There are roughly 600 million people on Instagram and another 320 million on Twitter.


That’s a lot of freakin people.


How do you decide who to follow?


Well you have family, friends and that hot girl from college – these are all obvious.


But let’s say you are looking for some inspiration with a little slice of the why related to fitness.


Looking up #fitness to find someone to follow will lead you down a rabbit hole with a good chance of coming out the other end empty handed.


I’d like to save you some time, aggravation and having to see all those perfectly formed bodies by giving you five people I personally enjoy following in the fitness space.  I’ll also give you my criteria for who makes it onto my social media after my purge this fall.




Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram and felt bad about yourself?


I know I have and I consider myself a glass half full type of guy.


If you follow people in the fitness industry, especially on Instagram, you’ve probably been hit with boobs, booty and abs trying to sell you a magical pixie dust that will melt away all your fat while you continue binge watch House of Cards.


Or they sell you on a 4 week “guaranteed abs” program by eating 800 calories a day and working out for 2 hours six days a week.  FYI this is a great way to sabotage your metabolism and testosterone levels.  Not the ideal starting place if you are trying to gain muscle, lose fat or make babies.


After seeing these images for a while you eventually think these products will give you the results you’ve been chasing for the ridiculously low price of $29.95.


But really all you are doing is lining their pockets and losing a little hope of changing your situation.  It becomes a viscous cycle of feeling like crap and buying more crap.


If you can sense a feeling of resentment it’s because I fell victim to this in my early 20’s. Fat burners, powders to help me recover and different pills to help me lose fat were common in my house.


Unfortunately, no one told me all I had to do was eat a little healthier and that would solve all my problems.  Instead I dropped a couple thousand dollars when I was only making $8.50 an hour looking for the quick fix.  Wise investment choice Bonollo.


There are plenty of articles that showed how before/after photos could be done in a matter of minutes.  Rather than showing actual clients getting results they’d rather push out to make a quick dollar.


Dishonesty is a lot easier and faster than credibility.  It takes time to get people to lose weight correctly or instill good habits into them that will benefit them long term.


I don’t want to color your opinion of the fitness industry that everyone is full of shit and just trying to make a quick buck.  There are some real smart people selling real results out there and those are the people that fill up my social media now.


Finding good people to follow is tough, but that’s where I come in.  The people I follow now do an effective job of hiding the peas and carrots in the applesauce as Steve Cook says.




It’s easy to seem like you know what you’re talking about when the person you are talking to doesn’t know that much about the subject.  Throw out a few obscure workout terms, sprinkle in a low calorie diet while flashing some abs and you seem legit.


Which brings me to the first criteria I use to discern the crap from the real people to follow is if they help you build good habits that will last you a lifetime. 


Good habits aren’t a sexy sell and that’s why the second criteria is just as important, they have to have results from these habits.   Results could be in the form of a fulfilling lifestyle or a well maintained body.


I’m sorry I’m not going to be preached to by a lazy, out of shape personal trainer.


If you are able to hide the lessons/habits in a body I would like to have, then you have my attention.  The carrots are in the applesauce.




To follow someone on social media is essentially letting them into your life.  Seeing what they post has an effect on your mindset whether you notice it or not. 


If you fill your social media with the Kim K’s of the world you are going to want to imitate her in some capacity.  Like Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” and I think we can extend it to social media as well.


Through their writing, videos and to a lesser extent pictures you can get a decent sense if they are someone that will impact you in a positive way or a negative way.


For me personally, I like people that are going to elevate my game and aren’t giant d-bags. 


I’ve have to say since I purged all the negativity from my Instagram and Twitter this fall (almost 2500 people!) I’ve been a lot happier.  The people I’m following are upping my game and I like it.




The people I list below are the top five that bring the most enjoyment to my life and slip in some knowledge behind it.  I am constantly in amazement at the stuff these people put out and it has upped my game in the gym, in life and on Aesthetic Physiques.


Staci Ardison


I’ve linked to Staci a few times because I love what she is all about.


I found her through her success story on where she struggled for a while with food before getting into powerlifting changed everything.  A story more than just the women can relate to.


Ladies, if you are looking for a role model look no further than Staci.  At roughly 160 pounds she is routinely deadlifting 350+ with ease while still maintaining her womanly figure.  If you ever think girls can’t be strong or women that lift look like a dude, then I suggest you check her Instagram out.


Side Note: I got back into powerlifting after watching her crush a 400 pound deadlift.


Staci works at and you can catch her doing Facebook Lives on the NerdFitness page or writing the occasional article for them.








Jay Azeltine



I found Jay through Cory Gregory right when Cory launched CoryGfitness.  Jay was offering 1:1 training so I decided to follow Jay to see what he was all about.  Boy was I humbled.


Despite being in his early 20’s this guy is a lot smarter than most his age including me 10 years his senior.  His approach to training, social media and his business savvy makes me want to hang it up.


He’s at the gym at 4AM every day and puts out daily workout videos to help you take your fitness to the next level.


If you follow him now you can catch him as he documents his prep for his first bodybuilding show.  Even if you aren’t looking to do a show, it will still make you appreciate how much work and sacrifice goes into it.








Eric Bach


If you look for the most popular articles on T-Nation or Roman Fitness Systems there is a good chance you’ll stumble across one of Eric’s articles. You really have to go out of your way to miss him.


His no nonsense approach to weightlifting with a sprinkle of bro-ness is right up my alley (carrots in the applesauce thing again).


Side Note: He taught me how to perform the power clean in a one-minute video.   Months of struggling solved in a one-minute video.


Eric does Facebook Live videos about how to solve dieting, strength and mindset issues weekly.  They are usually short (less than 5 minutes) but they are always packed with actionable tips to get you going in the right direction.


The last thing I’ll mention about Eric is the slogan on his Facebook page that perfectly encapsulates what he is about “Results through ruthless execution of the basics.”


I don’t think Shakespeare could have written something more poetic.








John Fawkes


I found John by researching an online business course.  He had written a review about his experience with it and the tagline on his website is “Where science geeks become sexy beasts.”  With a degree in chemistry, I was immediately interested and not disappointed.


John has a few posts that hit home rather recently in regards to hormone production (I’ll get into this in a future post).  Since reading a few of John’s posts I’ve started eating eggs at night to boost my testosterone.  Cholesterol from the eggs is the precursor to hormones especially testosterone.  He also got me to look at how little food I was consuming relative to my size and what it does to my thyroid output.


Since getting into John’s stuff I’ve noticed a laundry list of places he has written for including Roman Fitness Systems, Tiny Buddah and MyFitnessPal to name a few.  Like Eric Bach, John is dropping awesome stuff everywhere.


John specializes in workouts for busy people.  So if you only have 30 minutes to spend in the gym you’ll be able to find a workout here.  Plus, he’ll only make you go three days a week.  If you’re interested, he’ll give you 12 printable workouts that can be done anywhere.








12 Free Printable Workouts


Eric Weinbrenner


I found Eric from the website The Distilled Man.  He had written a post about how he had become a better man which really made me realize how far I had come since my early 20’s.  A true sign of good writing makes you think, Eric’s writing does just that.


His website Muscle That Matters is focused on dads redefining the “dad bod” with effective workouts.  Eventually moving into that phase of my life I’m taking notes on how he handles everything while still staying in great shape.


He does a lot of bodyweight (using TRX) and home workouts which he posts on his Instagram.  This has opened my meathead eyes of the benefits of this type of training.







Is there anyone you follow that you want to highlight?  Head over to the Aesthetic Physiques Community to let us know.

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