Night Light | Keep It Simple

Unless you’re living in a small farm in North Dakota, you’ve heard of Sam Sulek. In only 6 months he’s gained over a million YouTube subs and has completely taken over TikTok. Every time I’m at the gym I’m seeing a ton of high schoolers with his videos up trying to follow his workout.

The fitness niche on YouTube is huge and has been around for years. So how did Sam Sulek (with also very little editing) break through so quickly? I think it comes down to a few reasons:

Against the Grain of What’s Popular on YouTube: Lately YouTube is about optimizing your channel, bright thumbnails, and lots of effort put into editing. He doesn’t do any of that. It’s completely different from the other more established creators. Man just presses record.

Phone Camera ✅ Audio ✅ Anything Else ❌

Information Sharing: Although he makes it very clear that he isn’t a personal trainer or nutritionist, he always explains exactly what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. It’s not overly complicated and he keeps it very simple.

The TikTok Engine: Sam had a big following on TikTok before he started his channel. It’s not surprising that he was able to convert to YouTube, but the amount of edits on TikTok from other accounts is huge. #samsulek and #samsulekedit have a combined 5B views. Most of the edits are things he says out of context memes.

Conversational Storytelling: Along with just pressing record, Sam also goes on rants and talks a lot to the viewer almost constantly. This is something that works really well when he’s not editing out his drive to the gym or grocery hauls—it’s authentic as it can be. Maybe he’s cracking jokes or talking about how much he just played Clash Royale. For a 30 minute video that doesn’t skip any of the fluff, it doesn’t feel like there’s any dead space.

In this video (posted 3 weeks ago) he spent 20 out of 40 minutes talking in his car, I think most creators would not suggest this.

Gets By With What He Has: Working out isn’t cheap, especially if you’re trying to do it like some of the bigger channels are (expensive gyms, supplements, and food). There’s plenty of people out there calling out how unhealthy his diet is, but I think people forget how expensive it can be to eat clean. I think this is another huge factor for his mass appeal.

Alright in this last part we’re going to try something fun. I watched one of his latest videos Workout Bulk Day 34 - Cardio, and saw how long he spends on each. Here’s the breakdown:

Interesting that not all videos need footage of him working out to perform well.

I think this is a defining moment for the fitness niche, excited to see if more people hit record and let it ride.

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