Kelsey Wells on a healthy diet, making weight training accessible and being transparent on social media

Kelsey Wells on a healthy diet, making weight training accessible and being transparent on social media

Behind the transformation

Text: Janice Sim Corinne Cheah

Even with the gamut of fitness routines available out there, Kelsey Wells' distinguished PWR workout stands out; especially if you're well-informed on Instagram's leading fitness ladies. The personal trainer and SWEAT instructor (from the Kayla Itsines brand) is best known for her flawless form, motivational workout spiels as well as her influence on women to pick up weights without a shred of intimidation getting in the way. Leave it to those toned and taut arms that have definitely made a convincing case on their own. 

Kelsey Wells

Ahead of her highly anticipated appearance in Singapore's FitnessFest by AIA this weekend, we caught up with the inspiring trainer as she shares about post-natal anxiety, the benefits of weights and how she approaches social media.

What is the one thing you want the people doing your workouts to walk away with?
More than anything I want women to walk away from a PWR workout feeling powerful, strong, empowered and full of appreciation for what their body can do. Self-love is one of the most powerful motivators and if we channel our energy into what exercise can give to us both mentally and physically, we will be able to better appreciate our accomplishments.

What's your stand on social media? Any tips on how to make it a safe space?  
Social media has played such an important role in connecting me with my community. My platform allows me to share my story and to influence the lives of women, and for this reason I am very passionate about transparency and being open and authentic. I believe that if you root your attitude towards social media in positivity and only follow accounts that add value, inspire and motivate you, it can be a really constructive and supportive tool. It is really important to me that my community knows that I am human just like everyone else and can find comfort in my personal experiences. I share the good days and the bad days and aim to embrace it all. 

Your workouts focus mainly on weight and resistance trainings. In your opinion, is this for everyone?
Absolutely. Weight training is a fantastic training option for all women — whether you're a beginner, or more advanced in your training. For me, not only do I love the physical side of the training and the results achieved, I love how weightlifting empowers me from the inside out and helps me to develop strength and confidence in all areas of my life. Through my PWR program, I hope to make weightlifting accessible to every woman and breakdown the fears around weights and resistance training. 

With regards to your PWR Post-Preganancy program, why was it something that was important for you to create?
Having experienced post-natal anxiety, I understand how difficult it is for new mums to make time for themselves and put their health and wellness first; however, I also understand the first-hand benefits (both mentally and emotionally) of introducing exercise into your routine. I felt a huge sense of longing to help others who might be going through what I had faced so I created a holistic program with the support of SWEAT to help pave the way for new mums to ease into an exercise routine postpartum. One of the main concerns postpartum, is abdominal separation; so the core focus for the program is low impact abdominal, pelvic floor and full body workouts that can be done from the comforts of one's home.

Most new mums struggle with body image and confidence after giving birth — did you face the same issues? 
Pregnancy can be such an overwhelming experience with so many changes happening to your body. After the birth of my son, Anderson, I really struggled to reconnect with my body, which left me feeling pretty ost. I turned to exercise as a way to cope with my anxiety and found it to be the most incredible healing balm.

For the first time in a long time, I found an appreciation for my body and what it had been through. I was able to have a positive inner dialogue that celebrated the little daily achievements. Taking a moment to focus on my health and well-being was the most important step on this journey and by doing so, I was able to be a better mother to my son and foster an environment of self-love and positivity.

That brings us to our million-dollar question: How do you balance motherhood on top of what you do? 
It is a challenge. There are certainly days where it feels impossible but the magic of doing what you love and are passionate about everyday is that you have more love, gratitude and positivity to spread.

I am proud that I am able to demonstrate the benefits of hard work and passion to my son, while always making sure to prioritise time with my family. The key to balancing career and life is not to stress if things don't go according to plan. Prioritise as best you can, and execute each day around your priorities — your health should always come first. At the end of the day, we make time for what matters most to us.

Do you stick by a certain diet?
I take a holistic approach to my diet and focus on balance, consistency and all things in moderation. Rather than putting unnecessary pressure on myself through a restrictive diet, I focus on a healthy, wholesome balanced diet with the occasional treat. For breakfast, scrambled egg whites with vegetables and vegetarian sausage. Pre-workout — an iced latte. Post-workout/mid-morning snack, I opt for a protein shake. For lunch, I'll have a chicken salad. Come dinnertime, I love anything in a crock pot, usually filled chili con carne or shredded chicken and vegetables. To end things on a sweet note, I choose to have fresh fruits with almond butter or greek yogurt. 

What is the biggest takeaway from your journey as a personal trainer?
Meeting and working with phenomenal women all over the world is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I am so humbled to be part of a community founded on building women up and empowering them to be their best self through health and fitness.

Buy tickets to FitnessFest 2019 by AIA here.