Become A Male Fitness Model – By Peter Dugmore
Growing up as a kid I could not stop moving. I was always kicking a ball, climbing trees, hitting a ball up in the air and trying to catch it or just running around. I loved being active and that is something that has never changed throughout my whole life. From my first job at a gym sweeping floors and putting away weights, to playing semi-professional AFL, I have spent every day of my working life and most of my free time doing some kind of fitness or sport.
I live and breathe everything about sport, fitness and nutrition. I have been a personal trainer, gym manager, commercial fitness salesman and done fitness modelling. Through the fitness industry I have had the luxury of travelling the world and meeting some amazing people, all the while working in an industry that I love and am so passionate about. “Fitness is key to living the life I desire”.
Inside the mind of a “working fitness model”
Being an athlete/model/actor or similar I believe is very challenging and something that will seem glamorous to people around you. From the outside looking in it is easy for people to say, “you are so lucky to have the body you do” or “your life is so glamorous”. However these people do not understand the work, effort, discipline, preparation and willpower required for playing one of the roles mentioned previously.
When you are sticking to such a regimented diet and exercise regime it is going to be very normal for your hormones to have abnormal episodes that can be difficult to control. If you are preparing for a competition or photo shoot and you are on a heavy detox plan or similar this is more likely to happen. The key is to surround yourself with supportive people that believe in what you believe in and lead a similar life path. We live in a country with a very high “tall poppy syndrome”, where more people will try and knock you rather than compliment you, and they are doing it because they are jealous of you. Believe in yourself and your dreams. “Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs a ton”.
Main reasons for becoming a fitness model
My “why” in life is to “help people live the lives they desire”. What does this mean? My belief is that there are a lot of people out there who think they are not capable of living the life they really desire to live. Growing up I didn’t think I would be a model, nor did I think the fitness industry would take me around the world, but I have worked hard, set goals and fulfilled my dreams. I want to help people achieve goals and have experiences that didn’t once seem possible to them and I believe I can do that through showing people the results that are achievable through hard work and discipline.
If people can look at me and be inspired to exercise and challenge themselves then that is a great thing. Health and wellness is so important and if I am able to positively influence even one person it makes me feel amazing. There is part of me that likes seeing my photos and seeing the results of the hard work I consistently put in, however my tip is that if you can aspire to be a model to help other people you will get more enjoyment out of it.
TEN things not to do when starting out
1) Don’t think an agency signing you is the be all and end all. Getting signed is the easy part.
2) Don’t change what you believe in.
3) Don’t drop everything else and think you’ve made it as a model.
4) Don’t compare yourself to other models. You are unique in your own way so believe in yourself.
5) Don’t knock back work or castings because it is out of your comfort zone, you will grow from overcoming your fears
6) Don’t start “big noting” yourself as a model, people will lose respect for you
7) Don’t drastically change your diet. You are where you are because of your existing diet. Maybe modify your diet for photo shoots or castings but nothing drastic
8) Don’t play agencies off against each other. You will quickly get a bad reputation.
9) Don’t act like you are better than anyone because you are a model. You are not!
Self Promotion. What are some of the ideas and techniques you can use when promoting yourself?
It is important to know that you are in the position you are because you present well visually, but it is important to remember that there are a lot of other people out there that also present well visually. If you can promote and conduct yourself in a way that ensures people love being with you and working with you then you are going to succeed. Personally I love networking with as many people as possible. Coffee, lunch, exercise, text messages are all ways of building great relationships with people. Be a model that people want to work with because of how you conduct yourself and be fun to be around.
Social media plays a huge role in society today and can get you great exposure at no cost. My advice is to not overdo it and to think of it this way. Make people want more of you, not less of you. If you are posting too many photos people may end up deleting you. Only post every few days or once a week with a positive comment and you might just change someone’s day.
Who is your role model and why?
David Beckham is someone I really admire. David has one of the biggest profiles in the world, professional football player, married to a pop star, model, ambassador and much more. I admire David because throughout his career he has been able to successfully build a beautiful family while having so much pressure from the media and public just waiting for him to “slip up”. He is a guy that has captained his country in football, kept in excellent physical shape and been a great husband and father. Pretty impressive!
Tips on etiquette
Whether you are at a casting or photo shoot you are not better than anyone else who is present. There might be a young guy or girl ironing the wardrobe for the shoot. Make sure you say hello to them and thank them for what they doing to make the shoot/casting happen. Castings and photo shoots can be a lot fun if you make them fun. The main person that can make this happen is you. Every person there has a role to play, acknowledge them all and appreciate what they are doing and they will want to work with you again.
How to ‘nail’ a casting
First things first: Make sure you prepare well. If there is a script to be read or actions to be undertaken, make sure you practice before you go in. You know your body better than anyone so make sure you are looking tip top for show time. My advice is to ensure you practice what your final week looks like a few times to get it right, training & food etc. It is important you are confident walking in and that you are looking your best. If you are you will come across as more confident and that is what they are looking for in clients. But remember, confident not arrogant!
Make sure when you arrive you introduce yourself to everyone and thank them for the opportunity, make eye contact and acknowledge everyone in the room. One tip, if you repeat your name when you meet each person then your name will hopefully stick in their minds because they will have heard it four or five times. Most of all be confident and get your mindset to a place that you truly believe there is no one better for the job than you.
Top 10 core exercises.
1) Hanging leg raises
2) Kneeling wheel rolls
3) Decline crunch with a twist
4) Plank on Swiss ball with rolling circles
5) Cable wood chops
6) Plank clapping hands with partner
7) Medicine ball twists sitting with leg raised
8) Standard plank
9) Side plank
How to maintain a perfect physique all year round
There is definitely no easy answer to this question. I have learnt that whether it is maintaining your physique, operating a company or managing a football team for the season, you can’t be at your best all the time. During a year you will have periods where you are going to go really hard and somewhere you are going to take it easy to let the body rest. Think of your year like a session at the gym. Your rest intervals are so important for you to perform at your best when completing a set or interval etc. You must look after yourself, you are an athlete, manage yourself like you would manage another athlete.
Be disciplined and once again surround yourself with people who are supportive of what you do and what you believe in. If you create good training and eating habits there is no reason why you won’t look good all year round. But don’t become so addicted to training that you don’t know when to give yourself a break, otherwise you will burn out. The best athletes in the world need rest, so do you. As mentioned earlier, good habits with eating and training along with good rest and support will help you perform well throughout the duration of the year.
Dealing with Rejection
I believe one of the best free things in life is feedback. It is the ultimate source of information that can make you become better and it does not cost you a thing. You are going to get told no more times than you are told yes. That is the nature of the industry but there are plenty of other occupations where this is the case so don’t feel hard done by. If rejected seek feedback on why you were not considered the right person and you will receive worthwhile information to assist you in the future.
Michael Jordan missed more than shots than he made during his career and you will do more castings than shoots so don’t take it personally. If rejected walk into the next casting like you own it, don’t lose your confidence. You are in the industry because you have an amazing gift, one that a lot of people would love to have. Rejection will make you a better and stronger person in the long term. TRUST ME!
Words of wisdom
Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. Life is not a dress rehearsal; you don’t get another shot at it. The people who work harder get more opportunities, so work hard and things will happen. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and try to enjoy the experience. Be present otherwise you might miss out on opportunities that are in front of you that you don’t even realise are there! Best of luck, cheers Peter!
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