Joe Wicks heartbreak: How the Body Coach’s early stardom caused ‘friction’ with girlfriend

Nearly everyone in the UK has heard of or seen Joe Wicks at some point or other in the past months. The fitness guru, or “Body Coach” as he’s known to his followers took it upon himself to get thousands across the UK fit and healthy, with lockdown only driving his goal to get us all off our bums.

With schools closed and parents worried about balancing work and looking after their kids, Joe stepped up, becoming the UK’s PE teacher everyday at 9am, streaming live from his YouTube channel.

In the first week on the lockdown alone a staggering six million people tuned in to get fit.

His fame isn’t newfound, however, having published his first book ‘Lean in 15’ five years ago.

The name comes from a hashtag he started on Instagram in the years before; an easy way for people to follow his time-friendly meal preparation videos.

Time, or a lack of it, is key to Joe and his work, that’s why grafting plays such an important role in his life – fitting in as much work as possible to as many people in the short 24hours he gets every day.

Yet, it is this cramming of work that, at the beginning of his career, caused “friction” between him and his then girlfriend.

In a 2019 podcast with BBC Radio 4s “The Food Programme” Joe revealed the trouble he initially had in not getting caught up in his work.

He said: “When I started to post videos to Instagram I was literally doing it every single day three times a day.

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“It was a consistency in my content that helped it grow.

“My girlfriend at the time, she would be like ‘can we just eat our dinner? Can we just please sit down and eat it?’

“But I was obsessed, and I’d always film it.

“It caused friction, it was an issue because all I ever did was have my phone out.


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“I’d be at dinner, and I’d be thinking ‘I’ve got to reply to that, I’ve got to get back to that.’

“I’d run off to the toilet to reply to people.

“It really consumed me in every sense of the word.”

Later on, Joe revealed how his turbulent childhood had led to his adopting a stoic determination to make something of himself.

He said: “I love my mum and dad so I’m not going to say anything negative.

“My mum was not into fitness, it was a pretty manic upbringing.

“My dad wasn’t about, he was in and out of rehabilitation for drug addiction so he wasn’t there much.

“I’m really honest about that because I don’t look back and have any resentment.

“I’m one of these people that look at today and look at my relationship with my mum and dad today.

“I’ve learnt so much through their mistakes and how they raised me in terms of how I’m treating Indie (his daughter) and how I interact with people and stayed away from drugs and that sort of stuff.

“I’m not from a family of ambitious people and yet me and my brothers are really ambitious. I never know why.

“People say ‘where did it come from?’

“I can’t really say, my mum and dad never pushed me in any direction.

“They always just said ‘as long as you’re happy, be what you want’.

“That’s nice to not have pressure from your parents to go in a certain direction.”

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