Getting back into exercising after some time off is never easy. But when that time off is nine or more months, it can seem near to impossible.
It’s a feeling Kelsey Wells knows first hand. After giving birth to her son, Anderson, the gym was one of the last places she thought she’d be visiting. But thanks to Kayla Itsines’ BBG programs, she managed to find her sweat again. Now, three years on, she’s helping others to do the same. Joining forces with Kayla and Sjana Earp as trainers on the new fitness app, SWEAT, Kelsey has launched her own program to help mothers get back into shape after pregnancy.
It’s been a quick journey but an incredible one, too. We spoke to Kelsey about her role with SWEAT, bouncing back after pregnancy and her surprisingly peaceful new alarm clock.
How did this partnership come about?
My friendship with Tobi, Kayla and the SWEAT team paved the way but it was our shared mission and shared passion for bringing women together that made it work.
When they approached me [last November], I was over the moon. I had just finished my studies and was working towards my own program so the timing was perfect and I jumped right on board. Now I’m really proud to not only work with friends but alongside people whose incredible mission aligns with my own: to help women feel strong and empowered through fitness.
Talk us through your program specifically. How does training post-pregnancy compare to regular training or the other programs?
Obviously, a woman’s body goes through tonnes of changes through pregnancy and childbirth. Regardless of how you prefer to train prior to pregnancy, those changes need to be attended to in order to get back to where you were and build up strength.
SELF is designed to help you begin or ease back into your exercise routine. It has a balance between cardio and strength training and is broken down into sections: Beginner 1-4, Weeks 1-4, 5-12. The beginning weeks focus on restoring lost core strength, pelvic floor strength, rectifying postural issues and helping you to feel your body and get that foundation down before moving onto more intense training. I also recommend walking almost daily at the start and that can be overwhelming but even 15 minutes a day can help. The subsequent weeks build on this and the intensity of the workouts increases steadily as your body adjusts.
Right now on the app, you can see the beginner weeks and weeks 1-4. Weeks 5-12 are there but you need to unlock them. After that, we are working on creating more workouts and I have other ideas for programs in the works. Editor’s Note: Kelsey gave us a sneak peek into the app by sharing one of her lower body workouts. Try it for yourself.
How has a day in the life of Kelsey Wells changed?
Everything has changed because I had a baby! I went to university for interior design and that’s what I was working as prior to and throughout my pregnancy. Now I spend my days focusing on my program, taking on feedback and trying to make it better.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from motherhood?
The biggest thing I’ve learnt from motherhood is unconditional love. The intense love you feel for your child is so instant and all-encompassing. I also learnt to have that same kind of love for myself. Unfortunately, love for yourself doesn’t always come as naturally and women can be hard on themselves so I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve learnt: to love myself.
If you could give one piece of advice to mothers struggling with or daunted by the prospect of losing baby weight, what would it be?
My one piece of advice to mothers, especially new mums, as cheesy as it sounds, is to try not to focus on losing your baby weight and try to love yourself. It’s so hard sometimes; your body changes, everything changes and I know how it feels to look in the mirror and essentially not recognise yourself. It’s a lot and it’s natural to be hard on yourself and to be worried about losing that baby weight instead of focusing on the miracle that your body has just created and being thankful for that.
If you choose to love yourself, and your efforts to exercise and eat healthier are coming from a grateful place—for yourself and your body—you will get a lot further than if you focus on losing the weight.
I wake up with Anderson, he snuggles with me, and we have breakfast and then some playtime. I try to hold off my work until the afternoon. My morning is mum time with him. In the late afternoon, we get ready and head to the gym.
1-minute with Kelsey Wells
Wake up time: 7 am Anderson is my alarm and he wakes me up at 7 every day. Most people probably don’t know this about me, but: I’m allergic to nuts. Guilty pleasure: The Bachelor—I’m not a TV person but I can’t miss it! 3 things vital to my day: my workout, quality time with Anderson and tracking my water—I feel so accomplished when I hit my intake in the SWEAT app. Last thing I do at night: catch up with my husband. We’re so crazy busy at the moment so it’s nice to have that time together. If sugar was a superfood, my diet would consist of: snow cones and doughnuts. If I were a fruit or vegetable I’d be: I would never be a vegetable but probably a pineapple. The one place I’d never wear yoga pants: a wedding, any other place they’re fair game.