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Rated Great on Trustpilot
Next day delivery available

Holly Welch

Holly Welch

21 year-old University student Holly only began fitness training one year ago due to low self-confidence. She would look at herself in the mirror and hate what she saw, in her own words she “wanted to be toned.”

It was this desire that spurred her to hit the gym with her brother where she was lucky enough to be given the chance to be trained by the gym's boss for free! She overhauled her diet, adopting a low carb philosophy, trained hard lifting weights and quickly saw the result.

Soon she was a positively bonafide gym addict! However, she never actually wanted to compete. Her workout achievements centred on the fact she wanted to train for herself. To be the best Holly she could be.

That was, of course, until people started asking her if she'd ever thought about stepping onto the stage with her killer physique.

She began researching the female fitness models and competitors of note, like Kelsey Yung and Paige Hathaway and decided to give it a go – with great success.

Within 5 months of beginning her training she won the Miss Cheshire Toned Figure 2013, a few months later she bagged 1st Place at Mr University in the Bikini Class and she's now training for NABBA!

Holly's determined to keep improving her physique and has her sights firmly set on winning a major competition.

Eventually she would like to apply for her Pro Card and have a career in fitness modelling, and she's doing all this whilst studying for her BSc in Physical Education and Youth Sport at Sheffield Halam University!

Here's her fitness story…

Training Plan

When prepping for a competition my cardio is always low intensity and my weight training is always high reps (normally: drops sets, triple drop sets and supersets) low weight is used and I rarely go above 15-20kg.

Monday: Morning

  • 1 hour cardio and abs

Monday: Afternoon

  • Shoulders

Tuesday: Morning

  • 1 hour Cardio and Calves

Tuesday: Afternoon

  • Back and Lower Back

Wednesday: Morning

  • 1 hour Cardio

Wednesday: Afternoon

  • Glutes

Thursday: Morning

  • 1 hour Cardio

Thursday: Afternoon

  • Chest and Calves

Friday: Morning

  • 1 hour Cardio and abs

Friday: Afternoon

  • Arms

Saturday: Morning

  • 1 hour Cardio

Saturday: Afternoon

  • Glutes

Sunday: Morning

  • Lower back

Nutrition Plan

When prepping for a competition.

(1-2 weeks before, I reduce carbohydrates and water further)

Please note some meals are swapped around so I have carbs morning, pre workout and post workout.


Interview with Holly Welch

First of all huge congratulations are in order with your recent win at Mr. University in the Bikini Class – but what made you enter the competition in the first place?

Mr. University

It was completely last minute, however I was (and still am) prepping from a NABBA Toned Figure Competition. I was holding a little more body fat at the time therefore I was the right physique for Bikini and I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity of getting up on stage again.

Describe the moment you won…

Girls were on stage to announce the top 3 - automatically I assumed I hadn't placed as I only had 1 week to do hard-core prep. for the show.

Mr University Bikini Class - Winners

When they announced I had one I was very shocked as I hadn't had much time to prep but I was so, so happy to take a trophy back!

How has the experience of Mr University impacted your outlook on fitness and training?

I've been training for just under a year so I've been surrounded by fitness for a while now, however I hope all the girls on stage have inspired other girls and Universities to get involved next year.

Would you recommend others compete next year?

I already have! Being on stage is the best feeling in the world and it's so rewarding whether you place or not, because of the experiences you go through prior to the competition; e.g. meeting new people with similar interests, learning about how far you can push yourself.

it's so rewarding whether you place or not, because of the experiences you go through

A lot of people respect my determination and self-discipline rather than actually being on stage. That's the best reward - when people comment about what you do behind the scenes, the ‘all year round prep’ rather than what you look like on stage.

Now that you've a taste of the competition bug, is this something you'd like to continue with? If so, what would be your dream goal?

I have actually competed twice last year with just 5 months of training in total. I love it and it has changed who I am and what I live for. I will continue training until I've won at the big competitions.

When you get one 1st place trophy, you won't want to settle for a 2nd place one! I went to the competition to get stage experience… but as soon as I arrived I realised I wasn't going home unless I got that 1st. Eventually, I would like to apply for my ‘Pro Card’ and hopefully have a career in Fitness Modelling.

I love it and it has changed who I am and what I live for

Ok, coming to your training now, what motivated you to start?

I started training because I had really low self-confidence. I would look at myself in the mirror and hate how I looked - I wanted to be toned! My brother took me to his local gym ‘Flex Appeal’ where the Boss trained me for FREE!

I adopted a low carb diet and saw results straight away. I had been dieting for years and couldn't find anything that worked, except low carbs. Once I saw my body changing I became addicted and have never looked back since.

Who has been your biggest workout inspiration and how have they influenced you personal life and workout goals?

Holly Welch

My Prep Coach from Marx Physiques has been an absolute inspiration, Mark Randles, he works incredibly hard to keep me up to date with where I should be, what I need to be training and eating - even when I'm at uni he stays in contact! He is a true inspiration for showing where hard work can get you and I would recommend anyone to work with him, he's fab - and honest! Which is exactly what you need to get results.

Initially, though, I had no desire to compete. I just wanted to be the best I could be. Once people started suggesting I should compete I looked at Toned Figure girls and Kelsey Yung had my dream body! I still look at her now and slowly but surely my shape is becoming more like hers - she's very petit and so am I.

However now I take a different outlook on things. I don't want to have the same figure as Kelsey - I want to be myself, I admire her work but I want to be happy with my body and I've now learned to love my shape as every girl is different.

I now admire Paige Hathaway - a well-established fitness model, again I would love her success in the fitness modelling industry, that's why I admire her - not because of her body.

How long did it take for you to achieve your award winning physique?

I started the gym in May 2013; I thought about competing in July 2013, by September 2013 I won 1st place - ‘Miss Cheshire Toned Figure 2013.’ In total that's 5 months of training.

What's your most favourite way to work out and why?

I love working out on a cheat day - I have so much energy! This should really be my rest day but I'd rather use all the energy I've got and put it into a leg work out!!

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your training?

The diet - by a long shot! It is extremely mentally challenging. When I go home and mum has baked cakes it's so tempting to eat one. Or when you see your favourite chocolate on offer in the shop, that's so annoying.

The diet - by a long shot! It is extremely mentally challenging.

How important is nutrition in helping you maintain your physique?

Holly Welch

Nutrition and diet are so important. It counts for 70% of your physique. My biggest fear is eating carbs but I know I can't cut them out completely because this is what gives me the energy to get to the gym and build muscle.

Vegetables are so important too, if I don't have enough green vegetables I begin to look like the walking dead - no matter how disgusting I think they are I know I have to eat them to fight infections. When prepping for a competition the last thing I need is getting ill!

What three whole foods could you not live without?

The only three foods I can even think of right now are chicken, broccoli and rice - when people ask me what food you eat to stay in shape, that's literally it! It's boring - very boring but I'm used to it.

Do you use supplements? If so, what do you use and why, and what have you found to have the greatest results?


I use mainly whey protein but I also use BCAA's for competition prep which I notice repair me very quickly - just a cheap one though!

Do you have any cheat days or meals? If so, what's your most fave way to cheat?

Cheat Meal - now you're talking!!! I tend to take a cheat day to be honest, I never have a massive meal because I get uncomfortably full - and that's not nice. My cheats are always sweet things like chocolate, biscuits or cake - I'm female - we need chocolate!

Having a big greasy burger with chips really doesn't appeal to me. On my cheat days I crave things like cereal with milk and freshly cooked brown bread with butter.

Chicken Products

What three five things should people focus on if they want to transform their bodies?

  • Your diet - keep carbs to a minimum if you want to tone up but don't go extreme it's really not healthy! (When I first started training I couldn't go 2 days without a bit of chocolate and I still saw results fast)
  • Don't just do cardio! That will just eat away at your muscle if you over do it. Especially for girls, you need to get off the treadmill and start lifting weights - I promise you won't look like a man, you will look toned fit and healthy!
  • Split your workouts up into legs, glutes, arms, shoulder, chest and back. (I used to have no waist - I was square… since I started training my back, because my back widened it created the illusion I had a tiny waist - now I actually have curves.
  • Stay positive!! I am my own worst critique sometimes, and negativity gets you nowhere - I try to stay positive about my training and diet. If I find myself occasionally snacking on a few handfuls of cereal because I'm craving - I tell myself ‘it's better than chocolate’ - but don't fall into the trap of praising bad behaviour. I am still extremely strict on myself.
  • Oh, also spend time around people who make you happy, my training takes up a lot of my leisure time so i miss out on time with friends which I miss so much. Everyone is so busy with 'Being Busy' - make time to spend with people who make you happy.

What's next for you?

Next stop is NABBA - and I'm so exited! I'm hoping for a sponsorship at some point this year - I don't have one yet and supplements, training clothes, bikinis, tan etc - it all adds up!

Although I am provided with some training clothes from my Prep Coach's company MARX PHYSIQUES a.k.a (MXP).