Want to create your inner athlete? Emily Fraser, Rye High School class of 2007, is ready to take you there.
By Georgetta L. Morque
Want to create your inner athlete? Emily Fraser, Rye High School class of 2007, is ready to take you there. Many will remember Fraser as a top-ranked junior tennis player and a Garnets’ standout, along with her sister, Eliza. After a stint on the pro circuit, followed by an award-winning tennis career at the University of Virginia, Fraser is now the assistant coach of the University of Pittsburgh’s women’s team. She’s also the owner and founder of a new company, Steel Theory Fitness.
Following her longtime passion for tennis, fitness, and healthy living, Fraser earned her degree in sports medicine, graduating from UVA in 2012 as Female Athlete of the Year. She became certified as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). “I wanted to expand my knowledge and I wanted new ideas,” said Fraser.
Steel Theory Fitness, which she launched December 4, is an online training program that offers four-week workout sessions with photos and instruction. There are different levels, as well as tennis- specific workouts. Those who purchase a package have access to Fraser for the four weeks. The name of the company reflects the area – Steel for Pittsburgh. Theory encompasses a lifestyle and a commitment to working out, she explained.
Her program is designed for those who want to be better athletes by helping them become faster and stronger. Yet all the workouts are geared toward functionality or functional movement, Fraser explained. Her focus on functional fitness is aimed at helping people move more efficiently in daily life. The workouts involve both the upper and lower body together — full body — and can be performed at home or in a gym. Fraser wants the program to be inclusive and available to those who don’t have a gym membership. Each workout package also includes an optional nutritional supplement portion.
At the same time, Fraser is enjoying working with the Pitt women’s tennis team, which transitioned to the ACC, Atlantic Coast Conference, in 2013. A role model for the team, Fraser was a three-year member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll while at UVA and was on the All-ACC Academic Team twice. She was also the ITA Atlantic Region Senior Player of the Year and earned the Atlantic Region Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award. Combine that with her stellar record — 4th all-time in career singles wins (102), 3rd all-time in career doubles wins (119), and 3rd all-time in combined victories (221) — and it’s little wonder why she was chosen for the job.
Growing up in Rye, Fraser was dedicated to taking her tennis to higher levels and with hard work and training, she succeeded, eventually competing on the USTA Pro Circuit and the ITF Circuit for a year before joining one of the top college programs in the country. “I grew a lot and visited a ton of places,” reflected Fraser on her experience playing pro. But in the end, it was not the lifestyle she wanted.
Afterwards, she grew to love the college tennis team environment. Throughout her journey, her biggest influence was her mother, Anne, a tennis player and coach, who Fraser said has pushed and supported her in her tennis and professional career. “I couldn’t ask for a better example of how to live healthfully and meaningfully.”
Fraser loves living in Pittsburgh, which she calls the perfect city because of its small size, great vibe, and many attractions. “There’s something for everyone.” In the future, she would like to expand her business and eventually have her own facility. (To learn more, visit www.steeltheory.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram for valuable health and fitness tips.)