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Personal trainer Joe Wicks beats Delia Smith sales record for cookery books

Published 06/01/2016

Joe Wicks surpassed Delia Smith in book sales
Joe Wicks surpassed Delia Smith in book sales

A personal trainer, who has beaten Delia Smith's record for the first week of cookery book sales, wants to follow in Jamie Oliver's footsteps and work with the Government to tackle obesity.

Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach wants politicians to pay attention to his plan after it was revealed his debut book Lean in 15 has sold 77,097 in its first week - outselling the first week sales of Delia's bestseller How To Cook in 2008.

The 30-year-old from Epsom, Surrey said: "My goal in the next five years is to be working with schools and education but also getting on the NHS because I think my plan - I've helped people with diabetes and over-active thyroids and all sorts of things - so for me it's a really sustainable way of living that people should all know about.

"I think kids need to learn at a really young age how to eat. I think they're the ones sort of buying the food on the way to school and making these food choices. No one is there to educate them so I am thinking of doing a body coach academy where I go in, do a little workout with them, teach them about nutrition and get them cooking a meal."

Lean In 15, which offers '15 minute meals and workouts to keep you lean and healthy', has also topped the record for first week's sale in the diet category and has had the biggest single week's sale of any non-fiction book in 2015.

Wicks said: "I can't believe it. I am over the moon. You dream about having these things coming but you never think anything is going to happen and the book's just been received so well."

Five years ago Wicks was an 'ordinary Joe', a personal trainer running a boot camp in Richmond and Surbiton, but after joining Instagram two years ago in a bid to reach more people, his business took off.

The online nutrition coach has become an internet sensation with more than one million followers across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and a business projected to make a net profit of £10 million in its second year.

He said: "I never would have imagined I would have had an office in Richmond literally 500 metres from where used to be my boot camp with 50 staff and 90,000 clients."

But despite smashing diet book sales records, Wicks, who sells his 90 Day Shift, Shape and Sustain plan for £147 online, wants to distance himself from the diet industry.

He said: "It (Lean In 15) is not a diet book, It is a lifestyle book.

"The diet industry is full of low-calorie diets which rely on one thing - repeat business, because they know that once people lose the weight they are going to gain it back and they always go back. My philosophy is I want to educate people from the start now about how to eat right so that they don't need to do that they can just enjoy their food, they can train 20/25 minutes and have a nice lifestyle and be full of energy as opposed to being depressed on a miserable low-calorie diet that doesn't work."

It was in June 2013 when Instagram introduced its 15-second video feature that Wicks really saw his following take off as he started posting energetic recipes for his 15 minute meals with his catchphrase "bosh" and calling broccoli "midget trees".

Two-and-a-half years later he has a four-book deal, with two more due to come out in 2016, has set his sights on a television show, is lauching Lean In 15 in America and around the world and has worked with the likes of Oliver.

He said: "I'm a massive fan of Jamie Oliver, we recently did some work together. From a business perspective he's a real role model for me. He's a great inspiration and he's just a real entrepreneur, he's awesome. I hope to work with him in the future.

"My mission is to amplify what I am doing. I want my own TV show. We have had some exciting chats. I think this year is the year of TV but I love giving out free content so although TV is my goal, social media is my passion."

As well as cooking videos and inspirational quotes, Wicks encourages people following his plan to post selfies and before and after the plan shots of them on social media. He also shares selfies of him working out and his ripped torso, which has helped him gain fans.

But although he admitted the photos have led to "inappropriate comments", he denies he is a heart-throb.

He said: "I don't really see myself as a heart-throb. I might post the odd selfie now and again but that's just because on Instagram people like to see that if you are eating this way and training this way it kind of works and you are in good shape, so yeah it does get a few likes but I'm not doing it every day of the week.

"You do get some really cheeky comments. I mean some of the girls are terrible they're asking will you marry me and come round and do a HIIT (High intensity interval training) session with me, that sort of stuff, they are pretty cheeky but I ignore all that stuff, I've got a girlfriend."

The book Lean In 15 launched on December 28. It was number one in the charts by a margin of 60,000 and was also the biggest single week sales for a cookery book since 2012 outselling Jamie Oliver's Everyday Super Food and Mary Berry.

Wicks' Twitter and Instagram is @thebodycoach.

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