The NATION'S PE TEACHER

Surrey Life|June 2020

The NATION'S PE TEACHER
Angela Sara West chats exclusively with Joe Wicks about breaking fitness records, fatherhood, his new book and how living in Richmond is his dream come true
Angela Sara West
Epsom-born fitness expert Joe Wicks is a man with a tailor-made plan. Dedicated to making people fitter, stronger, healthier, and happier, the qualified nutritional adviser not only creates bespoke workouts, but also healthy online meal plans. The phenomenally-popular fitness guru is ranked the ‘fifth most influential fitness person worldwide’ by Forbes, having transformed his personal training business into a multi-million-pound empire.

No ordinary Joe, the Surrey-based trainer has taken the fitness and online nutrition world by storm. With over 100,000 client transformations under his fitness belt, plus a No.1 fitness DVD to boot, the workout whizz is the UK’s first Instagram superstar, the second-most influential person in the food industry and author of the UK’s second-bestselling cookbook of all time; his first book, Lean In 15, sold a cool 77,000 copies in its first week alone. The creator of the UK’s biggest tailored-weight-loss programme, his trademark The 90 Day Plan is inspiring the whole world to not only work out, but to cook healthily, too.

An inspiration to the nation, and indeed the whole planet, he’s now a hotter-than-ever household name, having wowed the whole world with his new virtual fitness classes for kids. As schools closed and lockdown began, the innovative health maestro became a man on a mega mission. Despite breaking his hand, a determined Joe vowed to get the country’s children moving, through free daily workouts.

Fresh from hosting his now-famous 9am PE session, he’s full of beans as he picks up the phone. “I’ve just done my workout and am having a little stretch now, so I’ve got plenty of energy today,” Joe tells me.

His ‘PE With Joe’ workouts are working wonders, coming to the rescue of millions planet-wide, his virtual lessons a life-saver for cooped-up kids and frustrated homeschooling parents forced to both educate and entertain. “I’m doing these Monday to Friday, 30minute workouts because exercise is an amazing tool to help people feel happier, more energised and optimistic,” he says. “For me, exercise is paramount.” What’s more, philanthropic Joe is donating “every single penny” of the revenue generated by these classes on his YouTube channel to NHS Charities Together, raising a whopping £100k at the time of writing.

Joe was awarded a Guinness World Record for “most viewers for a fitness workout live stream on YouTube” after almost a million tuned in on March 24 2020. How does it feel to be the talk-of-the-town trainer? “Strange!” he says, “Because it’s what I’ve dreamed of… For four years, I’ve been visiting UK-wide schools, and I so wanted to have a light shone on this to really help me amplify it. So, I’m really proud that it’s finally happening and it’s nice to have the support. I’m on my own in my living room, but I’m having fun and talking to millions of people, so I’m doing what I love and it’s really uplifting for me.”

These challenging times mean it’s more important than ever that we keep moving and stay fit and healthy – in both body and mind – and Joe is a huge advocate of taking care of your mental health. “For me, it’s all about mental health, all about waking up and feeling energised, and exercise is pretty good for feeling that,” he explains. “It’s such a great tool for keeping me fit and motivated, and really helps with my energy and productivity.”

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June 2020