'Exercise makes me feel strong and in control'

Personal trainer and YouTube fitness instructor Lucy Wyndham-Read hated sport at school, but now she has a global following for her 7-minute exercises. She talks to HFG about her mission to help us all get fit

You’ve recently released your book, the 7-Minute Body Plan. Can you talk about the inspiration behind it? The most common excuses people give for not exercising are not having enough time, getting bored with their regime or not seeing results. Everyone has seven minutes in their day – they just need something that’s effective, which is why I came up with the 7-minute workout. In January 2018, I uploaded the 7-Minute Workout to Lose Belly Fat to my YouTube channel. It went viral and now has around 45 million views. I have 25 years’ experience in health and fitness, yet it came down to that one video – it literally launched my YouTube channel.

How suitable are your exercises for those with, or recovering from, an injury, or people who are less able-bodied? I think everyone deserves the right to feel fit, and I want to make sure there’s something for everybody. You can build your own workouts from the moves in the book so it really is suitable for anyone. There’s a crazy number of combinations to choose from!

What is it about your approach that works so well? I’m very different from other trainers… I’ve always questioned everything I do, so my workouts use multi-compound and multi-directional moves, which work different muscle groups at the same time. We do each move for one minute before moving on to the next one. Normally, people do an exercise for 40 seconds before it starts to feel challenging, but it’s those last 20 seconds that bring the magic. You don’t get that effect with many other exercises. That’s why I think you can get a more effective result in seven minutes than if you were doing a 30 or 40-minute workout.

This interview originally appeared in Healthy Food Guide Magazine, February 2020.