The SFN Show // Episode 1 // Lee McLaughlin

The SFN Show // Episode 1 // Lee McLaughlin


Starks Fitness, Bristol.


Lee McLaughlin.

Who is Lee McLaughlin? 

Lee McLaughlin is a personal trainer, coach, fitness model and stars on the front cover of the current Men’s Fitness Magazine.

It all started for Lee when he was predicted to come 5th in the 100m race at school. 5th place? He wasn’t having that. After defying all odds, he ran the race and ended up breaking the school record! And before he knew it, he was playing Rugby for the school too. He then went on to compete in 100m and 400m races regularly. Unfortunately, Lee picked up an ACL injury about 6 years ago playing rugby but continued running making the injury worse and worse. It was only about 8 months ago that he was able to undergo surgery for this.

Where's Lee Now?

Now, Lee is in “Rehab” and has gone back to sprinting and track events, eventually hoping  to become an Olympic Athlete. During his time out for his operation, Lee became a “student of sport” and learned everything he could about being an athlete and what he can do to improve his training. This included everything from nutrition to recovery, and technique. From this, he is now able to transfer this knowledge, using it for his own personal training and with his clients.

Lee has always set his personal bar high, his Instagram bio says he is a “loading athlete” - meaning he recognises he is not yet the athlete he knows he can be. He also states that he is “under construction” which is with reference to his knee injury and thinks he’s about 17% off to being 100% again!

 Adam Finn asked “Should I change my calorie intake on days of training verses non-training?”

Lee trains 6 days a week and with those days, it’s 1 high intensity, 1 low and then recovery training. With his high intensity workouts, his calorie intake is a little bit higher than low intensity days. However, this will depend on the time of the year, what he’s got planned and how many PT sessions he has or if he has a busy week.  

Men’s Fitness Magazine:

Men’s Fitness Magazine gave Lee only 10-12 days’ notice before being pictured for the front cover, so he felt a little bit of pressure to say the least. Ultimately, he’s aware that he has to stay in shape all year round because of what he does. However, Lee still carried out a strategic plan to look his best. Within these days, he took his calorie intake down but did everything else the same.

Although everyone is different, Lee is a big believer in the quality of food and tries his best to keep it all organic, especially meat. He eats lots of vegetables and tries to keep his calorie intake as high quality as possible. He also tries not to go over his allotted 2800 calories, but sometimes he does when he has a treat day (and had KFC the night before shooting the SFN show!). But everyone is allowed a treat every once in a while!

When it comes to gaining strength, what are the benefits of training explosively compared to focusing more on a ‘mind muscle’ connection?

It depends on what kind of results that you want to achieve. Lee says that he needs to use his mind with his left quad/left leg and focus on bringing the connection back since his knee operation. So you could say that ‘mind muscle’ connection is beneficial for training again after an injury.

At the moment, Lee is working towards his strength phase and is trying to lift as heavy as he can, or up to what his injury will allow. Sometimes he may train explosively but as an athlete he generally works on his strength instead as he finds this more beneficial when competing.

Advice/tip to reach goals:

Lee’s biggest bit of advice to young athletes is to try and create your own business. This means you won’t have to rely on sponsor’s, you’ll have something to fall back on and you can be your own boss!

For those who just want to look good and maintain a healthy lifestyle, Lee suggests watching your calorie intake. He believes that a lot of people don’t actually know how much they eat and that downloading a calorie tracking app, such as MyFitnessPal, is a good way to record everything that you do.  

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