Coach Spotlight: Mac McGregor

Try and get your kids involved, always have a gym dog and try not to worry about the bad workouts. There will always be another one waiting around the corner to mess you up so get over it and move on!

Coach: Mac McGregor

What do your parents or spouse call you when you are in trouble?

My mum calls me ‘Michael’ and my wife puts an incredible inflection on ‘Mike’ when she has an axe to grind. Honestly, both names send shivers up my spine when they’re uttered.

Do you have any embarrassing nicknames? What are they?

My ‘friends’ used to call me Todd after a character from a soap opera called ‘Neighbours’ waaaaayyy back in the day. I still weep at night thinking about it. Bastards.

What actor or actress would you like to play you in a movie?

Either Oliver Reed, Brian Blessed or Robert Carlyle. I’d LOVE to watch that.

How long have you been coaching?

Just over 4 years

Have you had other careers, or currently work in another field? What are they?

After wasting my time in college I spent a mercifully short tenure as a trainee travel agent. In 1999 I was miraculously accepted into the Royal Air Force and went onto to spend some awesome and non-refundable years with the RAF Regiment. I’m also a Sports Massage Therapist.

If you could time travel back to when you first started coaching, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t worry; you’re doing the right thing.

What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not working or training?

Beyond thinking about work and training? Gotta spend as much time with my girls as I can, especially mamma bear since she looks after us all; I’ve missed too much time with them already. That and walking my dog whilst thinking about when I can have the time to go mountaineering again!

What is your favorite lift?


Where do you live?

A little town called Fochabers in the heart of Speyside in the North of Scotland

What is your favorite animal print?

Feral Lesser-Spotted Haggis

Gym cat, dog or something else?

Dog as standard, goat for extra points

How long have you been training?

On and off for 6 years, more seriously for 2

What is the most embarrassing moment from any dark days of “lifting” that you may have had?

I know from personal experience the true horror of the ‘Shart’. The fear of it haunts me every squat session.

What do you love about training? 

The routine…..and the sweet sting of an unusually well-placed hook grip. 

What do you love about coaching? 

Being witness to the moment when a formerly shy and retiring newbie walks into my gym like they own the place, chalk themselves up and attack their workout like they’re on a mission. Love it.

What lifting achievement are you most proud of?

Any time I manage to break through a training plateau or successfully work through a niggle or injury.

Would you rather magically increase each of your PRs by 20%, or magically increase one of your lifts by 100%?

Magically increase each of my PRs by 20%.

Would you rather not have to eat food and have your ideal body composition, or get to eat 6,000 calories per day and have your ideal body composition?

Get to eat 6,000 calories per day and have my ideal body composition.

How many lifting-related shirts do you own? 


What or who gets you to train when your motivation is really low?

 I ask myself; ‘what would Groundskeeper Willie do’? Then go train.

Pre-workout of choice

COFFEE!!! And wee cola-bottle jelly sweets because you need rapidly acting carbohydrate………..

What are some of your go-to lifting songs?

I generally like something that makes me feel good so anything by AC/DC, ‘She sells sanctuary’ by the Cult is always a winner, ‘Hail to the King’ by Avenged Sevenfold, ‘I can’t get enough of your love’ by Bad Company, ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder, ’20th Century Boy’ by T-Rex, ‘Steal your fire’ by Gun. Too many to mention. Almost forgot!!! There is one song to rule them all……..’I’m gonna be’ by the Proclaimers; get’s me in the zone every time!

What is the most embarrassing song you like?

None. I love them all; ABBA, the Bee Gees, Katy Perry, the B-52s, Rod Stewart; bring it on! Apart from Bieber and Buble; THAT stuff is banned from my gym.

What are some of your lifting-related goals for this year? 

Not to die under the barbell.

Do you plan on competing in a meet this year? If so, what are your goals?

Nope. No-one needs to see me in a singlet.

What have you learned about yourself from barbell training?

My bald spot REALLY shows up in my lifting videos. I have also learned that I am well into my 40’s and there is nothing I can do about it. Lastly, no-one should ever see their own squat face; it’s soul destroying.

Who is someone you’d love to try barbell training and why?

Just everyone dammit!

Do you have a role model? Who is it and why?

Not so much role models as heroes. Everything my dad did was with his family in mind and he worked himself into an early grave for us; I owe him so much. My Grandfather on my mother’s side was just amazing. He was one of the original Royal Marine Commandos during WWII and served as a Sergeant in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, the raid on Dieppe and finally in the Balkans. He was wounded twice but just kept on keeping on. My abiding memory of him was mixing cement and siting fence posts before his heart-attack; strong until the end. I think it’s cool that I get to tread the same mountains that they did in their own lifetimes.

Dead or alive, who would you love to lift with?

Henry Rollins; that would be INTENSE.

If BLOC made a yearbook, which do you think you’d most likely win?

So technologically inept that he is not to be trusted with the TV remote.

How much do you love to eat? 1 – It’s a chore … 5 – What are we eating next???


What’s your favorite meal? Please use as much detail as possible.

Just one meal?! It would have to be fried back pudding with crispy bacon for starters, roasted scotch lamb shank with roasted potatoes (cooked in goose fat) and then……..cheesecake, but none of that baked nonsense; one that’s been allowed to set in the fridge…….you savages……….

What was your favorite childhood TV show?

The A-Team!

What is a movie that you have watched over and over and over again?

Too many to choose from; A Bridge Too Far, Kelly’s Heroes, Trainspotting, Aliens, Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Three Musketeers (the one with Oliver Reed, Christoper Lee and Charlton Heston), Hot Fuzz and all the Jim Bond films.

Tell us your best dad joke. 

Can you imagine the Americans switching from pounds to kilograms overnight? There would be mass confusion……………

What advice do you have for a new lifter? Or a lifter who’s been doing this a while? 

Don’t put it off; get started as soon as you can. I wish I’d discovered lifting when I was a teenager. And go and get some lifting shoes you cheapskate!!

Anything else you would like to share with your BLOC brethren and sistren? 

Try and get your kids involved, always have a gym dog and try not to worry about the bad workouts. There will always be another one waiting around the corner to mess you up so get over it and move on!




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