T Nation

Training a Model?


Hi coach, I was curious as to how you would train a model (not a figure competitor) who’s goal is to have a very small waist/hips 25-27 range? I have a friend who’s a model that’s been asking me for advice, but I really have no clue on how to help. Apparently these measurements are legitimate requirements as apposed to a visual goal. Shes already really really skinny and I don’t realistically see her being able to follow a normal training program and diet (which would obviously make her visually look a lot better) because she would most likely gain weight on the scale and on her measurements from the added muscle–which she’s completely apposed to because apprently these things would “disqualify” her from being model material. I obviously don’t want her to follow a starvation diet, but I just don’t realistically see her being able to achieve any of these things through a healthy, normal diet and training regime.


Dude I train people for muscle gain and strength improvements. While fat loss is also something I do, getting someone skinny, skinnier is not something I do.


That wasn’t exactly my question. Let me rephrase:

Is there any way for here to train for an asthetic looking body and eat normally while maintaing the strict standards that models need to adhere to? Or is being unhealthy just the nature of the “sport”


It depends.

I have a friend who was a runway model in the early 1990’s in Europe. She did a lot of print modeling for designers here in the US as well. She is naturally very thin and tall with a crazy fast metabolism so she could still eat. The other women hated her. Lots of people living on coffee, cigarettes, diet coke, stimulants, sleeping as much as possible because they weren’t eating, chewing on a piece of meat forever and then spitting it out. You get the idea. To be that lean, she said most of them didn’t exercise. They did the eat less/ move less method. When she moved from runway (clothes hanger thin) to more print work, she had to get breast implants so she’d be more curvy.

Re: unhealthy eating habits. You see this kind of thing a lot in the dance world. Women dancing long hours and living on sub 1000 calories per day. Stress fractures and loss of normal hormonal function are common.

Re measurements: You said 25-27 waist/ hip? If that’s a waist, it’s not at all unusual. I’m a munchkin, and have a 23-24 inch waist when I’m leaned out. It would be nearly impossible/ very rare for a mature women to have hips smaller than about 32 inches just allowing for normal hip bones bones post puberty. 33-35 inch hips will still put you in the smallest clothing sizes.

I’d tell your friend not to get involved in this.


From everything I’ve heard, fashion modeling is pretty unhealthy. I read about a recruiter who would hang around outside rehab clinics for women who had eating disorders and try to get them into the profession. Having said that, I also read an interview with a model who would put on weight for underwear and swim wear modeling because she needed a healthier look.


\that would also be my recommendation. VERY few actually end up making a good living that allows them to live a good life even after their short career is over.


Like you I had a friend when I first qualified as a strength and condition coach who was wanting to get into the modelling industry (runway) and told me about the specific measurements as well as weight she had to be to even be considered. I advised her not to pursue it as a career and to pursue a healthy overall lifestyle with a job that didn’t put pressure on being ‘skinny’. She took my advise and has gained 12kg in the last two and a half years breaking eating disorders and negative body image problems along the way.

That whole industry is fucked up and the people in it are even more fucked up IMO