Lauren Jacobson grew up in a small town north of Toronto, Ontario. Most of her childhood and teen years were spent playing sports; everything from gymnastics, swimming, to horseback riding. When she wasn’t playing sports, she was playing in the school band and studying my butt off! She excelled in science and math, so after high school, she attended Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, where he focused her studies on Biochemistry, specifically focusing on sports nutrition and supplements. Once done with school, she knew she had to work in the supplement industry.
When did you first find interest in the fitness industry? Have you always been active? What and/or who inspired your decision to become a fitness competitor?
LJ: I first fell in love with the fitness industry when I picked up the very first copy of Oxygen Magazine; I think Pauline Nordine was on the cover! I was about 18 at the time and going off to university to study Biochemistry. Once I started to realize how much nutrition impacted your results in the gym, I was hooked on nutrition, supplements, and working out. When I finished school, I landed a job with MuscleTech (they were not known as Iovate just yet). I was actually the first woman to be hired on the R&D team in a product development role. Soon after I started, I attended the Olympia as part of the MuscleTech team. I was the only woman on the team and soon after getting to the trade show floor, I soon realized I was probably the only female not there as a fitness model. Attending, the Olympia is where I truly was inspired to compete. I went to the first figure Olympia and I met Monica Brandt and Davana Medina, and I just knew I wanted to do the same.
You competed in your first show coincidentally at the first ever figure competition in Canada. How did you prepare for it, how was your overall experience, and what did you take away from it for future competitions?
LJ: Luckily, working in an environment like MuscleTech, I was surrounded by trainers, athletes, and competitors who helped me out. I actually had no time to prepare; I decided to do the show with about 3 weeks notice! I got help from one my colleagues to put together a diet for me and I continued to train hard in the gym. I can honestly say I just jumped right in and learned how to compete with hands on experience. The day of the show, I asked a lot of questions, learned how to pose backstage, and got help from one of the volunteers on what to do and what to expect. Somehow, I placed 4th. After that first show, I never went unprepared again! I took my experiences, polished up my posing, my diet, and competed the following year winning 1st place in my class.
Apart from competing, you contribute for leading fitness publications, work trade shows, and attend bodybuilding shows. Where do you get your motivation and interest from to continue to strive in your fitness pathways?
LJ: For me, I have a huge passion for what I do; I love that I get to do something I enjoy every day. I don’t ever get bored of it or find myself lacking motivation for fitness.
With living a healthy and fit lifestyle, what does your daily diet look like? Do you give yourself “cheat days”?
LJ: I eat pretty clean all the time. Most days, my diet looks like this:
• Oatmeal with berries and ISO-SMOOTH shake
• Salad or green veggies with chicken or tuna
• Almonds and ISO-SMOOTH shake
• Salad or green veggies with chicken or steak
• Egg whites or plain non-fat Greek yogurt
I do allow myself cheats; occasionally going out for dinner or lunch with friends. Although, most of them are also into health and fitness, so it is never anything that is far off of dieting food, anyway!
What does your training routine consist of? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
LJ: These days, I spend less time hitting the weights and more time on the cardio. I have built up a lot of muscle over the years, so now I’m more about maintaining. Typically, I will follow a training split of: Chest/Tris/Shoulders, Back/Bis, and Legs. I keep the weights fairly light and perform high reps, typically 4 x 20 for upper body, and 4 x 30 for lower body exercises. I also perform a lot of supersets and mix in explosive exercises in my leg training days. I do cardio about 5-6 days per week, performing a mix of both LISS and HIIT training. On LISS days, I will run up to 10k.
In addition to your diet and training, do you believe in supplements? If so, which kinds do you use and what results have these given you?
LJ: Obviously with my background, I am a true believer in supplements. I mostly stick with supplements that are backed by research. For fat loss, I use green tea and caffeine, for post-workout, I will use BCAAs to help kick-start recovery, and when I need a protein boost, I will use a whey protein powder. I don’t have too much trouble putting on muscle, but I do recommend Creatine to a lot of my female clients who have a hard time putting on size.
Besides having a career within the fitness industry, you have experience as a Marketing Manager of the Health and Pharmacy division of a national retail pharmacy chain, a sports nutrition consultant, and a certified personal trainer. How do you make time to juggle everything and also workout?
LJ: I am extremely organized and efficient when it comes to my time. I schedule my time in advance, so I know where and when I will be and make sure that I’m prepared in advance. When I worked corporate business, I was actually at the top of my fitness game; I simply made sure that my colleagues knew my goals. By doing so, when it came to lunch meetings, they always had an option suited for me, and even better, I was often asked to help make healthier selections or give advice on how to make healthier lifestyle choices.
With your multiple careers within fitness, you get to work with many clients. How has that been and have any of them influenced you in regards to your own health and fitness?
LJ: I have been very lucky to get the opportunity to work with many pro-level fitness athletes, coaches, and nutrition experts, to supplement researchers. I have learned many things along the way, from nutrition help, unique training programs, supplement regimes, to even help with my posing from some of the top figure pros in the business. I would say, over the years, I have collected a wealth of information that has influenced my own health and fitness, but also my clients.
We had the opportunity to work together in creating amazing photographs. How would you describe your overall experience with Natalie Minh Photography?
LJ: It was a fun and easy-going experience, shooting at Gold’s Gym in Venice. Definitely for me, a bit of a dream come true. I have always wanted to shoot at that gym, so getting the opportunity to do so was amazing!
Were there any key factors you came out with during our time working together? (In regards to life, fitness, photography, etc.)
LJ: You are a very inspirational person; I think when we worked together, you were just starting out! It’s amazing how far you have come in such a short time. You have definitely showed me that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
What are your future plans and goals? Do you have any competitions coming up?
LJ: Two years ago, I left corporate business to just pursue a career in the fitness world as a supplement industry consultant, writer and online coach. Today, I’m continuing to develop my online coaching services – SEXY, STRONG AND FIT, to help educate, empower, and transform women into their best possible condition; teach them how to build muscle, burn fat, and live fierce! I have actually hung up the heels and retired from competition; now I just want to help other women get to their top condition and help improve their lives along the way!
Any shout outs?
LJ: I would like to say thanks to my fitness divas who have supported me and kept me positive, to the man in my life who supported me to leave corporate business and pursue my dreams, and my family who has never stopped believing in me.
Lastly, where can we find you on the Internet?
LJ: You can find me at: