An Interview with Insta influencer, Bang Energy model, and studying physical therapist, Jade McFarland
Interview by Jeremy Lux, article by Eric Gasa
If anything could be said about Jade McFarland it’s that she always has something on the horizon. When she’s not working on her physical therapy doctorate at Missouri State University, McFarland’s crisscrossing the coasts and Midwest as a model for Bang Energy. All the while pushing her body at the gym and promoting her personal brand to her 21,000 Instagram followers.
At 23 years-old, McFarland is the fitness influencer that can do it all; work, study, and play with a smile. For Life in Motion, Jeremy Lux chats with Jade about the secret behind staying ahead of life’s rushes, her passion for physical therapy, and how she got into fitness modeling.
Before the internet influencing and fitness savvy, McFarland grew up in the small town of Petersburg, IL population 2000. The daughter of a bodybuilder, the gym had always been a second home for McFarland, in fact the McFarlands had a personal one in the basement.
“Growing up, fitness was normal to me,” she says, “I thought it was a part of everybody’s life.”
A typical family outing for McFarland would be a trip to the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH with her dad (and yes, that’s Arnold as in Schwarzenegger). At 12-years-old, McFarland was in awe of the women fitness models at the expo.
“The girls I saw there were like role models to me. They were all put together, took care of themselves, and were all very pretty,” says McFarland.
For the young McFarland they were the perfect combination of beauty and strength. McFarland returned to the Arnold Classic year after year in her teens. When she turned 18, she ran into Bang’s CEO at the event who asked her to apply as a model for his company. McFarland, unknowing of who just offered her a position, happily applied.
“So, I got the info and my dad’s like ‘Do you know who that was?’ and I’m like ‘No?’ That’s the CEO of the entire company…and he just asked me to apply,” says McFarland.
Six months later McFarland received her contract and began her career with Bang. In the five years she’s been with the energy drink company, McFarland has enjoyed watching Bang grow from a startup to a thriving, fitness-recognized brand.
“They’re like a second family to me,” she says, “They’ve helped me through so much and I believe they’re one of the reasons why I’ve gotten so far in life.”
But McFarland admits she had some growing pains with the routine at first. She says at 19 she really didn’t know a lot about nutrition. McFarland was still new to college at the time and figuring out what it was like not to live at home, she also discovered McDonalds for the first time. But as with any goal or passion, these things take discipline. After cracking down on her routine and diet, McFarland placed top 10 at nationals and went pro in another organization.
“Once you make a goal it just motivates you to do the next one,” she says.
Today, McFarland is very knowledgeable on her macros, diet and exercise. When she prepares for a show, she tightens her regimen appropriately three months out: 20 mins of cardio and lifting each day with six meals a day, intuitive eating, and absolutely no processed foods, whole nutrition only.
Shows slightly resemble a pageant but with more muscles; spray tans, makeup, another spray tan, and then judges on presentation, a bikini contests, spectators watching everywhere. If McFarland lands a trophy she likes to celebrate with burger.
So far, contests have taken McFarland to Michigan, Chicago, New Jersey, Miami, and New York City. In one ordeal she landed in Manhattan at 1 am and went to her hotel at 3 am only to compete for her show in the morning at 8. McFarland spent 36 hours in New York before having to board another plane the next morning at 6 am for another contest in Miami. Looking back, McFarland calls it one of the best experiences she’s ever had. The girl likes to rise to the occasion.
McFarland also holds the fitness expo community close to her heart. Over the years she’s made friends from all over the country.
“You see the same people coming to the expo and get to know random people from the city and you find them on Instagram and keep in contact with them…” says McFarland, “Everyone is so true and genuine that whenever you go back to the whatever expo you’re at, it’s like you never left. You’re back with your best friends.”
But beyond the contests, friends, and sponsors, at McFarland’s core is a passion for mind, body, and selflessness. McFarland explains how she’s always wanted to work with fitness as a career, but it took her some time to realize what outlet fit her best. When she speaks about physical therapy McFarland is impassioned and genuine.
“Some people lose the ability to walk and think ‘I’m never going to walk again’…But that’s what I am passionate about. I like getting them back on their feet.”
Between all the traveling, studying, and exercise McFarland manages to keep her head on straight. The key to her success? Time management she says. McFarland recommends setting time for everything in the day, from chores, work outs, to going out with friends. Schedule is paramount to a routine but commitment even more so. But even when the day flies off the rails make sure to keep your wits.
“Just not thinking too much about the future because you can’t forget to live for today…if you want it bad enough, you’ll make it work.”
McFarland ends the interview on a positive note. On goals she says, “Don’t tell yourself that you can’t do something. The sky is the limit. Basically, don’t tell yourself you can’t do something because you are possible of everything.”
Whether in a model tan and bikini or tennis shoes and scrubs, McFarland is still the same girl at the end of the day. Passionate for her fitness and the health of others.
To follow Jade McFarland’s fitness journey and work outs, check her out on Instagram @jadafox4 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or any positive vibes. To hear the full recording of Jade’s interview with Jeremy Lux be sure to check out the Life in Motion podcast on iTunes.