Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Shea McLaughlin, I’m 29 years old and I have been a personal trainer and an exercise physiologist since 2014. I grew up in Essex, ON, Canada and currently live with my fiancé in Windsor/Tecumseh, ON.
My full-time position is as a personal trainer at Brady’s Fitness Studio and also complete various work on the side as an exercise physiologist.
I love fitness and everything about it, it’s great for the body and mind. I studied Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor and was a part of the track and field team where I threw shot put and weight throw.
I now play my retirement sport, volleyball. Going into university, I wanted to play volleyball but was asked by the head coach to throw on the track team. So I competed as a thrower through my entire university career then took volleyball back up after I graduated.
It’s more of a team sport as opposed to throwing, which I consider more of a competition.
I also love reading and anything outdoors. Back in 2011, I competed in a Figure competition under the direction of Eric Borg (Body by Borg). This was before I started my career as a personal trainer. I have been debating competing in the future but has yet to be determined.
Describe a typical day of training
As a university athlete, I put in a lot of reps of the same movement. This event is extremely one side dominant, which has led to many imbalances.
My current training often consists of a variety of workouts from HIIT training to running to yoga, I always like to keep my body guessing.
I usually get 3-5 workouts in a week depending on my schedule. The major style I try to keep consistent is my physio and stability exercises. This will ensure my joints/body don’t give out on me too early in life, as many former collegiate athletes bodies do!
I love any kind of jumping exercise. It helps me feel functional and agile and defiantly helps with my volleyball game! I try to run once a week, it defiantly helps me keep my sanity when things get busy. Whenever I’ve had a rough day a run always helps to clear my mind.
My other workouts usually consist of HIIT routines to get my heart rate as high as I can while hitting as many muscle groups possible without burning any one specifically out. These workouts are the best when I have limited time.
I also enjoy working out with a partner of the same or higher ability as myself. We tend to push ourselves harder than we would train alone.
It’s amazing what the body will do when pushed to its limits when a bit of friendly competition is involved. My co-worker Whitney and I trade off writing HIIT style workouts for both of us to do.
I love using my Garmin heart rate watch to push myself during workouts. By watching of my heart rate, I can track how hard my body is working as opposed to the speed I am going.
On my rougher days (as we all get), I often go slower but am still able to hit my HR zone in order to get the same great cardiovascular workout.
I spent years tracking my workouts and I am now at a point in my fitness journey that I go with the flow.
My main goal is to maintain my current physique and ability but keeping my workouts challenging enough so I don’t get bored. I have had many different body compositions through the years and have finally found a nice maintainable balance between fitness and non-fitness fun.
Realizing I will never be a 120lb-Insta model has made the outlook on my own body much healthier. I am 5’8 ft. tall and weight 165 lbs. and am happy here.
I will occasionally track my diet to ensure I stay on track and am getting all my important vitamins and minerals. I avoid processed foods and try to only eat whole foods.
Rather than wasting my money on supplements that promise “great results” I try to stay true to my body and feed it properly and listen to what it’s telling me.
How do you keep going and push harder?
I love training at Brady’s Fitness because all the trainers there are like minded. We all believe in health and fitness and realize the benefits of exercise and how it computes to everyday life.
Most importantly everyone practices what they preach. Working and training in this environment has made me a better trainer and keeps me motivated to keep up my own regime. I am after all only human and get busy but always can find my way home to Brady’s for a killer workout!
By pre-planning my workouts and workout times, I’m able to stick to my routine even when lacking motivation. Keeping it new and fresh by going to different gyms and working out using different styles of workouts keeps me going.
A major challenge I’ve encountered was when I was in university. I went to a chiropractor because my coach thought it was important to get adjusted and the next day I had pretty severe sciatica.
Looking down or turning my head to the side was excruciating. This was in my second year of throwing at the University and mentally one of the toughest times I’ve had.
Being a fairly new collegiate athlete and wanting to work hard and being unable was a true test. After getting through this I know I can work through anything.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
The secret is there is no secret, but keeping it fresh will defiantly helps keep my workouts fun and functional. Here’s what I do and plan to continue to do to ensure I keep up what I’m doing:
- Outdoor workouts
- Home gym
- Local gyms
- New workout partners
- Timed & workouts for reps
I also keep myself moving by doing paperwork while I pedal on a stationary bike at the gym.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Massages, FST, stretching, yoga, physiotherapy & exercise therapy.
As a kinesiologist, I am trained to deal with injuries. With my in-depth knowledge of the body and being in-tune with and listening to my own body, I am able to keep track of how I’m feeling.
If it is outside my scope, on the other hand, I seek out other exercise professionals to help me out.
My goal number of hours of sleep is 8.5 hours but with a 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. work schedule, it’s hard to get that every night so I do my best to be in bed with the lights out by 10:00 p.m. and no screen time after 9:00 p.m.
I have also started trying to leave work at work. Instead of coming home and finishing charts and contacting clients, I have started staying an extra 30 minutes after work to get everything done. By doing this, I feel a healthier balance and I am able to go home and be present when I’m at home.
Running my own business can be exhausting so being present at home when there instead of wrapped up in work is important to me and my relationship.
Minimal screen time on Sundays is my own personal rule. I will spend hours without looking at my phone and remain present in the moment instead of on social media 24/7 like many people tend to do today.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
No supplements for me. I try to eat whole foods and as much of a mix of foods as I can to hit all the major important vitamins and minerals.
I used to use a FitBit to track intake and output but found I was absorbed into it and looked at it much too often. To go along with my limited use of electronics I choose to discontinue use of the FitBit.
I have found that I have a good feel of when there is a lack of movement based on old data from my FitBit.
I can now self-regulate my movement and meals for the day based on how I’m feeling and don’t beat myself up because the numbers aren’t high or low enough. That’s the thing with many athletes, no matter how good we do we always want better, which can be good at times and bad at others.
Intermittent fasting has been great for reducing calorie intake and making me have more energy. I usually try to stick to a 14-16 hour fast per day. On weekends, I am a bit less strict with my routine. I listen to my body and when I’m extremely drained, I will eat earlier.
On the flip side, if I’m not feeling hungry around dinner I’ll add up how many calories I’ve taken in for the day and decide if I need some extra to keep me maintained or if I’ll be okay with a limited calorie dinner.
What has inspired and motivated you?
Being around athletes my whole life is a huge motivator. By seeing how others stay on track helps me to as well. Early in life, my dad was huge a influencer to my health and fitness journey.
He was always being active and has always been very self-motivated. Whether it was doing 5k runs or getting chores done he was never a stranger to work.
My fiancé refuses to eat a meal without vegetables which of course helps me to stay on track with my eating!! Who you surround yourself with will significantly influence what you do and how your routine will change.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
What to do →
- Stay consistent
- Don’t get down on yourself
- Keep your sleep schedule consistent regardless of the time you need to wake up in the
- Change one thing a week, not everything all at once. Crash diets are hard on the brain and
What NOT to do →
- Don’t do the booty out chest up insta-girl form. It’s improper spinal alignment and you’re going
to injure your back.
- Don’t beat yourself up for missed days. Just get back in there on your next day and kill your
- Don’t get carried away on cheat day or vacations (taking a month off is never a good idea!)
Are you taking on clients right now?
Leading into the new year, I have some mid-morning and afternoon appointments available. I think it is very important to choose the right trainer for you. If you and your trainer don’t click, you’re less likely to see the results you want.
Anyone who is looking for a highly trained injury prevention and exercise therapist feel, free to contact me!
In my opinion, everyone should hire a certified personal trainer (not an online course trainer) for at least three months to show you around the gym and teach proper form.
Afterwards, if you feel confident and driven enough to self-regulate movements and workouts continue on your own and check in with your trainer whenever you’re in a lull.
Where can we learn more about you?
Facebook: Shea McLaughlin BHK, R.Kin, Csep-Cep, Personal Trainer.