Berry obtains physical, mental strength via weight training
Twenty-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Addison Berry curls weight at the Aerofit Healthclub in Tahlequah. It is part of her workout regimen since beginning weight training three years ago as a high school senior. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Addison Berry squats with a dumbbell at the Aerofit Healthclub in Tahlequah. In addition to lifting weights, she counts macros as part of her diet to maintain the ability to produce muscle mass and definition in her workout routine. Macronutrients are the building blocks of nutrition. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – After spending much of her life in sports, 20-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Addison Berry began weight training three years ago as a high school senior, and she said it has transformed her physically and mentally.
At least five days a week she goes to the gym at 6:30 a.m. and eats in a way that contributes to her lifestyle.
“I played sports my whole life and been involved in that aspect of exercise. But I didn’t start weight training until about three years ago when I was a senior in high school. My boyfriend at the time got involved in it, and I’m really competitive so I wanted to try it too,” Berry said.
She said since beginning weight training, she’s noticed a difference in being physically stronger and has hit personal records. Her routines include squats, deadlifts, bench press, glute bridges, pull-ups and overhead press.
“I’ve gotten much stronger. Like playing soccer in high school, we didn’t focus on strength. It was more cardio and just skill sets,” she said. “I just lift weights and I love it. Being a girl and being able to be strong, it’s really cool to me. Just the other day I hit a new PR (personal record) on bench. I got 145 pounds. That was super exciting.”
She said she’s also gained more muscle mass and definition in her appearance. “Last summer, I lived in Alaska for two months and I didn’t care. I gained a lot of weight and I’ve lost 10 pounds since then. That was a big transformation for me. But really the big thing for me was adding the muscle mass and having definition in my body and being able to see muscles and stuff, which I like for myself.”
Berry said her training has also given her more confidence. “Just a few months ago I never thought I would be able to get 145 on bench. But now I have confidence I’m strong, and I can do things if I work towards them. It’s taught me a lot of patience, that it’s not easy and it takes a long time to get really good results.”
Berry has also learned how to eat that works for her routine. Her previous eating habits contained little to no nutrition.
“All day I would eat a bag of chips and a thing of ramen noodles and that would be my meal. It was horrible food with no nutrition and it was barely any food at all,” she said. “Now, I’ve learned to count macros, which is carbs, fats and proteins, and just know my body and what it needs every single day.”
She said her meals contain plenty of protein from protein coffee to chicken or some kind of meat for each meal.
Berry said one thing that holds her back, which she is learning to be patient with, is dealing with back pain from scoliosis and how to accommodate it.
“I have a lot of back pain so that holds me back, so it’s slow. So I have those goals to continue to get stronger even though it’s going to have to be a lot slower than I want it to be. So to stay patient is a goal because I try to jump ahead sometimes,” she said.
She said although it was intimidating when she started lifting, sometimes being the only female in the room, she pushed forward and is now more comfortable with training and eating healthy.
“I was not very confident in what I was doing, and it was super intimidating going down there and it having just be all men and they look like they know what they’re doing. Now I just come in here and do my thing. One, I don’t care anymore what people think. Two, I feel like I do have a little bit of knowledge,” she said.