The social media age has brought with is a new crop of fitness icons. Rather than relying on TV to reach their audience like the Richard Simmons and Jack LaLannes of the past, these modern gurus are tapping into the power of Instagram and other social media platforms. There are currently 400 million Instagram users, and hashtags like #fitfam and #fitspo drive more than 270 million impressions per month. But amid that crowded social media universe, which influencers are worth following?
While the women’s influencer world is dominated by Jen Selter, Kayla Itsines and some seriously fit ladies, the men’s fitness space also has more than its fair share of inspiring influencers. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you, wading through the sea of men’s fitness influencers to find the ones who deserve your coveted attention. These seven men are transforming the way we think about health, body image and getting fit with every Instagram update.
Adam Rosante is all about a balanced approach to life, proving to his community once and for all that a healthy lifestyle can be both fun and affordable. The certified trainer gets celebrities in shape, but also offers “pay what you can” fitness classes to make workouts accessible to people of all walks of life. In 2016, he released a free book of smoothie recipes, Super Smoothie Revolution, which expanded his fitness empire into nutrition.
Bret Contreras, better known as The Glute Guy, is all about making your butt look its very best. The Ph.D., author and trainer developed an obsession with glutes after having been in a relationship with someone with “no glutes to speak of.” Contreras now spends his time writing books and developing exercises aimed at transforming the backsides of his fans. Between his e-books and Instagram, Contreras has proven himself to be the leading expert on glute training, the hip thrust and other glute-strengthening moves.
British fitness coach Joe Wicks is on a mission to save people from the so-called “awful diet industry.” Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, has developed an easy-to-follow 90-day plan aimed at helping men eat better, exercise and become healthy and strong. And it requires a commitment of just 20-30 minutes per day.
Steve Kamb started his Nerd Fitness community as a digital home for people who just don’t connect with the Instagram-perfect collection of tight abs, bright colors and acai bowls. Kamb’s mission to bring fitness to comic book fans is an undeniable breath of fresh air.
Through Nerd Fitness, Kamb offers retreats, workout videos and the Rising Heroes “self-improvement adventure,” a weight loss program that functions as a multiplayer team game of sorts. The game’s mission is to turn everyday life into a fun weight loss game where you level up as you complete a series of increasingly more difficult challenges. With Kamb, gamification has never looked fitter.
Kemo Marriott is an undeniable fitness influencer who’s ranked one of London’s “Fitness Elite.” Unlike many fitness gurus out there, the founder of Brotherhood Training and Holistic Motions prefers a brain-first approach to fitness. What does that mean? The fitness pro focuses on foods and supplements that support brain health, and emphasizes perfecting small movements rather than building big muscles.
In an ultimate career change, Simeon Panda went from working at an accounting software company to documenting his workouts on YouTube. Since his 2013 debut on the influencer scene, Panda has left the old 9-to-5 to become a professional motivator. Panda’s massive following is in part due to his bodybuilding how-to videos, but people also really love his inspirational posts, which attract the attention of Instagrammers by the millions.
The four-time CrossFit champion and dad has been taking the so-called “fitspo” world by storm—posting epic gym pics that put other dads, and the rest of us, to shame. While most of us can forget about becoming the “fittest man on Earth,” you can try the CrossFitter’s workout the next time you’re up for a serious challenge.
The Internet can feel like an endless sea of content, with much of it falling far short of inspiration. But thanks to the men’s fitness influencers listed above, we all have a universe of free videos, blog posts and social updates to keep us pushing our fitness to the next level.
Whether you’re a gamer that needs to step up his physique or a CrossFit junkie trying to amp up his workout, there’s something for everyone. Just grab your computer or smartphone, hop on social media and get inspired to feel that burn.