top of page
  • Writer's pictureKamla-Kay McKenzie

How to become a Nike fitness model

So you want to learn how to become a fitness model for brands such as Nike after realizing that a trip to the gym isn't a drag after all.

As with commercial modeling where clients want the talent to have a nice smile and an approachable demeanor and for fashion models where long leans legs are desired, fitness models are required to have a specific look in order to get signed by a modeling agency or even booked as a freelancer for a fitness client.

For many, they have the goal of becoming a fitness model not realizing the amount of work, strength training and endurance that often goes into that career niche.

The beads of sweat dripping off the models in the Nike, Under Armour and Adidas ads as not always photoshopped. Being a fitness model takes true work in many cases.

Fitness model in athletic wear smiling with jumprope

In fact, while the models who you see in fitness inspired ads or commercials may get squirted here and there with a water bottle for the dramatization of heavier sweat, often, the fitness models are genuinely working out to create the high intensity shot and sweat that you see.

I once saw a post by Taylor Walker (@TaylorWalkerFit), a friend of mine who is also a fitness model, personal trainer & nutritional coach. She stated that she was on set for 10 hours on a fitness shoot doing intense cardio. Yikes for endurance!

When clients are selecting a model to represent their fitness brand, especially huge powerhouses like Nike, the following are the traits they will want to see you display.

1) You must be actively involved in fitness on the daily

Fitness brand clients such as Athleta, Lulu Lemon, Adidas etc. tend to select those who actually do yoga 4-5 days a week, models who are personal trainers, those who work out at the gym or do calisthenics as least every other day and even those who are trained dancers.

Basically, fitness has to be a huge part of your life as clients prefer true athletes.

fitness male model running up stairs in athletic sneakers

2) You must have good endurance/strength

When doing a fitness shoot, or any shoot for that matter, talent tend to be on set for half a day (4-6 hours) or a full day (8-10) hours. Therefore, you will be actively working out, doing athletic type yoga poses, jumping, running etc. for at least half of those hours on set, if not more.

If you are wanting to become a fitness model for Nike then this would be the time to start running, working out more, doing more yoga and or heavier lifting at the gym to build up your strength, balance and endurance.

3) Have good eating habits

bowl of strawberries with greens next to it on table

It is rare to see a fitness model that eats greasy fast food multiple times per week. Most models, and especially fitness models, have a balanced diet in which they focus on eating complex carbs versus simple cards.

examples of complex carbs include fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains whereas the simple cards are those such as refined sugars, baked treats, breakfast cereals etc.

4) Have a good physical physique

It should go without saying that to be a fitness model that your physical appearance has to look like that of a fitness model.

Clients seek those who are toned in their arms, legs, buttock and stomach.

As you will notice, most fitness models have 4-6 pack abs or at the very least a flat stomach and non-flabby arms.

Shape magazine has great exercise routines on how to get into shape and get more toned.

Once you feel that you fit the above 4 categories, begin the following to become a fitness model:

afro black woman in Ivy Park athletic wear by the water
Model Kamla-Kay in Ivy Park athletic wear in South Africa

1) Get nice athletic wear and capture action shots of you in them.

Begin capturing photos and video of you in your athletic wear and content of you working out, running etc. It may be best to hire a professional photographer to help you get started with developing a strong modeling portfolio.

1) Create a presence for yourself on social media

Many brands are now selecting models based on what content they see on their social pages and how many followers someone has.

Once you create a page on Instagram, begin posting your videos and images in your athletic wear as your social online portfolio.

Be sure to visit my other article on how to brand yourself on social media.

3) Tag athletic brands online

If you are wearing Nike shoes in your running shot, tag Nike in the photo and in the caption of your photo. You can also begin to comment on Nike's page about how much you love to wear their gear and why. Make them remember your name.

Once brands start to notice your page, they often will reach out to your directly to partner with their athletic wear and nutrition products and now this is a way that you can become a fitness model on Instagram.

4) Begin researching modeling agencies that have a fitness division

For instance Wilhelmina Models has a fitness division. Go to those modeling agency pages, read their requirements for submission and submit your photos via their website.

You can also attend agency open calls to meet with them in person if that agency represents fitness models and find out what fitness brands they work with, such as Nike, prior to signing a contract.

Once you have a clear vision on what your goals are for fitness modeling and what brands you wish to work with, begin tailoring your workouts, the athletic wear that you buy, your social media pages and the agencies that you research towards these specific goals.

For more questions on how to become a model or to have a model coaching session with Kamla-Kay, check out my model coaching class for aspiring models.

Peace & love, Kamla-Kay @KAMLAKAY


bottom of page