New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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‘Man, I’m Going to Be a Meme’: The Story Behind the NYU Swimmer That Went Viral for His Workout

After NYU Strength and Conditioning posted a video of NYU swimmer Nathan Huot doing an odd-looking exercise, it was picked up and made viral by popular Instagram accounts like Complex and Barstool Sports.
On October 29, NYU Strength and Conditioning posted a video of a student doing high velocity contractions on Instagram that garnered 57k views and went viral on other platforms as well. (via Instagram @nyu_strength)

NYU swimmer Nathan Huot can now consider himself internet famous. The CAS sophomore was featured in an Instagram video, participating in an uncommon exercise in which he lays horizontal on the ground and moves his legs up and down rapidly against thick rubber bands. The video, originally posted by NYU Strength and Conditioning’s Instagram account on Oct. 29, has garnered over 57,600 views as of this article’s publication on Nov. 15. 

The video was then featured on SportsCenter’s Snapchat story, and later picked up by Barstool Sports, Complex and the NYU Memes for Slightly Bankrupt Teens’ Instagram pages. In total, the video has amassed over 4,285,000 views on Instagram as of Friday.

Huot saw the original post by NYU Strength and Conditioning, but he didn’t anticipate it reaching a wider audience. After the video was reposted by other accounts, his teammates started to share it on their personal Instagram stories. It was at this point that Huot realized he had, in fact, gone viral.

“I was just like, ‘Man, I’m going to be a meme,’” he chuckled.


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The exercise, according to NYU Strength and Conditioning’s caption, is called “high velocity contractions” and is used to “task muscles with working against each other with or without external resistance.” Barstool and later, NYUMFSBT, compared Huot’s movements in the video to sperm. The meme page even edited the video to make Huot appear like he was swimming in a sea of sperm.

“I thought it was funny,” Huot said. “Reading through the comments, people say whatever. I don’t really care too much. But it does look funny.”

“I think we all thought it was pretty uncanny and funny that it was popping up everywhere,” CAS senior and swimmer Hannah Bub said. “I think it was the funniest when we saw it on the SportsCenter Snapchat story that just seemed like such a huge account for that to show up on.”

NYU Strength and Conditioning often posts videos of student athletes working out in the Varsity Performance Center, but this video was the first to go viral on the internet.

“As you can imagine, something going viral comes with some headaches as well,” recently hired Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Brad Godbold said. “But ultimately, it is good. It’s exposure for NYU.”

Gallatin senior and swimmer Giorgio DelGrosso echoed this sentiment, saying that many potential recruits who didn’t know about NYU’s athletic programs may now have the Violets on their radar.

“It’s good exposure for recruits and stuff, people who don’t know about NYU,” DelGrosso said. “I remember when I was in high school, I was looking on Twitter and stuff for college programs that I liked, so this kind of gets the word out there.”

According to Godbold, the NYU Strength and Conditioning Instagram account has gained approximately 3,300 followers since the video was posted two and a half weeks ago.

DelGrosso joked that Huot was the perfect person to be featured in the video.

“I felt like if it was going to be anyone, it would be him because he’s just such a goon during lift,” DelGrosso said. “He has Barstool vibes. It would be him it just makes sense.”

Email Bela Kirpalani at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Bela Kirpalani, Sports Editor
Bela is a senior in CAS studying history. Born and raised on Long Island, her love for bagels knows no bounds (the same goes for blueberries, but that really doesn't have anything to with Long Island). She also loves all things sports — how fitting — and finds way too many unfunny things funny. When not in the newsroom, she is probably off playing FIFA or wishing she were playing FIFA.
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