Westmont native Christine Connors fell in love with fitness at an early age.
At Westmont Hilltop High School, Connors played multiple sports and, in 2012, she earned the District 6 track and field title for pole vaulting.
It was during this time that Connors started noticing she was working out more than her other teammates and began to push her limits continually at the gym.
“I just really got into that atmosphere” of fitness, Connors said.
For the past three years, Connors, now 23, has been a personal trainer and currently has 15 clients at Richland Fitness.
About two years ago, she discovered another passion: Olympic weightlifting.
In January, Connors qualified in her weight division for university nationals at a USA Weightlifting meet in Pittsburgh, where she took first place in the novice division in 2015.
Connors has spent hours perfecting her form of the sport’s traditional moves: clean and jerk, snatch and squat.
“It’s different than what you see in a normal gym,” she said. “It’s a fast and powerful movement.”
She’s also spent time working on cross training, which challenges the entire body with changing workouts like swimming, running, biking and lifting.
In February, Connors had to undergo shoulder surgery and scheduled it quickly to allow proper time for recovery without letting up on her goals.
Eventually, she’d like to make the national team and shatter state records in her weightlifting class, which is 156 pounds for a snatch and 209 pounds for the clean and jerk.
Just last week, Connors was back to pushing up 200 pounds in the clean and jerk move.
“I’m getting stronger every week,” she said, and hopes to compete in a meet next month.
On the personal training side of things, Connor said she loves coaching and seeing people reach and surpass their own goals.
“If I can help someone better themselves, I feel like I’ve done my job,” she said. “I push people to where they think they have to stop.”
From nutrition, form and overall guidance, Connors said she’s seen clients reach that breaking point, go past it “and see what they can actually do.”
She recommends everyone to work with a good personal trainer at least once in their lives to learn something different about the fitness lifestyle.
Especially for other females interested in setting their own fitness goals, Connors said the benefits of lifting are nearly endless – it benefits other muscles and improves overall movement, stamina and strength.
“Don’t be afraid to pick up a barbell,” she said. “Don’t be scared by the weight room.”
For more information about Connor’s weightlifting accomplishments or to contact her for personal training, visit www.dynamictrainingchristine.com.