Health and Fitness

Ex-Army Corporal Beats Joe Wicks As UK's Most Popular Fitness YouTuber

Lucy Wyndham-Read served as an Army corporal for five years and said her time in the forces "definitely set me up for life".

An Army corporal turned personal trainer has knocked Joe Wicks off the top spot to become Britain's most-watched fitness YouTuber, according to a study by Ofcom.

Lucy Wyndham-Read's channel racked up more than 58 million views during the coronavirus lockdown and she described her success as a "real shock". 

Ms Wyndham-Read told Forces News: "I still kind of can't quite believe it. The last couple of weeks have been a bit crazy really.

"Joe Wicks is this household name and he did an amazing job keeping our kids moving during lockdown."

Her follower count has grown substantially in the last two years, boosted more recently as 12% of UK adults tuned in to fitness videos during the lockdown.

"I reached my one million subscribers - I think it was - last year and now I'm at one and a half million," she said.

"I'm gaining something like 70,000 new subscribers every month so it's just going crazy."

She attributes this to a seven-minute workout video she posted in 2018, saying it gave people great results.

That video has had 77 million views and has raised awareness of her YouTube channel, which consists mainly of seven-minute videos.

She told Forces News: "The nice thing is I've been doing this way before lockdown and my mission has always been to be able to provide really good effective free workouts on YouTube and it's just really lovely now that more people are discovering them."

Ms Wyndham-Read was an Army corporal before she created her YouTube channel (Picture: Lucy Wyndham-Read).

Ms Wyndham-Read served as a corporal in the Army for five years and said she learnt vital skills during that time.

"I really think the Army definitely set me up for life... having that tenacity, that ambition, that challenge, jumping out of your comfort zone," she said.

"I actually 100% think if I hadn’t have done that, it would have been very easy to stay in the kind of like middle lane in life and just be not pushing myself.

"For us all to grow - every single one of us - we need to rise to the challenge.

"Life is always going to throw us obstacles, we're always going to have hard times, and we have got to learn how to pick ourselves up from that.

"Those skills are something I really thank the Army for, that massively took me to where I am now.

"You're never too old, it's never too late.

"I had no money, no qualifications in video editing, didn't know how to do any of it. I was living in a bedsit, I was so broke but I turned it all around."

Her message for people who have a dream they want to achieve: "Don't wish for it, just work for it and make it happen."