How does a man prepare to wear heels all day?
Just this morning I went to Pilates – it’s all to do with core strength in preparation to wear heels and be corseted. I also train on Tuesdays, where I do weights and stuff. A show is like a marathon to me – once it starts, it’s all go, and you need that stamina to stay strong. Touch wood, I haven’t had many injuries yet. The only injury I’m dealing with at the moment is my big toe is playing up, but that’s just because of the heels.
Have you ever pulled a muscle in less-than-heroic circumstances?
All I was doing was walking down the stairs at King’s Cross and all of a sudden I went over on my ankle, for no reason. I was like, BAM, ankle’s gone.
Which excuse for not going to the gym/working out are you most ashamed of?
I’m such a creature of habit and I love routine, so I never make excuses up about training because I love it. Even when I’m exhausted I will find the energy from somewhere to go and pump weights or go to Pilates. There’s no excuse.
Have you ever ordered healthily in a restaurant but then scoffed someone’s chips?
Everyone has, haven’t they? I’ll have a healthy starter and main, but then everybody will order dessert and that’s where I cave. I’m like: “NO! I don’t want any of your chocolate soufflé!” But then when they can’t finish it, I’ll say, “OK, I might have a spoonful.”
Have you ever secretly impressed yourself with a feat of strength?
When my trainer is like “You can do it!” but I’m shouting, sweating and screaming, “I can’t!” He’ll say something mean, or take a jab at me, and then for some reason I become the Incredible Hulk and I manage to do one more set.
What’s your position on kale?
I’m a huge fan of massaging kale – it sounds weird, but tastes amazing. Have you ever done it? You get some kale and you massage it in olive oil. It softens it and it’s less crunchy, but it tastes really good.
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Is there a piece of gym equipment you can’t live without?
A spiky yellow ball for massaging muscles after the gym. If I’ve got an ache in my back or shoulder, I’ll stand against the wall and massage myself. It’s amazing for my feet, too – that’s how I’m able to walk after being in six-inch heels for so long.
What’s the most extreme thing you’ve done in the name of good health or fitness?
The London Marathon. I nearly started hallucinating. I was telling myself: “Stop running, stop running, stop running.” I think 16 to 18 miles is the darkest place – it’s where you start to talk to yourself – but then you come out of that dark patch and 21 to 26 miles is amazing.
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What’s the longest you have gone without alcohol in the name of good health?
I’m doing that now, since July last year. You can’t be in six-inch heels and be hungover. It also messes with my voice. I’m going to celebrate when I’ve finished, though. I don’t even want to know my name…
Have you ever fallen off a treadmill?
No, but I got my laces caught in one once. They came undone but I thought, “I’ve just got to finish this last bit” which was a stupid idea. I panicked and pulled the emergency stop and went, “AHHHHHH!” They had to come over and cut my laces because they were stuck in the belt.
Matt Henry is starring in Kinky Boots (opens in new tab) at The Adelphi Theatre. His new album Red Flare is available on Spotify now, and will be released everywhere on 3rd June
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