JOE Wicks has added almost one million followers to his YouTube channel after the success of his free PE lessons amid the coronavirus lockdown.
The popular fitness guru has become the nation’s new Mr Motivator as parents homeschooling kids and teachers tutoring the children of key workers in classrooms tune into his live YouTube videos.
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At the end of February his channel had a healthy 823,000 followers and was picking up new subscribers at the rate of around 5,000-a-week.
A week ago, his subscribers numbered 839,000.
But since he added his first 9am work-out session on Monday his fans have jumped to a whopping 1,710,708 million.
All the videos across his page have been viewed a total of 84 million times– with viewings up almost 20 per cent and with the average views per video showing a five-fold increase.
He’s also added more than 200,000 followers to his Instagram page in the last few days, taking his total to 3.3 million, according to figures by social media monitoring platform Hype Auditor.
The millionaire fitness king now has two major TV broadcasters desperate to bag him to front a stay-at-home fitness show.
Joe, also known as The Body Coach, started out eight years ago, handing out flyers at tube stations in a bid to get people to attend his park bootcamps.
He had to borrow a £2,000 loan from his parents to start his Rumble In The Park classes, and so few people showed up that he was unable to pay them back.
Although he is passionate about nutritious meals now, Joe previously admitted he grew up on a council estate and his mum had “no idea about healthy eating”.
Instead, Joe grew up on a diet of pasta and sandwiches every night, and it wasn’t until he was older than he overhauled his meals.
He said: “I grew up on a council estate. My mum left school at 15, had my brother at 16, then me at 19, she wasn’t educated, she was always on benefits.
“My dad was a roofer and he was in and out of my life.’
“I borrowed two grand off my mum and dad to buy kettlebells and do a personal training course and started doing bootcamps.
“I remember I was really upset because I didn’t have any clients and I thought I’d never be able to pay my parents back.
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“But I loved personal training, I instantly thought, ‘This is what I’m supposed to be doing,’ and it all accelerated from there.”
It took a while to get his business off the ground, and he said in 2012 that he didn’t make “a single penny”.
However, a determined Joe didn’t give up, and realised that he could reach people on Instagram through a gap in the market.
In 2014, when Instagram launched a video function, he began sharing motivational videos about fitness and nutrition for those looking for advice.
The videos started out with Joe chatting in his kitchen, and after eight months, he had built up 44,000 followers.
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A career-changing moment for him, he said, was meeting Bev James, the author of start-up guide Do It! Or Ditch it!, as it “turned him from a young guy with enthusiasm into a businessman with a strategy”.
According to her website, Joe had revealed: “Bev said to me on day one, ‘Joe you’ll be a star and you will have your own cook book and TV show’. No one had ever had that confidence in me before.”
And it seems that Bev’s belief in him paid off, as his Body Coach headquarters in Richmond now employs 50 members of staff and turns over millions each year, with Joe himself believed to be worth a staggering £14.5 million.
Joe has previously hosted a show for Channel 4, with two series of Joe Wicks: The Body Coach airing in 2018.
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