Credibility in Fitness: Eight Influencers Who Keep Fitness Honest

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The health and fitness space is crowded with the latest and greatest cures claiming to be a panacea. Fad diets, detailed workout plans, flat tummy teas, and more fill social feeds with so much noise, it’s difficult to stand out. So how do brands and their influencers break through the noise?

They emphasize credibility, authenticity, and scientific proof, rather than promising instant results.

We put together a list of eight influencers who champion credibility in health and fitness, and use their platform to help their followers improve their fitness and strength in a positive and scientifically sound way.

1) Maddy Forberg (248k followers)

Maddy Forberg is an amateur powerlifter who openly and candidly shares her journey through strength training on her social media channels. She details her success and failures at powerlifting meets, as well as her struggles overcoming mental health issues. In addition, she routinely shows prep updates, showing her fitness progression over time. Maddy works with brands like Redcon1 and Herb Strong to give her followers supplement discounts and nutritional advice.


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Man if I could go back and do it all again I would. Mistakes, judging, all of it. _ That morning I felt so good. Without my luggage and all my things, despite a big weight cut, I felt great. Squats felt so good, even Mr.Coach CWS thought so. _ Obviously it didn’t go the way I wanted. Because of that I was (and still am) a roller coaster of emotions: angry, crying, excited, disappointed, confused, etc. _ But even still- how lucky am I to have something that makes me FEEL? Everything, all at once. All the time. Not dependent on another person, just something I get to DO. _ For a year I’ll be able to say I’m 5th in the world of raw junior 57s, on team USA. I had the balls to do something nuts like fly to a different country just to lift weights. _ I can’t wait to go back into the gym and start fixing the wrongs!! _ Happy Tuesday y’all, I hope you have something that makes you feel all the damn things. 🐾 _ _ Thank you to all my sponsors who supported me in huge ways, thank you @redcon1 for always believing in me and pushing me to do these things. (Code MADDAWG20), thank you @rpstrength for helping me make weight through the RP app and always offering to help (code MADDAWG) thank you @mbslingshot for the custom gear although i didn’t get to wear it. Thank you @hviiibrandgoods @trifectasystem @herbstrong for always being in my corner! #ipfworlds #maddawgstrong #juggernauttraining

A post shared by Maddy Maddawg Forberg (@maddyforberg) on


2) Mark Bell (921k followers)

Mark Bell is a strength training coach and powerlifter who shares his workouts, progress, and the occasional meme with his followers. Mark created a lifting accessory called the MB Slingshot to help lifters at any stage reach their goals. In addition, he gives nutritional advice, motivational quotes, and pictures of food to show his human side to his followers. He’s worked with brands like 1st Phorm, Apeman Strong, and Quest nutrition.

3) Eric Bugenhagen (130k followers)

Eric Bugenhagen is an aspiring professional wrestler, currently starring on WWE’s NXT program. Before he got his shot in the big show, Eric gained notoriety on his YouTube channel, where he shouted, blasted metal music, and chugged milk to internet fame. He is known for intermixing philosophical musings in between screams, while advocating for unique fitness programs like his very own Bugenhagen method. Eric works with the WWE and brands like Rogue Fitness to bring his home gym setup to his followers.

4) Terron Beckham (903k followers)

The cousin of NFL superstar, Odell Beckham Jr., Terron Beckham is a superstar in his own right. Though he’s backflipped and deadlifted his way into viral Instagram fame, Terron’s social media is a hub for inspiration, advice, and the occasional anime photo edit. He’s also a gamer, live-streaming games like Apex Legends, Overwatch, and For Honor on his Twitch channel. He’s partnered with brands like GFuel, Tidal, and Muscle Pharm.

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5) Lauren Fisher (1m followers)

A 22-year-old Crossfit superstar, Lauren Fisher shares her crossfit journey on her Instagram, including her diverse set of prep exercises like weightlifting, swimming, hiking, and more. In addition, she shares her nutritional tips, as well as travel photos, to give her fans an authentic view of the life of a Crossfit competitor. A sponsored Nike and Rogue Fitness athlete, Lauren also shares her preferred supplement brands on her Instagram.

6) Jujimufu (3m followers)

Jon Call, aka Jujimufu, got his start with a viral video of him overhead pressing a barbell while doing a full split between chairs. He’s kept up the intensity (and levity) with gravity-defying aerials, stunts, and lifts to his enthusiastic audience. But he doesn’t just perform for social media, he teaches, too. He offers full instructionals for his gymnastic tricks, as well as his lifting progress. With a smile on his face and a belly full of laughter, Jon has worked with brands like Kimera Coffee, Nord VPN, and Audible to bring exclusive deals and opportunities to his audience.



7) Dr. Stefanie Cohen (673k followers)

Dr. Stefanie Cohen is a powerlifter and physical therapist who owns the world record for deadlifts at 119 pounds. Her social media profiles are chock full of helpful, clinically sound fitness advice for athletes of any level. She posts workout progress, routines, as well as a few memes to help inspire and empower female strength athletes. She works with brands like Animal Pak and Nike to share her passion and make the world a stronger place.


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⭕️WHAT DOES NEUTRAL SPINE EVEN MEAN?⭕️⁣ ⁣ This is a very controversial topic which requires discussion, especially in a page like mine, in which I try my best to show proper technique of the exercises. When it comes to training technique we all know that maintaining a neutral spine is considered "good" and "healthy" when lifting weights. ⁣ ⁣ But what does it mean? ⁣ ⁣ Most people think that "neutral spine" is a fixed position, and again, while I suggest everyone to do their best to train in the "green zone" area, this does not necessarily mean that ANY degree of flexion or extension is going to be bad. ⁣ ⁣ Quite in fact when we talk about maintaining a neutral spine, we refer to a 𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 of neutrality and not a fixed position.⁣ In a deadlift we can see a slight flexion of the spine when training with very heavy weights, during squats we can see that happen during the "butt wink"(posterior pelvic tilt) at the bottom of the exercise. None of them are NECESSARILY bad, because as always, it depends on the degree of flexion, under which load, during what amount of time. Please do NOT use this as an excuse to perform poorly at the gym, because this is far from saying that, fellas. 🔥🔥🔥TAG Somebody who needs to see this! @pheasyque

A post shared by Dr. Stefanie Cohen, DPT (@steficohen) on


8) Chris Duffin (289k followers)

Chris Duffin is a strength athlete, best-selling author, and an engineer who champions holistic strength training and fitness. He offers scientific, credible advice for lifters to help his followers make the most of their strength training routines. He owns and manages Kabuki Strength, an online library full of guided workout tutorials. Chris also travels around the country giving lectures on advanced fitness movements based on his own research. When he’s not sharing his own advice, he works with brands like Rogue Fitness and Under Armour to give his followers even more perks.


These athletes take their training seriously – and are happy to share their tried-and-true advice with their followers. Their endorsements are authentic reflections of their lifestyles, backed with the full force of their credible experience. Brands looking to make a splash in the health and fitness space can look for influencers like these to cut through the noise of a crowded space.


July 16, 2019
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