Fitness has definitely become mainstream; on YouTube, Instagram and so on, you can quickly feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of posts on this topic. You will soon realise that opinions are divided on questions of how and how often. Should you focus on cardio, or is strength training going to give you better results? Fitness is a very important aspect of being a model and requires targeted attention. However, “the more the better” isn’t necessarily true when it comes to fitness, as it is important to stay motivated and to be able to keep up your training schedule for months or even years. This is why in this article, we will tell you everything you need to know as a model about fitness.
Tip 1: Getting Started
The first step is always the hardest, and to keep going is the biggest challenge in fitness. Motivation and your mental attitude are just as important as your physical capacities. This brings us to the topic of fatigue, which has been studied extensively. Fatigue describes the post-training exhaustion and illustrates the fact that recovery phases are a part of training that is just as important as the active phases. This is why it makes sense to train different muscle groups on different days, as this guarantees an adequate recovery phase and strengthens the body as a whole.
Tipp 2: Stretching and Warm-up
Every model wants to improve quickly in their training and with the least effort possible, but that’s not quite how it works. If you want to train effectively and achieve lasting results, you have to include stretching and warm-ups in your sessions. Stretching is so essential for a healthy body, especially because it improves flexibility and ensures a balanced workout. In addition, it reduces the risk of injury by warming up your muscles and increasing your joints’ the range of motion. Although many consider this part of a workout to be negligible or want to get through these exercises as quickly as they can, you should always take your time to do your stretches slowly and thoroughly, and combine them with different exercises. If you want to build muscle strength, always keep in mind that your body does not consist of muscles alone, but that cartilages, tendons and joints support them; stretching helps smooth the process. Stretching also enhances the nerve-muscle-interaction, also known as coordination.
Tip 3: Strength Training or Cardio?
This is a highly controversial topic that leaves a lot of room for discussion. First of all, you have to decide on the goals you want to set for yourself. Expectations vary for different models, but in general, strength training is seen as the more effective training method to lose weight. With intense strength training sessions, you will not only burn a lot of calories, but when done regularly, they also reduce your body fat percentage and constantly make your body slimmer and more defined. The more muscle you build up, the more calories you will burn during your training session as well as at rest, since muscles are known to be fat burners.
Tip 4: Heavy Weights and Interval Training
You might ask yourself how often you should work out as a model, or what a session should look like in detail. To achieve the best results, training with heavy weights is highly recommended for models, as this stimulates your muscles effectively and pushes you to the limit. However, it is very important to choose weights that aren’t too heavy either. You should always be able to do a certain number of repetitions. Depending on weight and muscle group, 3x15 repetitions are standard. So: Repetitions > weight! In addition to that, training is mainly about having more, but shorter workout sessions. Time-intensive workouts are more likely to lead to fatigue and a loss of motivation in the long run.
Tip 5: Body Types and Height
How many calories you burn and what kind of workout is best for you highly depends on your body. Taller people, for example, expend less energy during cardio training than shorter people, which also means that they burn fewer calories. So intensity, speed and duration strongly depend on a person’s height. This is mainly due to different lengths of legs, as the torso is often about the same size for most people. Additionally, it can help to know which body type you are to customise your training as much as possible.
Tip 6: Back vs Belly
Did you know that the widest muscle in your body is the latissimus? Derived from the Latin word “latus”, which means extensive or wide, the latissimus is a large back muscle that is involved in a variety of movements - extension of the lumbar spine and forced expiration, for example. Generally, for a healthy body you should focus on your back over other muscle groups. Of course, training your back is a lot more exhausting than lying down for a few sit-ups, but having a strong back is the foundation for a strong and muscular body. It is often neglected, which can lead to back problems that have a negative effect on your training and result in a delay of your training success. When you read what some well-known fitness models write about their workouts, you will notice that they often focus on training their backs while they work out their abdomen either only minimally or not at all. It is also important to mention that abdominal exercises do not necessarily burn the fat on your stomach. The body is peculiar and decides on its own where it wants to lose fat. So, again, try to aim for full-body training.
Tipp 7: Yoga
To give your body and mind a little bit of variety, the increasingly popular practise of yoga is ideal. Whether Downward-Facing Dog, Surya Namaskar or Lotus Position, this Indian practise benefits a model’s body in many ways. It is, for example, an alternate strength training that focuses on flexibility. Additionally, practising yoga helps through meditation and conscious living. In the context of the body positivity movement, yoga helps you improve your awareness of your own body. In 2016, UNESCO even included yoga on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Tip 8: Swimming
Swimming can be seen as an alternate form of strength training as well; it is known to be very easy on the joints. It also burns a lot of calories and is a full-body workout. Unlike conventional strength exercises, it trains many muscle groups at the same time and offers a lot of variety with its different swimming styles. The intense and demanding breaststroke exerts by far the most muscles and exercises your whole body. To optimally train your back and arms, you should try freestyle. If you have back pain and need to relieve your spine, the backstroke is your best option.
Tip 9: Don’t Put Too Much Faith in Protein Shakes
Contrary to many people’s expectations and countless Instagram ads, protein shakes don’t necessarily help build muscle mass. Of course, it is very convenient to supply your body with protein in its purest form. It is a low-effort alternative, but you can get your protein just as well from a protein-rich diet. For this, it is essential to read about macronutrients and different types of nutrition. Additionally, getting enough sleep is essential for a healthy body. Here, the right amount varies between eight to ten hours depending on the individual.
This article provides you with some valuable tips on how to optimise your full-body training. For models, exercise is vital to stay mentally and physically fit. Make sure you try out new variations and methods to keep it interesting. Apart from yoga and swimming to complement your weight training, aerobic or cycling can increase your performance potential.