Barbell Shrugged: Behind the Camera with Charlotte Miles

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Photographer: Sweat RX
Charlotte Miles Barbell Shrugged

Charlotte Miles

Success in any field requires persistence, focus and forward thinking. There’s no better example than Charlotte Miles. 

She is one of only two women involved in the production of functional fitness podcasts. Not only that, she has utilized a wide array of skills and experiences to help craft Barbell Shrugged, one of the most successful podcasts in the world. 

Charlotte learned her skills during years of editing and filming for several top shows and production companies, including the BBC. Her latest goal is to create an entirely new kind of podcast and documentary experience. 

Sweat RX recently had a chance to sit down with the show runner to discuss her work, the mission of Barbell Shrugged, and what she’s learned during her journey.

SweatRX:What was your journey to end up here?

Charlotte Miles:I grew up in London and really my first love was dancing. I started at the age of 4 and went on to study it at University, with a degree in dance and media arts; before joining a contemporary dance company and touring nationally. After a short time performing, I discovered a passion for TV and film and decided to change careers and started from scratch as a runner in a post-production facility. I started at the bottom, making teas and coffees for the editors and running tapes around Soho; but quickly made my way up to editing everything from documentaries, to music videos and reality TV.
The best part of editing for me, is that I get to apply all of the theories of my dance background to the work I create for the screen. Editing is just choreographing movement within a frame.  The way you evoke emotion, create drama and direct your audiences eye are all the same.
Then a few years ago I got into CrossFit and weightlifting and started listening to Barbell Shrugged.  While considering crossing over [into the fitness realm], I was editing TV programs in the UK like Big Brother, Top Gear, and The Apprentice.  As a fall back strategy I retrained as a PT and CrossFit trainer. I loved coaching so much, that I decided to step away from TV for a while and delve into fitness full time. Since Shrugged combined my two passions, video and fitness I decided to contact the team and offer up my skills in exchange for an internship with them. And, well long story-shortnow Im over here working full time.

SweatRX:It sounds like a dream come true. 

CM:Its the perfect job.  I get to hang out with an amazing team of people; train hard; be super creative and hopefully put a positive message out into the world.

Filming(1)

SweatRX:  What did you bring to the show?  How did you elevate it? Dont be modest!

CM:(Laughs) Im trying to take the podcast, the video version, to another level; more to a documentary TV style work.  To tell more of a holistic story, not just straight up interviews but contextualising the subject matter that we cover.

I feel a responsibility to our audience to show and tell them more. Strength and conditioning will always be at the foundation of what we create; but if we can discuss broader issues and raise awareness about topics that can inspire our viewers to be real voices for change in their communitiesthats my ultimate goal.

SweatRX: Did you consider what it might be like working in this type of male-dominated arena?  How did you approach it?

CM: Certainly working in TV, yes.  For that, it wasnt just about being the only woman in the room, but I was also pretty young.  I was used to stepping into [an editing room] and having people ask me,Are you sure youre old enough to be in here?or something equally patronizing; but Im used to that to be honest. I have a thick skin. My mom raised me to be headstrong and follow my gut.  She was a great role model. A real lioness.  She schooled me to believe that I deserved the same opportunities as all the guys in the room around me.  So I try not to focus on being any different from the boys Im working with now.  I dont feel like I stand out or anything.
I think the really key thing that makes me feel Im not any different from the team is how they treat me.  I can step up and make sure I hold my head high, because I genuinely dont feel any different to them. I deserve to be there as much as they do. Theyre all confident, happy individuals, so theres no need to feel insecure when I come into their environment.  They dont have to be the big ballsy men or whatever.  They can just relax and be themselves.  So I think that creates an even playing field. We just have fun.
I’m not scared to ask people for opportunities; to put myself out there; ask for help or state my opinion.  And again, thats how I got the job with Barbell Shrugged.  I think if youre open to any possibility, and youre not fearful of asking questions and putting yourself out there, then the universe seems to make things happen.  I’m a big believer in that.  If you invest your energy into something, then people will mirror that back at you. My motto is; be bold, be brave.

 We can’t wait to see all the new Barbell Shrugged has planned for in 2016!  For updates, check them out here.

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