Why I love to . . . lift weights
‘I love working different parts of my body in different ways’
Cara Christie in the gym
My fitness journey started with aerial performance training. I didn’t enjoy the gym but hopping on to a Lyra or trapeze meant I was having fun and working out how to move my body while upside down. As an actor, it was another skill to add to my CV and a method of performance that shows strength and flexibility. I trained twice a week for two years but it took its toll on my shoulder, and rotator cuff issues meant I had to give it up.
I went to a physio and he recommended focusing on “pull” exercises to build the strength in my back. I started going to boot camp-style classes where each session was different, mixing up various ways of using weights and techniques.
The more I got into it, the more I began to read and research online about different methods of weight training. I asked the boot camp trainer about deadlifts, something I hadn’t tried before. I worked with him as a personal trainer where he started me on lower weights to hone my technique and then moved me up as the strength grew.
Now, I go to the gym four times a week, twice to the boot camp classes and twice by myself. I love working different parts of my body in different ways. I start with compound movements like squats or deadlifts, then move on to accessory work using dumbbells and the machines. My shoulder is now pain-free so I can complete any exercise.
My posture has improved dramatically since I started weight training. When I go into the rehearsal room for a show, I am fit and ready for whatever movement or choreography is thrown at me. If you’re not sure where to start, my advice would be to sign up for classes to see how exercises are performed. And never be afraid to ask for help with your technique.