Joe Wicks is better known as The Body Coach, Instagram’s first megastar who shot to fame last year with his ‘fitsperation’ workout videos and healthy recipes which he shared with his 1.3 million followers.
The 31-year-old, from Epsom, Surrey, has just released his third cook book – already a number 1 bestseller – in his successful Lean in 15 series, part of a 10-part recipe deal.
But he’s already planning for further down the line – and has exclusively revealed to Femail Food&Drink that he wants to create a national schools fitness program where he beams live workout videos directly into schools.
But first he has tips for how you can eat what you want and get the body you’ve always dreamed of by ‘training like a psycho’, telling all to Andrew Jehring.
Joe Wicks, better known as The Body Coach, shared his plans for the future and fitness tips with Femail Food&Drink
Joe Wicks says his ethos is ‘eat more, move less, and get lean’ – a message contained in his latest cookbook: ‘Lean in 15: 15 minute meals with workouts to get you lean for life’
Joe Wicks cuts an even slimmer figure in person than snaps of his ripped torso splashed across the national papers suggest, but it’s not clear how as he eyes up a sticky toffee pudding on the menu.
We’re at Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse in Birmingham and the fitness guru flicks the menu open at the back: ‘If I could, I would always start my meal with a pudding,’ he says, his eyes devouring every dish on offer.
In the end he settles on a ribeye steak, medium-rare, and trades the standard fries for triple-cooked chips. ‘I’ve done a work out, and they’re blatantly the best chips, so why not?’
What’s his secret to eating what he wants while still maintaining his ripped physique? He says it’s all down to his ethos of: ‘eat more, move less, and get lean’ – and ignore the calorie content.
Joe says you can eat what you want – as long as you make sure you ‘train like an absolute psycho for 20 minutes’
Joe says he avoids talking about calorie content in his latest book, instead talking more about the quality of the food he suggests making
‘I don’t talk about the calories – you should focus on the quality of the food,’ he explains.
‘I just cut through the noise. It’s simple, you just train like an absolute psycho for 20 minutes, then you can eat well.
‘But you have to exercise.’
Joe, who’s dating page 3 model Rosie Jones, says the biggest problem for clients trying to get lean is the dieting industry itself.
The word ‘diet’ is completely avoided in his third cookbook: ‘Lean in 15: 15 minute meals with workouts to get you lean for life.’
He says: ‘The one biggest diet mistake is anything with the word diet in.
‘Anything low calorie, anything depriving when you don’t each much for days and days. Because all that time all you’re thinking of is food.
Joe Wicks says ‘the one biggest diet mistake is anything with the word diet in’
The 31-year-old fitness guru, who is dating page 3 model Rosie Jones, says anyone looking to lose weight should avoid low calorie food and instead work out more
‘Then you binge and it’s a vicious circle.
‘One’s you educate yourself in what good food is then staying lean is quite easy.
‘The dieting industry as a whole is also very driven about products, but ultimately there’s no fat burners, no magic solution. That’s what I’m up against.’
The Body Coach’s success comes from tapping into what time-poor Brits desire, with 15-minute recipes and 20-minute workouts. But his nutrition philosophy also appeals more to the tastebuds than his Spartan competitors, particularly when it come to carbs.
He says: ‘You can live your life on low carbs, but how good are chips? Carbs are so good. Put it this way, I smash carbs and I’m lean.
‘Sugar is hidden everywhere, and you have to be careful, but you don’t have to be zero carb. It’s unnecessary.’
Joe now employs 45 people to help manage more than 100,000 clients who have paid £147 to sign up to his 90-day ‘Shape, Shift and Sustain’ fitness programme.
The plan puts what he learnt from his time as a personal trainer and from studying sports science at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, to use on an industrial scale.
But Joe said he never really had a vision for his future.
The Body Coach’s success comes from tapping into what time-poor Brits desire, with 15-minute recipes and 20-minute workouts
The Instagram megastar, from Epsom, Surrey, is about to release his third cook book in his successful Lean in 15 series, part of a 10-part recipe deal
He says: ‘When I finished uni I did a bit of travelling. I was confused and had a quarter-life crisis.
‘I got back and I was working as a teaching assistant, but I just wasn’t motivated. I’d watch the clock all day thinking: “I want to get out”.
‘Between 24 and 25, I genuinely didn’t know what I was doing.
‘But the past five years I have achieved so much because I woke up one day and thought: “I want to do what I love”.
‘So I did a personal training qualification and from then on, the success just came.’
Joe says he is a private man, but he hit the headlines last week after Piers Morgan pushed him for details of his personal life, jokingly telling Joe to ‘cut the pretense, your whole life is on social media’.
Joe says he is a private man, but he hit the headlines last week after an awkward TV interview with Piers Morgan where the journalist pushed him for details of his personal life
Joe is notoriously private, and uses social media as a business tool rather than as a medium to expose his private life
Joe sees it differently. In between mouthfuls of triple-cooked chips, he says: ‘Social media for me is a business and a tool to reach people, but it’s not a platform where I’d post selfies of me and my girlfriend, or at home.
‘I am a private person, even if I look like a loud shouty person on social media, I’m quiet in that respect.
‘You won’t see me doing OK magazine and all that. I’ve done TV like Sunday Brunch, but I do that to reach people, not to become famous and go to celebrity parties.
‘I don’t have any celebrity followers, I’m really boring in that respect. If I do go out I go out to my best mates to nice restaurants and stuff.
‘You don’t see me coming out of clubs in London, I’ve never been like that from a young age.’
He says he has no problems with the new-found fame, seen by many as a heartthrob with his body plastered across billboards and magazines.
Joe says he has no problems with the new-found fame, seen by many as a heartthrob with his body plastered across billboards and magazines
His next big plan is to help beat childhood obesity and hopes to launch a schools fitness programme where children exercise along to his live workout videos
But now he is famous he’s determined to use it for good. He’s seen by some as the Jamie Oliver of nutrition, a comparison he hints at himself.
He said: ‘I look at what Jamie’s done and I’m not going to be here a few years, sell a few books then piss off.
‘My ambition really is to be someone who affects the lives of millions of people.’
He then tells me The Body Coach’s next big plan – to beat child obesity.
He says: ‘I’m on a mission to try and help. Someone’s got to do it, because the government’s not going to do it.
‘I’m going back to my old primary school next week. It’s a trial to see how it will work, do a little workout with the kids, interview them, ask them about diet and see if they’re into it at all.
‘My dream is to have a digital program run around all the schools so I can be the face of it and lead it.
‘So like every Monday they would have an hour with The Body Coach, where I do a live Facebook or YouTube, where I get all the schools around the UK to line up.
‘I’ll be on their screen and get them to do a live workout with me.’
Joe then accelerates into personal dieting advice, saying the key is three big meals a day and four 20-minute workout sessions a week.
But then his publicist, Megan, cuts across – ‘I’m really sorry, the cab’s outside.’
Joe’s face drops. He never got to have his sticky toffee pudding.