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What Does It Take To Be "Model Fit"?
Heather Marr is one of the most sought-after personal trainers in the world, for none other than the most beautiful creatures in the world: models. We've gone to her with questions about how to socialize and dine out the healthy way and about the infamous butt-or-face exercise conundrum (thanks, Heather!). With Tatiana Boncompagni (another fave CB contributor) she co-founded Liftologie, a fitness, nutrition and wellness site. (Heather is also teaching Liftologie fitness classes twice weekly at TMPL gym. Yes, please! All this to say, Heather Marr is the ideal resource for this question: we want to be fit, but not jacked; we want to be toned, but not crazy. How do models do it? What does it take to be model fit? Here, Heather offers her top ten tips to getting "model fit."
1. Do models drink alcohol? And if so, how much?
Some of my clients drink alcohol and others do not. That depends on the individual. If a girl has a few inches to lose she generally cuts alcohol out totally during the weight loss process. Those on maintenance programs that do drink alcohol tend to choose lower calorie options such as vodka with soda, and do so in moderation. They may have a few drinks on the weekend but aren't having a bottle of wine with their dinner every night. For the most part, my clients train hard and live very healthy lifestyles.
2. Do models have cheat meals?
Yes! Models do have cheat meals. Many of the girls start in the industry when they are quite young and can work for many years. It would be impossible to go a decade, for example, without indulging occasionally. There are times of the year when a girl may have a special job or casting and may tighten her diet up and remove these indulgences but that's just temporary. Treat meals are part of a healthy, longterm plan for everyone, including models.
3. How many calories a day does a model really eat?
How many calories someone eats per day varies by person, and this includes models. There are many factors that affect how much fuel a person needs each day including activity level, metabolism, and body weight/size. I find many models making smart, healthy choices when it comes to what they put in their bodies. The foods they choose are high in fiber, protein and healthy fats so they're not getting hungry again right away. This makes staying in a healthy calorie range and not overeating much easier. There is no magic trick: by choosing healthy, filling foods you are less likely to eat a surplus of calories and gain weight.
4. Do models lift heavy weights?
All of my girls are on customized programs, but I certainly do have models that lift heavy weights. The size of the muscle is determined by diet. You won't get huge muscles unless your diet supports it and you're trying to. It's more common now to see the girls training hard and smart and using weights vs. doing just hours and hours of endless cardio.
5. How much does your average model client weigh?
Models need to maintain certain measurements for work but they do not need to be a specific weight. Most of the girls are 5'9" and up in height. Bust tends to be in the 32"-34" range, waist in the 23"-25" range and hips in the 34"-36" (depending on the market they're working in.)
6. How many hours per day/per week do I really need to workout to get "model fit"?
Each person is different. That would depend on your starting point, what you're eating and what you're actually doing while you're at the gym. My girls all get several full rest days per week and workouts are generally an hour or less. They are, however, maximizing their time in the gym and training smart. These workouts are combined with smart food choices so they don't need to be overexercising and spending hours each day in the gym.
7. Do models eat carbohydrates?
All of my girls are on customized diets. Some of the models do better with lower carbohydrate diets and others do better with higher carbohydrate diets. That really depends on the individual, how their body responds and what they prefer. Many of my clients enjoy bread, pasta and rice daily while others prefer to get the majority of their carbohydrate from fruit, dairy and vegetables. There is no one-size-fits-all. If you're on a plan that you can't maintain longterm, the results won't last. Whatever your plan, you need to like it, and it needs to work for you—a permanent lifestyle change is always better than a quick fix in order to achieve and maintain results.
8. How much water intake per day does a model consume?
The amount of water someone needs will vary person to person depending on factors like sweat rate and diet. My girls are all very good about drinking water. I'd say most of my girls drink 3-4 liters depending on their workout that day.
9. How many hours of sleep does a model get to stay fit?
Ideally the models sleep 7-9 hours a night but work schedules, traveling for work and jet lag can interfere with that. My girls tend to fly business when they are traveling so if they're on a red-eye flight they're more likely to get better sleep. Times of the year like fashion week, work schedules can get very hectic and the girls do their best with time management to make sleep a priority. Life gets in the way, but you just do your best and then catch up when things calm down.
10. How long will it really take to get "model fit"?
This answer will vary greatly person to person, obviously. One person might have 5 pounds to lose and another might have 50 pounds to lose to become their version of "model fit." The important thing to remember is that your body is just a reflection of your lifestyle. No matter where you're starting from you are capable of achieving your goals no matter how far off they seem. If you wanted to lose a hundred pounds in a year for example, remember that year will pass no matter what you choose to do. If you simply start now, where you are now, you will get there. In a year you will either be at your goal or you will be feeling regret, wishing you had started 12 months earlier. The time will pass regardless so spend it wisely.
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