Fitness accounts provide inspiration for fueling workouts
Millie Ortega | Staff Writer
Fitness fanatics are exploring their passions online through popularized fitness Instagram accounts.
In the beginning, the purpose of the popular social media app Instagram was for users to casually detail the monotony their daily lives. The explore page was filled with photos of dogs to cups of coffee to friends at lunch. Now, feeds are filled with gym mirror selfies and videos of workout routines.
The shift in content did not happen overnight. Over the last couple of years, many students have become enamored by healthy living and documenting their fitness progress online.
For senior Hallie Burke, it took two years of going to the gym consistently for her to even see progress.
“When I was younger, I would go on the elliptical or just run because I felt like I had to. I am friends with people who weightlift so I wanted to try something different,” Burke said. “As I did more and more research, I started to get more into it. Now it has just become a part of me.”
Social media has always been a big part of Burke, for she has been on Instagram since the seventh grade. When she decided to combine her love of fitness with her love of posting on instagram, @hebfit was born.
“I used to be really insecure about my body, and I have gotten to the point where I am really happy with myself. It’s a place for me to stay on track with my fitness,” Burke said. “When you work out so much and you start to see results, you kind of want to show it off. If you had a Ferrari, would you just keep it in the garage?”
Burke is not the only Mason High School student who has braved the online trolls and put herself on display. Senior Reed Naglich also has a fitness account, @nagl.fit, that he uses to share his fitness techniques and enhance his personal motivation.
“I have always been into working out, but over the last year, I have gotten a lot more serious with it,” Naglich said. “I had a lot of people that were asking me what to do at the gym, so it just made it easier to put it all in one place.”
Putting himself online has been an easy opportunity for people to criticize Naglich without having to say it to his face. While lifting weights is a piece of cake for Naglich, dealing with the taunting of peers is the heaviest weight he has to pull.
“It’s hard sometimes because people give you hate, but deep down fitness is something I love, so it just motivates me to keep working harder at it,” said Naglich. “I just listen to my friends because they have my back through it all. What is important to me is the people who are motivating me. I just block out the people who are trying to bring me down.”
Senior Robbie Grischy works behind the camera to film senior Reed Naglich performing a set of exercises to post on his fitness account.
For Burke, she takes the potential hate comments and fuels them into her workouts, while simultaneously building her confidence as well.
“I definitely know that there is judgement, but if you want to be successful in something, people are going to criticize you,” Burke said. “It’s not just about me getting better with my body, but it has helped my mind a lot too. It has made me a lot more confident about who I am in general.”
While Burke is a mirror selfie advocate, Naglich has senior Robbie Grischy take all his photos and videos. Despite their differing approaches to developing their content, Burke and Naglich share the same philosophy in wanting to help others achieve their fitness goals.
“My account started out as a place for me to keep track of my progress, but now, it has turned into me helping other people, and I feel good knowing that people trust me enough to give advice,” Burke said. “I’ve given advice about eating to gain muscle, workout routines and a lot of other advice too.”
Naglich also gives advice to his 1,700 followers, but his dedication to assist them in getting fit in a healthy and effective way is much more prominent than his desire to reach a status of fame.
“The numbers on Instagram aren’t as important to me as helping others get fit,” Naglich said. “I have numbers I want to hit on weights, but I’m not in it for the fame. Fitness brings to me the happiness and joy in my life, and I think putting myself out there spreads the message for people to do the same.”
As Burke and Naglich prepare to start a new chapter this fall as they head to college, they said that their fitness accounts are just getting started, and the posts will not stop at graduation.
“I am not super active on my account right now because of school, but this summer, I am going to post higher quality content,” Burke said. “I think my ultimate goal would be to consistently have high quality content and maybe become a Gymshark athlete.”
For Naglich, he is looking forward to using his account to track his progress in a professional manner as he prepares to take his lifting outside of the gym and into a competitive field.
“Next year, I want to compete in natural physique bodybuilding, so I will definitely keep my account going because I will be tracking my progress until then,” Naglich said. “It motivates me to see my progress and how far I’ve come, so I can always work at being better.”
Photo by Millie Ortega.