Joe Holder has built a fitness empire (and an impressive Instagram following) on a few fundamentals: no-bullshit training, vegetarianism (#PlantBasedGang), and a holistic view of health.

Holder—a wellness consultant, performance specialist, and Nike master trainer—created the Ocho System, a holistic approach to living, when he was an athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. He was playing football and adhering to the typical dogma of a collegiate football program: build mass with whatever means necessary. Without the emphasis on wellness, nutrition, or mental health, an ankle injury sidelined Holder. He turned to his father, a doctor who specializes in contemporary and alternative practices, for guidance—and, in the process, fostered a stronger connection between his mind and body.

He adopted a new training regimen, went plant-based, and created a new set of principles to heal his body. He came back to the game, fitter and stronger in every way possible. And when he suffered a broken leg in his fifth year, Holder put his technique—he called it the Ocho System—to its ultimate test. It was a smashing success: He returned to the field in a little more than four weeks. So, yeah, he's on to something.

In an interview with Men's Fitness, Holder explains how he approaches a commitment to excellence, why the models he trains are basically professional athletes, and how to reach your own fitness goals using social media. 

Joe Holder's five social media methods for reaching your fitness goals

 

 

Bonus content: See why Holder wants men to train more like women