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Why do a Cover Model Shoot?

Updated: Aug 27

I am learning in life that to achieve anything you need to dream (big) but for the dream to come true you need to take action. So, I decided to use lockdown as an opportunity to get in the best shape of my life at 47 (by the way you are never too old!) Rather than get sucked into all the lethargy and negativity that COVID-19 has caused.

I wanted to prove that you could get the body of your dreams (with home workouts) in a period of uncertainty on a plant-based diet. My reasoning was that if I could do it under those circumstances, then anybody could providing that they applied the four points listed below:


Know your reason


You need to have a strong enough reason why and sometimes this requires you to ask yourself the same question several times. For me it was to prove to myself from a mindset perspective that I could indeed stick to a rigid program for 80 days (and that included NO Alcohol!) Now I have always enjoyed a beer or wine in the garden when the sun is out, so you can imagine with the glorious weather that we had, the temptation to give-in was high! However, I wanted to empower and inspire other women (and men) that anything is possible if you fully commit to the process.


Understanding from the outset what goal you would like to achieve is important too, so you can remind yourself of why you are doing it in the first place when the times get hard (and they do!) but also what result you want to achieve at the end of it. This could be from getting into a size or two smaller clothes or getting six-pack abs (I’m not ashamed to admit that the latter was my motivation and the drop in dress sizes actually were a by-product).

Then there is the result, what you think it will give you and what it does. I knew that I would have photos to keep for prosperity into my senior years. Also being a Personal Trainer and Online Fitness Coach I felt a responsibility to put myself through a tough program so I would be able to empathise with my clients on their respective journeys. Yet the most powerful part was in the journey itself, teaching me about myself; showing up my weaknesses and highlighting my strengths, which actually becomes super useful in everyday life.

Orchestrate how to do it


Once you have decided on your reason you then need to figure out how you are going to achieve it and the best way is by reverse engineering the process. Now depending on how ‘shredded’ you want to get will play a part in how long you will commit to the process, but generally most Cover Model shoots will be planned within a 10-16 week timeframe. Mine was exactly 80days, I made sure that I had booked the photographer in (and paid the deposit) to increase the accountability.

Now as a PT whilst I knew what to do, I still needed to follow a program as I wanted the support and accountability it would provide, along with the network and the coaches. (We all need to be told when times are tough, that we are doing well and to keep going!) However, I wanted to use my own knowledge but knew that in the final few weeks I would need specialised coaching (being my first Cover Model Shoot).

Embrace the journey


Although 11 weeks doesn’t sound like a long time, it certainly feels it at times, so you have to be 100% committed to your goal and your reason why (as this will help carry you through to the finish line). However, do not be fooled in believing that that is enough, you absolutely need the support of your nearest and dearest as it actually does have an impact (sometimes negatively) on them too!

You will come up against many hurdles where you may want to throw in the towel, but you have to see them just as that ‘hurdles’ then decide how you are going to overcome them. The saying goes ‘where there’s a will; there’s a way! Do not let other people’s opinions affect you, stay strong on your reason why. Try to enjoy the process and use it as an opportunity to learn about your own strengths and weaknesses.

Enjoy the result


You would think that the final weeks would be the easiest part as you see the finish line in sight. However, in my experience that could not be further from the truth! My biggest wobbles were actually a few of days beforehand. As you are manipulating your body to get the leanest possible and this part is where you get seriously hungry (I could have eaten my own knuckles at times and couldn’t stop thinking about food!) However, you build up a resilience along the journey with an increase in confidence and self-belief to match, knowing that you have accomplished something that not everyone would want to do putting you in a minority.


The actual day of the photo shoot is both nerve-wracking and exciting in equal measures and the night before I certainly did not get any sleep reminding me of the night before the London Marathon! You don’t want anything to go wrong when you know how much effort you have put in over a long period of time.

It is definitely worth investing in a good photographer that knows how to get the best shots of you in your desired setting whilst making you feel completely at ease (you want natural photos right?!) A good tip too, is to move position every time you hear the camera click (as you don’t want multiples of the same pose) but also relax and enjoy the moment being solely focused on you.

Celebrate your achievement and enjoy how you feel both in mindset and body and know that the magic has been captured on camera to keep forever!


In life we can all achieve great things, but this is seldomly done without support, so I would like to give special thanks to:


Chris and Wade at the Cover Model Academy

Scott and all the Coaches at SPR

Max from MaxEllisPhotographic

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