Men’s Physique Athlete Alex Toplyn’s Advice for Making a Living as a Bodybuilder

Crafting an award-winning physique requires years of dedication and commitment in competitive bodybuilding. Even then, financial stability is far from guaranteed.

Prize money for many top-tier pro bodybuilding shows often fails to offset the cost of prep, which includes food, supplements, gym memberships, coaching fees, gear, and traveling.

So, how can professional bodybuilders make a living? On the April 24, 2024, episode of the Men’s Physique Radio podcast, IFBB Pro Men’s Physique competitor Alex Toplyn sat with former Men’s Physique Olympia champion Erin Banks and fellow competitor Drew Cullen to share advice for aspiring bodybuilders who dream of turning their passion for into a profession.

How To Make a Living as a Bodybuilder

Here are six takeaways from the podcast:

Expand your knowledge

Create a personal brand

Seek sponsorships 

Offer coaching services

Develop and sell products

Become a content creator

Check out the video below, courtesy of Toplyn’s YouTube channel:

A knowledgeable coach is invaluable, but Banks stresses the importance of expanding your own knowledge via training courses. He believes that is the starting path to developing your own coaching practice

Banks highlights sponsorships as crucial for competitive athletes. “You must know how to present yourself to brands,” said Banks. “You can’t give up after sending one message or email to a brand you want to be a part of — be consistent and persistent,” Toplyn added:

If you want to be a full-time bodybuilder, you can’t just be a bodybuilder.

Toplyn cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset to create assets that generate revenue, like content or businesses with digital or physical products. Building a presence beyond competing (i.e., a personal brand) can open doors to various income-generating opportunities to boost financial stability.

“You don’t make crazy money as a [pro] bodybuilder,” Cullen said. “You make money from bodybuilding.” Success in competitive bodybuilding depends on various factors, including genetics, age, and access to resources, which could affect earning potential. Cullen recommends using your personality to create unique value for which people are willing to pay. 

If you have the requisite knowledge and experience, offering personal training and coaching services to aspiring bodybuilders or general fitness enthusiasts can be lucrative.

The trio agrees that a strong personal brand is essential to make a living as a bodybuilder. An athlete must go beyond their physique to establish themselves as an industry expert. Doing so can attract a wider audience. 

Featured image: @alextoplyn_ifbbpro on Instagram

The post Men’s Physique Athlete Alex Toplyn’s Advice for Making a Living as a Bodybuilder appeared first on BarBend.


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