How to Become a Fitness Model

Created the: 06-08-2020


Do you dream of a career as a fitness model?

In recent years, fitness has crossed into the fashion industry, with more and more designers creating sportswear, and training clothing becoming very fashionable outside of the gym. With the increased focus on fitness and health, the demand for fitness models is also growing.

What is a fitness model?

Fitness models are featured in sports magazines and sportswear advertising, both print and TV. Generally, anywhere physical activity is the focus, fitness models are needed. Although the job description may seem similar to a regular model, the requirements for fitness modelling are significantly different.

Stamina is a key difference between regular modelling and fitness modelling. Fitness models must be able to train continually throughout a shoot while also looking good in the pictures.

It is not uncommon for fitness models who specialise in yoga to pose in yoga positions for eight hours straight, or models to run from 8 am to 6 pm to get the right jogging shots snapped.

Similar to regular models, fitness models also have to dedicate a lot of time attending castings, but typically, the demands are a little different. Potential bookers often want to see how models look while doing exercises such as arm curls, abdominal crunches, or planks. And it’s expected that models can exercise and hold positions for several minutes at a time.

Another difference between fitness modelling and regular modelling is hair and makeup. During regular fashion shoots, a lot of emphases is placed on makeup and hairstyling. For a fitness shoot, makeup is used sparingly and hair presented in a simple manner, such as a ponytail to better accommodate the physical activity models will be performing.

Additionally, coconut or other oils are used in fitness shoots to help muscles glisten and highlight a model’s physical condition.

How Should fitness Models look?

If you feel your height is an issue for becoming a regular model, fitness modelling may still be an option. Fitness models often range in height from 1.67 - 1.73 m., however, there is a trend toward using taller models.

As a fitness model, your body is your source of income, so staying in good shape and eating healthy should be a priority. Even though fitness models usually work just a few times a week or month, physical training for that work is almost a full-time job. And it’s important to maintain your good physical shape all year round because jobs can be offered at any time.

And just like regular models, fitness models need to have healthy skin, hair and nails.

Practice the Poses

Look through sports magazines and visit training sites to see how those models pose. Try reproducing poses in front of a mirror, paying particular attention to the ones that suit you the best. Some models practice poses naked so they know how to look good without the aid of clothing or accessories.

The more you practice in front of a mirror or a camera, the more you get used to it.

Get Quality Pictures Taken

To show how photogenic you are when exercising, you need to have some good quality pictures. It’s not essential to use a professional photographer, but you should at least get a friend to help.

Even though fitness pictures specifically focus on the body, and fitness models often wear very little clothing, models should be careful not to cross into risqué or inappropriate poses. Avoid overly sexy poses where you pull down the edge of your pants or lift your blouse in a revealing way. Study other fitness modelling material to see how to look sporty without trying to look seductive. Remember, your photos are your calling card, representing you to the world.

It's important to regularly update your photos on Onlinecasting at least every six months so that casters and bookers always see your most current look. How you look today matters a lot more than how you looked a year ago.

How to get started as a fitness model?

A fitness model is like a professional athlete. It’s not something that can be achieved with only an occasional effort. Dedication and passion are essential qualities, as is the resolve to regularly exercise and eat healthy. If you feel your body isn’t quite where it needs to be, there are countless exercise and diet tips on the web that can help you get on track. A personal trainer can also be a great resource to help you build the body you’re after.

Once your body has reached a certain fitness level, you can consider participating in fitness competitions. Many fitness models have gotten their start through competitions. Fitness competitions provide excellent visibility to potential clients, especially at the bigger events. Every participant has a great opportunity to impress potential casters. Fitness competitions don’t guarantee work as a fitness model, but they do provide a terrific opportunity to get yourself known.

There is a lot more to fitness modelling than a nice body and a pretty face. Thousands of other talented individuals with toned bodies will be competing for the same jobs as you, so making an effort to stand out can be what makes the difference. It takes hard work to rise above the competition, but that’s exactly what’s needed to be successful as a model.

Be patient and realistic. Modelling careers do not materialise overnight. Set achievable goals and work hard to reach them. Maybe it’s the cover of a fitness magazine or a photo series on a popular fitness website. You might dream of working abroad as part of your career goal. You also might need to lose a little weight or bulk up on parts of your body. Whatever objectives you set for yourself, be dedicated about meeting them.

Promote yourself

Don't expect model scouts to discover you at your local gym. You have to actively get yourself out there.

Here are a few ideas on how to promote yourself:

Directly contact sports/fitness magazines (both print and online magazines) where you would like to appear. Spend some time finding the ones that are the most suitable for your look and what you have to offer. If you have a runner’s body, it doesn’t make much sense to contact bodybuilder magazines.

Do you have a different approach to training, or do you stand out in a way that makes you an interesting interview? Let magazines and websites know what makes you special. There’s no guarantee you’ll get their attention, but it never hurts to be proactive. Remember to always attach a new, flattering image of yourself when you submit to print and web editors. Not everyone has time to visit your Facebook or Instagram profile to look at your photos.

Create profiles on various fitness websites, both in your home country and abroad. Some have online contests where you can post pictures and draw attention to yourself.

Use your circle of friends to market yourself, network, and meet new people in the industry.


As with any modelling, be prepared for rejections and criticism. The industry is full of people looking for work just like you, so rejections come frequently. But don’t let rejections beat you down, instead, use them as a learning opportunity.

Unfortunately, scams aimed at modelling hopefuls are also very common. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research. Google to see who is behind the companies you’re working with. Look for photographers’ previous customers. Do the people or businesses you’re considering have professional looking websites? Just because someone owns a camera does not mean they are a photographer. Take the time to investigate beforehand so you don’t regret something later.

Can You Make a Living as a Fitness Model?

The current reality is fitness models rarely make a full-time living modelling alone. Fitness models routinely supplement their income as personal trainers or fitness instructors in areas such as dance and yoga. However, as the health and fitness trend continues to grow, fitness models can expect more opportunities.

But don’t give up just because a full-time fitness modelling career can be challenging. There are still lots of jobs out there for you. At Onlinecasting, we often have castings and auditions, where we are looking for men and women in great physical condition. So even if the word “fitness” doesn’t appear in an opportunity you’re interested in, make sure you still put yourself in the running.