Fitness Model Body Prep Secrets: Part 2
Noora Kuusivuori shares tips on how to prepare for photo shoots as a fitness model
In part one of this two-part series, I talked about some things that you can do to get your body to look its best when you have a short amount of time to prepare; usually the case when fitness models are getting ready for shoots. If you didn’t catch part one of this article, read it first as it starts with more of the basics.
If you’re following M&F Hers and are reading this blog, odds are you are training and eating clean most of the time already. The tips below are just some additional things that you can do to help you too get in peak condition for that shoot or special occasion.
When I need to be as lean as I can be, I usually pull out the HIIT cardio and a low-carbohydrate diet. But I have another weapon in my bag of fitness tricks to deplete my muscles of glycogen for a leaner look, and that is depletion workouts. This process is what physique athletes typically use to look their best on stage. Ideally I start the depletion workouts about six days before the shoot. A depletion workout is very fast paced with three sets of each of the few exercises per each upper body group. For example, with shoulders I would do three sets of 30 shoulder presses, and then lateral raises, etc. And pick two to three exercises for your back, chest and arms each and that is your workout. The rep range is high between 20-30 with weights that are heavy enough to really wear you out. So if you are doing a set of 30 lat pull downs, at 20 reps you should start to struggle to get the weight up but need to push through to finish. In between sets, rest for 15 seconds so the recovery is very short. The workout might last for only 30 minutes but will wear you out. The whole purpose of this type of training is to "empty" your muscles to get them to look as lean as possible. Then, once you eat some carbohydrates again the day before you want to look your best, your muscles will fill up for a nice, healthy tone and shape. You don't want to include your lower body in the depletion workouts because the legs tend to hold water after training so they will not look their best if you train them too close to the day. I do about the same depletion workout for five days leading up to a shoot. I only use this method if it's a big job and I feel like I need to put in the extra effort to get my body where I want it.
Your body generally looks the best when it's rested so take the day before the shoot or event off from training if you can. If you feel like you are retaining more water than usual despite eating asparagus, dandelion tea is a great way to get rid of excess water. Drink a cup, get some good sleep and you'll wake up looking amazing and ready to go. Good luck and remember that although there are things that you can do to manipulate your look with a short notice, it really is all about making fitness a lifestyle so that you are always the best, healthiest, strongest you that you can be!