Fitness model Sommer Ray on competition, getting off track, and her new clothing line

Even if you aren’t a gym rat, you’ve likely heard of Sommer Ray.

With 18.3 million Instagram followers, the 21 year-old fitness model isn’t exactly lowkey. She got her start competing in the National Physique Committee (or, if you’re versed in ath-lingo, the ‘NPC’ for short) at just 16. She’s since used her platform to set herself apart by carving out her own niche, staying true to who she is, and blocking out the noise.

In short, she’s killing it. We spoke to Sommer about her recent successes, how she deals with insecurity, and what some of her newest endeavors are – both personally and professionally.

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So how did you get into fitness? Was it always something you knew you wanted to pursue?

My mom and dad are both huge into fitness and I followed in their footsteps. My dad was a body builder and was my coach when I competed in the NPC (National Physique Committee). My mom and I did my first competitions together, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood.

How do you stay motivated, both in fitness and other endeavors? How do you deal with a lack of motivation?

I feel that people lose motivation when they get motivated for the wrong reasons. Girls may want to workout for that summer bod, or after going through a bad breakup. But I always make sure my motivation comes from the intent of my wanting to better myself.

What is your daily fitness routine, and how often do you workout? Do you have any favorite workouts?

I workout atleast 4/5 times a week. I can’t really say I have one favorite exercise, but I love any exercise where I can really isolate my glutes!

What’s your favorite workout day (leg, back, abs, etc.)?

Legs for sure.

Do you have any current fitness goals?

I’ve gotten off track recently, which is normal, so I don’t beat myself up about it. But I want to put my muscle mass back on and I am making strides in that direction everyday.

How about your personal goals?

I’m starting a clothing line I’m really excited about! So for all the girls always asking “where’d you get that” I’m gonna bring my closet to you guys!

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Was it hard to find your place in the fitness industry? Have you faced any major challenges along the way?

For me it wasn’t ever too tough, given that I carved out my own path at a young age.

What is the number one fitness mistake you think people make?

People get so caught up in other things they forget the most important part of working out: FORM. Form is everything.

In the fitness industry, I imagine it’d be hard not to compare yourself to others. How do you cope, and what are some of your tips for staying confident?

I started competing in the NPC when I was 16 years old. I stood next to girls in their 20s/30s and was being compared to them, yet nothing was comparable- we were simply at different stages of life (muscle doesn’t mature until you’re in your 20s). So believe me, I know what that feeling is like.

But honestly, I never compared myself, so it didn’t matter that the judges did. I was confident in the hard work and the dedication I put in for myself. So at the end of the day, I know myself and I’m content in the woman I am. And when you are, you are incomparable.

My only competition is myself and wanting to better myself everyday.

Who are your biggest role models?

My mom is for sure my biggest role model, and also my dad. And I’m so thankful to them for their love and support and the foundation they’ve given me in fitness.

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What are you currently most excited about?

I actually just released my fitness app! It’s called Evolve and I’m super excited about it. It’s a next level fitness app. I also am doing a beach bod contest called Ultimate Beach Bod. There’s more info on that available at

Photographer: Martin Murillo

Gimme More Health

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