Joe Wicks’s Tips To Get Lean

Joe Wicks
(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

This article was first published in September 2015

Here’s the stuff Joe teaches people to shed fat and get lean. It’s simple, effort-efficient advice that works for normal people with normal lives. Need a plan? Try Joe Wicks’s fat-loss workouts. And chow down on our favourite Joe Wicks recipes.

1. Prep like a boss

“It’s the one thing you can do to take control straight away. Just spend half an hour to an hour a night cooking your meals for the next day so you never have to grab stuff on the go.”

2. Tweet your progress

“It’s like having a fraternity behind you.” If you have the support of an immediately reachable community, you’re much more likely to stay motivated and on track.

Joe Wicks

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

3. Eat more fat

“You should get most of your energy from it – it’s got more per gram than carbs. Stock up on grass-fed butter, nuts and avocadoes.”

4. Don’t fear carbs 

“If you love white bread or bagels or whatever, you don’t have to give them up. Reduce them on rest days, and eat them as a treat after you’ve done a high-intensity session.”

5. Train without breakfast

“I train fasted a lot – it gets you burning fat at the start of the day, and you can refuel with breakfast afterwards. Try overnight oats – put some porridge oats, almond milk and whey protein in a shaker, let it soak overnight and then whack it in the microwave in the morning.”

6. Go mad for coconut oil

“I’ve cooked almost everything with it, ever since university. It’s full of omega 3s and it’s a stable fat, so it’s perfect for stir-fries.”

7. Keep a food planner 

“Plan when to train and when to eat. If you’re having a night out, either train that day or plan to go low-carb when you eat.”

8. Turn up the volume

“I like German Volume Training – basically ten sets of ten reps – because it’s a good, structured way to get a lot of work done. People usually do it with bench pressing or deadlifts, but depending on your strength levels most moves will work – do it with press-ups or lunges.”

Joe Wicks

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

9. Drink more water

“I ask clients on the 90-day programme to drink anywhere from two to four litres a day. It keeps you energised and keeps all your body’s processes online.”

10. Eat more

“If you get your food from good clean sources, you can eat 2,700 calories a day and still burn fat – and you’ll have enough energy for the rest of the day. Don’t starve yourself.”

11. Keep workouts short

“I’m all about intensity over duration – less than 30 minutes is fine. You can do the most simple stuff at home: do 30 seconds of burpees, rest 45 seconds, 30 seconds of sprint high-knees, rest 45 seconds, then repeat the whole thing for 15 minutes. Done!”

12. Get off the sad step

“That’s what I call scales. They’re so negative. You can do everything right all day, or wake up feeling full of energy, then you step on the scales, see you’ve put on a kilo, and it totally changes your mood. Get rid of them.”

13. Drink rum

“I’ll have a cheeky mojito or a vodka when I go out. Clear spirits have less nasty business in them, and usually fewer calories than beer.”

14. Have days off

“If you’re an athlete then, yeah, I don’t have a problem with you training every day, but for most people it makes more sense to train four or five days a week. Have a couple of days off a week to recharge, do your shopping and prep your food.”

15. Take regular photos 

“This isn’t about vanity. If you look in the mirror every day, it’s easy to think you aren’t changing shape, but when people take photos they’re always amazed by the difference their work’s making. Take one progress shot every four weeks, using the same angle and the same lighting so you can see the difference.”

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.