Body Positive Trainer Natalie Carey Wants Everyone to Lift Weights

Natalie Carey has zero patience for body shaming in the fitness industry. "Fitness pros need to stop buying into the hype of the fitness industry that exercise exists as a punishment, or as a way to achieve a perfect body," she says. "Different bodies are not bad. If we learn to accept that people look differently, and stop labeling food as good or bad, we as an industry will start to make really positive changes for the world."

Carey has been a long time dancer and athlete, but she spent her teens and 20s struggling with weight. "When I began working as a personal trainer, I realized I wasn't alone in this struggle. Every day, I heard a new story of how negative body image held someone back from being their greatest self and leading their best life."

As a trainer, artistic pole dancing competitor, and newly-minted author, Carey is doing her part to help people embrace their bodies. "I love helping others feel better both mentally and physically through sharing my love of fitness and movement," she says. "I am the happiest I have ever been, and I will do anything within my power to help you achieve your fitness and health goals."

Read on to learn more about how Natalie got started in the fitness world, and what sets her apart from the crowd.

Rockyt: How did you become a trainer?

Natalie: I was helping my friends and family to workout, and I realized it was what I woke up every morning looking forward to doing. I decided to make a career out of it! 

Rockyt: Do you have a day job or side hustle?  

Natalie: I’ve been a personal trainer full time since 2011, and I just released my first book, [Every Body Beautiful] in May, so I guess that’s my side hustle now.

Rockyt: Describe your fitness philosophy.

Natalie: I feel that fitness helps us get in touch with our bodies and to focus on our individual abilities and beauty.  I want fitness to help people recognize their value and improve their quality of life through movement.

 Photo: Billy Polson

Photo: Billy Polson

Rockyt: As a trainer, what are you known for?

Natalie: I’ve been told I’m really good at bringing out the best in people. I just really enjoy people and I see a lot of good in almost everyone. I like making people realize how amazing they are, because that’s what I see in them, and I want them to see it for themselves.  

Rockyt: How do you prepare for client sessions?

Natalie: Every 4–6 weeks, I design a new program for my clients. A lot of what I consider when I’m program designing are any weaknesses or needs I noticed in our previous program, what my client enjoys doing, and the most efficient way to get them to their goal. I always try to have an exercise they like, one they need, and one that will help prevent injury.  

Rockyt: How do you cross train?

Natalie: Weight lifting!  Everyone needs to pick up heavy things and put them down. As a runner and a competitive pole dancer, weight lifting keeps me strong, well rounded, and less prone to injury. No matter what your favorite sport or activity, every person should lift weights in some way.  

Rockyt: What are your favorite studios for cross-training?

Natalie: For pole dancing, my favorite locations are SF Pole and Dance and Poletential. I also really enjoy SoulCycle and Uforia.

Rockyt: Are you training toward a particular fitness goal right now?

Natalie: I injured my hip really badly awhile back and have been rehabbing it all year. Right now, my goal is to continue coaxing it back to being a happy functioning hip, one day at a time. Currently, run/walking a mile and making it through one pole dance class a week without reinjuring myself feel like huge accomplishments.  

Rockyt: Do you take rest days?

Natalie: Rest days are way more important than we give them credit for. Everyone, regardless of their fitness level, should take one rest day every week at the minimum. My rest days usually involve some foam rolling, but mostly just relaxing. Too many people worry they'll lose their ability by taking a day off from working out. It's actually the opposite!

Interested in training with Natalie? Check out her website! Her book, Every Body Beautiful, is available on Amazon.