Article by Professional model Bryce Buell.
As a full time fashion model throughout the 1990’s, fitness took a vital role in my career. While I was a fashion model and not a “fitness model” per se, my ability to maintain a lean, fit body led to many opportunities that my thin but unfit counterparts could not partake in, such as underwear ads, Men’s Fitness articles, swimwear, romance novel covers, etc.
The secret was to maintain a body that looked very muscular in underwear or swimwear, but still allowed you to wear standard catalog industry suit sizes (40R – 42L) nicely and other clothing for my more mainstream work in catalogs. The secret to achieving this balance was simple: definition.
Definition is achieved through maintaining a very low body fat percentage. A high degree of definition makes you appear very muscular when in fact you may not carry a lot of actual muscle mass on your frame.
Once you achieve a low body fat percentage through proper diet and exercise, your biggest enemy to looking as defined as possible is water retention. Water retention makes one look “soft” and less defined. Fortunately there is an easy, natural solution. If I knew I had a body shoot coming up, my trick was to drink at least a gallon of water a day for at least four days before the shoot, five days is even better.
Drink more water so your body looks less bloated? That doesn’t make any sense… or does it?
The reason may seem counter-intuitive at first but the science behind it and the real-world results are sound – the more water you drink, the less water your body will retain. Why? Because unless you are already drinking at least a gallon of water a day, your body is in a state of dehydration. Anytime you are thirsty, your body is heavily dehydrated and desperately needs water – hence it signals you, “Hey, I am thirsty!” As a result, any water your body receives it will hold on to, often under the skin, making you look smooth.
When you drink at least a gallon of water a day, after a few days your body realizes it is getting enough water and therefore it no longer feels the need to retain as much as it can and it dumps it. The end result is your musculature will look sharper, feel tighter and will photograph much better. When you drink that much water your urine should be very clear – so clear that as my dear friend and model colleague Jonah Taylor used to say “you could re-bottle and sell it.”