This week I want to talk about one of my favourite members of the YouTube fitness community, and someone who you may not necessarily be familiar with. For those who don’t know, Omar Isuf is an increasingly popular Canadian YouTuber and personal trainer, ” a self-made man” in his own words, who has succeeded in generating a fitness chain with a truly global outreach. I recently watched a short documentary about his path to success, and wanted to share with you what I thought was a fascinating personal story – and a pertinent one not only to all you fitness fanatics out there, but really to all students and young adults.
From his early teens Omar was destined, it seemed, to follow the well-trodden path into a conventional business function and the daily 9-5 grind; having secured straight As at high school, Omar went on to college to study towards a double major in Economics and Finance and set his sights on a career in the financial services industry.
While at college, he decided, as many of us students do, to sign up to the university gym and get himself into shape. For Omar, however, weight training soon came to be far more than just a hobby on the side. As he points out in the documentary, “Bit by bit, it helped forge a greater sense of identity. What I was learning at school didn’t interest me enough; what I was learning about in health and fitness was far more fascinating.”
Before long, Isuf decided to take the qualifications necessary to become a certified personal trainer, and started to produce a range of tailored content for his clients on YouTube. The videos were an almost overnight sensation, and it was at this point he realized he had the raw materials for a YouTube channel that could be a competitive business in its own right. In the years since, the channel has gone from strength to strength, and he has subsequently branched out into fashion with the ‘Raskol Apparel’ franchise (“Raskol”, by the way, is Russian for “split” or “schism”, nicely summing up Omar’s philosophy on breaking from the norm).
In my opinion, Omar Isuf is one of the most interesting fitness YouTubers around, blending his genuine experience in the industry with an almost scientific knowledge of how to maximize results – not to mention a healthy splash of comedy! The best thing about his channel is that he continues to collaborate with experts across a range of training disciplines, and there is a genuine sense that he is learning along the way just as much as his viewers are. Whether you want to build muscle, lose fat, get stronger or more powerful, I’d seriously recommend checking this guy out.
What is so inspiring about the man is that he had the natural ability to walk into almost any high-end job in the finance industry, but instead he chose to take a risk and pursue what he loves doing. Much like our very own Solomon Ahktar, he spotted a gap and went for it (though arguably in a slightly less flamboyant manner). As Omar points out, “I work more hours than I would if I worked a 9-5 – but I’m a lot happier because I like what I do.” His success is a prime example that sometimes, if you’re truly passionate about doing something, taking a risk might just be worthwhile.
You can check out Omar’s YouTube channel here.