Joe Wicks: exclusive Under The Skin interview
Joe Wicks is the biggest health and fitness social media personality in the world.
Others influencers may have more followers. Others may have made more money. But no one has crossed over in mainstream consciousness like The Body Coach.
After all, name another social media star who’s been able to get your parents and your kids moving more and eating better.
We’ll wait. But there’s no one.
With his friendly, engaging and approachable demeanour, through social media Joe Wicks has empowered millions of people across the world to take better care of their physical health and mental wellbeing.
While his online influence has been remarkable, it’s his real-world impact on the nation’s health and fitness that is unprecedented.
He has sold more than 3 million books since his first book, Lean in 15: The Shift Plan, was released in 2015, breaking countless best-selling category records in the process.
But his biggest impact – and one he already accepts will be his enduring legacy, no matter what else he does for the rest of his life – is helping to get the UK through the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
In response to the closing of almost every single section of society, Joe took the decision to do something positive in the most negative moment many of us have ever experienced.
With parents and children housebound, he launched his PE With Joe daily exercise classes on YouTube, completely free to access for all.
It was a runaway success with more than 100m global views. He was awarded a Guinness World Record after 955,000 people tuned in to one workout, helping to raise more than £500,000 for the NHS. His extraordinary efforts were recognised later that year when he was honoured with MBE for services to fitness and charity.
Joe Wicks: An unprecedented success story
Joe’s story of the park personal trainer park who used social media to become one of the best-selling authors of the century, and is now using the power and influence of their platform to campaign tirelessly that more time, money and effort be dedicated to improving the physical and mental health of the nation’s children, is even more remarkable.
Because while millions of people feel like they know him, not many know about some of the many challenges he’s had to overcome – including growing up in a council estate with parents battling addiction and mental health issues – to build the career and life he loves so much.
To discover how he’s done it, and what comes next, Unfiltered editor-in-chief Joe Warner met The Body Coach near his home in Surrey to find out.
In his most candid, honest and open interview to date, Joe Wicks opens up about how first fame and then fatherhood changed him; how he deals with press intrusion and online abuse, criticism and trolling; how he overcame his own mental health issues, and why he spends hours each day on his phone talking to his followers battling their own demons; why he turned down a multi-million pound food endorsement; why he rejected Boris Johnson’s offer to front an NHS fitness campaign; and why he would never promote any type of weight-loss drug, even if he were offered £10m a year to do so.