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Exercises to Help You Get a Model's Body

Updated on July 24, 2013
Abby Campbell profile image

Dr. Abby Campbell is a Naturopathic Doctor & President of 911 Body ResQ, an online store providing organic and non-GMO supplements.

About the Author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan, one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)

Exercises to help you get a model's body!
Exercises to help you get a model's body! | Source

Want to Look Like a Fitness Model?

Models come in all shapes and sizes, and their looks can range from the American apple pie beauty living next door to exotic and mysterious. Most fashion and magazine models have been presented as very slim with little muscle tone. This look can be very difficult for some to achieve. However, fitness models have been on the rise in recent years. Both male and female have been posing their healthy and defined physiques and figures in magazines, on billboards, and even television commercials. If your goal is to look like a fitness model, you can most definitely achieve this. Though it takes some dedication, you can make your dream of having a model's body a reality.

Fitness models have an athletic physique or figure with little body fat. Though muscle definition is important, a decent amount of body fat is also important. The average body fat for a male model is between 8 to 10 percent. For females, 10 to 14 percent is appropriate. The common 'bodybuilder' type with many striations do not make up the typical fitness model, though some supplement companies do prefer such models. However, a healthy fitness model is more in demand and most likely what more people are looking to portray.

Three important aspects of looking like a fitness model include nutrition, exercise, and rest. It would be wise to get organized and make a plan as your commitment to your goals is important. If you truly want to look like a fitness model, you cannot be inconsistent. You will never reach your goals by being sporadic with your nutrition and workouts. Consistency and dedication are extremely important.

As you follow along in this hub, you will find an exercise plan that will help you reach your goals of looking like a fitness model. If you don't have the fitness equipment that is required for certain exercises, obtaining a gym membership is a great option. However, you can most definitely get a model's body with a few pieces of decent equipment that can be purchased for home. If for some reason, your body won't allow you to do certain exercises, please check out Google or YouTube for replacement exercises.

HIIT Calories Expended Goals

Calories Expended Goals
12 - 9
4 - 1

Cardio for Fat Loss

Aerobic, otherwise known as 'cardio' exercise, is extremely important for the fitness model. It's important to achieve fat loss to get down to a certain body fat level. As mentioned earlier, 8 to 10 percent body fat for men and 10-14 percent body fat for women is an appropriate level. Following are two sample cardio programs for both women and men, depending on which you prefer: (1) intensity-based, or (2) duration-based.


  1. For men with less than 15 percent body fat, do cardio three days per week. For women less than 20 percent body fat, do cardio four days per week. Do a high intensity interval training (HIIT) for 12-20 minutes on each cardio day. With each week, try to burn more calories in the same amount of time.
  2. For those with more body fat than stated in bullet #1, you will need additional cardio, Add two to three days of low intensity steady state cardio for 30 minutes each.
  3. For those who are already very lean, do not do cardio. You will get plenty of exercise with weight training and other activities. You don't want your body fat to get too low.
  4. To ease boredom, be sure to cross train with a variety of cardio exercises.


12 - 11
5 times per week, 30 minutes
4 times per week, 20 minutes
10 - 9
6 times per week, 30 minutes
5 times per week, 20 minutes
8 -7
6 times per week, 40 minutes
6 times per week, 20 minutes
6 - 5
6 times per week, 50 minutes
6 times per week, 30 minutes
4 - 3
6 times per week, 60 minutes
6 times per week, 40 minutes
2 - 1
6 times per week, 60 minutes
6 times per week, 50 minutes

Following are some notes regarding the above duration-based cardio plan:

  1. If you feel you are getting too lean, you may decrease the number of cardio days or the number of minutes you train each day.
  2. If you feel you are not making enough progress, jump ahead of your schedule but do not exceed 60 minutes per day. Instead you may add two to three days of an extra cardio HIIT session for 12 to 20 minutes each. Do HIIT in the evenings if you're doing your regular steady state cardio in the mornings (or vice versa).
  3. If you are lean already, only do cardio three days per week for 20 minutes.
  4. You may train with a variety of cardio exercises so not to get bored.

Look like a fitness model with a great model workout that includes cardio for fat loss and weight lifting routines.
Look like a fitness model with a great model workout that includes cardio for fat loss and weight lifting routines. | Source

How to Be a Fitness Model?

To become a fitness model, you will first need to have a passion and drive for it. Secondly, you will need to have a plan that should include most of the following:

  1. Exercise
  2. Nutrition
  3. Supplements (if needed)
  4. Rest
  5. Photo Shoots
  6. Stage Competition
  7. Networking
  8. Portfolio
  9. Agent

Model Workout With Weight Training

To get a fitness model's body, you will need to workout with weights in the form of barbells, dumbbells, or weighted exercise equipment. Weight bearing exercise will help you build and define muscles. Ladies, please don't worry as you will never get big and bulky muscles for you only have about 1/20th of the testosterone as men. Without sports enhancing supplements or illegal drugs, you will not be able to make the gains that men do.

All weight training equipment can be accessed through your local gym. If you do not know how to use them, make an appointment with one of your gym's wellness coaches to learn how to use the equipment appropriately. This will save you from hurting yourself with incorrect form. Most gym orientations are free for first time users.

There are many exercises you can do to get your best body in the least amount of time. The primary focus for female models is on shoulder, back, abdominals, legs, and glutes. The hourglass figure can be obtained through a broad back and nicely rounded shoulders as this makes the waist appear smaller. Though chest and arms (biceps and triceps) are important to workout, female models still need to maintain a feminine quality so these parts of the body are not trained as hard as the other parts (unless you are really lacking in those areas). Men will want to concentrate on all muscle groups for strength and size. However, the back is of utmost importance. The broader the back, the smaller the waist looks.

To find the correct weight training routine, you may want to consult with a professional personal trainer who can assess your body and set up a plan for you. He or she should know how to help you work on the weak spots of your body to get you in your best shape by your goal date.

Other Forms of Exercise for a Model Body

Cardio and weight training can get boring day in and day out. Learn variety. Other than the usual running or cardio equipment, you can go hiking, swimming, or biking. Weight training plans can add plyometrics, kickboxing, or suspension training. Just be active in all you do, as every bit will help you reach your goal of looking like a model faster.

Fitness Model Training and Posing

Fitness Model Training School
Julie Lohre's FitBody Training
Online Training & Posing Guide
Jennifer Nicole Lee
Video Training
Cathy Savage Fitness
Online & In-Studio Camps (training & posing)

Modeling Poses

Model Posture Tips

It's one thing to have a body that looks like a fitness model, but it's another to look like the model's total package. Show off your self confidence by knowing how to sit, walk, bend, turn, and move. Learning good posture and posing can complete your model look. There are many videos on YouTube you can check out. Practice, practice, and practice more! Before you know it, someone important in the modeling business may just ask you to represent their company, magazine, or commercial.

Model posture tips are important to look and be the 'whole' package.
Model posture tips are important to look and be the 'whole' package. | Source

Be Your Best Body

As you can see, it will take you a bit of dedication to reach your goal of having your best body. However, it can be done with consistency, motivation, and willpower. Just don't lose yourself in the process. A plan of attack is wise, but enjoy the process. Most of all, don't forget to enjoy you, your family, and your friends outside of your training regimen. After all, your body is an extension of you, your mind, and your heart. Treating it as a temple is one thing, but treating it as if it were 'God' is another. Not forgetting the most important things and people in your life will help you become a better person not only on the outside but on the inside as well. Good luck with your endeavors!

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Helping those who desire it!
Helping those who desire it! | Source

About the author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author. For the past 10 years, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Her clients have lost thousands of pounds, reclaimed health, and call her “Coach No Gimmick.” She is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. Abby has been married for 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 19 year cancer survivor.


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    • Abby Campbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi Dana. I'm sorry I just saw your post. It's been 4 months, so how are you doing? Were you able to make the transformation you were longing for?

    • Dana Lovrek profile image


      5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      This has been really inspiring! When I was younger, I was incredibly active, swimming for about 3 hours a day, running races regularly, and biking everywhere. It was my lifestyle, so I was never concerned with body image. Well, now that I've graduated university, started my career (stay at home free lance writer, LOTS of sitting), and finding myself creeping into my late twenties, I've realized that I no longer have the body I once had. It's not to say I've gained heaps of weight to the point of crossing lots of pant sizes, but now when I look in the mirror, there is no definition in my figure, I've become squishy and boxy in some parts, and sitting down is sometimes embarrassing as my tummy pops out of the top of my pants! Without wanting to go on any crazy diet, I decided to take steps into getting my body back (or something relatively close). Some days can be tough, though, to scrape up enough energy and inspiration to do what I have to do. Reading your articles has definitely made me feel a LOT more pumped about this transition of getting my old body back!! And who knows, maybe in 12 weeks now, I'll be proudly showing off my model ready body, filled with the confidence I once had!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      7 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      No problem, Abby. I figured you had a good reason... Vacation :) I hope you had a lot of fun and relaxation!

    • Abby Campbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi Kathryn. Thanks so much. I apologize for replying so late as I was on vacation for the last 10 days. I appreciate your comment. :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      7 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      Wow, what a wonderfully done hub! You did well with the exclusive title, and I'm sure it will be popular.

      Have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Abby Campbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks for stopping by, marion langley. I appreciate your comment. Motivation is what I do. LOL. Have a wonderful day! :-)

    • Abby Campbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi ladydeonne. Thank you for stopping by. That is so wonderful that you have kept yourself so active. You sound like me! :-) I'm sorry to hear about your eldest brother having to go through heart surgery. But, with all that you have done to keep yourself youthful, I'm sure you will live happy and healthy until older. ;) Have a wonderful day!

    • marion langley profile image

      marion langley 

      7 years ago from The Study

      I especially enjoyed the model posing video...what a fun addition. Lots of great info and flexible descriptions. Voting up. Thanks for the motivation!

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 

      7 years ago from Florence, SC


      This hub is great and filled with such useful and helpful information. I owe my health and youthful looks today to my starting an aerobics, walking/jogging, swimming hiking, strength training program after my oldest brother had open heart surgery in the late 70's. I was determined not to undergo such a devastating surgery. I have been amiss in doing strength training but am motivated by your article to start using my dumb bells again. My desire of course is not to achieve a model's body but to stay healthy and to live to a riper old age.

    • Abby Campbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hey Randi. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you are reactivating your gym membership. I love my gyms. People are just wonderful! :-)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Well, we made the first step to that model's body by (re)joining a gym. Accountability goes a long way with me! Thank you for all this great information, Abby! Up+++ and pinning!

    • Abby Campbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi jpcmc. Yes, the research is correct. For anyone who is a beginner to exercise should definitely start off slowly so as to not burn out. I have more hubs for beginners. ;) However, it doesn't take long to build cardiovascular strength to get started on a good solid program of training. Depending on your health, weight, and limitations, you could begin solid training to look like a fitness model within a few weeks to six months That is, if you need the time to build up to keep your motivation. ;)

    • Abby Campbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for stopping by, Colin, and sharing your humor with me this morning. ;) I always appreciate your comments, and I'm sending you, Tiffy, and Gabriel hugs today. :-)

    • Abby Campbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      LOL, Bill. What? You don't want a model's body? Just kidding. This was a HP's "Exclusives" title, so I tried my best. :-) Thank you for stopping by and for your support.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      7 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      That looks like a lot of work. I've heard about Aerobic Interval Training and a research showed that it can improve the BP of people who are inactive. Starting from zero exercise to really extraneous ones can be counterproductive. Another hurdle is keeping the motivation to exercise.

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      Abby is this a picture of you? Can I have one with your autograph? lol lol

      I can't spot any body fat , anywhere!!!!!!! lol

      I was a fitness model once for a camera with a broken lense, lol, and then the photographer told me to stand back a little further and he meant 200 yards away, lol lol.

      All kidding aside you surely have hit your stride here at the Hub with these world class health and fitness presentations and they are all so beautifully displayed and very easy on the eyes to follow and read.

      Artfully done my friend and packed with enlightenment and education too - I will post your new one with much enthusiasm at my Facebook page for all to see and I sincerely hope you had a nice safe hike today and we are sending to you 3 big Canadian hugs courtesy of Colin, Tiffy and Mister Gabriel at lake erie time canada 6:43pm

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Umm, Abby, I think this was written for someone else. LOL

      Just wanted to send some support your way. I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.



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