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I was a dancer for the first 22 years of my life (ballet, modern, hip hop etc), danced competitively and went on to pursue a BFA in Dance and a BS in Exercise Physiology. As a young adult however, I developed a complicated relationship with food, body image and injuries which led me to start strength training to recover and become a better dancer. However, it actually lit a spark within me because I uncovered how naturally strong I was and the power behind lifting weights to build yourself up versus always trying to be smaller in the dance world. Similarly, my relationship with food changed for the better with the mindset of fueling and building vs restricting and rebelling. Later, I went on to compete in the Figure and Wellness bodybuilding divisions which challenged me in new ways and showed me what I was capable of mentally and physically. However, it reignited those thought patterns about body image, food and yo-yo behaviour.

The above would describe my biggest challenge along my journey, but I’ve now landed at a really healthy, consistent and strong place within those two extremes. I feel empowered about my strength, body, appearance and most importantly develop habits and mindset skills to build a consistent long-term lifestyle. I think the most important outcome of fitness should be a deeper sense of self-love, which I’ve found.

New York City, NY

Founder/CEO LSL Fitness

What is your training philosophy or approach when working with clients?
My philosophy with clients is creating a long-term lifestyle change. I generally prefer to work with clients on an average of a year to allow for enough time to rewire old mindsets that no longer serve them, build new habits and collaborate on the psychology and logistics of behaviour change. I believe in building confidence through consistent, accessible baby steps and really allowing the client to learn in different environments within their own life. I think the reason most people fall off or are unsuccessful is due to the system or desire for fast change, which is never sustainable nor does it fit into the nature of my client’s lives and careers. Nutritionally, helping clients learn that it doesn’t have to be nor should it be extreme, but mastering simple principles and effective decision-making with clean whole foods and that you can still enjoy the finer things in life with mindfulness. When it comes to training, I prioritize mastering the basics of strength training movement patterns and want them to feel and understand the importance of building muscle and being stronger. I would describe my style as strength training layered with bodybuilding principles to carve an aesthetic they love.

Most importantly, I want clients to truly adopt their newfound ability to prioritize strength training as their main form of self-care and that there is value in doing something small or imperfect versus not doing anything at all. My most successful clients have reshaped their mindset that their lives are running on a “balance in motion” philosophy meaning, they are never off, just able to turn up or turn down their skills/routine based on the reality of their lives.  That is when true lifestyle change has occurred and they have leveled up!

Training Plan:
Currently training 6x/week. 4 Strength days (2 upper, 2 lower) 2 conditioning & core days, 1 yoga or pilates.

Nutritional Plan:
My nutrition plan right now is “structured maintenance”. I hit my macros ~85-90% while allowing 10-15% for flexibility and indulgence. I always make sure I’m hitting my protein and vegetable intake. The rest can ebb and flow as I’m travelling or celebrating. I then lean into the habits that I preach to my clients about mindfulness and appetite awareness to stay connected but not restrictive.

Supplement Plan:
I currently only use Xtend BCAAS intra-workout and prioritize a multivitamin, vitamin D and ZMA for sleep & recovery. I keep it pretty simple.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
I do prefer no sugar or artificial ingredients/dyes however I’m not opposed to Stevia or Truvia. I will opt for the more natural product when available but I’m not 100% strict on the preference. Health is my number one focus and I am mindful of the long-term effects of artificial chemicals and ingredients. I’d rather prevent potential disease/illness risks first and prioritize fitness benefits second.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
What would your advice be for fitness entrepreneurs for long-term success? What has been the key ingredient to your success story?

Photo By: Alex Valderana

What are your long-term career goals as a fitness trainer, and how do you plan to continue growing in this field?
My long-term career goal is to expand LSL Fitness to the point where we are coaching people nationally and internationally and are recognized as a top fitness lifestyle brand. I aspire to be a leading voice in the fitness and wellness space, contributing to major publications, podcasts and media and collaborating with other top experts. I’m currently in collaboration with Dr. Sanjeet Baidwan M.D of  IMWell Medical in NYC where we are passionate about teaming up to bridge the gap between medicine and fitness. I have a personal connection to that initiative, as my dad suffered major health complications due to prediabetes and preventable lifestyle diseases. I was able to help him turn his health around through fitness (in combination with medical care) and realized just how crucial that relationship is. I truly want to see those two worlds collide as much as possible to change the direction of health and self-care.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
It can sound cliche, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to embrace and be grateful for all of the really difficult things life hands you. Strength training taught me how to translate becoming stronger to my mental and emotional resilience and I know I would not be the person I am today without the really hard and heavy “lifts”.

What does success look like for you?
Success for me is freedom.  Freedom from risk of injury, illness, freedom to eat clean (or not) and not feel guilty about it. Freedom from the emotional response of what the scale says, financial freedom,  freedom from anxiety (aka happiness and joy) etc. Once I mastered the discipline that creates those freedoms, it’s now the compass I use for my life and how I know I have been successful and will continue to be.

Connect with Lauren: IG
Cover Photo: Alex Valderana

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I am a content and talent manager of Status Fitness Magazine. If you are looking to share your story or get featured in Status, contact me.

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