Lainey Shockro makes fitness look easy

August 24, 2018

Lainey Shockro is not your typical middle school student. She doesn’t sit in the house and spend countless hours playing video games, talking on the phone or using social media. Instead, she prefers to spend her time working out and staying in shape. At age 12, she boasts an impressive list of hobbies, including basketball, track, cross country, pole vaulting and lacrosse. In addition, she has spent more time training to prepare for her fitness interests than the average college athlete. This summer, she decided to train with me to build strength to help her with sports, but little did I know that working with such a motivated young lady would be an incredible experience I will not soon forget.

Lainey’s fitness journey started when she was very young with her dad volunteering at local 5K races. “One day he came home and I asked where he had been, and when he told me about the races, I told him I wanted to give it a try,” said Lainey. So she signed up and ran her first 5K at age 4. It was not a great first experience. “I hated it and didn’t do it again for a while, but eventually I got into it and was hooked.”

By age 6 she began running cross country with Seashore Striders, a local race club, and since then Lainey estimates she has run in more than 150 races. But that was just the beginning of her fitness journey.

This year, Lainey started focusing on track and field at Beacon Middle school. Her events include 400 meters, the 4-by-200 relay, 800 meters and the triple jump. She went undefeated in the 800 with very impressive times that are competitive with much older girls running the same event. To give you an idea how good she is, her best time was 2:41 as a sixth-grader – the average time for high school girls is 2:25. In addition to running track, Lainey also practices pole vaulting. Even though she cannot legally compete in this event until high school, she already has two years of experience under her belt and will be more than ready by the time she gets her chance to do the event in a meet.

This summer, Lainey used the same dedication and focus to attack her weight training workouts. She trained with me two times a week and made some very good strength gains. When asked why she decided to spend her summer in the gym when most kids her age were enjoying their days off from school, she said, “I feel like lifting weights gives me even more motivation to improve. I can feel myself getting stronger, and I really like being in the gym.” Some of Lainey’s accomplishments this summer include kettle bell squats for 12 reps at 45 pounds, dumbbell bench press for 12 reps at 15 pounds, and doing body weight triceps dips for three sets of 25. All of this is even more impressive given the fact that she only weighs about 90 pounds. 

There is no doubt that Lainey is something special, and I feel I have benefited just as much training with her this summer as she did from working with me. She is a hardworking, self-motivated young lady, and it’s very inspiring to watch a 12-year-old with such an amazing work ethic who uses all types of fitness for personal improvement. “Running and working out is just a mental game, and doing them both helps strengthen my mind as well as my body, and, in the long run, it helps me do everything else,” said Lainey. Who could argue with such an intelligent statement?

  • Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from All-American athletes to the average person trying to get into shape. To send a question to the Ask the Trainer column, email Chris at or check out

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