BLK BOX Emma McQuaid

An Interview With 20.1 CrossFit Games Open Winner

We sat down with Emma McQuaid, CrossFit Games and BLK BOX Athlete and winner of the 20.1 workout (with an astonishing time of 7.41) to gain some insight on the life of a full-time athlete. 

How often do you train a week now versus when you started CrossFit?

When I first started CrossFit I was training around 1-3 times a week because I was still racing quad bikes. So now, I train 5 full days a week and with two active recovery sessions alongside this.

What are your calories and macros?

I don't tend to count. Eat Naked NI  preps all my food and I work with a nutritional coach alongside this. Consistency breeds growth and they keep me on track. I don't really count as such.

Did your approach and preparation for The Open change with it being so close to The Games?

Not really, I took two to three weeks off after The Games to de-load the body and we began to train again shortly after that. Focus hasn't, and isn't really on The Open. Obviously I want to be in great shape for Filthy 150, the first Sanctioned Event of the year, so that being the main focus we obviously have to keep on top of running and all the different aspects.

What's your thoughts on the latest athletes who have been found positive after testing?

Well I guess it's great that they're getting caught. If there were no results coming back, you would start to question whether they were actually being tested. So the fact that someone inside the top 10 got caught it's great to see that CrossFit are clamping down and making sure the sport is as clean as possible.

So you obviously did pretty well in 20.1. It sounds crazy but would you consider doing it again?

Well I did have to do it again. I did it Friday and got an average time. I then completed it again on Monday and got a time of 7.57 but I annoyingly, I decided to cut my head off the video, meaning I had to do it for the third time on Monday afternoon which got my winning score of 7.41. If I had to go for the fourth time, I'm sure if I had some company, I would have a go again.

Reebok or Nike?

I am not sponsored by either, so open to both brands. I love my Nike bottoms yet obsessed with my Reebok shoes. So, open to either if they want to sponsor me! 

How much do you work on your mobility?

I work on my mobility quite a lot. My coach is James Jowsey and he's a movement specialist, amongst other things. It is a big part of my day. At least 40 to 60 minutes a day is spent working on improving my mobility. 

With a flatlining workout schedule, what is your guide for optimal recovery and mobility?

If you're talking the elite level it's one workout a week - it's not a lot in the grand scheme of things. However, if you're talking for the general public, make sure that when you hit that workout at full intensity you're taking control of your recovery. Make sure you take your shake or whatever you take as a post-workout to make sure you're fuelling for the next day if you're a stiff or tight. Maybe scheduling an extra rest day.

How long you've been doing CrossFit and where did you place in the first open?

My first Open was in 2014, I started not really long before that. I think I placed like 6500th maybe in my very first open.