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The Top 7 Fitness Influencers on Instagram

By: Viral Nation | 8 mins read |
  We all need a little motivation from time to time. Relying on one's own self-will can sometimes be a risky venture when working towards self-improvement. Especially in the realm of physical fitness. But the individuals who make up this list haven’t just accomplished their self-assigned fitness goals. These master motivators also strive to inspire others tio follow suit, and they utilize Instagram to do so. You can look to them for that extra boost of inspiration towards your fitness goals. Not to mention, brands can turn to them for lucrative collaborations to help with advertising their products and services. The numbers don't lie. Data shows that 30% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity than that of a public figure with a more conventional notability. The reason being is because these influencers, who are celebrities in their own right, are experts in their own niches and specific verticals. Having worked hard to earn the people’s trust with their credible opinions. It's no secret that the hottest (and most effective) new trend in the world of marketing is influencer marketing. And it continues to show it's potency across nearly every industry. In particular, the world of fitness is certainly no stranger when it comes to its connection with influencer marketing. Fitness influencers are some of the most followed and coveted figures in their field. These online celebs worked tirelessly to establish themselves as experts in the field of health and fitness. So here's the list of the top 7 fitness influencers on Instagram.  

7. Joe Wicks

Twenty-six-year-old Joe Wicks, aka "The Body Coach", is a British fitness coach, TV presenter and author who has amassed a large audience on both Instagram and television. He pioneered the HIIT fitness method, which utilizes short intense High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. Wicks got his start from posting 15-second recipe videos on social media, and quickly grew his brand into the most followed fitness accounts on Instagram. His first published cookbook Lean in 15: 15-minute meals was a bestseller that sold over 900,000 copies in 2015. He created his signature "90 Day Plan" built around workouts and meals with tailored portions to the individual. He currently has 2.4 million followers on Instagram.

6. Emily Skye

Emily Skye absolutely dominates on IG. The Australian fitness model is revered because she's all business when it comes to health and fitness. She is known for her no-nonsense approach to dieting, training, and living a healthy lifestyle. Though it may be hard to imagine, Skye wasn't always the picture of health that she is today. When she started her modeling career, she was an insecure teenager suffering from depression and unhealthy living habits. "I struggled pretty badly with depression' she has said. Skye battled depression at a young age and tried to commit suicide at age 18. That event would eventually lead her to the decision to move away from conventional modeling and start focusing on her health and fitness.

She has become an ultra-successful personal trainer and inspiration to people all over the globe, achieving recognition through her incredible transformation story. Skye recently gave birth to her first child and has been in the news lately discussing her path to 'bouncing back' from having a baby. She currently has over 2.4 million followers on Instagram.

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Self love, acceptance and confidence have nothing to do with what other people think of you! . I used to allow other people’s opinions of me dictate how I felt about myself. Ok, I say “I used to” but occasionally I struggle with it now so it’s something I’m constantly working on! 😬 Hey we’re all human and we all have struggles! 😉 . I also used to believe my “worth” correlated with the approval of others and “fitting in”. This made me extremely insecure and it’s hard to not care about what people think of you, especially when you crave being loved. - By the way, being truly loved has nothing to do with fitting in either but that’s a whole other post topic so I won’t get into that now. 😉 . I believe that confidence is something you can control and work on everyday. You learn to love things about yourself and focus on those positive things. You choose to work on the things you don’t like about yourself that you’re able to change and accept the things you can’t. You choose to have confidence in yourself and know you’re capable and you’re worthy of achieving whatever it is you want in life.. and if you fall, YOU choose to get back up and keep going because you’re worth it. 🤗💗 . . #9monthspostpartum

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5. Massy Arias

Fitness sensation Massy Arias is very vocal about how fitness changed her life for the better and saved her from the brink of depression. Originally hailing from the Dominican Republic, Arias proclaims she built herself from the ground up, literally from scratch. Her Instagram feed shows that she is a woman who occupies many roles. Fitness trainer, wellness coach, nutritionist, model, entrepreneur as well as a proud and loving mother. That's quite the workload. Massy is an inspiration to women everywhere. She has battled personal demons and eventually prevailed, despite difficult circumstances. When it comes to her fitness routine, she hates sticking to a single style of training and typically includes a healthy mix of various techniques like resistance training, calisthenics, yoga, and sprinting. She has gradually built a robust client base and a tremendous following on Instagram. Arias currently has 2.5 million followers.  
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4. Lauren Drain Kagan

Lauren Drain has an incredibly unique story on how she became an Instagram icon. Drain is a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church who wrote the 2013 book 'Banished', which chronicled her experiences and eventual banishment from the church. The book was a best seller and brought Drain a great deal of publicity. Lauren also worked as a registered nurse for nine years before becoming a full-time personal trainer and fitness model. She married her husband, David Kagan in February 2013. She currently has over 3.8 million followers on Instagram.

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Me watching people eat pizza outside 🤤 A rare closeup shot by @theiobot

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3. Simeon Panda

The monstrous Simeon Panda was born on May 28, 1986, in London, England. He is the co-founder of the online fitness and sportswear shop, SP Aesthetics, which he started with his brother Samuel. As a 16-year-old growing up in London, Simeon was slim and lean. And his 6-foot-1 frame only made it more obvious. Though he played sports like rugby and ran track, he still wasn’t building muscle mass in the way he had hoped. And since he wasn’t getting the results he wanted, he knew the next step involved making major changes. That's when he began weight training. “I started lifting at the age of 16, I was a skinny teenager and there was a really big guy at my college in the year above me that was muscular and ripped,” explains Panda. “I remember asking him how he got that way and he said he simply bought some weights and trained at home. I purchased weights that same day and fell in love with working out. I remember I would get back from college excited to train.” Simeon is a top tier fitness influencer on Instagram and currently has over 4.6 million followers.
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📕Download 'MASS GAIN EXTREME' my FULL Training Guide 80 page eBook in English, Español & Portuguese from SIMEONPANDA.COM ___ My intense, mass building training routines. A whopping 80 PAGE ebook to train exactly how I do, and the diet that keeps me lean all year while still building mass! ___ 🏋🏾 Key exercises, rep range, number of sets, rest period 💪🏾Annotated diagrams of the exact muscles used with key exercises 📝 Training tips and golden rules 🍽 My daily meals (incl portion size) 🍏 Essential nutrition guidelines I live by 💊 My supplement list and how they benefit me ➕ Much more! ___ It is time to take your physique to the next level! Download from SIMEONPANDA.COM

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2. Kayla Itsines

Kayla Itsines is an Australian personal trainer, author, and entrepreneur. Itsines (pronounced it-seen-ess), had no clue about Instagram really until she started posting transformation pics of her clients. She focused her content on teaching women that being strong is better than being skinny and that fitness as a whole was much more than just a number on the scale. She has created a series of fitness e-books titled Bikini Body Guides, and a meal-planning and workout app, Sweat with Kayla. Sweat with Kayla generated more revenue than any other fitness app in 2016.

Forbes named Itsines the #1 influencer in the fitness category in 2017. Kayla and her husband Tobias Pearce (who helped her in creating and launching SWEAT), also landed on the 2016 BRW Young Rich List, with an estimated combined wealth of $46 million. So not only is Itsines a top influencer, she is an uber-successful entrepreneur.

She has been a personal trainer since 2008. She currently has an impressive 10.6 million followers on Instagram, making her one of the most followed fitness celebrities on the platform.

1. Michelle Lewin

Michelle Lewin is the crème de la crème of fitness influencers. The Miami based bodybuilder and fitness model has a massive social media following with over 13.3 million followers on Instagram. She has appeared on over 30 magazine covers the likes of Sports & Fitness, Her Muscle & Fitness, Iron Man, and even Playboy. After immigrating to America from Venezuela in 2012, she has become the self-proclaimed 'latin queen of the fitness scene', and her immense audience validates that title.

When asked by Simply Shredded how she got her start bodybuilding, Lewin said "I (had been) modeling for a few years, and a part of my job was to stay in shape. I loved it and it led me to become a total gym rat. After months of intense training, the abs started to show and I was enjoying the fitness lifestyle. Suddenly the modeling requests were coming from Fitness Magazines and Supplement companies." I guess you could say the rest is history. Like many other members of this list, she is also an author who released a book this year titled "The Hot Body Diet: The Plan to Radically Transform Your Body in 28 Days."  
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Jeansisimo🥂 💙 📷@samuellathrop

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_About the author
Viral Nation

Viral Nation is a new media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. As pioneers in the influencer space, Viral Nation is comprised of a full-service creative agency, a creator and athlete-influencer representation agency, and a technology division creating modern marketing solutions for the social media age.