Supermodels can’t do pushups

After my body image post, I was spooked while reading The New York Times. An article about supermodels – JUST the reminder I needed! Getting Models Into Fighting Shape highlights a former boxer who trains super models who need to slim down for a photo shoot or runway appearance. He tackles an interesting population – as the typical exercises would add ‘bulk’ in all the wrong areas of these long, wispy models.

Ok – so at first it was just what I thought I needed to read. But I have been thinking it through. I do not compare myself to supermodels – I compare myself to fitness models. I know that a supermodel is weak, unable to complete even one pushup because she cannot lift her own bodyweight. I cannot compare myself to that! A supermodel needs to shred every ounce of fat and muscle from her body – how healthy is that? A fitness model has to maintain at least some semblance of a real person – she needs to pose with weights and in positions that require strength and muscle! Therefore, I began some simple research.

The average fitness model

The average fitness model holds a dual role, working concurrently as either a commercial model (the leaner models) or an athlete. The average height is 5’6″-5’10” but weights vary dramatically. The body fat percentage for a fitness models is very low: 10-13%. This is well below the range of “essential fat” necessary for healthy body function: 20-27% for women. Compare this to most female athletes, who range from 14-20% body fat. So, even fitness models maintain a physique unable to effectively perform normal functioning. To maintain this body type, fitness models maintain a daily regimen of exercise, diet, and nutrition supplements. Many employ extreme weight-loss methods, such as water restriction, crash dieting, and purging, as they prepare for an upcoming shoot or appearance.

Why do I want to look like that? Because even the fitness magazines have brainwashed me into believing that this is what fit looks like. Are those dumbbells they hold real? The more I think about it, I challenge any fitness model to a physical challenge.

What if – – –

What if I attained my 6-pack abs but I could not hold a ragdoll pose because the position was too much for my body to physically handle?

What if I had the svelt physique, but dizziness and fatigue interfered with living? photo (10)

What if I could not do pushups? And squats and lunges were forbidden? I am proud of my derriere and my strong legs!

The more I think about it, the more satisfied I am with where I am at today. I am training for life and I am proud of all that I have accomplished. I may not look like the girls in the magazines, but I sure can do pushups!

11 thoughts on “Supermodels can’t do pushups

  1. Thank you! Both for the personal compliment and for reblogging! It is unfortunate what we allow ourselves to think and believe sometimes. Glad I do not dwell on it too much, but I have decided to be vulnerable with these thoughts as I know there are soooo many who can relate!

    And I love my pushups…

    • Well, do not be confused. Supermodels are not skinny fat – for they have neither fat nor muscle. Generally speaking, they are not fit and they are not healthy. To physically struggle with daily functioning – that is a problem if you ask me and I in no way desire that for myself 🙂

  2. Love this! I was at the gym doing a bootcamp class after doing a charity run up 38 flights of steps and as I was doing push ups I thought, I can do these. Three kids and ten years later, I am stronger than ever. My abs don’t look like they did pre-kid and decade prior BUT I am strong and I can do “real” push-ups! The other chicks that day sure did look good, but they dropped to their knees after one. Thanks for sharing! Strong is the new beautiful!

  3. Thanks for this great post! I will share it with my daughter.
    Young men can get caught up in body image – spending hours each day in the weight room and taking stimulants to increase their metabolism and push through their workouts, while neglecting other aspects of fitness (including cardiovascular conditioning).

  4. Pingback: Muscles = You must be a bodybuilder? | StrongBraveHonest

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