Fitness Modeling: Show Up and Let the Best Win…Oh Really?

Today we have an interview with Allen Elliott who won the Open Level 2 category in the latest Adonis Index Contest.

Check out his pictures:

Learn posing to present yourself in the best way possible.

Allen is kind of our lifetime achievement winner. Whatever contest we threw at him, he won it. Improving and taking it to the next level each time.

His results are obvious and truly amazing.

AT7 was the first time Allen arrived at his golden metrics.

If you aren’t tracking you are guessing. In order to know whether you are improving or not, you have to measure.

Competing at the National Level

As an ex-athlete Allen was just looking for a way to improve his look. When he found the Adonis Index program three years back, he was preparing for a national show in natural bodybuilding.

And as it turned out, the AI protocol worked pretty well for him;  he finished in the top 3 at this show.

However, bodybuilding wasn’t exactly what he was looking for, so he started searching for something different.

As a result he got into fitness modelling and started pursuing a career there.

At that time there was a new division that just opened – Men’s Physique, in which competitor’s wear board shorts instead of the traditional posing trunks of bodybuilders.  Nevertheless, the criteria to be judged upon is all about getting that hard, attainable, good looking physique -a goal perfectly aligned with the Adonis Index ideology.

And apart from bodybuilding there were clear instructions on what body shape they were looking for, so if you used drugs you would have over done it. This is different compared to traditional bodybuilding where it’s all about big you can get and everyone is using the same drugs.

Allen placed in the top 5 in his first Men’s Physique competition, won the Adonis Index Open Level 1 contest and was pretty satisfied with his results.

Allen also used the fitness competition as an opportunity to get some feedback. He went down to talked to the judges and asked them what areas he should work on.

Then he modified the AI plans to help him target those weaker areas. It worked! He won his next regional show and finished in the top 25 at the final National Level Competition to complete the 2011 season.

This year, things were a little different.

He won the AI Open level 2, however he placed last in the Men’s Physique contest, which shot his confidence down.

The mistake Allen made was that he showed up to his physique competition “too conditioned”. For what they were looking for he was too dry and lean. They wanted to see a slightly smoother look.

If you ever get into fitness modelling, this is what you have to expect.

There is a huge disconnect in what you do to look good and what the judges at each show will want.

You may not realize this.

When you look at Allen’s pictures, that’s the golden look – perfect AI score, incredibly lean, big, but not overly – attainable, realistic, great looking physique.

But for the judges, it was too much this time.

And that’s what this is about. You don’t just train and diet, show up and let the judges pick the best body.

Even if you compete in the shows where there isn’t any drug abuse, you are still left with two major issues:

  1. Politics – Famous model with sponsorships will have better chances of winning
  2. Judges’ body shape idea – What they are looking for, looking good is not enough, you have to meet their specific criteria at that given show too place well amongst your competition.

This is the issue with competitions. Everyone on that stage is in killer shape, the judges are basically splitting hairs.

You also have to match your physique with the competition and judges. Certain competitions want bigger, more muscular look, some may look for the dry, shredded look, while still others want a smooth beach body ideal.

Based on the different criteria each show and each judge is looking for you can win one contest and place last in the very next one you enter.

…This is exactly what happened to Allen.

He showed up with great conditioning, but at the wrong competition.

He showed up the biggest he has ever been at a local show and didn’t do very well, the judges told him he was too big and needed to be leaner. So he took this advice and got much leaner for an upcoming national show, and again he didn’t place well. When he talked to the judges after the national show they said they wanted him to be bigger and not so dry and ripped. So he showed up in the exact opposite shape that the judges at the local and national show were looking for…live and learn.

Presentation Is Everything

What exactly determines your impression?

It’s not just about looking good.

Everyone looks great.

So, what sets you apart?

It’s all about showing off the body.

Once again, presentation is EVERYTHING.

How you flex your muscles, your tanning, the angle at which you present yourself… it all makes a difference and this is just a start.

The shorts you wear make a difference too.

The lines can make your legs either look bigger or smaller. It depends on whether they are vertical or horizontal. If you are like Allen and you have well developed big legs then you need to wear shorts with vertical lines, because you need to put less focus on that area.


Remember, if you want to win, you have to show up with the right look at the right show.

And before you go there, you need a solid game plan, know your purpose for going there. It’s about networking, strategy and feedback from judges.

After the show is over, go talk to the judges and find out what area you need to improve, to work on. Are those your shoulders, arms or upper chest? Go and ask and adjust the workout plan based on that.

Don’t expect to prepare for a show, win, get rich and famous. It doesn’t really work like that.

First of all, it’s rare to win a show the first time you enter it, second, you don’t get any money from the shows. If you win, that’s the prize.


Well, if you train people and you have won a couple of shows, then you have proof that you really know what you are talking about. It helps you brand yourself and be the authority on this topic.

If you go to shows with the mindset that you are going to present yourself in the best way possible, network with other models, get feedback from the judges, then that’s a good strategy, a good plan.

Look at yourself as a professional, Allen sees himself as a “physique business”, what about you?

You are the one who has was it takes to make the commitment to be a walking billboard promoting yourself as your own personal brand?

Once you do that, you can start pursing this career, look for opportunities. Pursue photographers, sponsorship, modelling work, training work etc.

Just realize that it’s you who has to pursue THEM, not the other way around.

What can this result in?

You will gain an amazing experience.

You will build friendships and hang out with like minded individuals.

Keep moving and keep looking for opportunities, work on yourself in the fullest way possible.

The payoff is huge.

More tips from Allen:

  • The show itself doesn’t pay, how you use the experience to brand yourself will pay
  • No one forces you, it’s your commitment and ability to achieve your goals
  • Competition will build your confidence and self-esteem
  • Everyone should at least get ready for a fitness photoshoot if nothing else
  • As you progress it becomes a routine
  • If you have done something once, you can always do it again
  • If you don’t try, you will never know
  • It’s about changing your body, learning how to fit socially and making yourself a better person
  • No plan and contest prep is ever perfect
  • Harness the fear
  • You won’t be photoshoot ready 24/7, don’t be discouraged if you wake up and your abs are smooth and you feel weak
  • It’s a lifestyle, you can do something you are passionate about and inspire other people
  • Lots of people are in shape, don’t expect photographers to knock on your door, you are the pursuer here
  • Create a brand and carry yourself in public in that way, people will be drawn to you
  • It’s a never-ending process of self-improvement
  • Understand that there are lots of people in shape, you must work on setting yourself apart from the pack
  • Only a few people can make a business with their body, in most cases being in great shape is a compliment to your actual business or work
  • Competitions can help you build yourself as a brand and provide proof of your ability
Links from the interview:

Read Allen’s experience with Adonis Index in his own words:

My experience of the Adonis Level 2 OPEN is best summarized as “The Perfect Storm.”  I have faithfully followed the program for almost three years.  The program has propelled me to success beyond my wildest dreams!  Since picking up the program in May of 2010 I have competed and  placed with top honors in Men’s Natural Bodybuilding, National Physique Committee Men’s Physique, Fashion Shows, and have published work as fitness model.  Adonis Lifestyle has given me unstoppable confidence to pursue …

Click here to read the rest

Listen to the interview here:

About Allen Elliott

Allen is the Editor-In Chief of the Adonis Index Blog, bringing you weekly articles on contest prep, transformation testimonials' and much more!

Additionally he is a published Fitness Personality, Certified Personal Trainer, and National Competitor in the NPC Men's Physique Division.

Last but not least, as an Adonis/Venus Index Transformation Coach, he works to provide guided solutions for people who sincerely strive to meet their fitness goals.

Being a fitness model and competitor gives him a lot of valuable insights that nobody else talks about. Among other things, he will teach you how to prepare for a live show or a fitness photoshoot yourself.

Click here to get more from him.