If you have been keeping up with the trends, you may have noted the rising popularity of health and fitness in the media. Diet tracking apps and fitness bands have been growing popular and when it comes to clothing, athleisure seems to be very much in vogue right now. If you are serious about fitness and are looking at building a successful, rewarding career in fitness modelling, you are in exactly the right place. So how do you start fitness modeling?
Like any other form of modeling, fitness modeling requires you to take very good care of your looks, especially your body. Apart from looks, a fitness model’s carriage and personality are also very important. But that’s not all. There is more to being a fitness model than simply appearances. This article takes a deep dive to figure out how to get into fitness modeling, including tips and tricks, examples of top fitness models and more. So, let’s get into it shall we?
How to start fitness modeling?
Fitness models are often scouted either through modeling competitions or even online through social media. If you are a sportsperson or athlete then you have a very good shot at fitness modeling because you likely already have the body type that modeling agencies are looking for. Bodybuilding competitions and CrossFit competitions are also common entry points into the fitness modeling industry. If you have been wondering how to get into male fitness modeling then you would be interested in knowing that male fitness models, in particular, often get their shot through bodybuilding.
A lot of modeling agencies and talent scouting agencies also often have open calls for model casting or modeling competitions to scout out new talent. Keeping an eye on the social media channels of these agencies is a great way of taking advantage of open calls when you are trying to start fitness modeling.
Social media is also an excellent platform to promote yourself when you are trying to get into fitness modeling. It is a good idea to curate your feed, choose the right hashtags and keep your social media channels active in order to maintain engagement. But this is the more passive part of finding fitness modeling jobs. In addition to keeping an attractive profile on social media, you should also try to contact talent scouts and agencies directly through email or social media. You can send them a link to your portfolio and a few words about why you would like to work with them. Cold emailing does not always ensure a response but it can be a very legitimate way of getting the attention of talent scouts and breaking into the fitness modeling industry.
The prime most important thing when you're thinking about how to start fitness modeling is to have a portfolio. You need to have an online portfolio website that you can add as a link with your cold emails or as a reference when you apply for model casting calls. If you have never created a portfolio before, we have an article on how to create the perfect model portfolio that is sure to be of help! With your fitness modeling portfolio in place you can show potential employers that you are serious about modeling and that you have the talent and commitment required to succeed in the fashion industry.
Creating your model portfolio is easier than it looks. Pixpa can help you build a stunning model portfolio website, effortlessly and without hassle. All you have to do is choose from a range of feature-rich, minimalist, professional templates and start building your very own online model portfolio effortlessly and without touching a single line of code.
Do check out these articles
What are the physical requirements for a fitness model?
Fitness models need to be tall and well-built. This does not necessarily mean you need overly exaggerated muscles or a professional bodybuilder’s physique but you need to be lean, well muscled and toned. Flabby bellies are a strict no no in fitness modeling. However, there are other genres of modeling that may be more appropriate for you if you don’t fit into the physical requirements necessary for a fitness model. Plus size modeling is a growing category within the modeling industry and this guide to plus-size modeling may be interesting for you if you want to try your hand at some non-traditional avenues and genres within modeling.
Apart from this, like most other models, fitness models are also required to be tall. A height of, at least, 5’6” for women fitness models and 6” and above for male fitness models are common requirements. A conventionally beautiful face may not be necessary but your facial features should be attractive, pleasing and photogenic. You should be able to appeal to a broad range of demographics, especially if you are looking to model for commercials, print advertisements and fitness catalogs.
Who are the top fitness models?
When you think about how to start fitness modeling, who do you look up to for inspiration? Some of the top female and male fitness models have started their careers either in fitness training or body-building.
Here are some of the top female fitness models:
Jennifer Nicole Lee
Jennifer Nicole Lee is an American fitness model, motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur. Jennifer, also known as JNL, won Miss Bikini America in 1996 and started her career in wellness in 2003. Almost twenty years later now, she has written 14 books on fitness modeling and wellness, started two clothing lines and created a fitness program titled JNL fusion focusing on combining weight training with cardio. From magazine covers to talk shows including ‘Oprah’, Jennifer is one of the most successful women fitness models in the industry.
Jen Selter is an American fitness model and influencer who got her big break in fitness modeling through social media, particularly Instagram. She played a part in popularizing the genre of ‘belfies’ which helped her go viral and become one of the top most followed fitness models and influencers on Instagram with over 12 million followers. She has also been featured in mainstream publications including Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health magazine, New York Post and Elite daily.
Fitness modeling is equally popular among both men and women. Here are some of the top most successful male fitness models:
Mike O’Hearn is an American fitness model, trainer, actor and bodybuilder. Like many other male fitness models, Mike got his break into fitness modeling through bodybuilding competitions. He is a four time winner of Mr. Natural Universe and has also won Mr. America, Mr. International and Mr. World. As an actor, this fitness model has appeared in shows like Days of Our Lives and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Mike’s business ventures include an apparel line, meal plans and his own personalized fitness training course which are all available through his website.
Lazar Angelov is a male fitness model, trainer and entrepreneur born in Sofia, Bulgaria. Lazar was a basketball player who turned to bodybuilding as a result of a serious knee injury. He found his passion in bodybuilding and got certified as a personal trainer. Lazar shares his love for fitness and bodybuilding through his personal website and fitness blog where he aims not just to transform people’s bodies but also their lives.
Here are 5 top tips on how to become a fitness model
- Focus on your body
- Work on how you carry yourself
- Having some skill in sports helps
- Choose the right agent
- Understand the fitness modeling industry
Focus on your body
If you want to carve a niche in fitness modeling, it is very important to focus on your body holistically. Eating well and working out are important for all models but especially for those who work in the health and fitness niche. Lean and well-muscled are some of the traits that are sought after in fitness models so you need to make sure that your diet and exercise routine are fine-tuned to help you achieve that. Regular gym sessions, a good personal trainer and a diet customized to your body type and requirements are of utmost importance here. You need to always be camera-ready and that can’t happen unless you make fitness a part of your daily regimen.
Work on how you carry yourself
For a model carriage is just as important as looks. You need to be able to carry yourself confidently and proudly. Insecurity and timidness can shine through a camera really easily. Fitness models should have a confident personality to match their toned looks. Practicing your poses in front of a camera or even a mirror can be very helpful in helping you get over some of the self consciousness that newer models might feel. The more you work as a fitness model, the more you will learn and that in turn will help you carry yourself more confidently on camera. This article on the best model poses can help you out!
Having some skill in sports helps
Having some skill in sports can definitely be helpful in helping you get into fitness modeling. Retired athletes and sportspersons often pick up fitness modeling as a profession. Sportspersons often already have a good physique and a disciplined diet and exercise regimen to keep them fit for playing. Sports photoshoots and ad campaigns also regularly look for sportspersons or models who play a sport. Some sports also open you up to more niche forms of fitness modeling and sports modeling. For example, if you are a talented diver or swimmer that can help you get more niche fitness modeling jobs, for example sports photoshoots or underwater photoshoots.
Choose the right agent
A good agent can be a make or break factor in ensuring you have a long, well paying and sustainable career in fitness modeling. Professional modeling agents have an understanding of the industry, a pre-existing network, and negotiation skills that you as a model may lack. They can help you get better contracts, better payments and better gigs. However, the wrong agent can cause you to end up in an unfavorable or predatory situation and cause irreparable damage to your career. When possible, it is always good to work through a reliable and conscientious agent. Talk to your fellow models and do your research when selecting an agent. Also remember that while you should let your agent take the front seat when it comes to things like contract negotiations, don’t become too complacent or passive. Read your own contracts and set your boundaries. Make sure to stay aware of what is happening with your career and take charge of where you want it to go.
Understand the fitness modeling industry
When getting into fitness modeling, it is important to understand the industry. You need to understand what kind of models and body types are in demand within the industry, what are the niches that are popular and who the top photographers and model co-ordinators and agents are. Having this information can be very helpful in understanding what you should do and how you should prepare yourself in order to get fitness modeling jobs in the industry. Figuring out who the reliable agencies and talent coordinators are is also useful because predatory practices and unscrupulous people can lead you astray when you are new or inexperienced. It is very easy to get swindled or taken advantage of when you don’t understand the industry you are working in. Check out these 12 tips for aspiring models to help you understand how to get your big break!
Do check out these articles on modeling
How to get fitness modeling jobs?
You should always be on the lookout for open calls or other opportunities from modeling agencies or talent scouting agencies. These open calls are excellent opportunities for newbies and up and coming fitness models to get in touch with more established fashion industry professionals. Since you don’t need a referral for these open calls, they can be an excellent resource for finding fitness modeling jobs if you don’t have previous experience or contact with the fashion industry. Even if you can’t find any suitable open calls at the moment, do not worry because you can try to cold email people within the industry, particularly casting agents to see if they have gigs available that you would be suitable for.
If you are a more established fitness model with previous experience, you can get fitness modeling jobs through your agency or representative. Agencies are responsible for securing and booking gigs for their clients, contract negotiations and billings. A good agent or agency will help you grow your fitness modeling career and ensure that you get remunerated appropriately.
If you are wondering how to get fitness modeling jobs as an independent model, working outside of an agency, then your modeling portfolio website may be the best platform. Your fitness modeling portfolio is not just a platform for you to showcase your pictures and work, it can also be the perfect avenue for you to promote yourself, network and book clients. By adding contact forms to your online modeling portfolio, you can provide potential clients with an easy and accessible way of contacting and booking you for gigs. This guide to creating a contact form is sure to be helpful for you.
You can also link your portfolio website on your social media channels and promote it everywhere to maximize the organic reach of your online portfolio. SEO is also a very cost-efficient way of increasing your organic reach and attracting more visitors to your online portfolio website. This guide to SEO for creatives can be a wonderful resource in helping you improve your reach through SEO and growing your career as a fitness model.
The best fitness model agencies
Most fitness models work through agencies. Fitness modeling agencies scout and book jobs for their models, negotiate contracts and handle billings. It is important to choose the right modeling agency because unscrupulous and predatory agents can be a major issue in modeling. This article on the 60 best modeling agencies can be helpful for you in identifying the right agency for you.
Also, here are some of the best modeling agencies in the world specializing in fitness and sports models:
W Model Management was established in London in 2007 with the explicit aim of representing healthy, toned, fitness models. W Models is committed not just to representing and booking their models but also in making sure they adhere to a proper diet and fitness regimen.
BMA Models started out in 1983 as a small agency, located just outside London. They offer all kinds of modeling services and specialize in sports modeling. With a large, professional team of agents and bookers and a commitment to diversity, BMA models is one of the best modeling agencies for fitness models.
State Models is an American modeling agency with offices in the fashion capitals of Los Angeles, and New York. State offers a holistic approach to modeling in a rapidly evolving industry. They specialize in all major genres of modeling, including fitness modeling.
IMG Models is one of the most well-known, globally recognized modeling agencies with offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan and Sydney. IMG models represent prominent female models such as Bella Hadid and Kate Moss. They offer a wide variety of genres within their modeling portfolio, including fitness modeling.
How much do fitness models make?
According to the job-hunting site Indeed, the average fitness model was paid around $23 an hour on average. However, the lowest-paid models can be earning anywhere as low as $7 an hour and the highest-paid fitness models can charge as high as $75.95 an hour. Fitness models can make an average of around $40,000 to $70,000 a year.
Fitness model incomes can vary quite a bit. For a more thorough look at what models earn on average, you may like to check out this article on average model salaries. This will give you a more detailed breakdown of costs versus earnings and the various factors that can come together to affect the final income for models.
Most fitness models are paid at an hourly rate. However, it is difficult to pin down a set amount because of the immense amount of variability in incomes depending on location, the level and budget of the brands you are working with, commissions charged by your agency, travel and accommodation costs etc.
How to create a fitness model portfolio?
Before you actually take the plunge and start your fitness modelling career, you will need to create an online portfolio. Gone are the days of bulky physical portfolios, these days, most models prefer to go online with a model portfolio website. Creating an online fitness modelling portfolio sounds complicated but it really isn’t. Pixpa simplifies everything!
With Pixpa’s easy to use visual editor, you can create your fitness modelling portfolio website easily and customize it to look and feel exactly the way you want. The drag and drop page builder makes adding pages to your fitness model website a breeze. With multiple gallery options, you can showcase yourself in the best way possible. What’s more? Pixpa’s built-in marketing and SEO tools can help you promote and market your portfolio and gain more organic traffic and engagement. The better your engagement, the better your chances of landing your dream fitness modelling gig. And just in case you are still not convinced. Here is a full and comprehensive list of Pixpa’s features to wow you!
Also, take a look at some of these amazing modelling portfolios and fashion websites built on Pixpa for inspiration!
Fitness modeling can be an extremely rewarding career, especially if you have a passion for sports and fitness training. However, to get your big break as a fitness model, you need more than just rigorous training and a smashingly toned body. We hope this article was able to demystify some of the aspects of fitness modeling as well as the logistics and scope of building a career as a fitness model.
And while we are on the topic of building, unlike bodybuilding, building your fitness model portfolio doesn’t have to involve an endless grind. With Pixpa you can build your online portfolio website effortlessly, and more importantly affordably. Don’t believe us? Check out this article on the costs of building a portfolio website to see how a website builder like Pixpa can simplify the process of building your fitness model portfolio website, bring down costs and give you the greatest possible return on investment.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Pixpa’s full-featured, 15-day free trial, and start creating your fitness model portfolio website today. No credit card required for sign up and no hidden charges!