Last week, I mentioned in my post about Erin Leigh Patterson that I’ve met some amazing women by volunteering with She’s the First. Another one of those women definitely deserves her own blog post. Emily Cook Harris was recently named the Hottest Trainer in NYC by Racked. To earn her title, Emily competed bracket-style against 21 other male and female trainers in the city. After many rounds of voting, she was announced the winner at the beginning of September.
While Emily’s in phenomenal shape and is certainly hott, I consider her to be just as beautiful on the inside. She trains people to help them become healthier and more confident, and also donates 10% of the cost of every training session to She’s the First. She’s fiercely passionate about giving girls a quality education. Keep reading to learn more about what inspires the Hottest Trainer in NYC, as well as some of her favorite gear and healthy food picks.
How does it feel to be named the Hottest Trainer in NYC by Racked?
It feels kind of insane…Did that really happen?! The goal was never to be “hott” – I just want to be healthy, strong, and feel confident in my skin. And I work at it daily! But if someone wants to give me a really awesome title for working hard and helping others be their best, then that’s pretty amazing and I will graciously accept.
What inspired you to become a trainer? Why is health and fitness so important to you?
I’ve always loved being active. I’ve been dancing since I could walk, and I felt the positive effects of movement, which led me to a degree in Kinesiology. I knew I wanted to share my love of movement, educate others on health and fitness, and motivate them to take ownership over their health and their lives. Personal training was the perfect blend of all those passions.
Your physical self is how you greet the world – the foundation of everything in your life. So when you start putting your health and fitness first, prioritizing workouts and eating more nutritious foods, you will get stronger and see your physical, mental, and emotional states change for the better. It all starts with having a healthy relationship with your body and the positive effects will ripple out to other areas of your life. I’ve seen it firsthand with my Empowered clients, and it inspires me to help more people have the same experience.
How would you say your approach as a trainer differs from other trainers? What is the experience of taking one of your sessions like?
I look at the bigger picture and incorporate all the components of healthy living. It’s not as simple as designing a workout program. That’s definitely a huge component, but I believe a good trainer is part workout coach, part food coach, and part life coach. I encourage my clients to work hard and really push their limits, to be their best in our workout sessions but also in life! I want them to follow their passions and believe in themselves, knowing they can accomplish ANYTHING when they commit their heart and mind to the goal.
The EMpowered training sessions are fun! We maximize our time and work HARD, training both the cardiovascular and muscular systems, but that doesn’t mean we can’t smile and have a good time while we do it. I’m a fan of high intensity interval training and basic functional movements (squats, pushups, planks, etc.) because when done well, these are some incredibly powerful tools for changing your body.
Why did you decide to donate 10% of every session fee to She’s the First?
I wanted my job to be more than just a job. I wanted it to be something of significance that could truly change people’s lives for the better, both here in NYC and around the world. So I combined my skills as a trainer and my passion for wanting to make a difference, and the EMpowered 10% mission was born.
Every training session has more meaning because I am not only helping the person right in front of me, empowering them to be their healthiest self, but also empowering a girl around the world with the gift of education. I was very fortunate to have received a great education, however there are many girls around the world that do not have this same opportunity. And I want to do my part to change that. EMpowered is currently sponsoring 3 scholars in Tanzania, and they will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. Education is empowerment and I love being able to pay it forward to both my clients and our scholars.
Current pair of tennis shoes: I rotate through a collection of neon Nike shoes. Got to coordinate with my workout gear!
Favorite pair of shorts, crops, or pants: Nike Pro capris. I love how soft they are, and I feel motivated to workout and kick ass just by putting them on.
Favorite type of fitness class: High intensity athletic or dance cardio! I love taking class at The Fhitting Room and 305 Fitness. I also teach an EMpowered small group training class on Saturday mornings where we incorporate high intensity strength & cardio intervals with great music for a fun and sweaty time.
Perfect chopped salad: Spinach lettuce, tuna, edamame, red & green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, balsamic vinegar.
Perfect pressed juice or smoothie: Blueprint green juice. Awesome breakfast or snack.
Favorite “cheat” snack: Something sweet. I just went to Babycakes NYC for the first time, and it’s a good thing I don’t live nearby because the vegan cupcakes are incredible! But the occasional splurge keeps you sane.
Top three power songs to train to: Anything Beyonce. LOVE HER.
All Photography by Driely Schwartz