January 09, 2020

Community Spotlight: Fitness

Community Spotlight is an ongoing exploration of the various communities that exist on YouTube. To determine which channels make up any community, we analyze a variety of signals, including titles, tags and other metadata, to form a pool (excluding artist channels and channels that are not relevant). Community stats are derived from that grouping.

What: On YouTube, New Year's resolutions can take many forms, from goal setting with vision boards to financial planning. But nowhere is that turn-of-the-calendar resolve more apparent than in the fitness community. The new year is a time when this group of creators — which includes certified fitness professionals, self-trained entrepreneurs, and workout enthusiasts — kicks into high gear, with members inviting their audiences to join them in starting the year on an active note.

Their workout specialties run the gamut, ranging from yoga and gymnastics to bodybuilding and calisthenics. While their preferred workouts may differ, together, this community has grown in total viewership by more than 5x over the past five years.

Where: The channels that make up the fitness community come from all over the world. Among those uploaders that share a country, the majority come from the U.S., followed by Korea, Russia, India, Brazil, the U.K., and Germany.

By the Numbers:

  • There are more than 8,000 channels in the fitness community.
  • In 2019, views of fitness community videos increased 27%.

Fitness Community Views Reached New Heights in 2019

Annual views of fitness videos uploaded by members of the fitness community

Fitness Community Views Reached New Heights in 2019

Source: Global YouTube views, 2013 - 2019

  • In 2019, uploads of fitness community videos increased 18%.

Uploads of Fitness Community Videos Continue to Rise

Annual uploads of fitness videos by members of the fitness community

Uploads of Fitness Community Videos Continue to Rise

Source: Global YouTube uploads, 2013 - 2019

  • During the first week of 2020, views of the fitness community increased more than 30% compared to the same time period a year prior.

Popular Creators:

Yoga with Adriene (5.93M subscribers): With her calm demeanor and step-by-step instruction, Adriene Mishler has helped make yoga more accessible to the masses. In addition to sharing popular 30-day workouts, she also offers more niche exercises, such as yoga for writers and yoga for text neck.

ATHLEAN-X™ (9.06M subscribers): Physical therapist and strength coach Jeff Cavaliere uses his channel to educate audiences on everything from common pull-up mistakes to ways to correct posture.

Blogilates (4.78M subscribers): In 2019, Cassey Ho, who recently celebrated her channel’s 10-year anniversary, used hashtag-driven workouts including the #100AbChallenge and #100GluteChallenge to drive shareable experiences across YouTube, inspiring many fellow creators to upload their results.

TiboInShape (6.7M subscribers): Since he started uploading videos in 2013, French creator TiboInShape has developed a loyal following with his playful and inventive spin on fitness, taking on challenges that range from training like the One Punch Man to submitting to the FBI fitness test.

gymvirtual (7.23M subscribers): In addition to running a popular beauty channel, Spanish creator Patry Jordan motivates viewers on her fitness channel, where she posts high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises and shares monthly workout plans.

Popular Videos 2019:

Larry Wheels, I Arm Wrestled 5 Of The Biggest Guys In The Gym: Powerlifter Larry “Wheels” Williams’ 38-second arm-wrestling competition has been viewed more than 45 million times.

MattDoesFitness, Bodybuilders try the US Navy Seals Fitness Test without practice: British bodybuilding creator MattDoesFitness received more than 12 million views with his take on a popular challenge — trying a military fitness test.
Fraser Wilson, 10 Min Morning Workout (No Equipment Bodyweight Workout): The popularity of Australian creator Fraser Wilson’s morning workout speaks to two trends within YouTube’s fitness community: no-equipment-needed exercises and 10-minute workouts.
Calisthenicmovement, Train Like One Punch Man (Does It Really Work?): In an unexpected crossover between the worlds of Manga and fitness, German creator Calisthenicmovement tried to train like the Japanese superhero.
OFFICIALTHENX, The Best Home Chest Workout (No Equipment Needed): This do-anywhere, without anything workout has been viewed more than 12 million times.

Content Trends:

  • Yoga Continues to Grow: The number of uploads of yoga-related videos from the fitness community have continued to grow steadily every year, hitting an all-time high in 2019.
  • Military Fitness Tests Go Mainstream: Although creators have tried military fitness tests in the past, multiple members of the fitness community put their own spin on the trend in 2019. Natasha Océane attempted the U.S. Marine test, MattDoesFitness had one of the most viewed videos of the year with his trial of the Navy Seals test, and Calisthenicmovement took on the Army fitness test.
  • Push-Ups Find a New Spotlight: Austrian creator Sascha Huber ignited a purpose-driven challenge in March, when he acted on a dare to attempt 1,000 push-ups in a single hour. The challenge resulted in learning content — for example, a video on proper push-up technique as well as a subsequent, 1 million push-up challenge, which inspired others to take part by pledging to donate to charity. The 1 million push-up challenge passed its 10,000-euros goal with 28,000 euros in pledges.