Living Like a Fitness Model
JDP Elite trainer and New Zealand’s strongest man Jackson gives you an insight into the life of a Fitness Model and how they get in such great shape.
We’ve all picked up the fitness magazines while we wander the supermarket aisles and wondered how the person on the cover got that way, or scrolled through our various social media feeds and been bombarded with pictures of chiseled midsections and tanned bodies wishing we could all look like this.
The truth is it isn’t easy to get a physique anything like this. It takes a lot of time, energy and commitment. Most people will lack the discipline necessary to reach the level of musculature and condition that these fitness models sport. These are the 1% who actively make all the efforts and sacrifices needed to reach the pinnacle of what their body is capable of appearance wise.
Diet and training is part of the lifestyle. It becomes more than just a hobby or something you drag yourself through three times a week with the occasional spin class in between. It becomes more than a meal plan your Trainer gave you that you sometimes stick to and still have drinks with friends after work every night, and always have those few biscuits that are floating around the office during morning tea. Always being aware and tracking everything you consume, plus lifting four to five times per week or more and two to three cardio sessions on top of this becomes the norm for people wishing to reach these types of physiques.
Practically year round a fitness model will be aware of their diet and training. This allows them to continue to improve their physiques beyond the looks they have achieved before. This ‘No End Date’ approach is what separates the best from the rest, continuous improvement and adjustments.
When a photoshoot or competition is approaching, they will put the pedal to the metal even more, increasing their training load and being sure they are eating in a calorie deficit with a high protein intake to ensure maximum fat loss while retaining as much muscle mass as possible.
We’ll use Simon as an example. He consistently trains hard and has been building muscle mass for the past six months. He constantly tracks his food intake and is currently maintaining his bodyweight on 3,000kcal per day with one cheat meal on a Friday night per week. He trains five times per week on a body part split programme hitting each major muscle group once a week while hitting his Arms, Abs, Calves and Traps twice a week each. He is currently doing light cardio a few times a week walking his dogs as well.
Firstly we’ll look at his diet to begin his fat loss phase. He has a photoshoot coming up in 12 weeks so to begin with we’ll decrease his calorie intake and increase his overall protein intake.
His diet may look something like this:
Meal One – 100g Oats+100g Blueberries+Cinnamon
10 Egg Whites+2 Whole Eggs
Meal Two – 250 Chicken Breast+10ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Avocado+30g Crushed Mixed Nuts+Fibrous Veges
Meal Three – 160g Tuna+15g Nut Butter
8 Rice Cakes
Post Workout – 2 scoops JDP Premium Whey
1 Banana+20g Dextrose+40g Oats
Meal Four – 250 Chicken Breast+10ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Wholemeal Pita Bread+Salad
Meal Five – 250 Cottage Cheese+1/2 Scoop JDP Premium Whey+50g Blueberries
This is lowering Simon’s calorie intake by around 400kcal per day plus upping his protein intake to increase his metabolic rate through thermogenesis (protein is harder for the body to breakdown than carbs or fats, so burns more energy to metabolize the protein) and also to try to minimise muscle lost while he is dieting.
Next we will look at a sample workout that Simon may be put through. Training smart and intensely during a hard diet is key to muscle retention and fat loss.
Let’s look at a sample Chest & Triceps session we would put Simon through:
Warm Up > Shoulder Rotations & Dislocations with Broomstick
Dumbell and Cable External and Internal Rotations
Incline Bench Press > 6 Ramping Sets – 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 6+Drop Set
Rest as needed between sets
Flat Dumbell Bench Press > 4 sets of 8 with your 10RM weight
90 seconds rest between sets
Low Incline Dumbell Fly/Dumbell Pullover > 4 sets of 10/10 Superset
60 seconds rest between supersets
Cable Crossovers > 4 sets of 15-20
45 seconds rest in between sets
Low Incline Skull Crushers > 4 Ramping Sets – 15, 12, 10, 8+Forced Reps to reach 10-12 Reps
90 seconds rest in between sets
Cable Rope Pressdowns/Overhead Rope Extensions > 3 sets of 20/20 Superset
60 seconds rest between supersets
Now these diet and training changes aren’t permanent.
Generally with the diet we will look at Simon’s body composition changes and scale weight changes to adjust accordingly week to week. Given that he is only doing light cardio once or twice a week, this would generally be what we would increase first in either intensity or duration. We’re much better off asking more of his body performance wise and to increase the calorie deficit through a higher output rather than starve his muscles of fuel and increase the risk of muscle loss.
Training programme wise we will likely adjust it every 4-6 weeks to keep up with new stimulus to the body and ensure more adaption and muscle rentention, rather than progress stalling and the muscle having no point to stick around.
The fitness model look is hard to achieve and just as hard to maintain, even harder to improve on long term. It’s not for everyone, but we are all human and have much the same capabilities to look as good as the next person. It is simply a case of who it willing to put in the time and energy with the required discipline and consistency to separate themselves from the rest.