Laura McGraw Fitness 360: Survivor Strong

Laura McGraw has a twice-fused spine, but strength training helped her rebuild it. Follow her training, nutrition, and supplement plan to see how she won the 2012 Transformation Challenge!

Laura McGraw is no stranger to hard work. A busy mom with three kids, she's been in a handful of major car accidents that complicate her recovery and training. Even so, Laura followed Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer, pushed it hard in the gym every day, and won the 2012 Optimum Nutrition $100,000 Transformation Challenge.

Follow her plan. You could be the 2013 champion!

Laura McGraw Fitness 360

Watch The Video - 11:22

Laura's Transformation Story

Name: Laura Conway-McGraw
Age: 41
Height: 5-foot-4
Weight: 128 lbs, 112 lbs contest
Education: Graduate Degree
Occupation: Mediator, Photographer
Contest History: Winner $100,000 Transformation Challenge Optimum Nutrition and 2012
Athletic Background: Collegiate soccer, cycling
Ultimate Goal: There is no finish line.
Super Powers: Determination, will, and hard work.

You wouldn't know it to look at me now, but I broke my back in one of a handful of car accidents. Surgeons fused my spine and three weeks later I got in another car accident that broke it again. Between spinal fusions, I built so much muscle in my abs that nurse had to pull my abs back to fuse my spine the second time.

Eight years after the first wreck, after four minor surgeries and two major back surgeries, my back still wasn't right. So, I headed off to the gym to see if I could make it stronger myself.

To understand how I bounced back from the depths of despair to not only start working out but win this contest, you need to understand a little about my background. I grew up in England, watching my father train for football (you call it soccer). He played 10 years for Fulham and two for Manchester City.

His ethics gave me an early appreciation for the power of a good workout. Each morning he'd wake up and head off for a run. He did sit-ups in the living room, too. My father was the kind of athlete who didn't necessarily go to a gym every day, but he worked out every day. I made a mental note of his discipline.

Laura McGraw

Laura McGraw's Supplementation

Laura McGraw didn't use supplements before the 2012 Transformation Challenge. Now, she supplements with a smart, effective, no-nonsense stack!
Laura McGraw

Laura McGraw's Nutrition Program

Laura McGraw knows how important clean nutrition is to great results. Check out her delicious, nutritious, simple nutrition program!
Laura McGraw

Laura McGraw's Training Program

Laura McGraw likes lifting and cardio both. Here's the plan that helped her win the 2012 $100,000 Transformation Challenge!

Perhaps influenced by my father, I'd play soccer with the boys. I wasn't a tomboy, though. I loved girly stuff, like putting on a dress on and heels and going out to a nice dinner. But I never lost that side of my personality from my father. I love the gym. I don't mind getting dirty and I love competition. Competitiveness is a family inheritance, you might say.

This mindset served me well after my accidents and back injuries. It's funny. At the time of the wreck, I thought, "What terribly bad luck." Now I think everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't be in the gym, working out and lifting weights with such intensity if it hadn't been for those car accidents.

I think the past enabled me to do well in the Challenge. When I finally got everything dialed in, I was taking supplements, watching what I ate, and looking at the content of my meals. When I finally got everything in line, the weight came off. Now, I have the weight off, and I have muscle mass!

Lightning Round!

Why did you choose to join the Transformation Challenge?

I needed something to get me motivated, and there is nothing like a good competition to get me going.

Do you think you would have had equal success on your own?

No way! Having a pre-made program made the process so much more manageable. Also, the stack that was offered was perfect for my supplementation needs. I trained a group of 30 people from my community while I was doing my transformation.

This was hugely motivating. I felt I needed to lead by example and show them what they could achieve. Having friends work out with me—and BodySpace members cheer me on—was exactly what I needed to keep myself going!

I also have a special person at home in Tommy Kron. Having someone that close to me who goes to the gym makes it easier; you can't live in a household that isn't living a fit life. One person can't do it without the other.

After you were done, did your view of yourself change?

Change? For sure. Done? Never!

What do you do now with your fit life?

Whatever I want. It's awesome! I still hit the gym almost every day. I teach spin class on Tuesday mornings, which I love, and I believe there is a new challenge coming soon.