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Models need to be lean and athletic.
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Male models might be blessed with natural good looks and advantageous genetics, but they still need to work hard in the gym to build and maintain an aesthetic physique. A model's weight-training program should be tailored to building lean muscle mass, while keeping body fat down and focusing on the important mirror muscles -- the chest, deltoids and arms.
Not Getting "Too Big"
While male models need to be in great shape, they can't get too big and bulky, or they start to resemble bodybuilders. Many will have to model jeans or tight-fitting pants and shirts, so having muscle bulking out through the clothes isn't a desirable look. Training in a lower repetition range and using heavier weights may help you get that model look, as this helps you retain muscle density, according to strength coach Erik Ledin. It won't, however, make you look overly bulky, though your shape and the rate you gain muscle mass does depending on genetics, too. Coach and bodybuilder-turned-male model John Romaniello adds that in his transition from bodybuilding to modeling, he actually had to lose some muscle mass.
You need an impressive overall physique to be a successful model, but some muscle groups are more important than others. Aim to build muscular biceps, a chiseled chest and wide deltoids, creating what's known as the V-taper. Personal trainer Alfonso Moretti recommends making pull-downs, pull-overs, dumbbell rows, and pullups staple exercises in your routine.
Because your upper body will be of more importance, due to the fact you'll often be wearing jeans, pants or board shorts while going shirtless, dedicate three sessions per week to your upper body and one to your lower body. Include two back, two chest, two shoulder, one biceps and one triceps exercise in your upper workouts and a squat exercise, a deadlift exercise, one or two machine moves and an exercise for your calves in your leg workout. A sample upper session could kick off with close-grip chin-ups and barbell overhead presses, then move to bench presses and cable rows, dumbbell lateral raises and dumbbell flyes, before finishing with barbell curls and cable push-downs. A lower workout could be front squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, leg extensions and seated calf raises.
For fast results and to work both your muscles and cardiovascular system, male model Obi Obadike advises setting up your workouts in a circuit or superset fashion, where you move between exercises quickly with little rest in between. Aim to bump up your weights, cut down rest time or increase your reps from workout to workout and keep the intensity high to burn fat while maintaining muscle mass.