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Strength training challenge week 3

thelmah headshotOn week three of her strength training challenge, Thelma finds her life revolving around eating, sleeping and the gym – but she’s seeing results, fast

Week three and my life revolves around these three words – eat, sleep, train repeat. There is no doubt in my mind that this ‘fitness model’ type training regime is tough and grueling , but I am seeing results, and fast, especially in my tummy area (flatter) and bum (higher and firmer).

It’s a constant juggling act for me trying to fit in the four sessions and week and sometimes five since I foolishly, two weeks ago, accepted an offer to run the Nike ‘We Own The Night’ 10k race.

I am a working single mother so I have so many things on my plate. But missing sessions isn’t an option if I am to get the right result, Clara tells me. If I do miss a session, there is no starting again next week, I have to fit it in and hit those four sessions to maintain the consistency in my training.


I know a few of you reading this have probably done some kind of resistance training alongside a regular cardio routine, but let me reiterate again this program is about fat loss and becoming as lean as possible whilst still retaining muscle. It’s the only way to train if you want that super-toned, athletic fitness model look which is what I am hoping to achieve.

If you think what I am doing is just a bit of body pump or a couple of kettlebell classes have a look at the type of exercises I have been and will be doing over the next few weeks – trust me ladies this aint no Les Mills type of class.


Legs 4 sets x 12 reps each

Barbell Squats

(Triple Set) Leg Press – feet together, feet wide and close Plie position. This is an absolute killer for the legs.

Land mine front squats TO core bag walking lunges

Lying leg curl

Squat machine calf raise

Core 4 sets x 15 reps each

Medicine ball V-Ups

Bosu ball crunches


25 mins Slow Duration Cardio Incline Treadmill (start @incline no 10) This is hard as hell after all that strength work and I dare all the runners out there to try this and not struggle


Push routine (4 sets x 12 reps each)

Flat bench press (olympic bar)

Incline bench BB chest flyes

Dumbell seated shoulder press

Dumbell standing lateral raise

Weighted bench to bench tricep dip

Cable tricep push downs


TRX Pike Crunches

TRX Plank


HIIT Training – 1 min sprint 2mins jog repeat for 25 mins

Wednesday rest


Pull routine (4 sets x 12 reps each)

Barbell Deadlifts

Barbell bent over rows

Assisted lat pull up machine

Close grip lat pull downs

Standing dumbbell bicep curls

Standing EZ bar bicep cable curls

Core (4 sets x 15 reps each)

Leg raises with weights on feet

Cable leg raises


Slow duration cardio on stepper 25mins


Metabolic Conditioning (3-4 rounds 30 secs work 15 secs rest)

Olympic bar front squat

Dumbell renegade rows

Dumbell wide pile/sumo squats on reebok step

Press ups

Barbell step ups

Bench to Bench tricep dips with plate

Frog squats

Body weight plank twists

Bench hip extensions

Body weight walkouts to press

Setting her weight for deadlifts

As you can see, my training is no walk in the park and to all the ladies that think they are lifting in their weekly Body Pump class or conditioning class this is on another level. I’ve made some progress on the aches and pains department though, like it only takes a couple of days to recover after a session instead of three or four days.

I still have to do that thing when you place two hands on either side of the wall and lower myself onto the toilet but it’s definitely an improvement in my ability to recover after training. Also, check this: I have lost an amazing half stone, which is amazing news as Clara has told me several times we don’t really pay attention to the scales whilst building muscles – I am secretly overjoyed never the less.

Just as I am getting used my four-times-a-week- training-groove on, I somehow manage to pick up some kind of virus from my daughter that left me unable to meet Clara for our weekly catch up session, before she went on holiday, and left me bedridden for two days. To say I am upset is an understatement, Clara is now firmly imbedded in my brain and all I can think of is that I will lose all the gains I have made over the three weeks.

Thelma’s meal of super clean chicken breast stir fry with pepper and no soya sauce or tamari

My virus left me so weak that I can’t stick to the low-carb food plan and have to introduce some carbs to inject a bit of energy. After a couple days feeling sorry for myself in bed I managed to prise myself out of the house and do the 10k run which was, in my current ill state, like running through treacle.

I was so proud of myself for completing it and I know that my  current ‘get in and go for it’ mentality is down to what Clara has instilled in me about hard work and consistency getting results.

Contact Thelma’s trainer Clara Mosha:, Facebook Twitter: @UPTByClaraMoshaYou Tube

Thelma Mensah is a personal trainer and founder of the uber-cool blog She is Healthista’s Kit Diva blogger 

Read more from Thelma’s strength training challenge 

What REALLY happens in a weight training programme- Week 1

Strength training challenge- Week 2


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