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Joey Swoll or TheJoeySwoll, real name Joey Sergo, is a fitness influencer, professional bodybuilder and personal trainer who gained significant virality throughout 2022 and 2023 for posting videos to TikTok calling out people's poor gym etiquette and encouraging positivity and camaraderie in the gym. Many of his videos are reactions to "gym shaming," where one person in the gym shames another for their perceived poor gym technique or etiquette. In January 2023, Swoll gained viral praise from many for calling out Twitch partner Jessica Fernandez who falsely accused a man at the gym of purportedly staring at her.
Joey Swoll began posting on Twitter on December 19th, 2009. He made his first post to Instagram @joeyswoll on May 19th, 2013, which is a motivational text post. He consistently posted gym and workout-related content to the account over the following years, including motivational content and photos of himself working out (example from August 2013 shown below).
Shredz Supplements Scandal
In 2013, Joey Swoll helped found the workout supplement company Shredz. Shredz became a success through its social media marketing campaigns in which fitness influencers helped promote it. However, some influencers criticized the supplements for being low quality, including YouTuber Sean Nalewanyj in August 2016 (shown below).
In March 2020, Generation Iron reported on increasing backlash towards the brand as influencers promoting Shredz were accused of photoshopping their physique, running fake promotional scams and falsely advertising the products. Swoll reportedly left the business in 2017. On March 19th, 2020, Generation Iron posted an interview with Swoll to YouTube about the scandal where he claims Shredz is a high-quality product, but some of the influencers promoting it made mistakes (shown below). That year, Swoll started Taste Flavor Co., an all-natural, low-calorie sauce brand.
TikTok Stitches / Gym Shaming Reactions
On April 11th, 2020, Swoll started posting content to TikTok @thejoeyswoll. On January 7th, 2022, Swoll posted his first Stitch to TikTok where he calls out a "gym shamer," in this case, a woman who is criticizing someone's workout technique at the gym, garnering over 22 million views in a year (shown below).
Let me help you out pumpkin! A little MYOB never hurt nobody! ¯\(ツ)/¯
Swoll continued to post videos like this over the following months to discourage gym shaming and poor gym behavior and encourage positivity at the gym, many gaining notable virality. In some of the videos he discourages people from secretly filming others at the gym, sometimes suggesting phones shouldn't be allowed at the gym and reacts to women secretly filming men who they claim are staring at them or creeping on them, calling the women out and claiming the men are only glancing because the women are near them (examples shown below).
@thejoeyswoll If you have to hide your phone take a video, you probably shouldn’t. #MYOB ♬ original sound – Joey Swoll
@thejoeyswoll Stop filming people in the gym. Change toxic gym culture! #MYOB #gymtok ♬ original sound – Joey Swoll
Jessica Fernandez Video
On January 20th, 2023, Swoll posted a video to TikTok and Twitter where he calls out a Twitch partner and TikToker, Jessica Fernandez, for secretly filming a man at the gym who she claims was staring at her "like a piece of meat," insulting him throughout the video. At one point, the man approaches her to help her put a plate onto the bar she's using but she refuses his help, seeing it as an attempt to look at her closer. He then goes back to working out. Swoll criticizes Fernandez for playing the victim, saying the man simply glanced and approached her to help her lift a plate onto a barbell (shown below). The video went viral, gaining over 320,000 likes and 75 million views on Twitter alone.
Women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop, but you are not one of them. An act of kindness or a glance does not make you a victim. pic.twitter.com/34g9265KXb
— Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) January 21, 2023
The video inspired backlash towards Fernandez, including from the online gym community and conservative Daily Wire pundits like Candace Owens and Matt Walsh. Fernandez deleted the video from TikTok and apologized to the man she filmed and for playing the victim on January 24th.
On January 31st, 2023, TikToker @thejoeyswoll posted a video responding to a now-deleted upload by TikToker @gwinie_the_pooh in which she secretly films an elderly man working out at the gym. Her video is captioned, "What was that" and is set to audio of Wendy Williams saying the same thing. In Swoll's video, he says Gwinie "should be ashamed of herself" for making fun of the way he works out and adds "we wonder why so many people want filming banned in all gyms." He then celebrates the video's commenters for defending the old man and asks her to apologize to the man, saying her gym should "kick her ass out" if she doesn't. The video gained over 1.9 million views in under 24 hours. He also posted the video to his Twitter account @TheJoeySwoll, garnering over 107,000 likes and 2.8 million views in roughly the same span of time (shown below).
Making fun of an old man working out for likes and attention? Really? #MYOB pic.twitter.com/C9aOoPuSdW
— Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) January 31, 2023
As of February 2023, Joey Swoll is active on Instagram (
JoeySwoll) with over 2.2 million followers, Twitter (TheJoeySwoll) with over 457,000 followers and TikTok (@TheJoeySwoll) with over 6.4 million followers. He sells merchandise through joeyswoll.com and his brand of sauces through TasteFlavorCo.com. He also offers fitness coaching through JoeySwollTraining.com.
Joey Swoll became the increasing subject of memes throughout 2022 as his videos calling out gym shamers continued to go viral, particularly on TikTok. For example, on June 22nd, 2022, TikToker @boeshi posted a video joking about Swoll's videos, garnering over 1.1 million views in eight months (shown below).
@boeshi Thank you @Joey Swoll for making gym culture much less toxic #memes #gigachad #MYOB #boeshi ♬ Hs lied – Kevinn_030
In early 2023, memes about Joey Swoll became increasingly popularized following the virality of Jessica Fernandez's, Gwinie_the_Pooh's and other callout videos. On February 4th, 2023, Twitter user @gyarufem posted, "me: i had such an uncomfortable experience at the gym, a man w- | this guy:" followed by an image of Swoll, garnering over 63,000 likes in two days (shown below, left). On February 5th, Twitter user @barstoolsports posted a meme referencing Swoll, garnering over 8,200 likes in a day (shown below, right)
On January 29th, 2023, Twitter user @TlGERBBY retweeted one of Swoll's videos where he calls out a woman who claims a man is staring at her at the gym, claiming the man was not staring. In the tweet, @TIGERBBY writes, "Starting to dislike joey swoll bc in this video he was definitely staring at her. As a man you could never understand how on-alert women are in public spaces n these videos are fuelling misogyny and gaslighting," garnering over 15,000 likes in a week (shown below).
Starting to dislike joey swoll bc in this video he was definitely staring at her. As a man you could never understand how on-alert women are in public spaces n these videos are fuelling misogyny and gaslighting https://t.co/Ha9O3LB5ZF
— nay (@TlGERBBY) January 29, 2023
According to a profile piece by GreatestPhysiques.com, Swoll, born in 1986, was bullied in college, which lead to his discovery of bodybuilding. Bodybuilding helped Swoll deal with his anger, stress and frustrations. As he continued to work out, he eventually decided to become a professional bodybuilder. In one interview, Swoll said he considers bodybuilding an art form.
On March 8th, 2022, Swoll posted a selfie to Instagram where he writes, "18 months ago I was addicted to opioids, suicidal, completely alone, and without any purpose. Today I’m clean, happy, cherishing every single day I wake up, feeling amazing, and once again changing lives and making an impact on the fitness community once. I went from the absolute worst place in my life to the absolute best." The post gained over 21,000 likes in a year. On March 26th, he posted another selfie to Instagram showing himself 100 days opioid-free, writing that the gym saved him (shown below).
 Twitter – first post
 YouTube – A No B.S Review
 Generation Iron – Joey Swoll talks about the fast rise of Shredz.
 YouTube – Joey Swoll Opens Up About The Shredz Scandal
 Instagram – tasteflavorco
 Greatest Physiques – Joey Sergo
 Famous People Today – Joey Swoll
 TikTok – thejoeyswoll
 TikTok – thejoeyswoll
 TikTok – thejoeyswoll
 TikTok – thejoeyswoll
 Twitter – TheJoeySwoll
 Twitter – barstoolsports
 Twitter – thejoeyswoll
 TikTok – thejoeyswoll
 TasteFlavorCo – tasteflavorco
 JoeySwollTraining – joeyswolltraining
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