The Elite Physique

Why Don’t I Look Like a Fitness Model Yet?

fitness model
Why Don’t I Look Like a Fitness Model Yet?

Have you ever wondered why you don’t look like a fitness model yet, despite all your hard work?  I generally like to write information that can benefit the reader on more than just a surface level.  If you have the facts and knowledge, then you are better equipped to tackle training, dieting, cardio and all other aspects of this confusing and crazy sport called fitness and bodybuilding that we are involved in.

Having the right information is one thing, but applying it is another. Applying information that you’ve learned takes risk. However, that’s one very big part of a successful body transformations. Risks allow you to trial-and-error and determine what and how your body responds to certain nutrients, training formats, and cardio applications.  Let’s go over some reasons you may not look like a fitness model yet.

Muscle Mags with Flawless Bodies

As you flip through the pages of the latest muscle or Oxygen Magazine you’ll see fitness models, figure competitors and bodybuilders sporting flawless physiques. They display lean and finely detailed muscle and present a healthy looking tan.  What does it take to have such a muscular, yet feminine body?

Many times, when ladies train for that fitness model look, they are under the impression that lighter weights and more reps will get them ripped, lean, and detailed.  Other women rely on endless cardio, as much as two hours a day, for that polished look.  Lastly, there’s the group of women who want the popular “competition-ready” physique and they resort to extreme low-calorie and low-carb diets.  Each of these three methods will stall your efforts on getting that fitness model body.

I see newbies in this trendy sport of fitness using the above three methods all the time.  Some even do well and diet down from a healthy 18% body fat to 8-10%, yet still don’t have that muscular and well-defined look.  They wonder why after all that hard work and attaining a low body fat percentage that their physiques are not hard and ripped like the fitness models in the magazines and online.  This is a very good question.

The fitness models that you see sporting very dense bodies that look so magnificent have worked very hard, and often times for several years or more to attain that look.  While you can build 3-6 pounds of muscle in a three months time-span, it takes a few years to build muscle density.

Scenario And Why You May Not Measure Up

Here’s the scenario.  You are fairly new to the sport of fitness.  You read a few articles online and get some basic information on nutrition and training.  You may have even been on a fat-loss program for several weeks to see how well you could progress.

Through all your effort and dedication you managed to drop about 7 pounds of body fat and get to a stunning 9%!  That’s excellent work.  However, you step back to compare your 9% to the fitness model’s 9% in the fitness magazine and find you look much different.  You are not as hard and detailed as the fitness model.  You lack that certain “look” you were striving for.  What went wrong?

The reason you may look dramatically different from the fitness models at 9% is due to muscle mass and muscle density.

The Truth

The finely-tuned physiques you see displayed in the fitness magazines are ladies in “peak” condition.  Peaking is a temporary condition in which the body fat is reduced to very low levels, often times dangerous levels, so the muscle detail is predominantly visible.  Most bodybuilders and figure competitors in peaked condition are anywhere from 6-10% body fat, sometimes lower. The peaking process involves specific training and dieting methods, and is usually done for competition and photo shoots.  In addition, a peaked physique is a severely dehydrated physique, posing health risks.

Classification
Female
Male
Competition Condition
6-12% 3-7%
Athletic
12-18% 8-13%
Normal
19-24% 14-14%
Borderline
25-31% 18-25%
Overweight
32% + 26% +

This conditioned look is not something that is usually preserved year around.  Granted, a fitness model will have a good athletic and lean look all year, but it is difficult and unwise to keep such a low degree of body fat year around.

Fitness models put a LOT of work into their physiques.  They train all year for muscle size and density, and then diet for months on end to lower their body fat and to get cut.  It’s difficult to keep such a low body fat and muscle detail all the time.  It’s really not a glamorous lifestyle, unless you like continual detailed diet and training.  I’ve competed for 7 years, and it is an exhausting chore to get cut, much less stay that way year around.  Low body fat wears on you, puts a strain on your immune system, and leads to metabolic downgrade.

It’s Not an Overnight Process

The underlying factor in why you and the fitness model or natural bodybuilder looks strikingly different at such a low body fat percentage is due to muscle mass and muscle density.  These are components you must build over time.  You cannot just “bulk” for three to four months and think you have done the necessary work.  You have to build the foundation to sculpt the masterpiece.

Factors that build muscle mass and muscle density:

1.)  Time

2.)  Intense weight training

3.)  Limited cardio

4.)  Adequate nutrition

5.)  Sufficient water intake

6.)  Proper rest

It can take up to a year to build the foundation you need to carve the shapely body you want and get that fitness model look.

The Finer Details

Once you have the muscle mass and density necessary to carry you through a taxing dieting phase you can begin to lose fat, and then work on cutting.  What many people fail to realize is that cutting is detailing the muscle.  You can’t detail your muscles if you are 18% body fat.  You have to first lose the excess body fat and when you are lower you can finely detail the muscle, a process known as cutting.  Cutting is a similar format to building muscle, you just have to tweak your diet and cardio that sparks fat loss and not muscle loss. Factors that Propel Fat Loss

1.)  Eating properly and eating on time.

2.)  No skipping meals and no overeating

3.)  Cycling your carbs and/or calories

4.)  Incorporating re-feed days

5.)  Eating real food and avoiding restaurant food

6.)  Incorporating progressive cardio

The next topic below just may interest you if you want to look like a fitness model or even compete in a figure or bikini competition.

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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too

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