How to Build a Fitness Journey Instagram (And Build Your Following)

by Jersey Strong on Mar 5, 2018 6:00:00 PM

9.pngIn the digital age, creating a fitness journey Instagram is a great way to keep yourself motivated, track your progress, and interact with other people in the fitness community. Instagram has long been a channel for people trying to increase strength, lose weight, alter their diet, and feel inspired while doing so.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a personal fitness journey Instagram, we’ve got some tips on how to get started, what to think about, and how to build your following.

Step 1: Create a new account for your journey

If you don’t have Instagram yet, you’ll need to create an account. Some people choose to have two Instagram accounts: One for their everyday life, and one for their online fitness journey. To achieve maximum engagement, we recommend having a dedicated account just for your fitness progress.

The community of Instagrammers looking to support and follow other fitness-lovers may be more inclined to follow a dedicated-fitness account. However, that doesn’t mean your account can’t have personal flair. Many famous Instagrammers share posts about working out with their families, and sharing healthy meals with friends. Some even include their pets!

Step 2: Your profile details matter

First impressions are important, so you’ll want to spend some time optimizing your account with:

  • A clear profile picture: Fitness instagramming is all about connecting with other people, so make sure your Instagram profile picture is clear. You may also consider using a free website like canva.com to design a catchy “logo” for yourself.
  • Profile description: The description of your account is important. What journey are you taking? What are your goals? Where are you located? Including personal details in your profile will help you connect with a larger audience.
  • Make your account public: To connect with the larger fitness community, you need to make sure your account is public. This will allow you to be found in search results and hashtag groups.

Step 3: Build a base of pictures and videos

insta-47.pngGone are the days where you will be judged for taking selfies or videos of yourself at the gym. (Just make sure you’re focusing on your safety first. Don’t sacrifice your health for a good photo!) Ask your gym buddy to take pictures and videos of you from several angles. You’ll be able to use these images in before-and-after photos. Short videos of you working out, or trying new machines will also help you track your progress. You can also photograph your meals, favorite protein powder, or sessions with your personal trainer.

Before you start building your following, we recommend spending some time adding quality photos to your account. How many is a good start? Twelve photos and videos will give you four rows of imagery – but the more the merrier. You want people to find content when you begin to build your following. Aim for 16-24 photos for a solid collection. 

When posting pictures or videos of you working out, invite people to make suggestions on your form, available variations, or pro tips. Asking for feedback invites other Instagrammers to comment on your posts. Thank people for giving you advice and make sure you @tag people when you reply to them.

Step 4: Invite your family and friends to like your new account

Before you dive into the fitness community, start with your family and friends. Post your new fitness handle to your personal Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Ask your family and friends to follow you along your fitness journey. The support you receive from them will help you stay on track.

Step 5: Build a hashtag strategy

The fitness Instagram world is OBSESSED with hashtags. Spend some time exploring popular fitness accounts that you admire. Then, make a list of all the hashtags those people use. Begin to tag your photo captions with these hashtags where they make sense. (Pro Tip: Don’t tag a photo with #healthyrecipe if it has nothing to do with food.) Focus on using your hashtags strategically. Have you already posted pictures to your account? No problem. You can comment on your own picture with the hashtags you’d like to use.

Step 6: Follow a whole bunch of people (and organizations) that inspire you

This account is ALL ABOUT YOU. And that means you should follow people that motivate and inspire you. Don’t just follow a whole bunch of people in the hopes of getting more likes. The goal here is to connect with people who are on the same journey as you. Click on hashtags, look at pictures, read other stories, and follow people who inspire you. Now, you can also follow #hastags that inspire you as well. This will ensure you see relevant and new accounts in your feed all day. 

Step 7: Comment and like when you feel inspired

Is there someone whose fitness journey is closely related to yours? Comment on their pictures to share your own story or words of encouragement. This is how you start to build your following. By having honest, thoughtful engagement with people in the community. Be yourself!

Step 8: Keep sharing your story

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The best way to build your community following is to post regularly. You should aim to post something at least twice a week (but once a day is ideal). Posting often means you show up in more hashtag searches and more timelines.

Try to post during times when your engagement is highest. Instead of posting multiple times in one day, consider saving a second photo for a future #ThrowbackThursday or #FlashbackFriday. Don't forget that meal prep and snacks are a great opportunity to post. Instagram Stories are becoming a more powerful medium to foster engagement. Use #hashtags in your stories. The best part about stories is that you'll never overwhelm your followers with "feed spam". You can post 5+ images and videos to your story in a single day. Save the best stories in your "featured stories" section. 

But most importantly, remember that this fitness journey is about YOU. Any steps you take toward building a happier, healthier you are good steps. Getting more followers is not a reflection of your success or failure. Enjoy your journey and celebrate yourself!


Do you need guidance on your personal fitness journey? Our team of professional personal trainers will give you the tools and advice you need to reach your fitness goals. (We can also hold the camera for you.)  

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Topics: Healthy Living, Fitness & Exercise, Eating Well, Beauty, Strength, Weight Loss