Joe Wicks on positivity, parenting and life in Surrey
Joe Wicks on positivity, parenting and life in Surrey
Fitness legend Joe Wicks chats with Angela Sara West about the phenomenal success of PE With Joe, his podcasts with famous pals, and his stunning new Surrey home
Epsom-born fitness guru Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, took not just the nation, but the world by storm during lockdown. Quickly realising the predicament that many families were in when the schools shut, and no stranger to encouraging kids to be more active, he committed to a daily 9am PE session beamed via YouTube from his lounge in Richmond to homes around the globe. It wasn’t just children that joined in – mum, dad, gran – it became the talk of lockdown with all ages getting fit from their homes with the help of Joe.
His workouts garnered 80 million views, and raised an incredible £580,000 for NHS Charities Together. Joe also achieved a Guinness World Record for “most viewers for a fitness workout live stream on YouTube” after almost a million tuned in on March 24. And his living room, complete with guitars adorning the walls, in his Richmond home became almost as familiar as our own during lockdown. Joe bought his house in his “dream town”, four years ago, where his daughter Indie, now two, and nine-month-old son Marley were born.
Although Richmond rocked for Joe, the family has just moved to his “dream home”, following emotional farewells to the former PE With Joe living room set. “We’ve left Richmond, but are still in Surrey so we can be close to our friends and family,” he reveals. “No plans for more babies just yet, but we’ll enjoy growing together in our new home. We love that we have a big garden for Marley and Indie to run around in!”
After informing fans he felt as “flat as a pancake”, PE With Joe was back recently for a one-off reunion, seeing Joe’s first live workout from his new plush pad, complete with a swanky gym. He prefers not to reveal the exact location, but Joe has always been close to his Surrey roots. Born in Epsom, he went to Epsom’s St. Joseph’s, Blenheim High School and NESCOT technology college, and got his degree in Sports Science at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He’s also lived in Surbiton, as well as his famous Richmond home.
Joe had his sights set on his future path from an early age and went on to become a personal trainer and online nutrition coach. His cookbooks, DVD and weight loss programme have become hugely successful. Touring the country’s schools, educating children in healthy eating and fitness, has become a key part of his mission.
For Joe, exercise is “paramount”, an “amazing tool” for keeping fit, motivated and productive. All about mental health, too, his recently-launched podcasts with BBC Sounds see him share secrets from a few famous mates, including Jamie Oliver, Fearne Cotton, Louis Theroux, Gordon Ramsay, James Bay, David Harewood, Mark Cavendish, and Kim Kardashian’s personal trainer Melissa Alcantara, on how they keep both their physical and mental health on track. From freezing-cold showers to cheeky power naps, the fitness fanatic’s insightful interviews are described as ‘sunshine in a podcast’. “I wanted to speak to people I admire and find inspirational, to find out what they do to stay physically active and mentally strong”, he says. “I’ve interviewed some incredible guests, all with very different and inspiring stories. I hope listeners find the podcasts uplifting and motivating!”
Joe’s own dedication to promoting fitness is motivating in itself – he even carried on with PE With Joe despite a broken hand. When he does get some time off, Joe jumps on his bicycle or motorbike and heads to the Surrey Hills and loves picnicking in Richmond Park. He also enjoys Kingston’s Christmas market. He relaxes by cooking with his wife, Rosie – a model who also stepped in to host a session of PE With Joe.
Next up for Joe? There’s a new book in November, 30 Day Kick Start Plan, and later a cookbook for young families, and he’s writing a children’s book. “2021’s going to be an exciting year, with new challenges and goals,” he says.
JOE ON BEING A DAD…
· Alongside being there for your child and supporting your wife/ partner, also make time for your own health and fitness, because you can be a better dad and husband/ partner when you’re energised, calm and less stressed. Exercise is amazing for that, so it’s going to help with your relationships, help you become more patient and to focus at both home and work.
· As for sleep deprivation with a new baby, I mean, if you’re talking about having two hours’ sleep, then don’t try to push through and exercise, but if you’re getting six or seven hours’ broken sleep, you can still do 20 minutes. It might just be going on a walk around the park, gentle power walking, or a little half-hour bike ride, it’s about resetting your mind, and giving yourself a chance to destress and unwind. Take that time, and don’t feel guilty because it will really transform the way you feel when you step back in the house.
· If you don’t already, get into the kitchen and get involved in making a little homemade pizza with the kids, or stirring together oats, berries and nuts and things… It’s fun and important so that they enjoy food and see that you’re enjoying it too. So, role modelling within the kitchen, but also at the dinner table, if you can – sitting down and eating with your child is very important in terms of them learning how to eat, use a spoon, engage with food, and to be social.
Image by Maja Smend
Read Joe’s top tips for fitness motivation and his involvement in Soccer Aid!