Starting a new exercise routine - either as a complete beginner or after becoming a mum - can be daunting, something that personal trainer Kelsey Wells knows all too well. After welcoming her own son Anderson in 2014, Kelsey started exercising and eating healthier, mainly in a bid to overcome postnatal anxiety, but it ended up changing her entire life.
After following Kayla Itsines’ BBG programme, Kelsey shared her now infamous transformation on Instagram, showing how even though her weight had only dropped a little, her body composition was completely different, leaving her leaner, fitter and stronger. The former interior designer qualified as a personal trainer and is now sharing her expertise with the PWR Post-Pregnancy and PWR programmes on Kayla’s Sweat app, as well as her impressive two million Instagram followers.
Kelsey Wells shared this transformation in 2016
We caught up with Kelsey ahead of her headline appearance at Balance festival in May to get some of her top fitness tips, and see how much her life has changed in just five years…
What are your tips for new mums hoping to get back into fitness?
Please remember that your body has just gone through something miraculous and although I understand it may feel different, don't be discouraged and only look at your body with gratitude. I created my PWR Post Pregnancy program because this stage of life is very unique and delicate - women need to remember that their body is healing. My program attends to the many changes that a woman's body goes through during pregnancy and delivery while safely helping women regain their strength.
What are your tips for anyone looking to start a new exercise routine?
Just the decision to implement exercise as a regular part of your life can be a big challenge and I want you to know that it won't be easy and your motivation will wear off, but you can do it - it's all about taking it one day at a time. Remember that exercise is a method of self-care - when you are coming at it with the understanding that you are doing this for your health, instead of for aesthetic it is very empowering. Focus on all the non-physical benefits and be proud of yourself every step of the way.
How do you stay motivated?
I don’t always stay motivated, but I understand that it's not about motivation it's about discipline. We all have the same hours in the day - we all get to choose what we do with our time. The truth is we make time for the things that matter most to us. Taking care of my physical, mental and emotional health is one of my top priorities therefore exercising is something I do whether I feel motivated to or not.
What are your top moves for a toned core?
My favourite core exercises are plank variations and leg raise variations – however I want women to remember that their fitness journey shouldn’t be based upon aesthetic goals like getting abs.
What are your favourite no-equipment exercises?
I enjoy plyometric exercises which I incorporate intentionally throughout my PWR programs to raise your heart rate and help your overall fitness level, alongside the benefits of weight training.
What is your typical daily diet like – any foods you love/ avoid?
My philosophy with food is that you should be eating a nutrient dense diet and never severely restrict your calories - I personally eat a diet that includes all food groups and is high in protein. I want women to remember that there isn't a miracle diet and that nutrition is not one size fits all.
Your life has changed dramatically in just a few years, what would you consider your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement to date has been my internal transformation of learning to see, love and truly be myself - I am so grateful for my career and all the opportunities that I get. But at the end of the day I would be unable to do all that if I still had that toxic mindset that I used to have. This is why I feel so strongly about helping women empower themselves through fitness, because every woman deserves to be able to be themselves fearlessly and to love themselves - when we do have that self-love, we can excel at anything.
What has it been like working with Kayla Itsines? How did you first meet?
Kayla is a good friend of mine - I adore her. We met originally on IG about four years ago and now being able to work alongside her as a fellow Sweat trainer I appreciate who she is as a person and as a friend even more.
Are you excited to be headlining Balance festival? What do you have planned for your classes?
I am very thankful for the opportunity and honoured to be headlining Balance festival. I am so impressed with the organisation and their holistic view on health which is very much in-line with my own. I couldn't be more excited! It's going to be a live full body PWR session. Though it will be challenging, it is structured in a way that it will meet everyone’s needs so that all fitness levels will feel comfortable. My hope is that every woman leaves feeling strong and empowered.
Kelsey Wells is headlining Balance Festival at The Old Truman Brewery, London, from 10-12 May 2019. See more at balance-festival.com.