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Strength training challenge Week 8

thelmah headshotFour weeks from the end, Thelma’s strength training schedule has been ramped up to six days a week and her cheat meal has been taken away – horror! – so she’s feeling the burn in a big way 

I’ve just received my new plan for the last four weeks and oh my gosh things have got really, really serious!   Remember at the start when I was banging on about how it was the ‘hardest thing I’d ever done’, well I don’t actually think that I’d seen anything yet.  In fact, the last eight weeks have clearly been a walk in the park compared to this program.


My training has jumped from four times a week to six days week, (I know right? Insane) and my food – I am weeping as I write this – has had a massive overhaul.   The calories have been dropped dramatically and I can only ‘carb up’ (eat my carbs) on Sunday as opposed to the whole weekend, and that isn’t even the worst part   She (can’t even say her name right now – Clara) has taken away my beloved ‘cheat meal’ and I. Just. Can’t. Deal.  I can’t quite put into words what this means. No more Pizza Express or meals out and worst of all no more cake from the fab gluten-free cake stall down Broadway Market.  I am there so often that I was one stamp away from filling my loyalty card and was due a free cake. I’m gutted that I now won’t get that for four weeks.

The red meat has gone too. No more homemade burgers or steaks. I now have to build my meals around fish (white or salmon, all good fats) or chicken breast with green salad or green veg.  Breakfast is still the same thank goodness – four eggs (scrambled, boiled, omelette etc) eating eggs never gets old and I love the way that it keeps me full and that there are so many combos that you can do with them.  Even my almond snacks have reduced, not that I liked them but that is not the point, I can now only have 20g as opposed to 40g which is about 10 nuts hardly worth teasing my taste buds with that paltry amount.

A typical meal now looks like this:

Brekkie – four boiled eggs

Lunch – medium chicken breast with green salad (lettuce, red onion, cucumbers, green beans)

Snack – Sunwarrior chocolate protein mixed with water with teaspoon of Udos Oil

Dinner – salmon steak with broccoli, cauliflower

I will still be doing four split routines during the week alongside two added high interval training sessions my only rest day will be on a Sunday.  More cardio has been added so that I can get as lean as possible, and as I have mentioned in previous posts all my cardio is designed to burn fat even when I am resting.


The first eight weeks were designed to build muscle and this phase is to lose the layer of fat on top of the muscles.   It also involves more shaping of the body with the aim of looking more lean whilst maintaining all that muscle that I’ve gained to date.

In short, during this phase the calories have been dropped but I am training at the same intensity.  My rep range has increased from twelve to fourteen and the rounds have increased to four from three.


A training session is different every day but to give you an idea, here is what Monday’s day 1 training looks like:

Quads, Calves, Core, Cardio

Front barbell squat

Hack squat

Reverse Squats

Leg extensions

Seated Calf Raise

Kneeling Cable Crunches (as in the picture)

Decline sit ups

30 mins Cardio on the treadmill

I managed to complete week on of the new program and it was like my body had been hit by a truck it was so hard.   Mainly because I have, in all my years of training, I have never taken my body to that level of intensity or have I trained six days on the trot  add in the restricted diet and you can truly start to appreciate what fitness models and competitors go through to get the bodies in such incredible shape – hard work.  I can see that my body has become more sculpted and toned and when I flex my arms the definition in my biceps is very clear.


I am more confident in the gym too and have made some great friends because I am there so often and I now do not have a problem walking and training alongside all the men that train in the free weight area.  I still have an element of doubt in my mind as to how I am going to cope with the food and the six days of training because four days a week was bad enough  but as Clara always tells me I am just going to have to get on with it and find ways of fitting it all in and most importantly trust the process.

Contact Thelma’s trainer Clara Mosha:

Clara on Facebook 

Twitter: @UPTByClaraMosha

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 2 Strength training challenge

Week 3 Strength training challenge

Week 4 Strength training challenge

Week 5 Strength training challenge

Week 6 Strength training challenge

Week 7 Strength training challenge

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