Home / Health & Fitness / Exercise / The Difference Between Fitness Models And Fitness Competitors


So you my be wondering how fitness magazine cover models manage to stay in such great shape, right?

Well, here’s the thing. What you may not know is that most models spend weeks if not months preparing for their photoshoot. This means there’s a good chance that the images you see in magazines or on Instagram don’t reflect the model’s everyday life.

When it comes to prepping for a shoot, models typically follow a restrictive diet and an intense exercise plan, while often shedding water weight the week before the shoot to appear as shredded as possible. In fact, for many models, photoshoots happen around fitness or figure competitions. And if you aren’t familiar with the concept, they are becoming a popular trend among women who want to either achieve a lofty fitness goal or step on stage in a two-piece bikini with a set of killer abs.

However, the opportunity to appear in a fitness magazine is not an easy feat. In fact, a while back, we sat down with Paul Buceta, a world renowned fitness photographer and publisher of STRONG Magazine.

Although many women equate competitions with fitness modeling, Paul says one does not necessarily lead to the other. However, competitions have their place as they are a strategy many women use to get in shape quickly.

To achieve a stage-worthy physique, competitors typically spend 16-weeks or more preparing. This includes a strict, high-protein diet, plenty of cardio and an intense weight training regimen. The week before the show usually involves manipulation of both carbs and water. Many competitors taper their water a day or two before, with some avoiding it altogether for a full 24 hours.

But maintaining this is neither realistic nor healthy. The day of the show, competitors are at their peak, typically weighing 10-20 lbs less than when they began training. However, once they start to consume normal amounts of water and carbs, their body fat usually increases.

The Reality of Fitness Modelling 

Since fitness models make money from their physique, it’s critical that they stay in shape year round. With that said, they are human so following a strict diet 365 days a year is not very realistic.

So if you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth, this probably isn’t the lifestyle for you. With that said, for some women, the chance to be featured in a fitness magazine or to step on stage in a bikini is enough to give up life’s little indulgences – at least temporarily.

If you are intrigued by the idea of seeing your abs or getting in great shape for bikini season, then a photo shoot may be something to strive for. Be sure to check out our online fitness and nutrition programs. We’d love to help you get camera ready!

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