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Chiara Gribble

Vital Statistics StartEnd
Weight: TBCTBC
Body Fat: TBCTBC
Confidence issues and health problems spurred Chiara, our very first female MuscleFood Transformation Story, to embark on a long and arduous journey to fitness.

In her own words she, "wanted to make the most of [her] full health" and always held a fascination with toned figure competitions. So, after researching weight training and diet plans galore, she picked up those weights with a determination to compete.

Chiara - Before & After

Always a slim woman, she enlisted the expertise of an ex-competitive body builder and began lifting weights five days a week. The results came quickly in terms of tone and definition and these subtle changes gave her the incentive to continue her journey.

Three years later and Chiara still has the same fight, fire and passion for fitness she started out with and relishes in competing.

Her goal is to qualify for the Nabba Universe Competition in the toned figure class, and her sights are on a top 6 placement.

Here's her fitness story…

Chiara - Before & After

Example Workout Routine


Monday: Legs/glutes

Usually 5 or 6 of the below exercises, but sometimes either
different rep range or some change with each session

  • Walking lunges (un-weighted) 4 x 40
  • Lying hamstring curls 3 x 20
  • Single leg hamstring curls 3 x 15 each leg
  • Cable glute kickbacks 3 x 20 each leg
  • Jump squats 4 x 30
  • Glute bridges 4 x 30
  • Leg press with feet high & wide 3 x 20
  • Finish with 4 x 20 walking lunges

Tuesday: Shoulders & Abs

Usually 4 of the below, sometimes drop setting last set

  • Single lat raises 3 x 12 each arm, then maybe drop-set last set
  • Arnold press superset with db press 3 x 15 of each
  • Machine press 3 x 15
  • Seated lat raises 3 x 15
  • Rear delt raises 3 x 15


  • Reverse crunches on a bench superset with leg raises 30 of
    each, between 3 and 5 sets
  • Crunches on a ball x 30, between 3 and 5 sets

Wednesday: Back & abs

Usually 2 of the first 3 exercises, and sometimes higher reps, lower weight

  • Close grip pull downs 3 x 12
  • Seated row 3 x 12
  • Wide grip pull downs 3 x 15
  • Wide grip straight arm pull downs 4 x 20
  • Hyps on a ball 4 x 20


  • Reverse crunches on a bench superset with leg raises 30 of each,
    between 3 and 5 sets
  • Crunches on a ball x 30, between 3 and 5 sets

Thursday: Legs/glutes

Sometimes changing amount of reps, usually doing 5 or 6
of the below, super-setting some of the exercises

  • Walking lunges 4 x 40
  • Leg extensions 3 x 20
  • Wide stance smith machine squats 3 x 20
  • Jump squats 3 or 4 x 30
  • Leg curls on a ball 3 or 4 x 30
  • Glute bridges 3 or 4 x 30
  • Wide stance SLDL's 3 x 20
  • SLDL's 3 x 20

Friday: Cardio only


Saturday: Legs (mini session) & chest

  • Walking lunges 3 x 30
  • Reverse lunges superset with split squats 3 x 30 of each
  • Abductors superset with jump squats 3 x 30 of each
  • Leg curls on a ball superset with glute bridges 3 x 30 of each
  • Speed squats or walking lunges to finish 3 or 4 x 30
  • Press ups 4 x 20
  • Incline db press 3 x 15 or machine press 3 x 15
  • Incline db flies 3 x 15

Sunday: Sunday - Bi's, tri's & abs

  • Seated db curls, standing db curls or preacher curls x 3 sets, 12 - 15 reps
  • Concentration curls 3 x 12
  • Cable bar curls 3 x 15
  • Rope pull downs
  • Reverse or normal grip bar pull downs
  • Lying kickbacks
  • All x 3 sets, 12 to 20 reps


  • Reverse crunches on a bench superset with leg raises 30 of each,
    between 3 and 5 sets
  • Crunches on a ball x 30, between 3 and 5 sets

Meal Planner

When prepping, my diet is usually 6 Low carb days, 1 high carb day.

Off season, I will have slightly higher carbs, usually carb cycle and have 1 low day, 2 med days and 1 high day, eating the same as above but just adding carbs (rice/porridge/bananas) at more meal times. I also have a few treats at weekend, homemade chilies/curries etc.

Low carb day

Fats in almonds/walnuts

High Carb Day

No fats


Interview with Chiara Gribble

Why did you decide to embark on a body transformation?

I decided to start training and transform my body due to confidence issues, and also, having experienced health problems, I wanted to make the most of my full health. I also wanted to compete in toned figure competitions so knew there was a lot of work to be done to enable me to do this.

How did you go about it?

I started weight training, 5 days per week, and then in the run up to my first competition; I added cardio seven days per week. I had the help of an ex-competitive bodybuilder who helped devise a training split for me, and built up weights and sessions as my body got used to weight training.

How long did your body transformation take?

I've been training just over 3 years now, but from starting out to last season, it was a little over two years.

When did you notice that your body had begun to change?

I noticed that I had started changing shape when my clothes started to feel and fit differently, probably after a few months. I had been quite slim (around size 8-10) but my arms and leg started to look different after only a couple of months.

What impact has your transformation had on your life?

It's changed my life quite drastically. I now work my life around the gym/training/my diet. I have to plan things around my training, and plan holidays etc. around when I'm competing and prepping for competitions.

It's changed my life quite drastically. I now work my life around the gym/training/my diet.

What is your end goal to all of this?

My end goal is to qualify for the Nabba Universe competition, in the toned figure class, and further to that, placing top 6 is my ultimate goal.

Who was your biggest fitness inspiration?

My main inspirations were the top girls within the Nabba toned figure class, the girls who have placed highly in the Universe, UK and Britain shows.

As a female gym goer, what did you find to be the most challenging aspect of your transformation?

Organic Almonds
It's difficult for people to understand it as bodybuilding as they think that I will develop huge muscles and look more masculine which is not the case. It's also a bit scary at times, being part of a male-orientated environment.

What did you find to be the most enjoyable?

I love the actual weight sessions in the gym. I find it very therapeutic, a great stress relief, and just love the feeling of a good session and ace feeling walking out of the gym knowing that I've trained to the best I can.

Devise a meal plan/diet that you can stick to, which you enjoy and which you can fit into your life.

What nutritional advice would you give those just starting on their fitness journey?

Devise a meal plan/diet that you can stick to, which you enjoy and which you can fit into your life. Plan your meals, plan your diet and experiment to see what works best for you and just to add variety into your diet.

What are your three must eat foods to help maintain your physique?

Oats, nuts and turkey are for me, the three main foods in my diet, both off-season and during prep.

What training advice would you give?

Turkey & Oats
Again, like the diet side of things, devise a plan that you enjoy because if you don't enjoy it, you're less likely to stick to it. Find out what works best for you, maybe try different things to start with and just change/add things as you start progressing. Experiment with training, and the more you do get into it, the more you will find what works/doesn't work for you.

What are your three must do gym moves for a fantastic all over body workout?

Its hard to just distinguish three moves, but press ups definitely, they help to get a good shape across chest/shoulders, possibly stiff leg dead lifts, they are great for hams/glutes and lower back, and possibly jump squats. Again, it's difficult to just pick out three exercises, but these are a must in my training.

In your opinion, does cardio have a place in a transformation and if so, why?

Yes definitely. It helps with overall fitness levels in my opinion, and does give you a bit of a boost, a general feeling of well being. Obviously levels of cardio can be changed due to training and goals etc, more cardio added/taken out if needed but I always keep at least 3-4 cardio sessions in per week even off-season.

What were the three biggest lessons you learnt during your journey?

  1. To be consistent, with everything-diet and training.
  2. To experiment, try different exercises/training splits until you find what works best for you. One way of training might suit one person but not entirely suit someone else so never be afraid to change things up, as you can always change things again if they aren't working.
  3. To listen to your body, work with it and be careful. If you need to rest then rest, if you feel any slight injury, then rest it/don't overdo things. It's so important to listen and respond accordingly to your body.

How do you keep motivated to hit the gym on those lethargic days?

I've never lacked motivation, even on lethargic days, because I enjoy weight training so much, it's never a chore. It does also help having a goal, my goal of competing is always there pushing me for each session, so to have short/long term goals can help with motivation.

What three things do you think are the most important to focus on when going through a transformation?

  1. Being happy with yourself. If you want to undergo a transformation, you must do it for yourself, and don't put yourself under too much pressure.
  2. Enjoy what you're doing.
  3. An end goal, but remember this can be changed through your journey, don't feel like you have to stick to goals that you have set but don't feel realistic maybe.

There are a lot of women who would shy away from weights thinking it will bulk them up rather than help them build lean muscle mass – what would you say to convince them otherwise?

It can be hard to build muscle, and it takes time. Lifting weights does not mean you will get bulky, but it will help you develop a nice shape. Even after training solidly for over three years, I still don't feel like I've built a huge amount of muscle, still a lot of work ahead, but it definitely won't bulk you up a great deal.

Lifting weights does not mean you will get bulky, but it will help you develop a nice shape.

How important is it for you to maintain a positive work/gym/life balance?

Its very important as everything goes hand in hand. I'm in a set routine with everything, and therefore my lifestyle works. The gym for me is part of my life, and a very positive part, and after a tough day at work, the gym is my stress-relief, an enjoyable part of the day. If my work suffered in any way, I would have to change things but I work my gym schedule around my work.

Muscle Food Final Thoughts

Every transformation story featured on Muscle Food outlines that a good diet and a good workout plan are essential to achieving the results you desire. All transformation stories, exercise routines and diet plans are provided by the customer and have not been checked by a nutritionist or doctor. Results may vary for different individuals.