Join Us On This 30-Day Strength Training Challenge With Kelsey Wells For Guaranteed Results – Women's Health UK

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Consider this your key to keeping up a fitness routine
Now, 30-day workout challenges are nothing new, but the goals are often short-lived: to nail a push-up, or to run a 5k, for example.
They’re certainly something to be celebrated – but if a lifelong exercise routine is what you’re after, we’ve got your back. With the help of Sweat trainer Kelsey Wells, WH is bringing you a 30-day strength workout challenge designed to ‘build healthy and sustainable habits’, all while using strength training as a ‘tool for self-empowerment’.
Whether you’re just starting out in the world of strength training as a complete beginner, or maybe you’re getting back into it after some time off, this 30-day challenge is all about ‘teaching you the foundations of key strength training exercises, to build upon each week’.
Over the next 30 days, Kelsey will coach you through a series of 15-20 minute workouts formed of the moves you need to cement a futureproof fitness routine. Grab a pair of 2-3kg dumbbells and a resistance band and you’re good to go.
Your 30-day challenge with Kelsey Wells is comprised of three workouts:
Each workout includes a warm-up and cool-down, and lasts just 10-15 minutes each.
‘You can complete them anywhere, and all you’re going to need is a pair of 2-3kg dumbbells and a resistance band,’ Kelsey adds – more on this to come.
You’ll do all three of these workouts once through per week, along with three days on which you can choose between low intensity cardio, yoga, a recovery session or HIIT, and one complete rest day.
Low intensity cardio means a 20-30 minute walk, run, bike ride or swim (all at a level that you can sustain the same pace from start to finish), yoga should last for 20-30 minutes, HIIT should be a 20-minute sesh following a 40 second on, 20 second off format, and a recovery session will include foam rolling or stretching. We’ll go into these in more detail below.
It’s totally up to you what kind of exercises you go for – both across the low intensity cardio segments, and HIIT, if that’s what you’re up for when the time comes.
As Kelsey says, ‘The purpose of fitness and strength training is not about how often you workout, how many calories you burn or how heavy you lift. It’s about helping you care for yourself and for your health – mentally, physically and emotionally.’
So, if you want to do the same kind of cardio every time – go for it. Likewise, if you’d rather skip every HIIT session and stick to cardio – do that. Focus on what makes you feel good.
BONUS: Once you’ve nailed this plan, bag yourself 3 months of Sweat access for free. Just visit before 31 March 2022, and sign up if you’re not already a member.
Save or screenshot this handy infographic to help you keep track of what you should be doing and when.
The entire point of this 30-day workout challenge is to help you find your fitness feet – and to progress from there. ‘It has been designed to meet you exactly where you are on your fitness journey and to give you the tools to grow,’ Kelsey says. To that end, we’ve made sure the plan can be adapted to suit you, whether you need to make it a little less intense, or you want to feel more of a burn. Here’s how.
‘We’re kicking off with a full body strength session,’ Kelsey says. ‘I’m going to guide you through every step of the way.’ The circuit will begin with a lower body burn, before moving to your core, then up to your arms and shoulders. Get it.
The formula:
1 min 10 secs warm up, 3 min activation, 30 secs rest, 3 rounds of circuit, 2 min cool down.
Warm up:
Repeat 3 times.
30 secs rest
Repeat 3 times.
Cool down:
If you’re after a well-rounded upper body workout, this one’s for you. It hits your shoulders, lats, delts and back, all wrapped up with a solid stretch.
The formula:
1 min 10 sec warm up, 2 min activation, 30 secs rest, 2 rounds of circuit, 1 min rest, 1 min 10 secs cool down.
Warm up:
Repeat 3 times.
Repeat 2 times.
Cool down:
For workout three, Kelsey will guide you through a lower body workout using a pair of dumbbells, with exercises designed to target everything from your glutes and inner thighs, to your quads and calves. Super strength awaits.
The formula: 1 min warm up, 3 min activation, 30 secs rest, 3 rounds of circuit, 30 secs rest, 2 min cool down.
Warm up:
Repeat 3 times through.
Repeat 3 times.
30 secs rest
Cool down:
On three days of each week, Kelsey recommends 20-30 mins of low intensity cardio, also known as LISS. It stands for low-intensity steady-state exercise, and Kelsey suggests walking, running, cycling or swimming.
Knowing how hard you should be going all comes down to sustainability. The idea is that you can sustain the same pace from the start to finish of each session. In other words, you’ll probably, naturally, be more out of breath by the end of the session, but you won’t be so maxed out that you’re pouring in sweat and have had to slow down considerably.
Which kind should you go for? As above, it’s totally up to you – this challenge isn’t there to torture you, make it enjoyable.
Check out our full LISS guide to get all your FAQs answered.
Kelsey has also prescribed recovery sessions as an alternative to yoga, if you’d rather that. This’ll involve foam rolling or stretching. ‘An integral part of a holistic training program is recovery,’ Kelsey says. ‘It’s during recovery that a person’s body adapts to the stress placed upon them during intense workouts. It also offers time for mental preparation and reflection.
‘Foam rolling is a great way to target sore muscles and release tension, while stretching involves static movements that require you to hold a position and lengthen out the muscles that have been under stress.’
How is stretching different to yoga, you ask? ‘Yoga incorporates dynamic stretching exercises which are active movements, where muscles are stretched to their full range of motion.’ Here’s exactly how you should be doing both.
Foam rolling
You can check out our guide on more ideas for active recovery, as well as the best online yoga workouts to try at home.
‘All you’re going to need is just two things: a pair of dumbbells and a resistance band,’ Kelsey advises. She recommends a weight of 2-3kg for each dumbbell, but adds, ‘If you find this isn’t very challenging, you can up it to an amount that makes the last few reps in each set slightly more difficult.’ Form first, though.
For the band, Kelsey suggests a ‘light-medium’ resistance. You want something challenging, but not something that you can barely move – we’re here for 30 days, after all.
Noting your progress throughout Kelsey’s 30-day challenge will help keep you on track, and we don’t just mean how many reps or sets you can do. Here are some other handy ways to monitor the gains you’re making.
‘Writing down how you feel when you embark on a 30-day challenge this one can be a great way to reflect on your progress,’ Kelsey says. ‘Changes in your energy levels, mood and quality of sleep are all good indicators, as well as how exercises are becoming easier as you build strength throughout the plan. Remember that fitness isn’t just physical, it’s mental and emotional, too.’
‘Fitness should come from a place of gratitude for your mind and body, and any form of movement and exercise should be celebrated,’ Kelsey says. ‘Whether it’s a 15-minute session or a full 45 minutes, always be proud of yourself and your efforts. Progress is about direction, not perfection.’
Though we always recommend putting how you feel emotionally at the forefront of your fitness journey, it can be interesting to see how your physical body adapts over time. ‘A few weeks into the challenge, you might find that you can do more reps, or a more advanced version of a move,’ Kelsey explains.
‘For example, you might have started with push-ups on knees, but can now do them on your toes. To do this, pick an exercise you want to improve on and work at it over time. Choose how regularly you do them and write your PB down in your journal, then see if you can beat that after two or three weeks.’
The end of the challenge certainly shouldn’t be the end of your exercise routine – quite the opposite, in fact. ‘By showing up over the next 30 days, you can build healthy and sustainable habits that will help you create a lasting and impactful positive change in your life,’ Kelsey says.
The whole point of the plan is to implement an approach to fitness that you can continue for life – you might not do every workout every week, maybe you’ll do one, or maybe you’ll just have one week where you’ll crush all three, and one where you’ll only manage one low-intensity cardio session – the difference is, you’ll know how to do these with confidence now. You’ll kill it.
This programme wasn’t designed with mums-to-be or new mums in mind. If you are pre or postnatal, we’d suggest finding a routine that has these needs in mind. You’ll also need to have a GP, midwife or healthcare professional confirm that you’re fit to exercise before you dive in.
For more advice, read about the 11 dos and don’ts of prenatal workouts.
As a bonus, Kelsey and Sweat are offering WH readers 3-months of free access to all of Sweat’s workouts. We know. Here’s how to nab yours.
NB: you’ll need to enter your card details – you won’t be immediately charged, but your subscription will automatically renew to the monthly membership price of £14.99 if you don’t cancel before the end of your 3-month trial.
* The code can only be redeemed via the Sweat website and only between 1 March 2022 1:31pm GMT – 31 March 2022 1:29pm GMT.


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