To the untrained eye, both fitness models and bodybuilders look pretty much the same. They show off incredible physiques that turn heads, and display how a body can potentially look. But there are some differences between the two.
Bodybuilding competitions have been around since the 1960s, evolving over time and introducing the world to massive names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jay Cutler.
In comparison, fitness modelling is a relatively new off-shoot from bodybuilding. It focuses more on physical fitness than overall size and strength.
Fitness models and bodybuilders train for different things
A bodybuilders’ primary goal is to gain muscle mass by creating large, lean muscles that “pop out” during competitions (body fat percentage should be between 3 and 7). Because of this, bodybuilders will focus on workouts that have a low amount of reps with a high amount of weight. This puts emphasis on gaining mass, and means that cardiovascular exercises are rarely indulged.
Bodybuilders push their bodies to the limit, often going to the point of failure – which means they literally cannot do another rep – in order to force their muscles to rebuild and become stronger in the recovery phase of training.
Fitness Models on the other hand have the goal of just looking healthy and in shape, aiming for a body fat percentage of between 3 and 12 (depending on gender). They’re not overly concerned with having large muscles and will spend more time crafting the major muscle groups throughout their bodies.
Once they’ve achieved a fit foundation, they will spend time crafting out six pack abdominals and great legs/glutes. Their routines tend to be shorter, but more intense, than bodybuilders. They will also spend around half of their gym time doing cardio. When using weights, they will do a higher amount of reps with lower weights than bodybuilders.
Eat to Maintain or Eat to Grow?
While both bodybuilders and fitness models share similar diets, there are still some differences. Both focus on protein, carb and fruit/veg intake, and regular consumption of protein shakes and creatine supplements.
But the difference is in their caloric intake.
The major difference is the amount of calories they intake per day. A bodybuilder that is trying to put on mass will regularly consume more than 5000 calories a day, whereas fitness models will try to stick to around 2,500 at most.
One and the Same
At the end of the day, it comes down to this: bodybuilders and fitness models have similar goals. They both want to push the physical limits of the human form and reach their ultimate potential. Whichever they want to be, they do spend a lot of time at the gym.