Social Media, Sponsorships, and Spreading a Message
By: James M. Bitetzakis
“The reason I got into fitness was for two big reasons,” said CSI student Zach White. “I wanted to improve my physical health and I also felt a need to impress everyone around me.”
Dating back to 2017, White was five foot six, and weighed around 200 pounds. Today, he grew a few more inches while shedding a lot of that fat, and it turned to muscle. He currently weighs in at a healthy 155 pounds.
Nowadays, White devotes almost all of his time to the gym. He works at the LA Fitness on 1565 Forest Avenue, and it just so happens to be the same gym that he constantly works out in.
His favorite go-to workout routine to improve his strength is bicep curls with 90-pound weights, for 12 reps, 10 separate times.
His weekly routine consists of three days focusing on his chest and triceps, another day for his back, the fifth day for his biceps, and the last two days are for his legs and shoulders. He doesn’t take rest days unless they are absolutely necessary.
This current routine of his is not how he started. White would advise anyone to only spend a few days a week in the gym rather than the full seven. He believes that the last thing you want to do is to burn yourself out, and then killing any motivation you have for improving yourself.
White decided that instead of keeping his progress in fitness to himself, he would instead spread it to as many people as he can. That is how his fitness Instagram page, @zak_lifts, was born. Created on November 26, 2018, @zak_lifts account already has 181 posts and over 2,500 followers.
“The hardest part about trying to run a successful Instagram account is the beginning,” said White. “When you first start your project, the interaction you receive is small, and it really isn’t a great feeling, but you just have to push on and be consistent about your content.”
After a year, White finally got his first sponsorship, and it is with the fitness clothing brand Fitletix. Rather than it being a traditional sponsorship, where he is paid to wear and promote their clothing, he is known as an ambassador.
Ambassadors receive a code that gives a discount at checkout, and whenever someone makes a purchase with the influencer’s code, the influencer will receive a percentage of the sale.
White’s Fitletix code is “Zaklifts10”, and it offers a ten percent discount on their website.
Many of White’s followers are local Staten Island community members. Akif Rakipovski is one follower of @zak_lifts and also a student at CSI, just like White is.
“I feel like I can relate more to Zach than I can with other fitness pages on Instagram with both of us being from Staten Island,” said Rakipovski. “Him and I have actually exchanged messages and he has offered me genuine advice, it’s really uplifting and motivating.”
Having a large Instagram account doesn’t only affect the person running the page, but it also affects anyone following it, in an array of emotions. Instagram’s content ranges from extremely negative to really positive, and it all depends on what the user decides to keep on their feed.
“Sure, I want money from my Instagram page,” said White. “But I also really hope that I can make a huge positive impact on some of my followers, either by my physical content or just by my words.”