There are those who love to exercise and stay physically fit, and then there are those who live and breathe fitness, day in and day out. Emily Loogman definitely falls into the latter category.

To say she was raised on athletics and movement would be an understatement. When she wasn’t participating in school sports such as swim team, track and field, volleyball, and basketball, she’d be on bike rides or runs, or helping clean horse corrals or cut down trees. Growing up in a small town in California, Emily’s childhood was rooted in adventure. As a child, she and her sister were encouraged to explore boundaries and learn to become fearless, whether it was scrambling up steep rock faces that backed a high mountain lake or jumping from high rocks into watering holes. “Some called it irresponsible parenting, but it made me who I am today—athletic, fearless, determined, and never one to back down from a challenge.”

In fact, Emily thrives on facing challenges head on. While studying nursing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, she simultaneously ended her track career as a two-time All American; once in heptathalon, and again in the 800 m relay. She was also voted MVP in her senior year and made it onto the top 10 record board for the 400 m hurdles. But when she dreaded graduation because it meant finding a job in her field, she knew nursing wasn’t really for her.  “I now understood that fitness wasn’t just something I loved to do—it was embedded into the very fiber of my being.”

Emily and her husband, Holden, live for the thrill of adventure. 

Today, just like in her youth, Emily’s world revolves around fitness. She currently trains in CrossFit, which she discovered thanks to her husband, Holden, a CrossFit Games athlete and coach. In 2019, she competed in her first competition and was instantly hooked. “In CrossFit, there’s always something to improve on, and I know that my weaknesses will one day become strengths. It’s a never-ending cycle of improving and giving your body a new stimulus to adapt to.”

Recently, Emily took on the role as Community Manager with NOBULL, an athletic apparel company she had modelled for in the past. She heads up free health and fitness events in San Diego that encourage participants to expand their perception of fitness and embrace the great outdoors with activities such as underwater fitness, paddleboarding, and rock climbing. “As someone with an intuitive and creative side, I love creating in a way I see fit, and I’m grateful that NOBULL has given me the reins and trust to establish what I envision.”

6 Ways She Stays at the Top of Her Game:

1. She does what works for HER.

“I don’t believe there is one ‘right’ program. The best program to follow is one that’s consistent and surrounds you with people who are better and push you to be better. My current program comes from CrossFit Invictus here in San Diego, and consists of endurance-based training, strength, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, HIIT, and bodybuilding.”

The pair never misses an opportunity to challenge one another. 

2. She fuels before every workout.

“It’s very important for me to have eaten a full meal at least an hour or two before I train. If it’s been longer than two hours, I will typically eat a small snack before I start my workout. Usually some sort of quick carb-source like an apple or banana. Sometimes if I can feel my blood sugar getting low while I’m lifting, I will even eat a small snack during my session, usually a quick source of carbs as well.”

3. Her post-workout meal consists of carbs and protein.

“I do my best to get in a fairly big meal within an hour of working out. My meal will typically consist of 50 g of some type of carbohydrate, 25 g of protein, and minimal fat post-workout. It’s so important to properly refuel your body after it has endured stressful stimulus and has depleted its glycogen stores.”

4. Her mental strength is an asset.

“Adrenaline fuels my drive. I love to do the things that make you feel like you’ve reached your wits end, or like your belly is dropping to the floor. My mind has always been my biggest asset in athletics, not raw talent, and I’m blessed to tackle things with the willpower I’ve been given.”

5. Recovery work is a crucial part of her routine.

“I used to never take rest days because I thought that I would be losing out on progress. However, it is quite the opposite. If you don’t allow your body to recover, you’re just spinning your wheels and are more prone to injury. I take at least one complete rest day now, and one active recovery day. Your body cannot build muscle and recover if it is constantly under stress and tension.”

Emily's family encouraged her to embrace the great outdoors and become courageous.

6. Her secret to success is sleep.

“I believe that quality sleep is the key and underlying factor to all things health and fitness. If your sleep struggles, so will everything else. Set your life up to prioritize the basics.  I’ve learned this the hard way from my personal experience of getting minimal sleep during my college years as a nursing student and running track and field. Looking back, I wish I would have understood the importance of such simple and basic needs to improve my performance.”

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