My mom used to bring me to the gym when I was only 12 or 13 years old and I would use some of the machines with her. I tried a handful of sports growing up, but there was never anything I really enjoyed or was very good at. Working out seemed exhausting & not much fun at all! I didn’t enjoy feeling out of breath or fatigued. It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college (in 2011) and so completely miserable with the college experience that I decided to start working out again (just to kill some time). I started to really enjoy the process and the progress I was making all on my own. I still remember the first time I curled a pair of 15 lb dumbbells—such an exciting moment! I continued my journey for the next few years and decided to compete in my first bikini competition with the NPC in 2013. It wasn’t as enjoyable of an experience as I was hoping, so I put competing on the back burner. My passion for health and fitness continued to grow over the years, and I decided to get my certification as a Holistic Nutritionist in 2016. It still wasn’t my primary career, although as the years went on, I wanted it more & more. I began training part-time out of my boyfriend’s gym in 2018 and had quit my other job by 2019 to train full-time. Fast-forward a few years, and I decided to compete again, this time with the WBFF. It was an incredible experience, so much more enjoyable than my competition prep years before. I enjoyed it so much that my coach offered me a job as her assistant coach for the upcoming shows. We are currently at the very beginning of co-coaching an amazing team of women for a WBFF competition in April of 2022.
Johnston, Rhode Island
Personal Trainer/Holistic Nutritionist
In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
Having a healthy BMI is most important for your health, keeping your immune system strong, your organs functioning properly, and allowing you to age gracefully. Aesthetics are just a bonus, and people often become addicted to their continuing results!
If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?
- Fitness level: 35
- Health level: 65
Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, others?
I think everything has its place. I like to try everything at least once, and I think it’s great that there are so many variations of movement for people to choose from. There’s certainly something for everyone and I think it’s important that everyone can find a form of movement that they truly can enjoy!
Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I like to keep things simple but also very sustainable for people. I understand that working out & eating healthy isn’t always easy for people to incorporate into their daily lives. I like to work on adding small habits & making their goals reasonable and attainable for them. I know that once they start to see results and these habits become second nature, they are much more likely to build momentum and willingly make more improvements.
Focus on the aspects of your life that you have control over, and work on bettering these things every single day. Find what works for you. There is always SOMETHING you can do.
I lift 5 days a week, 3 of them are lower-body focused, and the other 2 are upper-body focused. I have daily step targets (10-12k) depending on my current goals. I enjoy walking or running, especially outdoors when the weather is nice. Otherwise, I incorporate 1-4 days of cardio, either jogging or taking a spin class on my Peloton (closer to 4 days as my next competition approaches).
I’m fully vegan and have been for over 5 years now. I began counting my macros again as I re-entered competition mode, which has been working really well for me.
I’m very big on supplementation. I like finding high-quality supplements and vitamins, and I probably take more than the average person. I currently use a Thorne multivitamin, Creatine by either Vedge Nutrition or Thorne (I rotate), amino acids & protein powder from Purium, liposomal vitamin C, B-Complex, Algae-based Omegas by Truvani, vitamin D3, magnesium glycinate, and Zinc.
Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
Yes. A lot of these things can cause a variety of health issues as well as digestive upset. I try to buy everything organic & high quality, with only monk fruit or stevia as sweetener.
Please describe the importance of mental health?
Your mental health impacts everything from your physical health, your happiness, and your overall success in life. You can only go so far as your mind allows. It is so important that you prioritize your mental health just as much as your physical. The fitness industry, especially combined with social media, can take a toll on many people’s mental health and body image, which is why you must learn to be self-aware and practice a lot of self-love. Meditation and mindfulness are something I try to promote to all of my clients.
Take us through a typical day in the life for you?
Coffee is always first! My days usually start with clients at the gym. I try to give myself a break mid-day to get my own workout in, check-in with online clients, go home to my dog and eat, then right back to the gym for my evening clients. I’m usually home by 7 or 7:30. That’s when I cook dinner, eat, and hop on my treadmill to get some steps in to make sure I hit my daily goal. I’ll typically check in with online clients once more, then get to sleep (hopefully before 11!).
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status Fitness features athletes of all ages, ethnicities & backgrounds, each specializing in something different, yet all providing something valuable and relatable to anyone who reads it.
If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
What stands out to you most about the athletes you feature or have interviewed?
Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you for this opportunity?
OMG. Who, me??! I would be honoured!
Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I have been working exclusively with Shinnon Fakhri, who is a WBFF Pro Athlete, coming in second in the world (40+) at a pro show. She is the entire reason I enjoyed my second show prep as much as I did and has given me the opportunity to be her assistant coach for upcoming shows. She is the definition of discipline & work ethic and proves you can literally do it all. (I seriously don’t know how she does it though!)
Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
My goals are to win Pro Status at a WBFF show, along with becoming a sponsored athlete and grow my coaching business to be 100% remote.
5 things people don’t know about you?
- I was a TERRIBLE athlete growing up. Hated to work out. Not great at sports. Essentially pretty lazy!
- I can’t picture myself living in one place forever. I would really love to live a few years in a bunch of different states or even countries.
- My first real career was as a hairstylist and I owned a salon with one of my best friends for 3 years before getting into fitness full time.
- My dad was a photographer, and growing up, he inspired me to want to model. I did pageants & built a portfolio, but I was too short!
- I’m part Native American (on both sides, two different tribes)
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
You cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Loyalty, Humor, Security, Work ethic, Passion.
If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
The person who thinks they are doomed because of poor genetics. People are often misled to believe that they are destined to adopt any medical condition their parents had/have when in reality, they have so much more control over their health than they think. Helping someone adopt healthy habits and teaching them how to be truly healthy can go so far beyond just them. These are the habits and lessons they will instill in their children, and can even inspire other family members and friends to do the same. The snowball effect just one person can have is truly amazing.
Who inspires you? And why?
First and foremost, my coach Shinnon. She is a military wife and a mother to a beautiful baby girl, running her own business and coaching so many women, all while still prioritizing her own health. My clients also inspire me on a daily basis. The progress they make and the way that some of them have really committed to changing their lives is so amazing to me. Finally, all of the athletes I have met or befriended over the years, whether in person or online, all have overcome different struggles and still show up for themselves every day.
What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Start small, but make sure you start! Small changes will multiply over time and give you great success.
What does success look like for you?
To me, success is the combination of freedom & happiness. Being able to do what makes you truly happy and make a living doing it is such an incredible feeling.
What is your favourite quote to live by?
“It is never too late to make a change.” Also, “You are exactly where you need to be.”
Connect with Emily: IG | Website
Cover Photo: Orlando Braxton