25 questions with Lihle Ndelu

Lihle is a previous USN Face of Fitness finalist and a regular fitness competitor. When she’s not curling and flexing, she’s working as a web developer. Her life right now;

Abs are made in the kitchen.

Do you get help from a nutrition coach?
Yes, I do. I get both my nutrition and training programs from Dave Watkeys and he’s really exceptional!

Does your diet change on the days when you don’t train?
I have two meal plans – one for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the other for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On the days when I don’t train, if I’m not hungry; I can skip one or two of my seven planned meals, but I mostly stick to my diet every day.

What, is the easiest way for you to ensure you stick to your nutrition plan?
Having a variety of food that I actually enjoy in my meal plans helps quite a lot. I get to have two cheat meals a week, which also helps. My diet is very well balanced and that’s why it’s relatively easy to stick to.


Gym time

What do you do on the tough days, when motivation levels are low?
I do the following in this order:

  1. I remind myself of my mission and my goals – my ‘why’. Once I get to the gym I’ll put on my favourite playlist and, more often than not, I end up having a successful session.
  2. I get two cheat meals a week, so I’ll bribe myself with a treat.
  3. My last resort is to take a break! Sometimes all I need is to sleep in and rest. I know that when I wake up, my head and body will be back in the groove.

Do you change your approach to training from time to time?
Yes, definitely. It’s a fresh start and it keeps me excited. It’s quite a challenge to stay committed to anything that does not excite me.

What are you loving right now?
It has to be wearable technology. The ability to track my steps, sleep, calories burned, and time spent working out is just amazing.


What’s your vibe on the following, yay or nay?

Long steady rate cardio? Yay, but in moderation, like 15-40 minutes, max. Doing cardio regularly not only helps burn calories, but it also improves your heart health

Oats in the morning? Nay. I’m a Future Life and USN whey protein for brekkie girl. These products give me energy to see me through my early morning weight training sessions.

Training in a crop top? Yay! If you’re comfortable training in a crop top, why not? I love training in one because training increases your body temperature, but when I’m wearing a crop top I feel a lot cooler.

Burpees? Nay. Even though they’re the perfect no pain, no gain full-body exercise, I don’t enjoy them.

Gym selfies? Yay! I prefer taking my selfies before or after my session. While I’m in the middle of a session I find taking selfies can be very distracting. It also prolongs the time I spend at the gym, because you can’t just take one photo!

Pre-, intra- and post-workout nutrition? Yay to all three! I rely on my USN pre-, intra- and post-workout products to help boost my energy levels, focus, and muscle recovery. Pre-workout I take whey protein and BCAAs. I take BCAA during a workout, and L-glutamine after training.

Grilled hake? Yay! Hake is low in calories and it’s great for promoting muscle growth. It’s also quick and easy to prepare and it’s delicious.

Fat burners? Yay, but only when they’re used correctly, as per instructions and when you need the extra help for a workout boost, and only when your nutrition is on point.

Deadlifts? Yay! In my opinion, this is one of the best exercises around. I feel very strong and pretty badass when I deadlift.

CrossFit? Nay. Only because I haven’t tried it.

Sports massage? Nay. I’ve heard some rad things about sports massages, but I haven’t had one myself. I’m very open to trying one soon.

Cheat meals? Yay. I read an interesting article about giving these meals a negative connotation by calling them cheats. Why not rather call them treats to reframe them. That way you don’t feel guilty about having one (or two). But I’m all for cheat meals. I plan my cheat meals beforehand and I prefer to have it at the end of the day.

Early morning sessions? Yay! At 5am the gym is quite empty, which means the machines are available.

Training partners? Nay! I genuinely prefer to train by myself. I like to just focus and get on with my workout. I find that having a partner can be distracting and can hinder my focus.

Running? Nay! I dislike running, very much…

Social media? YAY! Social media is such an amazing platform to inspire and be inspired… I know when I’m lacking motivation I will find some on Instagram. There’s always someone who will post something that will really speak to me and inspire me to improve.

Active rest? Yay. Rest days are a great way of giving your body a break without really being totally inactive. Hiking or beach walks are my favourite ‘active’ rest day activities.

EMS? Nay. There’s a Bodytec EMS studio close to where I work, but I’ve never tried it.

Any parting thoughts?

Sometimes, embarking on a new journey can be very challenging. The road is not always straight and it can get pretty tough. So here’s a list of things that I rely on to help me keep me going:

  1. Always have a game plan and try to stick to it.
  2. Be patient with yourself.
  3. Even on those tough days, be positive.
  4. Read, ask questions and always stay informed.
  5. Don’t be afraid to try new things
  6. Once in a while, have a doughnut. You deserve it!
  7. Last, but not least, believe in yourself and what you’re capable of.

Connect with Lihle on Instagram, or leave comments questions below.

Lilly’s supplement brand of choice: USN

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

When he's not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He's worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

One Comment

  1. Sihle Jay Reply

    Thank you for those questions with Lihle. She’s so deligent, committted and fun it’s inspiring ❤
    That was really informative.

    Thank you ?

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