The fitness space online is, how do you say, hench! You could argue it’s one of the biggest niches online, if you think about it, out of all the things you do on your normal day, it’s one of the only things you may post about. Work, food shop, watching TV, gym.
In all of the people in your life, there’s probably one of them that has a fitness account on some form of social media, I think it’s great, everyone sharing their journey to health and well-being and striving for that MyProtein 10% off code to give to their followers.
Obviously, because of the size of the niche, you’re going to have influencers, many influencers. Some of these creators have unbelievable abs and…well they just have unbelievable abs. Others offer something more; entertainment, information, inspiration, and well, yeah, unbelievable abs.
Writing this as a Brit, I am proud to say that we have some of the biggest and best fitness influencers out there and I’m going to break down a few of those that you need to follow, first up…
Mattdoesfitness or Matt Morsia is a long-standing British, fitness influencer. Matt quit his job as a PE teacher years ago to pursue YouTube full-time, as his channel was taking off and his wife Sarah was pregnant, balancing all of these things was not possible, so he took the plunge.
What a decision that turned out to be!
Matt has now become one of the UK’s biggest influencers and for good reason. His videos now amass millions of views per video and his Instagram account has exploded to over 1 million followers.
Let’s start back at the beginning…
In 2011 Matt Morsia was one of the top three triple jumpers in the country, everything looked hopeful until he suffered a stress fracture in his back and was out for 6 months, once this recovery time was up he got back into the gym and that’s when the passion for lifting weights begun…
A year later Matt started putting workout videos on YouTube, for the first 3 years of posting 4 or 5 times a week, every video being uploaded after work, to not much avail and certainly no income. Whilst all this was going on Matt was training in powerlifting and would go on to win a silver medal at the European Champs in 2016.
Being an absolute man mountain, lifting ridiculously heavy weights and consuming around 6000 calories a day made for great viewing. To the average gym-goer, watching someone lift 300kg and eat 7 times a day was out of the ordinary for them and this is where the channel started to grow. Having seen this Matt started to make his content more ‘clickable’, 10,000 calorie challenges and even 25,000 calorie challenges! That particular video has been watched over 5 million times.
Using this growth Matt started to write training programmes for people, the money he made from this fairly quickly matched his teacher salary, so he was able to drop his hours, travel for YouTube, and make more exciting videos! Since then Matt has had two children, one of whom, Luca features heavily in his videos and if you go through the comments, will hopefully be involved in many more.
Matt eventually quit his job and has been doing this full time, very successfully ever since. Bulldozing his way into the fitness influencing top spot, striking deals with Gymshark, MyProtein, MuscleFood, Legend London, and many more.
So why is Matt so popular and why should you follow him?
Well apart from being a hulk of a man, Matt is just a normal family man, his family features in lots of his videos and people love it. He also shows every aspect of his life; the workouts, the food shops, the injuries, and the highs and lows. This is what draws people in, Matt has been very open and honest when filming his issues and fall out from powerlifting, pushing him into the bodybuilding world. He documented every part of his Achilles tendon rupture and the sadness and recovery of the process. Not only that, but Matt is also filming the complete destruction and build of his new home, featuring an indoor swimming pool and home gym.
I’ve been following Matt since his PE teacher days, he had about 30,000 followers when I became a fan and I’ve really enjoyed watching him grow. There are a few different reasons you should follow Matt, the first being entertainment. There is something about watching someone eat 20,000 calories, on the brink of exploding that is incredibly entertaining, you don’t know why you like it but you can’t stop watching. Point number two would be information, over the years Matt has really upped his game when it comes to knowledgable videos, giving out workouts and best practices, and now turning that into his best-selling fitness app, Morsia, with thousands signed up. Reason three would be that he is actually a normal man and people like relatability; his kids, his wife, his job, his injuries, and so on. He is just a good bloke!
Mike Thurston is, of course, another man mountain, one with a lifestyle to be jealous of! Mike has amassed over 1.3 million subscribers and 1 million plus on Instagram, he has been part of the bodybuilding community for many years now and now lives in Dubai where he makes eye-popping workout and lifestyle content.
It all began when Mike started documenting his switch from a young party animal to weight-lifting aficionado. Over the years he has documented his workouts and his growth to becoming an absolute unit, working out in London, on beaches in Ibiza, and now in some unbelievable gyms in Dubai. Mike advertises a lifestyle many of us would be very jealous of and that is one of the reasons he is as popular as he is today.
Mike is also a very successful personal trainer and fitness coach which has made his content useful to fitness fanatics as he is a man to follow, as you can see by his f***ing massive shoulders! He has now unveiled his coaching app THRST where you can sign up for training programmes and workouts, all designed by Mike himself.
Again, the reason people like Mike is also the honesty and openness towards his life that he shares with his fans, undergoing a hair transplant on camera could be seen as ‘embarrassing’ but actually, when you share something like that with people, they appreciate you putting yourself in a vulnerable position.
The lifestyle Mike advertises now is the ‘dream lifestyle’, the high-rise apartment overlooking the beach, the lavish cars, and the day-to-day life of going to the gym, sunbathing, and going out. After a long 9 – 5 at the office in the oh-so-lovely British weather, it is sort of jealousy-inducing yet fascinating to watch the life someone like Mike lives.
Mike is now the founder of THRST Official, clothing for men and women dedicated to the gym, lounging by the pool, and by the look of the Instagram, trying to look as sexy as possible by the beach (trust me, I’ve done my research). What is cool about Mike’s clothing line is that it isn’t purely fitness based and actually he has pushed the boat out even further and gone into women’s wear.
Mike is your classic ‘influencer’ and his lifestyle reflects that, if living the dream life is something you want, follow Mike for inspiration.
Grace Beverley, formally known as Gracefituk is potentially the most influential female British fitness influencer there is (it’s really hard not saying influencer and influential so much!). Grace started as a fitness fanatic and university student who is now a ridiculously successful multiple business owner.
As most fitness influencers do, Grace started posting fitness videos on YouTube, growing a fairly big fanbase that followed her to university, Oxford to be precise. Fans got to see Grace’s daily life at one of the most prestigious universities in the world and also follow her fitness journey all at once. She was always very honest with her followers about her exercise regime and the ups and downs of university life.
Grace built up quite a large following doing this and so started selling exercise regimes as most fitness influencers do. She finished university and this gave her followers a very ‘down-to-earth and level headed look into Grace’s thought process, many young people at that age would’ve thrown in the education towel and followed the money, but she carried on.
Years later and hundreds of thousands more followers and subscribers would lead her to start 2 multi-million dollar businesses and a number one best-selling book. She earned the top spot of Forbes 30 under 30 most influential people in the e-commerce space, when you actually think about this, an ‘influencer’ being in the top spot of the Forbes list is unbelievable.
Shreddy is one of Grace’s businesses and it is hard to give it one title. It’s a fitness accessory and equipment shop, nutrition store, app, and community that has really made waves in the fitness industry. One search of the Shreddy tag on Instagram and you can see the sheer numbers of girls and women following the programme and sharing their progress pictures. The comments and reviews regarding the app are all so positive surrounding the community and how supportive everyone is, and for just under £10 a month, you can’t really go wrong. The products that Shreddy sells have to be held to a high standard, this isn’t just a small influencer gimmicky release, this is top-quality gear.
TALA is Grace’s second world-beating business, the sustainable activewear brand giving you easier, conscious choices whilst shopping for gym wear. Top-quality clothing at a reasonable price with less damage to the environment and you can tell they’ve thought about inclusivity for all shapes and sizes.
Grace also hosts a podcast and regularly takes part in interviews and business seminars, she has really shown what you can do with the word ‘influencer’. If you’ve ever wanted to be your own boss or have dreamt of building your business from scratch, especially if you’re in the fitness industry, I couldn’t think of anyone better to look up to. She’s outspoken regarding feminism, and inclusivity and does not shy away from the fact she had a more privileged upbringing, as I always say it’s the honesty that makes these ‘influencers’ seem down to earth, like you and me.
Why follow them?
I’ve written this article because I think you should follow all 3, of course, but I’ll give you a couple of short sentences as to why you would follow each.
Mattdoesfitness – You follow Matt for entertainment, a normal family man who will throw up a crazy ‘I try the Navy Seals fitness test’ or ‘Eating only Christmas items from fast food restaurants, you didn’t know you wanted to watch them, but my word, you do.
Mike Thurston – The man who has it all, you follow Mike to see how the other half live. It takes you away from your 09:00 – 17:00 and puts you in the headspace of this what I will work for!
Grace Beverley – The businesswoman of our generation potentially, the journey Grace has gone through will have you waking up at 05:00 dreaming up business ideas and trying to be the next Grace Beverley.
Let’s take all the inspiration and businesses away for a moment, they all look incredible, if you purely want to follow anyone based on fitness then my recommendations do not change; Matt has muscles molded from granite, Mike has potentially the biggest chest and shoulders you’ll see and Grace looks incredible and has always been honest about her body. They all started filming workouts, grew their following, sold some fitness programs and here they are today.
Get on YouTube and Instagram and follow these three now!