Who is more physically attractive: a bodybuilder or an Abercrombie model? I think the vast majority of people would say that the Abercrombie model easily wins that contest. So why are so many people still obsessed with bodybuilding workouts? Wouldn’t it be better to emulate a fitness models workout routine to develop lean, defined muscles? This of course begs the question: how would an Abercrombie model workout?
There are two critical components to any fitness routine: diet and exercise. Both have their place in developing the fitness model look. Diet provides the best means for cutting fat while exercise provides the best means to build lean muscle mass. These can be combined in a multi-phase approach that will help you build a body like an Abercrombie model.
Phase 1: Lose Excess Fat, Build Lean Muscles
In my opinion, the defining features of an Abercrombie model are six pack abs and lean, dense muscles. I think it’s best to focus on getting six pack abs before working on increasing the size of your muscles. In order to get six pack abs, you need to combine a fat burning, high intensity workout with a restrictive diet. At this stage, your workout should include low rep, heavy weight strength training. It’s best to shoot for 4-5 sets of 3-5 reps without training to failure. Always stop one rep short of fatigue. Here are some exercises I recommend:
Chest: Bench Press, Incline Press
Back: One Arm Row, Weighted Pullups
Shoulders: Standing Shoulder Press, Seated Shoulder Press
Biceps: Straight Barbell Curls, Sitting Dumbbell Curls
Triceps: Closed Grip Bench Press, Weighted Dips
Abs: Planks, Renegade Rows
You can split these exercises into a 2 day routine that you perform twice weekly for a total of 4 workouts per week. While your muscles may appear smaller in size, they will be tighter, stronger, and more aesthetically pleasing; they won’t look soft like a bodybuilder’s. You’ll notice that I did not include any direct leg training above. That’s because I don’t think big, thick legs are a key feature of an Abercrombie model. I’m convinced that you can get lean enough legs simply by performing high intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT is very important during this first phase. A proper HIIT workout routine can really help you blast fat. Here is my recommendation:
2 minute warm up
8 minute HIIT: 15 second sprint followed by 45 second jog
25 minute steady state cardio
10 minute HIIT: 1 minute fast run followed by 1 minute slow jog
If you want a more detailed 8 week routine, then consider Visual Impact Cardio.
Finally, do not underestimate the importance of diet. You can only workout so long and so hard. Dieting is where you can really lose fat fast. Whether you track all your calories, monitor your weight daily, or practice intermittent fasting, you need to ensure you eat at a caloric deficit.
Phase 2: Increase Muscle Size Without Gaining Fat
If you’ve successful made it through the first phase and reduced your body fat to the point that you can see your abs, you can begin the second phase. Your overall goals will impact how you implement this phase. If you simply want to quickly increase the size of your muscles, you can perform a weight lifting routine to “shrink wrap” your muscles while maintaining the same calorie restrictive diet. If you want to add a lot of muscle mass, then you can gradually begin eating more calories. Be careful not to eat too much though as you can only really add so much muscle without gaining fat.
If you just want to shrink wrap your muscles, then check out this video:
If you’re trying to gain a lot of muscle mass, the best muscle building workout will train your muscles to failure. Instead of low rep sets, you’ll need to perform high rep sets and ensure your muscles are fatigued on each exercise. If you’re trying to add a lot of muscle mass over time, then an important part of this phase is that you have to gradually move from training to fatigue to strength training again. If you train your muscles to fatigue for too long, you will get the puffy bodybuilder look. At that point, you need to revert back to low rep, heavy weight strength training to get lean, defined muscles.
The Fitness Model Look
As you can see, a fitness models workout routine needs to focus on reducing and keeping off fat while toning or even increasing muscle size. An Abercrombie model workout routine would include high intensity exercising to lose fat combined with strength training to build dense, defined muscles. This will lead to a lean, athletic look. At that point, an Abercrombie model workout could either switch to “shrink wrap” the muscles to provide a tighter, more muscular appearance or switch to a muscle gaining program to add a little more bulk. After training to failure to increase muscle mass for long time, a fitness model must eventually revert back to low rep, heavy weight strength training to avoid the soft bodybuilder look. Overall, I’d encourage you to set aside the bodybuilding approach and embrace a fitness models workout routine.
Not Your Average Fitness Tips
- An ideal goal is to get the Abercrombie model look
- Start by getting really lean: perform a high intensity workout to burn fat and perform low rep, heavy weight strength training to build dense muscles
- After you’re lean, gain a little muscle mass: either “shrink wrap” your muscles to add some immediate size or perform a full muscle building workout to gain more bulk
- If you do a full muscle building workout, make sure you switch back to low rep, heavy weight strength training at the end to avoid the soft, puffy look
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