Bodybuilders and Social Media

In a niche sport like bodybuilding, it’s crucial that athletes have a strong social media presence in order to connect with the fans

April 19, 2013

By Frank Hoffmann

With most IFBB Pro’s competing two or three times per year, if we’re lucky, it is crucial for them to have a huge social media presence. To develop any kind of fan base and to generate any kind of decent revenue outside of contest winnings, pro bodybuilders need to put themselves out there. A lot of the more popular pros have their own clothing line, sell training programs and DVDs and market themselves alongside their supplement sponsors via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Some pros are better at it than others. Jay Cutler, for example, has this social media thing down pat. While it’s not imperative that other pros follow in his footsteps because he is a pure businessman with his Cutler Athletics empire, they should at least take a page out of his book and attempt to connect with the fans.

Although most IFBB Pro’s are on some kind of social media platform and a quick Internet search will take you to their pages, more often than not, those pages aren’t up-to-date. It’s not uncommon for a fan to follow his favorite bodybuilder and not see a tweet or a status update in their feed for weeks on end. This is not a good move, especially in such a niche sport like bodybuilding where it’s vital to attract and retain fans to keep the machine running. The thing with Jay Cutler is that he makes it so easy to be a fan of his with constant Facebook updates, a steady stream of tweets, new videos, regular guest appearances and he sponsors amateur bodybuilding shows. Jay gives back to the sport that has given him so much, and the fans appreciate this. Yeah, he promotes BPI and his new line of elite supplements and sells apparel, DVDs, books and photos on his website, but he doesn’t bombard his followers with spam and shameless self-promotions. The bulk of his Facebook and Twitter content includes giving fans a glimpse into his life with real time progress pics, training videos, uncensored thoughts and opinions, his guest appearance schedule and interactive Q&A’s. With more than 120,000 Twitter followers and 1.4 million Facebook likes, Jay Cutler is the king of social media. If more IFBB Pro’s took Jay’s approach, it would become a lot easier to be a bodybuilding fan and get our beloved sport out of the niche and into the mainstream.

Frank Hoffmann is a former NCAA and Professional CFL football player from Toronto, whose passion for health and fitness stems from his years as a personal trainer. Frank works as a freelance fitness and lifestyle writer while holding down a nine to five job and believes having a full-time job is no excuse to not be fit. Check out his fitness blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Nine2Fit.