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Fitness & Health

25th Jul 2020

The Body Coach Joe Wicks on the best foods to eat after a workout

With gyms in England now reopening, we asked The Body Coach Joe Wicks for his advice on making your new fitness goals a reality

Alex Roberts

Joe wicks home workout

With gyms in England set to reopen, we asked The Body Coach for his advice on making your new fitness goals a reality

Fresh from becoming ‘The Nation’s P.E. teacher’ over lockdown, Joe Wicks has now launched an eponymously-titled podcast with the BBC.

The Joe Wicks Show is a series of interviews with celebrities aimed at uncovering how they keep fit, stay in shape and look after their own health and wellbeing. So far, Wicks has hosted names such as Gordon Ramsey, Fearne Cotton and Louis Theroux.

This new show is a far cry from Wicks’ initial struggles as a personal trainer. He says he would often spend hours handing out flyers at Richmond station with no guarantee that anyone would attend his workouts.

“I think people have this idea that I’ve come from nowhere, but like any other PT who sets up a boot camp or works as a freelance trainer it’s difficult.

“I lived at my dad’s flat in Surbiton. I couldn’t afford a van to take equipment to my PT sessions so I bought a trailer and clipped that onto my bike.

“I’d cycle five miles every day, from Surbiton to Richmond, to get there for my 6am boot camp. Then I’d do another one at 6pm. Sometimes no-one would turn up, and I’d get upset.”

joe wicks trailerJoe Wicks used to transport equipment around in this trailer when he couldn’t afford a van

He first came to prominence through his Lean In 15 books, but he doesn’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all nutrition plan for everyone.

Asked for his thoughts on fad diets such as Paleo and Keto, Wicks said:

“Fad diets can work for some people. People that turn to Paleo and Keto might feel fantastic, but we shouldn’t judge them. They might feel awesome.

“The problem is when everyone is trying to convince you that ‘this is the right way.'”

For Wicks, the worst kind of diet isn’t so much about the food, more the amount of it.

“The main issue I’ve got is with really low calorie deprivation diets, ones with tiny portions completely cutting out fat and carbohydrates. They’re very restrictive – it’s not enjoyable or sustainable.”

Nutrition is particularly important pre and post-workout, although Wicks’ personal approach may surprise you.

“I actually love to train fasted”, he said.

“But it’s personal preference – you can eat a breakfast and still get lean. By training on an empty stomach, I feel like I’ve got the energy from the night before and I train harder.”

Wicks believes the specific foods you eat before and after a workout should be tailored to what makes you feel energised. If you feel more energised after consuming a high-fat meal, Wicks suggests an omelette with avocado and some cheese.

His favourite post-workout snack is a blended shake containing protein, ground oats, honey and a banana.

In terms of structuring your training when returning to the gym, Wicks recommends a three-part approach.

“Split your week up into different training styles. Maybe on one day you do an endurance session of low-intensity cardio, a full body strength workout and then a HIIT-style session.

“You don’t want to go straight into five HIIT sessions a week, as doing HIIT can be incredibly taxing on the body.”

The Joe Wicks Podcast is available now on BBC Sounds