Lauren 'The Hoganator' Hogan heads up F45 Training, helps organize the That's Shanghai Sports Awards, runs insanely difficult marathons around the world and eats 1,000 Duracell batteries for breakfast each morning. We caught up with her ahead of the opening party of the new F45 Training studio in Jing'an this Saturday.
What is your background?
I originally came to Shanghai in 2011 to work for a little publication you might have heard of called That's Shanghai - I studied journalism at university.
Oh, That's Shanghai is the best. So how did the switch from media to fitness freak come about?
Amongst other things, I wrote fitness, sports and community pieces. I was fortunate enough to experience a lot of the what fitness and sports community had to offer in Shanghai, and became incredibly motivated by some of the people in the industry. I also traveled loads for races whenever a deadline wasn't lurking around the corner.
Beginning to focus on my own fitness goals, I began teaching at Spinback, learning from different training courses, trying to develop a women's soccer program here, and as things so often happen in Shanghai, the opportunity to help open up F45 Training here just came at the right time and with the right connections.
I still love to write, but for the moment it's mostly just for our F45 WeChat - scan the QR code below to follow us!
You mentioned races - what is the toughest you have ever taken part in?
The Inner Mongolia King of the Grasslands Race - three days mountain biking (60k, 45k, 100k) and a half marathon on the second day. I think it might have been my first time on a mountain bike too, which didn't help. The running bit was great though.
So, for the uninitiated, what is F45 Training?
F45 Training is a 45 minute circuit-based workout. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday we do High-Intensity-Interval-Training (HIIT), cardio-based classes. On Tuesday and Thursday it's resistance/weights based with a lot slower pace and a much slower vibe.
Saturday is our only 60 minute session where we bring in a DJ for the infamous Hollywood, but both Saturday and Sunday classes offer a mix of cardio/resistance based exercises. We offer movement screens at the front of the room so you can always see what you're doing, while trainers go around and correct form and motivate you.
What separates F45 Training apart from so many other programs is that you'll never do the same workout twice. Every day is different, but everyone around the world training at F45 will be doing that same exact workout on that same exact day. We create not only a team training community locally, but globally as well.
Is it still suitable for people who do not run the Inner Mongolia King of the Grasslands Race?
Definitely! We never want to push you to an uncomfortable limit, only what you feel is achievable. We can also modify any exercise for those who are struggling due to injury or difficult movements.
What is your favorite part of the job?
As cheesy as it sounds, seeing how the studio and this team is actually changing people's lives. Especially after our first challenge, some of the transformations were truly incredible. They say F45 is 'team training, life changing', and in all actuality it really and truly is.
Do you have a favorite F45 program?
Gravity (F45 jokes). I actually really enjoy Pipeline as it mimics surfing movements and really works on core and stability, as well as a mix of cardio and weights. We've also just introduced Brooklyn - an MMA style workout with punching and kicking - and when you're training partner is twice your height and build, it makes for some good laughs (and sore muscles).
We also do nutrition challenges four times a year - the next one starts January 29 - which is where people really see results. Nutrition is absolutely key if you want to see major transformations. And our trainers are some of the most supportive, motivating, kindest people I've ever had the pleasure to meet. They work with our members to help them attain those goals, inspire them and build the community that we've come to grow and love.
You also help run the That's Shanghai Sports Awards. Why are sports so important to people living in Shanghai?
Because they truly develop that sense of community that we need here, especially for those of us who live so far from home. It can give us goals to work toward, people that we create lifelong friendships with, and of course, your best drinking buddies in the city.
Your life is non-stop. What motivates you?
Setting goals to work toward. Even if it's something small, like running 5k every day in December for Marcothon, or something else on a much larger scale. If there's an end goal to attain, it helps you focus and push yourself that much more. There's also something to be said for a bit of a competitive streak (and yes, it is always a competition).
Something small, like running 5k every day... So Lauren, why do they call you the Hoganator?
Because Hulk Hogan was taken.
And is it always a competition?
Do you even have to ask?
Favorite workout tune?
The F45.fm mixes hands down. Every time you come to class we have a new playlist provided by the F45 worldwide DJ who is seriously on point - and I'm not just saying that; the mixes will motivate you like nothing else!
Lion vs Tiger - who wins?
Based on what Disney has taught me, Shere Kahn is maliciously fierce, but with a real rotten heart. Mufasa, on the other hand, is bold and brave - a true leader. Putting them head to head, I would like to see Mufasa come out king.
And if you could be any animal, what would you be?
Some say my spirit animal is a unicorn...
Finally, who is the best boss you have ever had?
A close second would undoubtedly be the man who helped pave my Shanghai career, none other than Ned Kelly himself.
That's more like it...