, this article will be about as close to some blueprint for success because you will find.
"Do I need to compete?"
It is a question I get asked continuously and it's not an easy you to definitely answer. In fact, the reply is (drum roll) yes and no. The person has to deicide why they are competing in the first place to resolve that question. For instance, do you need to compete should your goal is to be a prosperous fitness model?
The reply is no. Many of today's well-known fitness designs have never competed, or they competed in a few small shows plus it was clearly not part of their success as fitness models. However, competing comes with its potential uses.
One is exposure. In the upper level shows, there'll often be editors, publishers, photographers, supplement company owners, as well as other business people. So, competing can increase your exposure. Also, competing will make sense if you are wanting to build a business that is related to your competing or will benefit from you winning a motion picture.
For example, say you have an exclusive training gym you are hoping to build. Sure, having the title of say Ms Fitness America, or winning the NPC Nationals and as an IFBB pro, will help a message and the notoriety of your respective business. There are many scenarios were it could help to have won a motion picture for a business or any other endeavors.
On the other hand, it must be realized that winning a show does not in any way guarantee success available end (and it really is a business) of being a training model. The phone wont ring free with big offers for contracts. Also, it's very important to realize that it's common the 4th or 6th or 8th place finisher within a fitness or figure show can get more press as opposed to winner. Why? The winner might have what it really took to win that report, it's often other gals the editor, publishers, supplement companies etc, feel is a lot more marketable.
I have seen it many times where the winner was shocked to find she didn't get nearly the eye she expected and also other girls who placed lower have gotten attention available as photos shoots, magazine coverage, etc. Something to keep in mind when you ask yourself the key question "do I need to compete therefore, why am I competing?" Answer that question, and you'll know the answer to the heading with this section. Winning a title of some type can be a stepping stone, yet it's not in itself any guarantee of success in the fitness industry. It's just like a college degree; it's whatever you do with it.
Now. Should you compete for the fun of it, then by all means go for it, nevertheless the above is concentrating on competing as it refers to the business aspect of being a fitness model.
Right body, wrong federation?
Ok, so seeing the above you have decided you will compete, or will compete again. If you do not plan to compete, you'll be able to skip this section. The greatest mistake I see here is so many gals contain the right body for your wrong federation. Each federation has its own judging criteria plus a competitor will do poorly simply because they didn't bother to examine which show might be best suited for them.
I'll give you a perfect real-world example of this. Recently I judged a show whose criteria to the figure round was the girls should be more on the curvy softer side with some tone, vs. being more muscular and athletic with less bodyfat that other federations might allow. As of this show one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen came out. She was very proportional, great tone of muscle, lean, and athletically shaped with narrow hips and waist and wider shoulders. How did she do only at that show? She didn't even devote the top ten!
Why? Because she has not been what we were required to look for and didn't fit the criteria. After the show I informed her that she looked great, but this may not the federation on her behalf. I told her she had much more of an NPC type body, where a little more muscle, athletic build, and much less bodyfat is rewarded.
These week I was judging an NPC fitness, figure, and bodybuilding show there she was. How did she do? She won the complete show with all judges voting her number 1 unanimously.
Conversely, should your body type tends to be more rounded and toned, however with a little more bodyfat, wider (and not fat!) hips, you might be better off competing in say the Fitness America Pageants. If you are planning to compete:
(1) uncover exactly what the judging criteria is perfect for that federation and
(2) go to those shows as being a spectator for several different federations and discover which one your physique, style, etc will squeeze into best.
(3) You have to decide if you truly possess the athletic abilities to compete within a fitness competition (which uses a routine) or a figure/bikini competition.
I often see women who would do well within a figure show however , don't have the athletic abilities do the routines required to be competitive with other athletes in the show. Some shows will assist you to do both competitions and some wont.
Networking 101: dos and don'ts...
In countless respects, this is the area that can make or break you in almost any business, and yet, individuals the fitness industry do an amazingly poor job in internet marketing. If you don't network and market yourself properly, you'll be able to pretty much forget about having any real success as being a fitness model, or possibly a success in every business. For the sake of space, we're going to stick to fitness.
Initially when i first started out, I was a self marketing machine. I really could be found at every show I figured might be an opportunity, walking the isles of trade exhibitions, bodybuilding, shows, fitness show, and others. I gave out a zillion cards and that i took a million home when camping, and followed up on every and every one. I attended as many industry related meetings, outings, parties, etc. when i could get into. Now i have the reputation and expertise in the industry that I don't have to go to such a show unless Personally i think like it, or have meetings, but they were quite useful when you are the beginning.
I am always impressed by the number of fitness models who contact me who have never even gone to the Arnold Classic Fitness Weekend, or the Mr. Olympia, or the trade events like the NNFA Expo West among others. If you want to make it from the fitness business you sure as hell ought to treat it like a business.
I know of many a pretty girl who wishes to be a fitness model who thinks should they stand there looking pretty of sufficient length, someone is going to offer to set their face for the cover of a magazine. News flash, there are plenty of beautiful women available and to be noticed, you need to hussle to get that business exactly by networking the sofa off, or using a good agent (if you possibly could afford such a thing) that's doing it for you.
Choose a few major industry shows to wait (some of which were mentioned above) and go to them every year. Have a plan of attack of the best way you plan to market yourself and network. Many fitness models, bodybuilders, etc go to a show as one big party. If that's you, then have a great time at the party, try not to think you are really marketing yourself as being a serous business person or athlete.
One other thing that always amazes me will be the number of fitness models who either don't have any business cards, or have some cards they printed high on their bubble jet printer at home! They ask me to assist them or what ever and that i say "give me your card" and they also look at me like "I am so pretty I would not need a card you fool." This attitude turns off editors, photographers, writers, and industry people faster then should they found out you were really a transvestite. Don't do it. For every pretty girl out there who thinks the globe owes them a favor, you will find 100 who are prepared to act like professionals.
Ever wonder why some fitness model you realize is doing better than you are even though you know you might be prettier than her? That could be why...never ever go to a show to network without good cards, bios, and professionally done head along with the shots you can get for said editors, publishers, photographers, industry types, etc. Don't stand around looking pretty assuming they are going to find you, find them first and introduce yourself. As well as it should go without saying you should be in good condition and have something of your tan to look your best.
You wish to go to the shows and party? Fine, but undertake it in private after the tasks are done and don't make a fool out of yourself at some industry sponsored gather. Hell, I was virtually poured in to a cab at last years Arnold Classic after visiting a sushi place with some well know industry types companies owners (you know your identiity!) but at least no person saw me! We'd our own little private gather after the show to let loose.
Let me provide you with one final real world instance of how NOT to market yourself. Last year I was on retainer as being a consultant to a mid sized supplement company. The owner of the company asked me easily knew a couple of fitness model types that can work his booth to get a trade show. In fact, he requested "unknowns, result-oriented faces people hadn't seen yet but had real chance to grow with the company." I went determined him two such gals I believed fit the bill.
He agreed to pay their flights, room, and food including a thousand dollars each for several days work. The two girls informed to be at the booth 9am sharp. The night time before at the hotel, I saw the two girls getting in a cab at 11pm roughly dressed to kill, clearly en route out to party. In the morning they showed up with the booth an hour and a half late and hung over! The fact that was the result of this? (1) it embarrassed me to a massive array as I had recommended them to the company owner (2) they will never get work from that company again (3) they might never get any work from me again and (4) they'd not get a reference from either people for other jobs.
this type of thing all the time in the fitness biz, and it is not limited to fitness models. Amazingly, 2-3 weeks after the show they emailed me and the company owner asking when their next job can be! Amazing...
Who loves you baby?
When there is one universal truth, it's the camera either loves you or it doesn't. Any professional photographers can help you understand. For some unknown reason, some people are very photogenic and some aren't. Truth be known, there are a few well known fitness models (who shall remain nameless because they would probably smack me when they saw me) that are not all that attractive face-to-face. It's just that the camera loves them and they are very photogenic, but not terribly pretty directly.
Conversely, I have seen the opposite many times; a girl who is much better looking directly than in photographs. Such may be the fate of the person who would like to be a model of any style, including a fitness model. If you realise you are not very photogenic, keep utilizing different photographers unless you find one that really captures you well and pay that photographer handsomely!
Now, being bluntly honest, in addition there are some want to be fitness models who are not "unphotogenic", they're just "fugly"! There are some individuals who have no business trying to be fitness models. No make them bad people, it means they need to snap out of their delusions and find a profession they are better suited for, like radio personality....
"How should i get in the magazines?"
This section sort of incorporates everything I have covered above, and adds in certain additional strategies. As an example, as I mentioned before, competing in fitness shows as well as figure/bikini shows can raise your exposure, thus receiving the attention of some magazine publisher or photographer. Networking correctly in the various trade shows might also have the same effect, as well as having a good portfolio produced by a photographer that really captures your look, a good web site, etc., will all improve your potential for getting into the magazines, or getting ad work, etc.
However, all of these strategies remain somewhat passive versus active in my view. It's still the fitness model waiting to be "discovered." As far as I am concerned, waiting is for bus stops and pregnancy tests. Success waits without man...or woman because case me be. So, in fact the above advice is looked at as having an added effect to finding you magazine coverage, what else can be achieved?
For one thing, you should read and stay familiar with all the magazines you wish to be in so you know who's who and what the style of the several magazines are. Let me tell you right now, if repeat the Editor-in-Chief of a good sized fitness or bodybuilding publications and says "hi, We are the Bob Smith what's your reputation?" and the fitness model has no idea who Bob Smith is, Bob is not going to take kindly fot it. Why should he? You need to know who the major players will be in the publications you need to be seen in. He could be doing you the favor, not the other way round. You should know who the main players are and actively seek them out, don't wait for these phones "discover" you.
If you consider the masthead inside any magazine, it's going to tell you who the publisher is, who the Editor-in-Chief is etc. The mailing address to the magazine, and often your website and email, can also be found. What is to stop you from finding out about those names and mailing them your pictures and resume directly? Nothing, that's what. If you see a photo spread you think that is really well done, what's to stop you from finding out who the photographer is and contacting them directly and sending them your pics? Nothing, that's what.
My point being, you need a get a break in the organization, make the break, don't wallow in it thinking it's searching for you, because it's not. Be proactive, not reactive! Luck is the residue of design. Be successful by design. As my older brother utilized to say to me as a kid when I told him I was too scared to ask out a pretty girl "what's the worst that may happen Will? All she will say is no." Which is the worst that can happen also.
Beware of web idiots, schlubs, morons, perverts, scum bags, and sleazoids!
This part is kind of self-explanatory but worth mentioning. As with every industries that provide entertainment based media (e.g., television, theater, modeling, etc.), the fitness industry attracts its far share of web idiots, schlubs, morons, perverts, scum bags, and sleazoids, to call just a few.
There is also the course of person known as the schmoe, but we are going to leave that for one more place and time. Point is you want to meet the right people whilst not getting involved with that gang of worthless types which will only drag you down, delay you, or just flat out screw you up as well as over.
For example, a guy happens and says he would like to "shoot you" for the magazines, what do you really know of this guy? He has a camera plus some business cards, so that makes him a photographer right? Wrong! When someone want to shoot you together with they are not a well-known name (and you should know who the well known photographers are simply because you researched that already!), find out who they are. Do they have references you are able to call? Girls you are able to contact he has shot before and were satisfied with the work? What magazines has he published in? Does he do it professionally or being a hobby? That type of thing.
Another thing I see is the big web scam. I'm amazed the number of girls get scammed by these web idiots. Lesson the following is you get what you spend on, so when some person desires to build you a site for free, you are getting that which you pay for. Yes, there is good money to be made around the 'net, and the net may be great for marketing yourself and making contacts, but most of it's a scam.
You might be better off paying a great web designer and web master who has experience with other fitness model types and possesses references you can talk with. I can't tell you the amount of girls who have been screwed over by a few internet thing that visited hell, like the "fan" who volunteers to construct a free web site and either runs off with any cash made from the site or puts their picks on porn sites and then any number of other things that made them regret like hell ever receiving the site in the first place.
Clearly, I am unable to go down the list of all possible pitfalls with the web idiots, schlubs, morons, perverts, scum bags, and sleazoids out there to be found in the entertainment business, however you get the idea. Take care!