Almost every fitness model’s career begins through sports. Ripp Baker laid out his fitness foundation from football and wrestling. He was caption for both teams at Milaca High School in Foreston, MN, and went to the University of Wisconsin River Falls to play football. Once he realized that college athletics wasn’t for him, he transferred to Minnesota State and graduated with a degree in exercise science. He said he may return to school to get into physical therapy but the origin of his interest and modeling career stemmed from college sports.
“They got me into fitness,” Baker said. “So they are the whole base and building blocks. It’s all correlated together, really.”
Another commonality among models like Baker is that they don’t usually get the idea themselves. Many people close to Baker suggested he take up modeling. He even got requests to participate in photo shoots. It snowballed from there.
“After my first shoot a few more happened randomly,” Baker said, “mostly by being contacted by authors or random photographers.”
“I’ve modeled for about a dozen romance novel covers, a small magazine a Puerto Rican photographer put together and I have done some clothing for a buddy who started a brand here in Minnesota,” Baker said. [Fitness modeling] has helped me stay motivated to stay in shape and to motivate others about fitness and its benefits.”
That type of modeling Baker partakes in requires an overly adonis physique. Baker went into college football as a defensive end with a 6-2, 197 pound frame. Now, his weight fluctuates from 225 to 245 lbs once his physical training switched purposes.
“Training is more explosive for sports,” Baker said, “more running. For modeling, I generally just hit two body parts a day and lift like six days a week.
“Sports threw in plyometrics,” he said. “I just like to focus on the finer things like proprioception. Concentrate on the muscle not the weight.”
There are many ways for an athlete of Baker’s physique to maintain their lean form. Regardless of the degree of strength weight training, conditioning is an important part.
“I haven’t really done long distance sports,” Baker said. “I feel more of a sprinter body is required. Not so lean but more muscular. Long distance burns muscle. Sprints gets the heart rate up and is better for burning fat.”
Baker sums up his training and modeling career with three simple yet instructional words: time, commitment and nutrition. Whether it is to create, improve, or to maintain, it takes time. Through time, the commitment to continue must be consistent. A symbol of that time and commitment is the individual’ choices that make up nutrition.
“Don’t do just one thing,” Baker said. “The key to success is changing things up. The body adapts too well not to.”
Baker can bench over 425 lbs, but only keeps a mental track of those benchmarks.
“Weight is merely a number,” Baker said. “I want to feel and look good. I don’t go for weight, but for form.”
Baker said that the chief emphasis in every fitness model’s training regimen is core work. It’s the ultimate prerequisite. One can’t be a fitness model without a strong core.
“Everything revolves around the core,” Baker said. “Without a strong core there, is no foundation. The arms and legs are attach to it. Back, bending movements, anything. A strong core is essential for any success.”
Baker is currently working on developing his own fitness website. He said his greatest inspiration is his father, who keeps “pushing me too be my best”. Among with appearing on novel covers, Baker also co-authored the novel, “The Original Sin”. He hopes he can one day write his own novel.