Those who were born in the ‘80s would tell you that workout video cassettes – along with gyms, of course – were the key to reaching fitness goals.

For those who came a decade later, DVDs and workout TV shows became their chosen route to fitness.

But as soon as YouTube appeared in the 2000s, the story changed. Everyone knew that this was the end of workout DVDs and video cassettes.

YouTube simply made working out so much easier with its endless pool of workout videos, instructors, products, and resources.

The arrival of YouTube and its boatload of fitness vloggers

YouTube gave everyone a platform to express themselves and benefit from one another’s experience.

It allowed fitness kings and queens (vloggers) to create and publish life-changing fitness content from anywhere in the world. It also gave consumers a chance to access millions of fitness videos and materials, all for free.

Today, you can find more than 30 million fitness videos on YouTube alone.

Whether you’re talking about fitness programs, information on various workout styles, or exercise trends, you can find it all on YouTube.

YouTube is transforming the fitness world as we know it

In short, many experts say that YouTube has changed the fitness world as we know it. Fitness now has a whole new face, and it hasn’t stopped there.

Unlike in traditional workout videos where weight loss and body condition were the only goals, consumers are logging on to YouTube for a more intimate and interactive experience with vloggers.

According to Richard Wilson, chief executive of Clickon Media, a content creation firm, "Fitness videos have switched from being functional to being aspirational contents that give people a window into the lives of the fitness influencers they look up to."

In other words, fitness nowadays is not just about getting a workout video that teaches you how to plank, how to squat, or how to do bent-over rows.

Thanks to YouTube, consumers now expect to find fitness mentors everywhere they turn – someone they can aspire to be like and who's always there to guide them.

Vloggers are becoming millionaires thanks to YouTube
Vloggers are becoming millionaires thanks to YouTube Pixabay

Vloggers are becoming millionaires thanks to YouTube

In exchange for their availability and guidance, regular folks turned fitness vloggers are now making millions of dollars on YouTube.

For example, Zuzka Light is a fitness vlogger based in LA. She started her YouTube vlog channel in 2012 and specialized in short workout videos.

Today, her channel attracts tens of thousands of viewers per post and has 800k+ subscribers, allowing her the opportunity to launch $12.95 monthly membership access to her website and her own clothing and food supplement lines.

In an interview with BBC, she said, "I always try to post videos that I would like to watch myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've had feedback from my viewers who say they feel connected to me and see me as their friend, their workout buddy.

"I think the personal approach is really key."

Although not every fitness vlogger has reached the heights of Zuzka Light, those who are just climbing the ladder aren’t slacking either.

Some of them even go as far as to buy YouTube subscribers for their channels to boost credibility and popularity.

For those who don't know, the consensus amongst YouTubers is that channels with the highest numbers of YouTube subscribers tend to enjoy the largest share of the pie.

How YouTube has aided fitness trends in a post-COVID world

There’s no denying the impact of COVID-19 on our world. But while various aspects of our existence have been negatively affected, fitness is one of the few trends the pandemic has reawakened.

Generally, there's been a shift in the way people work out and keep fit, so much so that many forgotten fitness trends have reemerged, along with several new ones.

And guess which medium is at the forefront of these shifts in fitness routines?


YouTube and the latest fitness trends

  1. The return of lunch break

Before, the world was brimming with people who'd forgotten the essence of the sacred lunchtime (12 PM) break.

Thanks to the shift enforced by COVID, people are now utilizing the lunch break a lot more — and they are using the time to work up a sweat.

"For the first time ever, 12 PM is the most popular time to work out during the week," one report says. "Lunchtime workouts have seen a 67% increase in popularity."

How is YouTube affecting this trend?

By exposing people to the latest at-work fitness videos. Not many people today know any office lunch break workout routines, but thanks to YouTube, everyone has access to millions of videos.

  1. Working out from anywhere

Travel and busy schedules were often the excuses people gave for not keeping up with their fitness routines.

But all that has changed with YouTube around.

YouTube makes it possible to tune into a workout happening anywhere in the world.

Whether you’re in Turkey, Barbados, Australia, or France, you can easily join a session in the US, UK, or anywhere else on YouTube.

Some time ago, I joined the class of a London-based fitness vlogger where I did a full-body workout standing on the edge of my balcony with my Oculus headset.

Although I was in Ontario, the VR headset made me experience the YouTube session as though I was actually in London.

  1. A shift into restorative fitness

The pandemic really did a number on people’s mental and physical well-being.

As a result, many people started turning to YouTube to acquaint themselves with restorative fitness genres like yoga, Pilates, and barre.

In case you missed the news, yoga, Pilates, and barre took the majority of the slots in the top five most popular digital workouts of 2020. Other restorative exercises like meditation and stretching made it into the top 10.

  1. Digital/physical fitness hybrids

Thanks to the pandemic, almost everyone has now seen the convenience and simplicity that digital workouts offer – even the rigid fitness studio advocates.

As such, it is no longer a conflict for consumers to choose between digital and physical workouts. People are finally starting to realize the benefits that come with adopting both.

This means that they're intending to return to gyms while also joining digital fitness groups on YouTube, Facebook, and other social channels.