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I have been an athlete all my life, so my fitness journey really began when my dad enrolled my sister and me in soccer. I started my athletic journey playing 10 years of Division 1 Soccer and 4 years of Varsity Lacrosse. My positions were center mid-field and goalie. After graduating high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in pursuit of a career as a Naval Physician.

While providing care to service members and their families in operational and non-operational settings, I found my passion in Bodybuilding. I knew very little about weight training and proper nutrition, but I wanted to learn more. I was a competitive athlete by nature and became captivated by the science and art of personal transformation in Bodybuilding. In 2018, I was on deployment with the USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG-1001) and turned my newfound passion into a profession by winning 1st place at the OCB Pinetree State Championships and becoming a Professional Bikini Athlete. Competitive bodybuilding while on Active Duty was not ideal, but I was determined to make it happen as long as I could.

After 7 years in the Navy, I achieved my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Magnum Cum Laude and finished my enlistment. From there, I made the best decision of my life to switch my career path from medicine to fitness. From the moment I got out of the Navy, I immediately started my career to focus full-time on personal training and my bodybuilding career but the pandemic would not let me start in San Diego.

I immediately moved to Bellevue, Nebraska where gyms were still open and started taking clients at a small gym franchise called Blue Moon Fitness. I owe all the mastery of my personal training skills to my time in the mid west. While I was there, I focused on developing my skills as a trainer and training myself for my comeback to the bodybuilding world as a wellness athlete. I took 2 years off from competing to organize find myself and settle into the new roles I placed myself in and they were well worth it.

I became the #1 female trainer at Blue Moon Fitness and decided to move back to California in 2021, where I started training clients at UFC Gym Concord. After settling into my new career field, I was able to step back on stage in April 2022 at the Golden State Championships in Sacramento where I placed 1st in my class. From there, my business grew, and I became an independent trainer while setting my sights ongoing for my IFBB Pro card. I moved back to San Diego to be closer to Pete and focus more on my training and competed at Musclecontest’s Ultimate Warriors in October 2022 where I won 1st in my class and overall in the Wellness division. From there, Pete and I prepared for my first National show at NPC Nationals in Orlando, Florida, where I took 15th out of 26 incredible women.

The biggest challenge I have faced is a common theme that resonates with every part of my journey and still today and that is, overcoming self-doubt. At every step of my journey, I never thought I could do the next “thing”. Whether it was joining the Navy, getting out of the navy, training clients, stepping on stage in a bikini in front of people, let alone winning a show; I always thought I was incapable or undeserving. But what did push me to eventually achieve those things was this little voice in my head that said, “just try”.


San Diego, CA, USA

Personal Trainer, Content Creator, Model

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I am a lifelong learner and it reflects in my training and coaching methods. The base of my coaching methods comes from NASM but I also use techniques that I have learned from all my phases of life. As a soccer athlete, military service member and competitive bodybuilder, I use everything that I have learned along my journey to train my clients because it ALL works. I love the old-school bodybuilding training methods of Milos Sarcev, Dorian Yates and Arnold Schwarzenegger but I also love incorporating SAQ drills and plyometrics into my clients’ programming (depending on their goals of course) because I believe everyone is an athlete and the more athletic one can be in any facet only benefits them and their functionality throughout life.

Training Plan:

  • Monday: Shoulders/ Back / Abs
  • Tuesday: Back/ Shoulders / Calves
  • Wednesday: Legs–Glutes & Hamstrings focused
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Total Upper Body / Calves / Abs
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Legs – Quad focused

Nutritional Plan:
M1: 1+1/2 cup egg whites, 3/4 cup oats, 1 cup greens

M2: 5oz cooked chicken breast, 1 cup greens, 3/4 cup oats

M3: 5oz cooked chicken breast, 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup greens

M4: post-training shake (1.5 scoop Whey Protein Isolate)

M5: 5oz cooked chicken breast, 1 cup greens

M6: 1cup egg whites, 1/2 scoop casein, 1 tbsp Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips, 1 tbsp Peanut butter, 1/2 cup oats

Photo By: Satomoto

Supplement Plan:
Multivitamins, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Fish Oil, 1st Phorm – Harmony, BCAAs during and after training, Glutamine post-training and before bed.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all natural (no sugar, no artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavors and sweeteners? And Why?
Personally, I have no preference. I don’t mind artificial flavoring or sweeteners but I have them in moderation and I always drink lots of water so my mouth doesn’t feel so saturated.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
Mental Health is extremely important. Mindset is everything. If your mind isn’t healthy, the rest of your body is not healthy. Prioritize your mental health above everything.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
Rodney, from what I’ve heard about you, you are a very intelligent, humble and hardworking guy and you’ve been with Status from its very beginning. How do you take care of your mental health in an industry that is always changing and looking for what’s new? And how do you keep Status Fitness the best magazine in the industry?

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?
I’m incredibly excited. This opportunity means the world to me. Growing up in the Chinese culture, my athleticism was never really celebrated. My dad enrolled my sister and me in sports to keep us out of gangs because of his involvement as an immigrant to the United States. As a child, I developed an unhealthy relationship with food in part because my mom overfed us chronically. Because food was scarce when she was a child, food was a symbol of love and security. I have worked very hard to overcome these issues and I don’t blame my parents at all, but I am who I am today because of their love and how I was able to navigate my cultural values with the ones I uphold for my own life. So in short, this opportunity symbolizes my family’s achievements in thriving in America.

Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
I don’t have a sponsor but my boyfriend IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Pete Ciccone coaches me. He trains me every day and does my diet. He’s not my sponsor but he means everything to me. Simply put, I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for him and for that I owe everything I do to him.

What does the future hold? 
I don’t know haha! I know for sure I will be getting another certification from NASM as a Behavior Change specialist this spring and I will be finishing my MA in Performance Psychology towards the end of 2023. I plan on competing for my IFBB Pro card in the Wellness category at NPC USA Championships in Las Vegas and training my lovely clients in between.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
NEVER count yourself out. You are so much more capable than you can imagine.

What does success look like for you?
For me, success looks like getting paid to do something you love while being unapologetically yourself and enriching the lives of those around you with your individualized gifts.

Connect with Emily: IG
Photos By: Tuan Vu

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I am a content and talent manager of Status Fitness Magazine. If you are looking to share your story or get featured in Status, contact me.

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