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The Complete Guide to Become a Fitness Model (2020)

Do you want to become a fitness model? If yes, then you are not alone!

Almost every other bodybuilder who spends majority of his time working out in a gym, dreams of becoming a fitness model.

Their goal is to make a career in this field. Fitness modelling involves a lot of competition, so it is never going to be easy for anyone.

Becoming a fitness model demands a lot of endurance, and it is indeed a competitive profession.

There are so many fitness models who are killing it on various social media platforms, and many of them have even become the brand ambassadors for brands like Nike and Adidas. 

fitness models

Even though you are in great shape, there are thousands more who have the perfect body and shape to give you a tough fight. Commitment to stay fit and healthy and working hard is not enough.

There is a lot more than this, a prospective candidate needs to go through to ensure that he gets good fitness modelling offers. 

From the outside, you might think that there is not a lot of hard work that a model needs to do, but the truth is, an aspiring candidate needs to prove himself or herself in every step.

Modelling as a career is not easy, and without proper guidance, it can become difficult for you to know what needs to be done to get into this field.

The first thing to know is that there are different types of fitness modelling jobs. Some brands will prefer models with bigger muscles, while others go for a simple and natural look. Everything boils down to what your client is looking for and what type of product that company is selling.

The fitness industry is worth $30 billion,; and of course, there is always a need for fitness models. Getting paid for showing off your abs and killer biceps, what can be better than that?

So, if you are planning to get into fitness modelling and would like to appear on TV, fitness magazines, and movies, then go through our complete guide to become a fitness model.

How to Become a Fitness Model

What are the physical requirements?

The key to getting a fitness modelling gig is to work on your body. You should work out daily and have an athletic body. Most of the fitness agencies look for models who are fit and lean. Someone with toned muscles is the best candidate for fitness modelling.

For women, the ideal height is should not be less than 5'6", and for men, it should be 6 feet and above. The height requirement is standard for the fashion industry, no matter what type of modelling career you are going for.

Agencies also look for models who have great skin, beautiful hair, and a pleasant smile. There is a huge demand for fitness models in the industry. These models often get hired for various fitness-related commercials and advertisements to appeal to a large number of audiences.

While maintaining good health is the first key to get noticed, landing modelling jobs will require more than just being fit and having a good physique. Apart from looking healthy, you should work on a good modelling portfolio to attract some of the leading fitness modelling agencies.

Modelling agencies can help you get connected with reputed brands that can offer you the best fitness modelling jobs.

How to get discovered by fitness modelling agencies?

To get calls from different agencies, you must get discovered first. Some models are lucky, and agencies approach them after they uploaded a YouTube training video. Others may be approached after they are discovered through bikini or different types of modelling competitions.

However, not every model is born with a silver spoon, and for them going for open calls and visiting modelling agencies directly are the only options. What you need to do is start with small agencies

Once you start receiving good fitness modelling jobs and gain experience in the field, you can share your portfolio with some of the best photos to with a more reputed firm.

You might have to wait for a year or two to get a good offer, but if you dream of becoming a fitness model, then you have to be patient.

How to Get Discovered as a Model

Your Instagram account can act as your portfolio. Suzzane Cover, who never dreamt of becoming a fitness model, ended up becoming one. She was contacted through her Instagram account.

Suzzane uploaded a photo wearing a bikini of a particular brand with two real starfishes covering her breasts instead of a bra. Many Instagram users shared her photo multiple times, and she ended up receiving a message from a reputed agency asking her if she would be interested in becoming a fitness model.

That's how opportunity knocked on her door. Suzzane didn't have any portfolio to share, therefore, the agency asked her to come for some shoots. Suzzane never looked back.

What a fitness model's day look like?

After you sign for a modelling job, you will have to prepare yourself for the hard work. Whatever you see in the magazines is the good stuff, but what goes behind the hard work is dedication and determination to make the photo shoots look perfect.

No matter how physically fit you are, fitness modelling jobs can make you feel exhausted. So, on the shoot day, you need to get up early in the morning. We suggest that you exercise as well because the photoshoot will test your endurance level.

It is better to sleep early and wake up early. Once you do a photoshoot, you will feel tired and drained and would want to rest for at least two days.

Once you reach the spot, the makeup artist and hairdresser will start doing your makeup and hair. Just like every other modelling shoot, even fitness modelling photoshoots begin with a tiresome makeup and hair routine.

Sometimes, your creative director may give a special appearance to check if everything is on point. Just before the shot, you need to go through one more makeup and hair touch-up. Then, you are all set for the camera.

For the shoot, you might even have to travel to a different location back and forth. This is where you will lose all your energy. You might be asked to climb the end number of stairs, and the photographer will keep on asking you to pose differently for different photos.

And for just one picture, you might have to go through a lot of strain. The finished work, however, will only be two or three minutes long.

VLOG - A Day in the Life of a Fitness Model

How to get started for fitness modelling?

To get discovered by some of the top fitness magazines and companies, and even photographers, you must first get in touch with some reputed fitness modelling agencies. That's the first step towards being noticed.

The chances of you getting scouted online is slim, so the best bet you have is to contact different fitness modelling agencies.

Prepare a good portfolio and start submitting your photos to some of the best online modelling scout agencies. Once you upload it them on such online platforms, your photos will be seen by many agencies from all over the globe.

Let all the agencies know that you are the right candidate, and you are here to become a fitness model and save yourself from contacting thousands of fitness modelling agencies individually. Also, if there is are any open cast opportunities, never miss them.

The open cast will let you connect with agencies. Therefore, keep an eye on the internet and search for opencast for fitness modelling.

What kind of companies hire fitness models?

Fitness models often get hired by companies that manufacture fitness and health supplements, publish fitness magazines, design athletic wear, and more. If you get a job offer from these companies, your photos will be everywhere. Your photos can be on their website to their magazines and catalogues.

If the fitness company you are getting contacted by is reputed, then your photo can even appear on billboards.

Even if you decide to become a part-time fitness model, you must make sure to take good care of your body. Fitness model agencies and companies pay the utmost importance to physical fitness.

How should you train your body to become a fitness model?

Before you start applying for different fitness modelling agencies, make sure that your body is fit for this type of modelling. If you must work on your muscles or need to tone down a bit, then do it. Anyone serious about pursuing fitness modelling as a career will do that. 

Plan for a solid diet and always eat healthy food. Go for regular workouts and visit the gym daily. Just make sure that you meet the proper requirements of for fitness modelling.

Fitness modelling is nothing like other modelling categories because. your body will go through double the stress when you become a model.

How to practice to become a fitness model?

Working out is an essential part of becoming a fitness model. But while you work out, why don't you take part in fitness pageants? You know that once you become a model, you will be in front of the camera most of the time, it will be your better half.

So, keep participating in fitness pageants to be seen by some modelling scouts. Modelling scouts always take great interest in such shows to find the next big thing. This way, you will prepare yourself for the real offers and will come under notice as well.

Is it necessary to take care of hair, skin, and teeth?

Well, yes! This is a must no matter what type of modelling career you are aiming towards. This means the photographer would want you to look your best. Just like any other model, a fitness model is expected to have good skin, hair, and teeth.

Once you become a fitness model, you will be expected to sell commercial products, appear for advertisements, and more. A great smile, silky hair, and even better skin will make you look your best on every photograph.

5 Tips for Fitness Modeling

Network, network, and network!

Agencies, photographers, makeup artists, and the companies you have and you wish to work for, always stay in touch with them.

Let your makeup artist make you look ravishing. The modelling industry is highly competitive, and since modelling agencies are always looking for fresh faces, it becomes necessary for every model to stay in touch.

Also, these people are well connected with other agencies and brands, and they can help you get more offers.

Start by gaining information about the people working in the industry. A model must get his or her name out there. If you are already in touch with everyone, then bravo! If not, start connecting with people.

Never give up

As we said, the modelling industry is tough and fierce, and you will be competing with a lot of other equally qualified candidates.

Nothing comes to anyone easily. For some people, finding fitness modelling gigs could be easy if they belong to the same industry, while for others, it could be extremely challenging. You might have to wait for a long time to land an excellent opportunity.

Hang tight and don't lose hope. Be persistent, keep applying, and even if one agency says no to you, move on to the next one. But keep trying. You got to have a thick skin if you want to survive in this industry.

Find a reputed photographer that Specializes in Fitness modelling photography for your portfolio

For your portfolio, you will need the right pictures. Find a reputed photographer who has worked with fitness models before. The photographer that you hire must possess the following attributes:

Their Style of Work

You can't just submit any photoYou must pick a style for yourself that you are comfortable with.

Google and Adobe stock are the best tools to find some of the fitness styles that you should try.

Talk to your photographer and show them the photos that you have picked.

Talk to them if they have any particular style in mind that will be suitable for you.


Go Through Their Testimonials and Reviews

Look out for testimonials and reviews. Google search for some genuine reviews.

You can also visit the sites such as Trustpilot, Review Centre, and Feefo.

These are some websites where you will find what others think of your photographer.

Testimonials are a must if you want to get to know about the photographer that you have chosen.

This will allow you to work with the best person, and you will be saved from getting in touch with the fake ones.

Fitness Modelling

How about their experience?

Just like any other professions, take a look at the years of experience a photographer has.

What type of photoshoots have they done? Pick someone who has over ten years of photography experience in this domain.

camera pic

Choose a niche photographer

Go with someone who has worked with different fitness models or has helped aspiring models to work as a fitness model.

Just because someone has recommended you a great wedding photographer, doesn't necessarily mean that they will be an excellent fitness modelling photographer too.

Niche-specific photographers know everything about your profession and how to capture the right photos.

fitness photographer

Top fitness models

Michelle Lewin

Michelle Lewin is a former nurse and now one of the best fitness models. The model is from Venezuela and has over 14 million followers.

With her amazingly stunning looks and healthy physique, Michelle has become the favourite for so many fitness companies.

She has also started her range of fitness equipment and different lines of health supplements as well.

Michelle Lewin

Michelle Lewin

Jennifer Nicole Lee

Jennifer Nicole Lee

Jennifer Nicole Lee

Jennifer Nicole Lee has endorsed many health supplements, she has appeared in some of the top fitness magazine covers, and swimsuit calendars.

Jennifer has worked with different fitness companies and appeared in many fitness DVDs and books as well.

She is arguably one of the top fitness models of all times.

Lazar Angelov

The army man, Lazar Angelov's passion is bodybuilding. Lazar has been a professional basketball player for more than ten years.

Lazar is a leading male fitness model and has landed many endorsement deals and has even appeared in different fitness magazines.

The model is 32 -years old and has a chiselled physique.

Lazar Angelov

Lazar Angelov

Simeon Panda

Simeon Panda

Simeon Panda

Simeon Panda started working out when he was in high school. ​

He is interested in body building and has taken part in various fitness competitions as well.

Simeon has worked for some of the major fitness brands and has appeared in modelling campaigns also.

How to create a fitness model portfolio?

Your fitness model portfolio is your resume. Fitness model agencies are searching for models with the best frames of their bodies. If you have an online collection, you can share that with all the fitness modelling agencies.

How to Put Together a Modeling Portfolio

Choosing the right portfolio

Many websites will allow you to build your fitness model portfolio.

Choose a fresh theme and upload some of your best fitness modelling shots.

Some even allow you to integrate your professional Instagram account.

Go for a website that offers a good number of features that will help you create an impressive portfolio.

You can check out some of the top model's portfolios to see what worked for them and why their portfolios are considered to be the best in the industry.


Keep practicing your poses

To pose for a fitness modelling gig, you must look convincing and confident.

Posing in different angles might seem a bit awkward to you in the beginning, but with practice, you will master this skill.

You must know how to pose in front of the camera if you are planning to be a model, for which, you will have to learn different poses.

Find the right posture that makes you look natural and highlights the best assets of your body.

 Also, do try different and new poses as well. 


Be confident in front of the camera to look ravishing. Once you are satisfied with your photos, go ahead and create your model portfolio. Follow top fitness models to get inspired by them. Go through their Instagram account and keep practicing.

Focus on your unique abilities

Many fitness models are trying to make a career in this domain, so you must find out what makes you unique.

While creating your portfolio, ask yourself why should anyone contact you? What makes you stand out from the rest?

You can create a background story about your journey. How you started it? What made you get into physical fitness?

Add anything that will make your portfolio outshine the rest.

Your portfolio is a brand itself, and you must make sure that your brand looks unique.

Think about the reasons that make you unique, and get them listed on the portfolio.

sports illustrated

How to book fitness modelling jobs?

After you have created a stunning fitness model portfolio, now is the time to look for fitness modelling jobs. This is how you will go about it:

Send your portfolio to agencies

There are many fitness modelling agencies, and they are always looking for new talents. Make a list of agencies where you would like to apply. 

Get their email IDs, contact number, and address. Send them your portfolio, and if the agency considers your application, they will contact you. If they offer small jobs, don't refuse them. That's how most of the top fitness models started their careers.

The more jobs you do, the more chances of being seen by better and bigger clients.

Take part in modelling competitions

Every year some companies organize a fitness pageants or and swimsuit competitions. We recommend you to take part in them. These could be the perfect places to show off your body. Modelling scouts visit such pageants and contests to look for the best models.

Google national and even local competitions that are happening in your areas. Sign up and show them all what you have got! Winning is not necessary, but introducing yourself in front of these model scouts is what you should be focused on.

Also, taking part in competitions prepare you for posing in front of the cameras as well. We don't think you should skip this opportunity.

Use social media to submit your fitness pictures

Nowadays, fitness brands and agencies are using social media platforms increasingly to scout new faces.

These companies often host contests on social media. Submit your portfolio and wait for them to contact you. Keep an eye on social media platforms all the time and never miss a chance to connect with them.

Keep submitting your portfolio to increase your chances of being seen and booked by some brands.

What kind of jobs are out there for fitness models?

Fitness models often start with small gigs. Some even start their career with free or low pay jobs.

If you want to make it big, then these offers can also become beneficial for you.

You might be approached by a small brand to promote their products or services online, and these companies usually pay very less.

However, these small opportunities can soon lead to bigger ones.

Grab a chance and be seen by as many people as possible. This should be the only reason for doing such gigs.

Once you are offered a better opportunity, for example, endorsing a top health supplement, or you go for the big label fitness model photoshoot, you will start maintaining a sustainable career.

Try to be socially savvy. Use Instagram because this is one platform where scouts often look for fresh and new faces.

promotional fitness model

Someone from the fitness industry might contact you over Instagram as well, and if you have a large following, that is even better for these agencies and fitness companies. Big or small, if you find a legit offer, go for it.

What can you do to build your fitness modelling career?

The things that you need to do might sound simple, but when it comes to doing them, they are challenging. Being slim is not enough. Getting the first offer from a fitness company is only half the battle. You will need to maintain your figure if you want to get more offers.

To become a fitness model, you must keep trying hard and keep on working on your body.

Always stay active and fit

The life of a models is always unpredictable, and the same can be said about fitness models as well. One offer is never enough. If you want to pursue it as a career, then you will need to work on your body regularly. You can't afford to take risk with your physique.

You can have a cheat day, but don't forget to shed the extra calories later. Opportunities can knock on your door anytime. If your weight keeps fluctuating, no agency will have the confidence to work with you. Some jobs demand hours of physical exercise.

For example, you could be asked to do hours of lunging, jumping, and squatting. You must be prepared for everything. Photographers do try their best to get the perfect shots as soon as possible, but the whole shoot is dependent on you.

If you can prove that you have a high level of endurance, get ready to receive many other opportunities soon. Stay active and eat healthily.

Always upload a current portfolio

Many models don't pay much attention to their portfolios. No one likes to see old photos. That's why you should always work on maintaining a fresh and latest portfolio. Keep going for new fitness photoshoots and upload the best ones on your portfolio.

Having an impressive and updated portfolio is necessary. If your website is your portfolio, replace the old photos with new ones.

What are the challenges of being a fitness model?

Apart from looking great and fit all the time, you will face many other obstacles too. The number one and the most crucial challenge that you will face is being camera ready. Your body needs to be in shape all the time.

There will always be this pressure on the fitness model to have a photogenic body with perfect abs and body. The second challenge is that not every fitness modelling job is meant for you.

You might have the right shape and the right mindset, but the fitness company or brand might have something else in their minds, and they will end up hiring someone else. You might face rejection sometimes. Therefore, be prepared.

Challenges of a Fitness Model

The third challenge is being fit, and being able to perform goes hand in hand. When you exercise all alone, no photographer is asking you to pose in specific ways. But, while modelling, there is always someone on top of your head, asking you to pose in different ways.

To be able to perform along with doing 20 squats is never easy. Your job demands a lot of things, and a fitness model must remember to smile for the camera or keep a straight face while lifting heavyweights.

The last one and probably the most annoying one is to be prepared even for the last-minute call. A fitness model hardly knows what she or he is up for. Someone new to this industry can face a lot of challenges.

You might be planning for a Saturday night party the whole week, and suddenly you get a call from your agency asking you to be ready for the next-day shot! That is tiresome.

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