Model Advice

The Mindset of a Fitness/Bodybuilding Competitor

Written by AEFM International

My name is Nat and I love working out, eating healthy and helping people get the most out of their lives. I enjoy playing beach volleyball, shopping at the outdoor organic markets, planning and cooking my meals for the week and much more.

I am a Personal Trainer and my knowledge and experience expands from the gym, to the sporting field and also to the world of both competition and fitness modelling.

I believe everyone has what it takes to achieve a healthier, fitter and longer life and that is what drives me to keep fit and love what I do.

Federations and Achievements

2015 Season Titles

  • 1st Place ANB South Coast
  • 1st Place ANB Sydney titles
  • 2nd Place WBFF Australia
  • Oxygen Magazine Cover girl June 2015 edition

The Mindset of a Fitness/Bodybuilding Competitor 

A Fitness Competitor is a person who lives a life that is very different from most of the general public. They incorporate a strict regime of diet and training into their daily agenda which ultimately becomes the most important thing in their entire world.

This might sound like a bit of a crazy way to live but I believe if there were no fitness competitors in the world to inspire others, we would have even more people who are not reaching their optimal potential with their own health, fitness and lifestyle needs.

As bodybuilding becomes more admired and accepted and people wanting a ripped, toned and healthy body becomes more popular every day, I often see the other side of the story. There are people who think that bodybuilding gives nothing to anyone, least of all the general public. My view is that bodybuilding actually provides many important things to people and I have listed three examples of this below.

  • Entertainment
  • Discipline
  • Self-belief

Self-belief is what defines the mindset of a competitor. It involves people putting themselves first and doing what it takes to challenge their body and mind to reach another level.  If you think it is a selfish thing to put yourself first and achieve whatever it is you wish for, you will need to understand what it takes to become happier about how you look, how you feel and how the people around you are being affected by what you do.

A true competitor has passion, dedication and a love for the struggle. A competitor’s mindset is that 100% effort might not be enough. Sometimes maybe not even 110% dedication is enough. We are never completely happy and are always searching for that little bit more and that is what makes us competitors and some of us winners. Competitors are normal people who love normal things but who choose to make life more hectic and who definitely love looking good naked.

The mindset of a Fitness Model

Whether a model is a fitness model, a competition model or both, they are still a model. A model in the fitness industry has a mindset to achieve more in their careers. A Fitness Model could be a Lawyer and not necessarily a fitness competitor. Many people will be inspired by a person who works lots of hours but still manages to keep fit and healthy.

I guess becoming a Fitness Model has a lot to do with how you see things and how much real desire and passion you have to make things work for you. You could have been born for this but alternatively you may have to work extra hard to achieve your dreams. Personal attitude is what is really going to help you be successful.

As a Fitness Model who is also a Fitness Competitor I can say the transition can be difficult but is well worth the effort. Girls and guys enter Fitness Model divisions to not only show how hard they have worked but also to show that they have the “look” that is needed to be the cover person or ambassador for a famous gym wear brand or for other advertising opportunities. If you really are prepared to work hard and believe in yourself then it is just a matter of not being afraid to say yes to the opportunities on offer.

Most Fitness Models will be happy being a competitor and there is nothing wrong with that, however, some will set their benchmark differently and will want to have their image out there. It is a personal choice that should be respected by all in the industry.

The main difference between posing on stage and how you engage with the camera is “charisma”. You have got to make them like you. On stage you have to impress not only the judges but also the audience. There is a connection between the people that came to watch the show and the judges looking at every single one of your moves. It is a show and you must give your best every time you go on stage.

Different federations have different posing requirements and I came across two very distinct competitions. One is a federation known as the ANB (Australian Natural Bodybuilding), which preserves the striking of poses. Their Fitness Modelling category does not require flexing but requires grace and firm moves to show the tone and curves of a model.

The other competition I have competed in is a brand not a federation. The WBFF is a worldwide fitness and bodybuilding pageant which focuses more on the modelling side of the business and the marketability of those in the fitness industry. It is basically the “Victoria Secret” of the Fitness world but comes with awards. The posing is catwalk like and the toned muscles are presented in a more relaxed way,

So when posing on stage you need to not only entertain, but present yourself in such a way that will show all your best qualities.

A photo shoot is completely different to what I have outlined previously. The camera shooting you is a “big eye”. This eye becomes your audience and the judges! The camera and the photographer are your passport to a great shoot. You need to engage 100% more with something that will flash at your face many times a minute, and you have to trust yourself and listen to the person behind that camera so you not only give your best but so you have FUN.

Whether a photo shoot is for a job or for you personally it can be very nerve wracking. It is a self-confidence challenge. You need to be you and you need to enjoy it as it will show in the end result.

Fitness posing needs to explore your best angles and you don’t want to look stiff and awkward like some of the stage shots you’ve seen of Fitness Competitors. The stage is a place used to entertain and things such as hair and make-up can be over exaggerated. But the camera wants to capture the “behind the scenes” YOU with the WOW factor.

Be glamorous, think glamorous and be strong and fierce when you need to be. Definitely don’t be an unemotional rock! Engagement with the camera has a lot to do with how you feel about yourself and about not feeling afraid to look fierce or sensual.

Ten Tips for Getting Ready for a Casting

  • Have a good night of sleep
  • Choose appropriate clothes for the job type
  • Create good thoughts to make you calm and to show in your face how much you love what you do
  • Drink lots of water to look healthy and hydrated
  • Don’t get bloated (avoid any different foods on the day of the casting)
  • Go for simple (simple make up, simple hair)
  • Be ready to listen, feel, interact (listen to the topic of the casting and absorb it, feel the vibe and be yourself and don’t be afraid to talk or to ask questions: simply be yourself)
  • Be confident (if you are there you must have something they are looking for)
  • Have FUN
  • Always say thank you (respect is everything and no one likes attitude) 

Dieting for a Competition versus for a Shoot

Being a Fitness Model requires you to be in shape all year round. A sustainable healthy way of maintaining yourself in shape is by always keeping track of your diet. You should enjoy eating healthy and clean.

Many jobs will not require you being ripped like a bodybuilder as they generally want to sell your mage to the general public. However, it is always good to be close to both forms as you can quickly adapt to either look if required.

When dieting for a photo shoot you can be more relaxed and enjoy a “cheat” meal now and again. Make sure the deadline for the shoot is clearly marked in your calendar and think about how long you will need to prepare your body for the session. Plan to succeed and do it in a healthy way.

I don’t starve myself or eat loads to adapt to the shoot. You are what your are so it will always come down to what the brand is looking for in a model rather than how you look. Of course no one wants to see you looking fabulous one day and like you just came out of a party with a bloated stomach the next. Balance is the key to everything.

How to Keep Focused all Year Round

People often look for inspiration and motivation from the celebrities out there. I say keeping focused is easier when you look at yourself and use old pictures from when you looked your best to stay motivated.

Old pictures are great because they show just how you can be and there is no illusion about how you are going to look in the end. I know my body and I know that it can look just as good as it looked before if I work hard for it. With me it works by setting goals. I am always improving something and trying something new with my diet or training.

People tend to want to get in shape only for summer!! Just remember that it is always summer somewhere in the world!

Top 10 favorite exercises

  • Squats
  • Deadlift
  • Glute Bridge
  • Shoulder Press
  • Preacher
  • Heel Elevated Stiff Leg Dead Lift
  • Jefferson Squat
  • Lunges
  • Wood Choppers
  • Decline Crunches

Written by AEFM International

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