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Flexing The ‘Sober Muscle’

It is an interesting way to think of recovery. Imagine looking at sobriety like a muscle. Something that requires work outs and needs to be trained regularly. Well that’s exactly what fitness influencer Mitchell Ashburn is doing and building thousands of social media followers along the way. Tying recovery with exercise regimens has proven to be very successful throughout his journey and now it’s something he hopes will catch on with others.


Ashburn’s Sober Muscle program recently earned some added exposure, thanks to several news pieces via Virginia’s NBC affiliate. He happens to be based in Roanoke, but his program is catching on nationwide. The goal is to encourage people to overcome their addictions via exercise and bring “clean living” into every aspect of their lives.


As Ashburn explained in the NBC piece, alcohol became his drug of choice throughout his 20s. For over 10 years it consumed his life and led him down a dark, unhealthy path. Now at 32 he is fully clean and sober, and he credits fitness as a big component of that success.


“I know where I want my life to go and I know where I’ve been, and I don’t want to go back there,” Ashburn told the site. “You can certainly do sobriety your way. But a way that I have found success and a way that I can hopefully share with others, consists of  hard work, determination, and fitness.”


Through social media channels like Instagram, Ashburn’s Sober Muscle account consists of images, videos and Stories, all of which show methods that use exercise as a recovery tool. The “Sober Muscle,” he explains, lives in everyone and can be trained in the same way that a bicep or a leg calf can.



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In our opinion, it’s quite inspiring; especially when you hear about the challenges that Ashburn has faced throughout his life. He explained to the site that he lost both his parents to addiction before he was five years old. There was also a period where alcoholism drove him to near poverty. But now, he’s a shining example of how a person can turn their life around.


Though still a new program, Ashburn’s Sober Muscle now has t-shirts, hats and workout gear all branded with his recovery message. He added that he is working his way towards opening up his own gym as well. Until then, though, we encourage everyone to follow his accounts for daily mantras and workout clips that can help followers start flexing their 0wn “sober muscles.”