I mean that is clearly a clickbait title and assuming you are reading my first sentence congratulations for falling for it! The positive argument for popular trends in health and fitness goes around that something is better than nothing and it gets someone started so it’s unquestionably a good thing. This on the face of it seems undeniably virtuous but if you delve into it a bit it;s actually just platitude and bollocks. So here are 10 reasons (slightly tongue in cheek so don’t take it TOO much to heart) why joe wicks embodies everything that is wrong with humanity.
1 – He takes advantage of our obsession with surface level understanding
Joe first came into the popular consciousness with his groundbreaking work “Lean in 15 – The Shift Plan: 15 Minute Meals and Workouts to Keep You Lean and Healthy” which quite obviously relies heavily on the 15-minute gimmick. 15 minutes to cook a meal, 15 minutes to do a workout all that will lead you to getting lean and looking like Joe with his six-pack abs (plot twist it doesn’t).
People want results and they want it now and people like Joe are here to give you what you want in a nice inoffensive package at a one time purchase offer that isn’t daunting and won’t break the bank. Joe is trying to appeal to the most amount of people possible and trying to shift the most amount of units he can. However changing your body, mindset and habits in a meaningful way means getting out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself on a daily basis for years if not decades and changing fundamentally who you are as a person.
This however doesn’t really sell lots of diet books so it’s probably why Joe didn’t entitle his break out book – “Sustainably fit and healthy in 10 years time”.
2 – If Joe was ugly you would have no fucking idea who he was
I mean this is probably conjecture but if Joe wicks was a balding, dad bod looking guy with a below-average face there is a strong to almost certain chance that you would have no idea who he was. In the fitness industry and wider commercial world, we inhabit if you aren’t deemed beautiful or marketable then you aren’t going to get the opportunity of going on channel 4 or getting yourself lobbed on the cover of Men’s health every whip around.
Those of us who weren’t born beautiful or haven’t spent enough time in a calorie deficit to have a six-pack are probably stuck milling about the lower stratosphere of notoriety. Having to rely on the usefulness of our ideas or the quality of our work to try and gain us recognition like the chumps we are.
Since joe uses short fleeting purchases and volume to drive his income then getting his face out there is pretty much essential to how he makes a living. He is the bud light of the fitness world, the blandest, most middle of the road, and least offensive form factor that the most amount of people will spend a few quid on.
3 – Joe has achieved fuck all of note from an exercise standpoint and that’s a selling point
Joe is a pretty average dude, he isn’t big, he isn’t strong, he isn’t that lean, he isn’t in the best nick and he isn’t particularly fit. Which is fine for Joe because he is trying to have the most appeal to most people. The fact is most people just want to be in slightly better shape or slightly fitter. For a reason, they can’t really discern other than that’s what they want and they would like to do it in the easiest most noncommittal way possible, please. Oh and for the least amount of money too.
If you think you are going to be happier or feel way better about yourself by getting in slightly better shape then let me save you the effort you aren’t going to feel any different. You will be in better shape and you will feel slightly better for a very finite amount of time. You want to change the way you look because everywhere you look you are being told you need to look that way.
The only way you are going to achieve any form of contentment is becoming happy with how you look and who you are all the time. Any bellend can get a little stronger, lose a bit of weight, or get a wee bit fitter for a finite period of time.
4 – The training he advocates is completely devoid of purpose.
“15 Minute Fat Burning TABATA Workout” 4 rounds | 7 exercises | 20 seconds work | 10 seconds rest. Here’s something a little different. A Tabata style workout. Posted on April the 29th 2018. Why do you think he has come up with this format for a workout? Let’s break it down
- 15 minutes is on brand so of course we are going to be working out for 15 minutes
- Fat burning because you want to get leaner. Most people want to get leaner as their goal of exercise so let’s just put it out there front and centre. It’s a fat burning workout. Not to mention that the time during the day you burn the most amount of fat is sleeping but lets not let something trivial like exercise physiology and the truth get in the way of a good youtube title.
- Tabata because you have probably heard of it therefore familiarity and inbuilt authority and if you haven’t heard of it then it’s a foreign word and it sounds cool.
- The body coach of course gotta get that SEO (search engine optimisation) in there.
- 4 rounds, 7 exercises, 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest = 14 minutes so not even sure why he has chosen to split it up like that but I guess a 14 minute workout isn’t really on brand.
- Something a little different because if you get bored or we do exercise that is progressive in nature it might get hard and you might quit and we don’t want that now.
Exercise of this nature is put together to be as attractive and easy to grasp as possible it is also done from a marketing first perspective. The actual content of the sessions and how they are put together are completely irrelevant.
5 – He’s a fucking chancer
Joe started doing PE for kids during lockdown and you can see from his social blade and the +1,167,000 subs in March alone that it was completely charitable and had no self-interest involved in it whatsoever. He also donated over £500,000 to the NHS which you know is good but it’s a small price to pay for the literal millions he will make out the back end of having his profile skyrocketed in the UK.
This is just straight-up smart business (which is what a lot of Joe does really fucking well is make money) it helped out a lot of people I am sure and he did donate a bunch of money to a charity. But let’s not lose sight or pretend this is anything other than Joe seen an opening – lots of people trapped in the house with kids who are going to be full of energy and have no outlet for it that he was well suited to fill. He had a pre-existing platform so he could leverage that easily, his workouts need no equipment other than space in your house so the vast majority of people can do it.
He seen an opening and by howdy did he fucking take it. Fair play to joe but he’s still a fucking chancer who is going to make millions out of the coronavirus pandemic.
6 – He spreads blatant misinformation because it sells
There are multiple examples I could use for this point but if you google “joe wicks calories” then this is the second organic result and there is plenty to go off just on this one newspaper article.
Instead, Joe prefers to focus on achieving a balanced diet.
‘Who wants to have to track, monitor and obsess over hitting a certain daily calorie intake?prima.co.il 2018 – https://www.prima.co.uk/diet-and-health/diet-plans/news/a42026/body-coach-joe-wicks-stop-counting-calories/)
This is blatant misinformation. At the start of the article we get the following gem of wisdom
“And, while we all know the formula for weight loss is meant to be simple – eat less and move more – anyone who’s tried to diet would also tell you that the reality is way more complicated.
But if you always assumed the easiest way to shed some weight was to carefully calorie count, then it might be time for a rethink.
In fact, Joe reckons that the traditional weight loss approach of counting calories is all wrong…
“Eating less and moving more” is pretty much beyond scientific doubt at this point, it is how weight loss is achieved in humans beings. We do not break the second law of thermodynamics and no you are not a special case. It becomes more complicated because people under-report the amount of food they eat massively and overestimate the number of calories they are burning. People are also fickle at best and are liable to massive swings one way or the other and the net result is normally steady weight gain over time.
“’Counting calories is an old-school, outdated approach to nutrition — and not all calories are equal.” This is literally just wrong. Approaches that include behavioral change and look at the psychology of diet modification and weight loss are going to be more sophisticated and successful but to state counting calories is outdated is just straight-up bullshit.
The reason Joe is spotting this is that it is this book’s USP (unique selling point). Counting calories is annoying, intrusive, and restrictive. So if you can make my life easier and help me achieve my goal then, of course, I am game and am going to buy your latest hustle… I mean book.
7 – Joe punts time squeezed quick fix horse shit.
Outside of selling one-off purchases such as the books or the advertising revenue from youtube or Instagram and selling cookware (just fucking lol) he also offers his 90-day plan. This is an online coaching money printing masterpiece.
- 90 days is a finite number of days people can see themselves committing to almost anything for 90 days and it’s also enough time for someone to see some change.
- It’s a finite charge of £97 which is easily achievable for most people or it’s an non intimidating weekly payment of £8
- Everything is pre-created and added into an easy to use app.
- Questions and answers are covered by staff members.
- Video content is either evergreen/pre-created or one to many.
- Clients who are successful create a marketing gold mine of before and after photos.
It’s great business and is no doubt a money-printing machine. However it’s designed to be appealing to the most amount to most people possible and is, therefore, going to be mass-produced, mass delivered, spoon-fed shite.
Coaching as a process involves teaching people how to create sustainable and long term change. It should empower those who you work with not take them on a 90-day crash diet and meaningless 15-minute bodyweight flogging sessions.
If you want to have a meaningful impact on people it takes a time investment and it would mean that Joe wouldn’t be able to make thousands of pounds a week sitting about in his boxers while other people answer questions from his clients probably from a script.
8 – Joe leans in like fuck into a lot of the worst aspects of western society.
I’m no real critic of western society or capitalism. I am a supporter for the most part and have no reason to chastise someone for making money providing people stuff they want in free exchange which is what verbatim Joe does. However, a lot of fashion, media, newspapers, etc etc are toxic as fuck.
The amount of beautiful, lean, muscular, rich (you name it) people who have all the things you don’t or appear to be the things you want to be but aren’t is a nightmare. The reason that these things are rammed down your throat is to make you feel inadequate to want something you don’t have and ultimately to make you want to do something about it (read spend money).
This doesn’t mean you have to be a hapless victim you can switch the news off, don’t buy the papers, and strive to find contentment and meaning in your own existence.
This brings us back to Joe who basically exists to service this neurosis and promotes a toxic way of going about it via the quick fix, lowest effort way of achieving something you have been convinced by other people you want.
9 – He is fake as fuck
Joe and politicians have a lot in common. The image of him you see is no accident as we have mentioned multiple times in this article he is trying to reach the most amount of people possible. The image you see is very carefully curated and delivered in as bland and inoffensive a manner as possible. Again it’s “good business” but it’s disingenuous and facile which resonates with a lot of humanity’s worst qualities.
10 – There is nothing of substance behind his platform
Joe gives quick and easy answers to difficult and complex questions. Not only are Joe’s answers wrong they are probably harmful in the long run. Much like how we deal with pain via self-medication which can give us quick relief but the problems of substance abuse can cause way more problems than they solve.
Exercise is amazing. It can deepen someone’s life experience not only through its physical benefits but it can also add purpose and meaning. It’s not some bullshit flippant thing you do because it’s “healthy” whatever that even means. It’s not a tick box exercise, it’s something that should enhance the quality of your existence and you should really dig into it and find something that speaks to you. Shitey bodyweight circuits speak to no one.
Nutrition and self mastery can do much the same. However the problems and complexity behind these issues dig deep into psychology and self image (at least in the context of what Joe Wicks sells). There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose fat or to get fitter as general aims but they aren’t going to provide purpose or meaning. Ask yourself
Why do I want to lose weight?
Why do I want to get fitter?
Find the actual underlying pressure or meaning behind these questions and pursue them in a mature and honest way. These are things you will be dealing with in some aspect through your whole life so doing some bullshit 90 day crash diet/flogging plan isn’t going to help you in a meaningful way.
If Joe helps you and you like it go for it don’t let some balding fat guy on the internet put you off.