Emma McQuaid has risen to the top of UK & Irish CrossFit in an extraordinarily short space of time. With just under 1 year of CrossFit training (she missed 8 month with an horrific knee injury) she has worked hard, consistently improved and found herself qualifying 7th for The Athlete Games in Manchester in January 2015, the highest placed UK & Irish athlete. Emma is only starting to see her full potential and we are only scratching the surface of what she can achieve in the sport. With high aspirations, a dedicated coaching team, loads of hard work and commitment, Emma could well be the first Individual athlete from the emerald isle to make it to the CrossFit Games in California.
What is your fitness background?
I have always been a very energetic person, not one for TV or computers, but for being outdoors and active. Since high school I had a big interest in P.E. getting an A in my GCSE, from there I wanted to do something that involved fitness so I completed a level 3 personal training course and kept myself in good shape doing regular training for my sport, quad racing, which I took very serious from the age of 6 until 23. Then I came across crossfit which I have been doing now for 18 months, during that though I had 8 months out with a bad knee injury, caused when I tried my first rugby match. I love this new sport I have found and have came on leaps and bounds since first starting and I see myself doing crossfit for many years to come.
What is your fondest ‘fit’ memory?
Winning the 2014 Titanic Games. In 2013 I entered this and didn’t do as well, so I set a goal of winning it in 2014.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has to be my rugby knee injury which resulted in a ruptured ACL, torn MCL and torn LCL. After the swelling went down I tried to train on for 1 month before my knee surgery which resulted in me destroying the cartilage in that knee. The surgery (a complete knee reconstruction) left me in a hard place, trying to push my knee on as far as I could without going to far and putting myself back, it was hard to find the limit but between myself and my physio I got there. After 4 months I was able to do a below parallel body weight squat. My knee got very sore at times but with hard work and good people helping me it’s back to 95% now.
What are your top 3 nutrition tips?
I do try and stick to a Paleo diet which Is mostly vegetables and clean meat with no bread or potatoes, I don’t religiously stick to this diet as eating really clean has led to drops in performance and sometimes getting sick.
I religiously take good quality fish oil for my Omega 3 intake, vitamin d, multi vitamins. Protein for recovery, as well as fast releasing carbs after a really hard work out when I feel drained.
What advice would you give ladies looking to start on a health & fitness journey?
Whether you are fit, unfit or a complete machine try to get into a club,sport,class etc… that you enjoy, don’t do something that you dread. Even do it with friends or your partner, set yourself targets and try and beat them whether it’s weight loss, strength or pure fitness.
What is your ultimate goal?
Be the first Irish individual to make it to the crossfit games in America, it’s a long term goal, but the short term goals are all falling into place, so I’ll just keep working hard with all my team mates and see how far I can go.