• Coach E

Interview with Lauren. We talk about gym anxiety, injuries and more.

Hi everyone. I hope you are looking forward to Christmas. This week I interviewed Lauren who was happy to talk about her fitness journey. I thought it would be an interesting interview for you all as Lauren has had to change the way she trains to accommodate an injury she sustained in a car accident and she also suffers from gym anxiety. I know a lot of you out there suffer from gym anxiety as well so I thought you might find it useful to hear what she had to say.

To kick off tell us about yourself?

I am Lauren, 26 and from the Scottish Borders. My insta account is fitness.laurz (only name I could make work) outside of training I love seeing my friends and family, going walks with my dog and just resting with a film or painting.

How long have you been interested in fitness?

I was brought up in a fitness family. My dad and brother were both runners on the border games circuit and in my mum’s younger years she used to sprint. At the age of 4 I did my first fun run and then continued running until the age of 23. I put up with a few injuries which made me stop for short periods but always overcame them. Disaster then struck. I skidded on black ice on 20th Jan 2018. I didn’t realise I had torn a muscle in my right shoulder until a year later, so I just kept trying to run but the pain was too much.

So one of the main reasons for this interview was to talk to you about your fitness journey and how it’s changed over the years. I recently saw a post where you talked about your car accident you were in and suffered an injury which made you change from running to lifting weights. Can you tell me more about this and what happened and how you recovered?

As previously stated back in 2018 I skidded on black ice and crashed my car into a field luckily escaping with just a torn shoulder. The pain was bearable with the heat during summer so I tried keep running with it but as the cold weather approached the pain started getting unbearable resulting in me getting an x-ray. This came back resulting in a 4mm tear in my tight shoulder. I went to physio and then got 4 cortisone injections which didn’t help. I then thought If I try strengthening the muscles around and get a few deep tissue massages it may help to strengthen and in time repair. This is when I realised my love for lifting

Why this made you change from running to lifting weights?

Running is good but it can be a very time consuming sport and very demanding. I love weights as you can spend as much time as you want training. If you are having a bad day you can stop at any point and don’t have a long walk home. I love both but for now I need the change.

How the change made you feel?

Weights have given me a huge boost in confidence. Watching my body change shape and getting muscles I have always tried to get but never had the time or energy to gain them. I still get pain in my shoulder but I feel if I didn’t do weights it could be so much worse.

What does a normal week of training look like?

I train 4 /5 times a week from a quick 10 minute abs session to a 50 minute leg session. I try to vary muscle groups each day so one day may be arms and back, the next legs and glutes. The next core then stretching. Fitting the occasional run in between.

What is your favourite body part to workout? And what’s your favourite exercise for this body


I love lower body but I think this is due to it being my strongest muscle groups from my years of running. I love doing squats but I did my 1st ever deadlift with the hex bar hitting 100kg and loved the challenge.

Do you prefer working out at home or in the gym?

I have gym anxiety so love working out at home, though I am trying to work on my confidence and break my gym anxiety so time will tell.

What is it about the gym that causes your anxiety?

Um really, it’s the fear of the unknown. I had to go in a couple times for college and walking through the door to heads turning was too much. Then there is all the equipment inside that you’re not confident with and don’t want to look silly using along with being too nervous to ask for help. I know people are there to train and learn but going in alone can be a scary experience.

Do you follow any specific diet or how do you approach your eating to get the best out of your


I don’t follow a diet. I want to enjoy what I eat. I would say my diet does consist of a lot of proteins like fish and meat, but I do also include things I enjoy like crisps or sweets as I don’t want to be too strict on myself.

What is your overall goal for your fitness journey?

My goals always change, to begin with I only wanted to strengthen up to get back to running. But now I want to squat double my body weight. I still want to improve my upper body and core through time but I am happy with the way I look

What would you say to anyone who is looking to start their own fitness journey?

Find something you enjoy and start off small. If it means being like me and hiding away in your house training to start with… Do it. Watch YouTube videos and never be shy to message someone for help. 90% people who train are supportive and will try to help or refer you to someone who knows a bit more. Don’t be scared.

I would like to say a massive thank to Lauren for taking the time to be interviewed. As you can all appreciate it is not easy to talk about past trauma like car accidents and how gym anxiety affects her training but I’m sure you will all have learner something from it. Thanks for reading, don’t forget to subscribe or contact me if you would like to feature or have a topic you want me to write about.

Keep evolving!

Coach E