ustwo x The Body Coach

Digital-first fitness

Joe Wicks MBE (aka The Body Coach) made his name in the UK as a fitness expert with heart. In 2020, he inspired people around the world to log in for daily exercise during lockdown, getting 80 million YouTube views and raising over £500,000 for NHS charities. But before that – before we even knew the pandemic was coming – Joe asked us to turn his successful 90-day health and fitness plan into a digital experience, and we jumped at the chance. Lots of us were already big believers in The Body Coach programme, so evolving the business to digital-first was the perfect brief.

The Body Coach has become a phenomenal enterprise built on its tailored, 90-day meal and workout plan, delivered via email as PDFs and YouTube videos. This has worked beautifully for almost a million loyal clients, so our job was to build a digital product that would take the much beloved, effective elements, enhance the experience, and reach beyond 90 days to build habits that last a lifetime.

While many fitness apps focus either on exercise or nutrition, The Body Coach app takes a holistic approach that marries these two elements with an additional focus on mental wellbeing, and with accessibility at its heart. It helps people keep tabs on their progress, it offers recipes and workouts (live and on demand), every meal is tailored to each person’s goals and body, and there’s a planner to help them stay on track.

"Right from the off, it was so clear that the ustwo team just got what I was trying to achieve, and they put together an incredible team to help me do it. The app, digitised business model and support mechanisms they’ve designed will help me reach more and more people, and let me help them in a meaningful and lasting way. I can’t wait to see how things go from here."

Joe Wicks, The Body Coach

Digital as a business driver

To set The Body Coach on a path to expansion and growth we brought together our strategy, design, product and technology teams to really understand how the existing business operated.

We looked at The Body Coach’s business and analysed how we could sharpen and augment its offering, delivery method and systems with digital. We designed a new business model, a subscription strategy, a back-end system to support clients with their progress and a website to communicate Joe’s vision. As a result of our work, it’s faster and easier to continuously evolve the product based on what people need, meaning the business now has the foundation to scale quickly and engage with more people.

"This whole project was a rewarding experience for the ustwo team, creating a digital-first business that will touch so many people, helping them to create new and healthy habits that stay with them for life. Joe’s vision and ethos are crystal clear, and now they’re infused in every element of his clients’ experience."

Nicki Sprinz, Managing Director at ustwo

Inclusive, accessible, healthy habits

Often, the fitness industry cultivates an unrealistic vision of what health is, while The Body Coach is redefining fitness with an inclusive approach. By making sure people can do the workouts everywhere and by sharing recipes that are easy to prepare, Joe Wicks is helping remove barriers that stop people creating lifelong healthy habits. We held this ethos at the heart of our work, and brought The Body Coach’s community into the design process to make sure that our solutions would meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

Making, learning, changing - together

The best way to understand this community was to immerse ourselves in it. Before the pandemic sent us all home, we went along to The Body Coach events so that we could talk to people there about their experiences, habits and hopes, and we did weekly workouts in the ustwo studio. When lockdown made working at home a long-term reality for us (and many millions of others), we logged on with our families for PE with Joe, which gave us all a daily boost. We created the app as an on-demand source of energy — a feel-good battery that’s always with you and recreates the feeling you’d get from being with Joe, powered by a digital-first business.