Who better to turn to for some inspiration than a grounded and relatable CrossFit athlete who is currently the 19th fittest woman in the world?
Emma Mcquaid has always had an interest in health and fitness, “I started racing quad bikes when I was 6-years old and soon realised that the fitter I was the faster I could ride. But it wasn’t until I was 14/15 years old that a Personal Trainer agreed to work with me” she explains, “and I knew quickly that this was what I wanted to do as a job”.
Emma has been a Personal Trainer herself for 13 years now and has participated in CrossFit for 8 years. But even though she is officially one of the 20 fittest women on the planet, she has had to work hard for what she has achieved.
“I hear rumours about me getting a muscle-up in my first ever CrossFit session – no I didn’t” she exclaims as she laughs. “It is really important for people to not just believe everything they see or hear all the time. Whoever started that rumour is a legend, but they definitely didn’t see me in my first class” says the Reign athlete.
Anyone thinking that athletes like Emma are gifted with a natural ability to perform extraordinary feats should think again, “it also took me a full year of practising to get one Double-Under” she admits.
Despite her current supreme athletic ability, Emma continually highlights the importance for beginners to start with the basics and progress gradually in the same way that she has done. “My advice would be to take your time. Don’t be afraid to strip back to the basics and progress from there” says the 2 times CrossFit Games competitor.
“I often see older people who start with a regressed version of CrossFit training. They strengthen their entire body’s, their joints are less sore and their quality of life is improved. It is so much more manageable to start slowly and to build up gradually. Life becomes easier and they stay more independent for a lot longer. Performing daily tasks such as changing a lightbulb or getting up off the floor become much easier for them”.
Participation is something that Emma talks about passionately. On one hand she misses the buzz and the banter from performing in front of a packed stadium at a televised CrossFit competition, but on the other hand she fully understands that everyone has to start somewhere and that achieving any goal is a positive step in the right direction.
“I am actually helping to promote a campaign called ‘Ready to Reign’ which has launched early this year. It is all about having the right mindset and taking charge of your own training. Myself and the rest of the Reign athletes are all posting workouts, supporting the community and encouraging people to set themselves a fitness goal for the year. It doesn’t matter if the goal is to hit 10,000 steps per day, to lose a certain amount of weight or to hit a specific weight in a certain exercise. We just want as many people as possible to show us how they are ready to reign in their own lives”.
One thing that often puts some females off when it comes to weight training, is a fear of becoming too bulky, and Emma has some important advice here also. “It takes years and years and years to get massive” she explains. “I have been doing CrossFit for 8 years now and I am still one of the smallest females in the field. You will notice a change in the shape and firmness of your body by introducing weight training a few times per week, but there is no danger of becoming ‘muscly’ or ‘masculine’ unless you are eating 5-6000 calories per day and lifting heavy weights for 90 minutes every day. Your body is just not going to change for the worse – it isn’t going to happen”.
If you would like to join the growing ‘Ready to Reign’ community head to @ReignBodyFuel on Facebook or @reignbodyfueleurope on Instagram to find out how.
And if you are wondering what Emma’s goals are – for 2021 she would like to qualify for the CrossFit Games and improve upon her 19th position.
Her lifetime goal is to finish in the top 10.
Follow her at @mcquaid175 and support her all the way, then join the ‘Ready to Reign’ campaign and she will support you with your goals too.