We talked with Pietro Lauro in February, 2020.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Pietro Lauro, 23 years old from Italy but currently living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Thank you for taking the time to read about my story, journey and the path that I took to reach my current state of livelihood. Your curiosity continues to fuel my ambition.
I have been heavily involved with weight training since I was 18 years old. I am now 23 years old. Training is my passion and I am very fortunate to be able to enjoy my passion.
The thing that I love the most about bodybuilding is that will to never give up and how it changes you as a person not just physically but mentally! I struggled with a lot of anxiety, and bodybuilding simply just made it so much easier to control and really give me the confidence that I have always wanted.
The reason I started training is because I wanted to stand out from the public and just be different.
I am passionate about medicine and general health, I like fishing, cooking (and modestly I can cook pretty well), listening to music, mainly rock, blues, rap even if it’s more old school.
I really like technology and computer science. I would love to travel and to know so many people, especially in the fitness environment.
I’ve collaborated with several companies but I was never sponsored by any one of them because there were no terms that suited me well enough to make a sponsorship!
Ever since I grew my Instagram account, I received some sponsorship offers that I eventually dropped as it wasn’t serious enough. I am definitely open for any type of collaborations so feel free to send me a message on my Instagram!
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
My long-time consistent routine has been lifting heavy weights, about three to four days per week.
I typically train at the Gym Group Cameron Toll in Edinburgh. I typically lift weights solo, but will usually train/practice in boxing.
My sessions usually last between 50 minutes, one hour and a half, and are mainly split between transposing dual isolation heavy lifting days:
- Day 1: Heavy chest+Biceps
- Day 2: Recovery day
- Day 3: Shoulders & back
- Day 4: Recovery Day
- Day 5: Abs+Heavy legs & calves
- Day 6: Recovery Day
- Day 7: Cardio: cyclette, Running & Abs
My favorite exercises would definitely have to be the bench press, squats, and deadlifts. The main reason being is that for the past four years, I’ve primarily focused on those three lifts for powerlifting, and absolutely fell in love with them.
I also feel that they carry over TREMENDOUSLY towards bodybuilding, I would consider those lifts to be great starting foundations, or mass builders.
Of course, sometimes I’m changing my training plans, days of training and approach. It all depends of my goals, and some other things and activities in my life.
I’m the guy who loves to train everywhere and with new people. That way we are sharing experience and knowledge what just can be helpful because I was collecting it past 16 years and not just reading someone’s elses.
I was always ready and glad to train with someone better than myself because I wanted to see or hear some good advice, a new way to activate wanted muscle better, how to upgrade my squat, how to get bigger and deeper back or how to recover faster.
In my gym bag, you’ll always find knee straps, lifting belts, elastic straps, even some chains, and foam rollers. I just love to be ready without searching all needed and losing my precious time.
I’m not a big fan of new fancy diets and general ways of training. All needs to be logic but orientated on an individual approach.
Seven billion people on Earth = seven billion different body weights, years, heights, body compositions, hormone levels, habits, possible injuries, intolerances, and allergies. So we all can’t have the same program.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
A quote that has always stuck with me over the years is, “Anyone can do something when they are motivated; it’s when motivation fails that discipline needs to take over”. This quote pops in my head when that motivation is running “low” and I need to keep pushing.
Over the years, I have also learned that if motivation is low and you’ve accumulated fatigue and stress from a hard training program, then it might be time to take a week to deload.
During a deload, you can make recovery as the stimulus. Sometimes, a little time away from the gym can work wonders. You’ll come back feeling refreshed because now your body has had time to do other bodily processes that were put on the back burner, because you were pushing your body to deal with extra stress from your training.
Taking time away from the gym is healthy, necessary for longevity, and can re-sensitize the body to continue getting the same effect in the gym later down the road.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Training is going very well at the moment, as I am beginning to pack on some more bodyweight to drive hypertrophy. My goal is to continue building muscle as naturally possible until 2021.
After I finish with over a year of trying to add quality muscle mass, I will then embark on a diet. I won’t compete again, but I will probably schedule some photoshoots and give me something to train for.
As for life goals, I want to have a full roster for online personal training and get back into the YouTube side of fitness. When I had more free-time in college, I started my YouTube channel and grew my Instagram following through producing good content. It will take some discipline to get back to that considering my schedule, but that’s the plan for the next few years.
If I could change anything about my fitness journey, it would be knowing more about proper set up and execution for certain movements. I could be light years ahead of where I am now if I knew about how to properly keep tension on the muscles, rather than throwing the weight around explosively.
I wish I had some better guidance to which exercises were a waste of time when it comes to the goal of improving physique.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
When it comes to injuries, I’ve suffered through more than most people. As mentioned above, I wish that I was taught at a younger age how to set up movements properly to ensure that the proper muscles are being targeted.
Growing up in the weight room being coached by high school football coaches, you can only learn so much. But, I do think that these injuries have made me more meticulous with my programming and execution, and it’s made me a much better coach and trainer. This makes me more relatable as a trainer, and has made me more knowledgeable through experiencing injury after injury.
My injuries have been limited since learning more about human anatomy, proper set up, and periodizing my training programs. I used to be one of those people who could never take a rest day, even though my body was telling me otherwise.
But, now I know that when my body tells me to take a rest day, it’s probably the smartest choice to rest. Plus, if you feel like you are fatigued or you have an ache that will hinder performance in the gym, then I highly recommend taking that rest day and then saving the workout for another day where performance will be top notch.
That brings us to another great point – sleep! Sleep is extremely important and if you don’t sleep enough, your body is already stressed out. If you sleep less than four hours and decide to crush a workout, then you can’t expect your body to grow muscle tissue in a state like this.
I aim to sleep eight hours a night during the work week, and then eight to 10 hours on the weekends. With no children, I can sleep a bit more than most.
As for recovery modalities, I will stretch usually 15-20 minutes about three to four times a week. Sometimes, if necessary, I will roll on a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, or Tune Up Alpha ball for a little myofascial release before getting into my stretching routine.
This is a reminder that you do not want to static stretch before your workouts! Save the static stretching for post workout or before bed.
Since static stretching causes micro-trauma to the muscle, we do not want to slightly damage the muscle before training. This can hinder strength and performance and can even lead to a greater risk of injury since the range of motion is increased beyond normal range, where strength may not exist to the same degree.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My approach to dieting started out very healthy and traditional “bodybuilding” styled meals.I started tracking my macronutrients around 2018 and learned how to manipulate macronutrient variables to get a desired result whilst simultaneously enjoying the foods you like to enjoy; thus, not restricting food choices.
At the moment, I am consuming a mix of these foods:
- oatmeal or cream of wheat
- eggs/egg whites
- chicken breast
- ground turkey
- cashews or almond butter
- extra virgin olive oil
- basmati rice
As for supplements, I do not have a specific brand, there is a lot of good brands. I use whatever product from whatever brand. I do not have a specific favorite brand.
For supplementation, I am currently using:
- omega 3
- active form of b-vitamins
- vitamin D3
- whey protein
I don’t really have “cheat” days or anything too crazy like that. Since my focus is on weight maintenance I have a lot of flexibility. I also am no longer a super competitive athlete so I have relaxed my diet a bit so that I can enjoy time with my friends. This means if we have pizza once a week for pizza night I am able to eat.
I don’t drink. I also don’t smoke and never have.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
When I first starting training, I was highly motivated to be the best version of myself and focus only of me. As I’ve gotten older, I go through phases of motivation but the discipline is always there to keep me focused.
I like to go through phases of dedicated training blocks when things get stale. I am currently gaining as much muscle mass as possible and that’s my focus. I have some goals of certain strengths on certain movements and it keeps me accountable.
he best advice that I learned was something that stuck with me through the years of working out for two hours+, working out while sick, getting overly aroused to set a new personal record, and that was what my coach said to me in high school.
I would always push myself as hard as I could in the gym and I would finish the workout and walk up to him to ask, “What else can I do today? Tomorrow?” He would respond with, “Nothing. Sometimes, you have to realize that less is more.”
But my best advice for those of you losing motivation or lacking drive is to set some tangible goals for yourself and make sure you see those goals or think of those goals every single day.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If I was new or just starting out with bodybuilding, I would recommend practicing good habits. That would mean properly executing every single movement in the gym & not rushing the process of learning movements.
Do not try to increase weight because your training partner did or because that’s what you’ve been told you must do. Improve the execution and you will improve the tension and if everything else is in place, you will quickly reach your goals.
Make sure you follow a program, track your lifts, and ensure that your reps are as consistent as they were the following week.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I am almost always taking on clients. Currently, I am accepting new online clients.I do train people in the gym and online. I am always looking for a new challenge. When I see people change because of my plans it gives me pleasure and satisfaction.
I am a 24/7 kind of coach. I stay connected with my clients almost daily. I encourage them to do everything right or if they have any question they can approach me whenever they like. I also plan their cheat meals.
Most of my clients used to be under impression that Nutrition is not important or doing diet plans half-heartedly will give the result. I have made sure they know that this does not work. Committing to your short term and long term goals will get you results.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
Facebook: @Pietro Lauro
YouTube: Oldschool bodybuilding