It is hard not to see fitness trends. Everywhere you go, there are pictures of fitness and advertisements for healthy living. It looks like the best career should be a Fitness Model job – Just standing in front of the cameras, giving interviews and tips, meeting fans, and going to the gym. Of course, while you are being paid for all that you do. As great as it sounds, there are only very few people like this... I do get a lot of messages asking, "How do you become a Fitness Model?" or "I admire what you do"... I would like to say from my personal experience why I have changed my mind and shifted my focus from becoming a fitness model to doing something else....
For example, there are so many people who want to be on the cover of a fitness magazine that if you are lucky enough to be on it, you most likely won’t get paid, unless you are VERY well known. It's considered more beneficial for you than for the magazine to put you on the cover.
IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME AND DEDICATION
Sometimes, it can be a very tough living, keeping your body in shape at about 8-10% body fat. Building and shaping a decent body might take from as little as 3 years to something like 10 years of dedicated training. You might drive people around you crazy or even lose friends, loved ones, or family because you are not prioritising what they want, and the gym always comes first. Skipping parties is not a big deal, but preparing for the show (naturally) is no easy task. Hormones get out of balance, which leads to mood swings. If your family doesn't understand why you are doing it, most likely they won't support you.
THE PRESSURE TO TAKE STEROIDS
While you need to be in shape at all times, you also might want to get bigger, which is impossible without putting on a little bit of fat. Because of this, you might be tempted or even forced to use steroids and other anabolic drugs. These days, all the fitness guys claim to be natural due to sponsorship contract restrictions that prevent them from talking about this. Some supplement companies provide steroids to their sponsored athlete before competitions, and they help them to cheat on a drug test. I know this from a very well-known person in the fitness industry.
There is very little flexibility to do what you really want, once you become sponsored. You have to say what they want you to say to promote their products. Most of the time, people are sponsored without even trying the products or supplements. This is exactly why I had to let down a few clothing companies, because after trying their clothes, I was not satisfied enough. I try to be very honest with my fans and followers, which could be impossible after signing a sponsorship contract. Of course, there are very good contracts but these are quite rare, unless - again - you are very well known.
VERY HARD TO BREAK THROUGH
There are so many people competing and trying to become fitness models, who are willing to sacrifice everything, making it very hard to stand out, unless you have an aesthetic body, an interesting personality, and charisma. You have to judge this for yourself or ask friends if you have it.
NOT MANY PEOPLE ARE AS MUCH INTO BODY IMAGE AS YOU MIGHT THINK
The public as a whole is interested in athleticism, but not so much in how you and I look. Better to focus on the health aspect rather than on the reflection in the mirror. Don't get me wrong, most people want to have a nice body, but the main thing is to be healthy and fit, not just to look fit.
LOOK YOUR STRONGEST, BE AND FEEL AT YOUR WEAKEST
Working as a fitness model most likely means that you need to compete at least twice a year or so to get your name out there or even more to get better opportunities. If you have never met a competitor before and have not seen how he feels close to a competition, take my word for it - You feel horrible and this is the only (natural) way to prepare for the show. To have body fat is very normal and your body tries to keep it. In preparation for the show, you do the absolute, which mentally gets very tough sometimes. Your temper is very volatile, and you feel miserable, to say the least.
SHORT FITNESS MODEL CAREER
If you take your average career, it could last a long time, even as long as 40 - 60 years, but not fitness modelling. As long as you look good, everything is fine. If you sustain an injury, you will be unemployed immediately, and somebody else steps in. After that, all you have is to start working as a "PT" – Personal Trainer – which you could do anyway. It is easy to injure yourself while preparing for a contest because of fatigue and depletion, and you cannot take breaks because other guys are preparing as hard as you are or even harder.
Finding out how many people are really doing this was surprising to me... It can be very hard to keep a job while staying on top of your fitness schedule and other things. I don't know how many people are involved in this, as nobody wants to talk about it, but no doubt it’s quite a few. All you need to do is Skype video conversation calls and flex your muscles, maybe put on some oil in front of the camera, while someone (usually a man) is watching you and doing god knows what... Some people make good money, but there are no guarantees that nobody will ever find out about this way of making extra cash, not to mention the moral aspect.
I'm not saying you should forget about it and never try to be a fitness model. You can do it, and it could be a lot of fun, but I want everybody to be aware of what is happening behind the scenes. Not a lot of people want you to know, or even talk about it.