If you’re not familiar with The Body Coach, aka Joe Wicks, let us get you up to speed. He’s the Insta fitness sensation famous for his LOL Instagram vids, #LeanIn15 meals, 90 Day Shift, Shape and Sustain plan and love of #midgettrees – that’s broccoli to the uninitiated. His book, Lean In 15, published last year, is one of the top 10 cookbook of all time. “I’ve sold 700,000 copies’ Joe tells us, ‘To put that into context, some of Jamie Oliver’s best books sold that number in five years, I’ve done it in five months. That’s the power of social media.” Yep, and it’s social media that has seen Joe go from running a bootcamp in his local park to managing a major enterprise and occupying a shiny new London HQ that made his mum cry when she saw it. Bless.
So, when New York Bakery Co invited us to The Body Coach HQ for one of Joe’s signature HIIT sessions followed by a trademark #BuildUpBagel, how could we refuse? After a tour of the office and a sneaky look at his second cookbook – the recipes are uh-mazing and Joe told us there’ll be a third book by the end of the year, plus a TV show – we headed to the new Body Coach gym to be put through our paces. Cue a killer circuit that included Bear Crawls, Tricep Dips, Battle Ropes, Wall Squats and, of course, Burpees. Needless to say, after 20 minutes, we were more than ready for that #BuildUpBagel, with all the toppings, and a chat with Joe about carbs, Nando’s and counting calories…
LOOK’s Gemma Yates with Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, before her HIIT workout
The Body Coach On: Post-Workout Meals
When you have a post-workout meal, try and keep the fats down, because they slow the process of digestion down and stop the good stuff getting to your muscles. The reason we need carbs after we train is because you deplete your carbohydrate stores after exercise, so eating carbs is just topping it up. You’re not overdoing it – you’re not going to have hundreds of grams of sugars or hundreds of grams of carbs – you’re basically just giving your muscles a little injection of carbohydrates, which will shuttle all the protein straight from the meal into your muscles. It just speeds things up. It’s a really simple way of eating – I live my life by eating two reduced carb meals a day, with higher fats and protein, then one post-workout meal that’s all carbs and protein. If you love rice or oats or honey or bananas, then after you train is a really good time for them.
The Body Coach On: #BuildUpBagels
The Build Up Bagel is one of the most popular recipes in my book. Everyone makes that and the protein pancakes because they’re quick and easy, and you know you’re getting everything you need to refuel.
The Body Coach On: Carbs
Carbs aren’t the devil. My favourite carb meal is oats with blueberries and dark chocolate. That to me is a cheat meal, a re-feed. I get 100g of oats, blueberries and add two scoops of chocolate whey powder and chocolate chips. It’s so more-ish, but you’ve got to get the 90% dark chocolate.
The Body Coach On: Nutritional No-No’s
If you’re trying to get lean, the one thing that holds most people back is alcohol. You can be working out really hard and eating really well, but if you’re still drinking a couple of glasses of wine every night and having a big booze up on the weekend, you’ll be lean, but not really lean. You have to be really boring to get super lean, you can’t eat out. But I’m all about balance, so I just try to maintain my body fat as much as I can. Sugar is hidden in everything too. Sugar is carbs, and you don’t want to be ramping that up. It depends how much you train – people who train for hours and hours can afford to eat more food. Most people don’t eat enough – they over-train and under-eat and will never burn fat. You have to fuel your body, that’s what my book is all about. You learn to eat a certain way on rest days and on training days.
The Body Coach On: Calorie Counting
Don’t obsess over calories – it’s not practical because you won’t be able to count everything every day, sometimes you’ll eat out. Everyone has a different opinion on nutrition. My way may not be everyone’s way. I say do what works for you and eat things that make you feel energized. There’s no right or wrong.
The Body Coach On: Lifting Weights
I do weights as well as HIIT. I like calisthenics like dips and pull ups – things that make me feel really strong and like I’d be able to outrun a bear and climb a fence or a tree if I need to! But I think HIIT is really important too – it makes you feel amazing. You get such a rush of endorphins, your fitness levels go up and you can eat what you want. Even from a 20 minute session.
The Body Coach On: His Death Row Meal
Definitely a Nando’s half chicken followed by Ben & Jerry’s.
Fancy making your own #BuildUpBagel? Whether you’re in the mood for sweet or savoury, the Body Coach and New York Bakery Co’s yummy recipes have got your carb fix covered…
The Body Coach Salmon Fish Finger Bagel – not you’re average fish finger sarnie!
Savoury: Salmon Fish Finger Bagel with Tartar Sauce
Preparation Time: 25 mins, serves 2
2 Plain New York Bakery Co Bagels, toasted
200g skinless salmon fillet
60g sesame seeds
1tbsp. rapeseed oil
1 heaped tsp. tartar sauce
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut the salmon into 8 fingers about 10cm in length.
Whisk the egg in a small bowl, then add the sesame seeds to a small plate.
Dip the salmon fingers in the egg and then roll in the sesame seeds, place on the baking tray and drizzle with a little rapeseed oil.
Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.
Spread the bagel with the tartar sauce and top with the salmon fingers and watercress.
Place the bagel lid on top and serve.
Our peanut butter addiction just went #nextlevel
Sweet: Peanut Butter and Honey Glazed Banana Bagel
Preparation Time: 5 mins, serves 1
1 Cinnamon and Raisin New York Bakery Co Bagel, toasted
2 baby bananas
2 pinches cinnamon
1 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tsp. honey
Peel the bananas and slice in half length-ways then dust with the cinnamon.
Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat and griddle the bananas on both sides until strong lines appear.
Spread the peanut butter on both sides of the toasted bagel, top with the banana and drizzle with the honey to serve.