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A 2007 Pre-Europa Interview With Amanda Harris.

It is amazing to think that someone as young as yourself could be an 8-time World Female Powerlifting Champion! Learn more about this young up and coming star as she talks about prep for the Europa and more!

[ Matt Weik ] First off, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. I know your training is very intense and you are getting ready for the 2007 Europa coming up very soon so your days are pretty full.

It is amazing to think that someone as young as yourself could be an 8-time World Female Powerlifting Champion! I'm amazed at everything you have accomplished. Could you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself–how you got into the sport of powerlifting, how old you were when you started, your background in the sport, etc.?

    [ AH ] Hi Matt! Thanks for the interview!!! A little about me (hmmm) Well I love Powerlifting (LOL). I was 8 years old when I got started in lifting weights. I grew up in the gym with my dad and my older brother. I use to go to Power House Gym owned by Anthony Clark and watch my Dad and Anthony and a bunch of other really big guys lift some really big weight.

    My brother also lifted weights and was an AAU National Champion and a 2X Jr. Olympic Gold Medalist. I wanted to be like my brother so bad and I would always bug my dad to let me lift weights. He finally gave in when I was 8 years old.

    For my birthday he bought me a Jr. Bar that weighed 15lbs and that is what I learned to bench, squat and deadlift with. I had done thousands of push-ups and sit-ups all through my childhood so I had good core strength to start with.

    My dad worked with me for almost a full year with proper technique before I was allowed to compete. My first meet I was 9 years old and I set a World Record with my very first lift ever on the Platform. I was 9 years old and I weighed 68lbs and I did a squat of 118lbs for an APA-WPA World Record. That was 76 meets ago now, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

    Outside of Powerlifting I am home schooled and I love that! I like hanging out with my friends, going to the movies or the mall. I have two really cool dogs, a Chocolate Lab (Elvis) and a new addition to the family, Duke; he is a 9 week old Boxer.

    I love my family and spend a lot of time with them. I have some pretty cool grandparents too and we just moved back to my dad's hometown so I get to see them all the time now. They actually gave me a summer job mowing yards for them so now I have money for the mall (WOO-HOO). I just turned 16 so now I am about to start Drivers Education so look out everybody (LOL).

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Amanda Harris.

[ MW ] Your nickname is "Barbie Barbell". Can you fill us in on how that name came about and who came up with it?

    [ AH ] OK so now everyone will know how I got my name. Well as all young lifters do, I had people I admired in the sport. Kara Bohigian is one of the top women Powerlifters in the world and she is a bench-press specialist so her nickname was Bench-Press Barbie. She is very pretty and she always looks great when she lifts. Her hair is up in tails and her make-up is perfect she looks awesome when she lifts so I decided to be like her a little and came up with the name Barbie Barbell.

    I do my best to look good all the time. You will not catch me in public without my hair and face done and I strive to be in the best of shape all the time. If I'm gonna be Barbie Barbell I'm gonna act like her and maintain my shape year round.

[ MW ] Can you fill us in on what your weight is around right now and what class you will be competing in for the 2007 Europa?

    [ AH ] Just recently as in 2 days ago I lifted in the AAU National Championships in the 114lb or 52kg weight class. I won the teen 16-17 114lb division and the Women's Open class 144lb division and I was best female lifter of the meet. That will most likely be the last meet at 114lbs.

    My natural weight is around 117lbs so I will lift in the 123lb or the 56KG weight class for the remainder of this year. As for the Europa I will lift in the 123lb weight class in the women's open class as most likely in the teen division as well. I will always lift in my age group because I want all the World Records in my groups as I get older and I want the Open records as young as I can get them.

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Barbie Barbell.

[ MW ] Obviously you are lifting weights that most people will never touch in their lifetime... do you workout in a gym or do you have your own training facility?

    [ AH ] I have a really nice gym at home and train there 95% of the time. We have the equipment that is made for Powerlifters like the Texas Power Bar and a deadlift bar. We have an old fashion Power-rack and we have a competition bench.

    My dad allows chalk and loud music when we train and yes I can even grunt and scream if I feel like it. In some gyms that can get you thrown out now. (LOL) We also have a Lat Pull and low row machine, a donkey calf machine, a Pendulum Squat Machine, dumbbells up to 100lbs and an inversion table to help keep my spine straight. On rare occasions we will go to the gyms but it is only for auxiliary work.

[ MW ] Can you fill us in on what your lifts are around right now before the Europa?

    [ AH ] Well I do not want to jinx myself as I have been training in single ply IPF approved gear for the last 10 weeks and have not even had my hard core gear on in a while so I will be guessing as to where my lifts are right now.

    I am thinking I will squat between 315 and 360lbs and my bench-press should be close if not just above 200lbs and my deadlift between 275 and 300lbs. I also have a leg injury from this past weekends meet so that is really a day by day call by my dad not me. If he thinks I will reinjure it he will not let me lift. I do feel confident that I will be OK and good to go for the big show!

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I Squat Between 315 And 360 Lbs.

[ MW ] What would you consider your best lift?

    [ AH ] My squat use to be my best lift but my bench-press is coming on strong right now. I have posted 187.6 lbs twice in a meet now and I just missed locking out 205lbs at a local APF meet in Houston back in May. I am in the top 5 women's open lifters in the bench press and number one in the teen divisions right now.

    My favorite lift is still the squat and I guess it always will be. There are not many people that like to squat anymore I think I am old school and you can just call me a full meet girl. If ya don't squat you aint squat. (LOL)

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My Favorite Lift Is Still The Squat.

[ MW ] What would you consider your worst lift that you need to work on?

    [ AH ] I never look at a lift as my worst lift I do not allow negative thoughts like that into my lifting. I would like for my deadlift to be better but so far I have not been beaten because of a weak lift. I want all of my lifts to continue to increase and I have some big goals before I am done as a teenager. I will squat 600lbs, bench 300lbs and pull 500lbs by the time I am 19 at a body weight of less than 140lbs... oh, yes and 100% drug free.

[ MW ] With the weights that you use, have you ever had any severe injuries? I know you train with your father, and he is there for you when you train and spots you on all your heavy lifts.

    [ AH ] No my dad has always prevented me from getting hurt. His focus in the gym is my safety I have lost a few squats and he always catches me and the weight and puts us both back in the rack. (LOL) I have never been hurt in the gym.

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I Have Never Been Hurt In The Gym.

[ MW ] I heard this past weekend that you were injured during warm-ups for the competition, yet you still broke records. Can you fill us in on how you are doing?

    [ AH ] I did not know about my injury until today. I had MRI's done today and there is no tear in the muscle. I have a pinched nerve in the lateral head of my Quad and there is some inflammation but there is no serious injury.

    I will be in therapy the rest of this week and thru wed of next week before I go to AWPC Worlds in Chicago. The leg hurts but the doctor said I was cleared to lift next week! I start with therapy in the morning. I am OK and will be back on the Platform for AWPC Worlds and then the Europa!!

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Amanda Harris, AKA Barbie Barbell.

[ MW ] Ouch. That must have hurt! I wish you a quick recovery and the best of luck at the Europa.

With the Europa coming up, what does your training routine look like? Are you keeping the same workout all the way up to the competition or do you change it up closer to the contest?

    [ AH ] Well I train a little differently than most because I compete so much. I just did a full meet with AAU and I had a 10 week cycle in single-ply gear for that meet, if the leg injury I sustained this past weekend is not serious I will squat once on Thursday or Friday 8 to 9 days out for my only training in my Canvas squat suit.

    I will only do about 5 sets and all will be single rep sets with close to my max limits on each lift. I will also do a couple of static holds at about 125% of my 1 rep max to overload my central nervous system to prepare my mind and body for the big meet.

Weight Lifted Reps
1 RM
125% 1 RM

[ MW ] What does your diet look like year round? Do you change anything up throughout the year or keep things pretty much the same?

    [ AH ] I have a VERY special diet that I follow 95% of the year. I can not go into details about it right now but you will be able to read about my diet in my soon to be published book. I will say this I eat 100% organic and I separate my carbs and proteins, I never eat them together. There is a very special reason and most people do not even know about it so to find the secret you will need to get my book.

[ MW ] So you mentioned that you are home-schooled. How does that work out for you and how does that affect your training?

    [ AH ] I love home schooling I am not learning all the negative things that are taught in public schools and my education is directed in a way that I learn exactly what I want to aid me in becoming a business owner and be able to think outside of the box.

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I Want To Become A Business Owner.

[ MW ] I know you have a HUGE fan base, but do you have friends/family that travel to different shows with you to cheer you on and support you?

    [ AH ] My parents are my biggest fans and there are a few people that stay in close touch but my meets are all over the country and some even out of the country so my friends do not get to see me lift in person much.

    My dad posts most of my lifts on Youtube just do a search on for Barbie Barbell I think there are 10-15 videos on there. I have a MySpace web site and I have many great friends and fans there. I have videos and allot of pictures there.

    I get about 300 hits a day on that site it is; My personal web page though is there I have hundreds of pictures and a complete bio on me. I love the attention I get on the MySpace and at the events I attend it feels great to have people that I have never met come up and thank me for being their inspiration to get back into the gym or to actually start training for the first time.

    I love having a positive effect on people. My dream is to help people understand how important weight training is to maintain your health on a large scale. I want my own TV Fitness Show but I want to do it different that all the rest I will take my show on the road and get people involved. It will be like a daytime talk show but for fitness and I want the people that want help with me on the show.

[ MW ] Are there any people that you would like to thank before we part?

    [ AH ] for their continued interest in me!!! Inzer Advance Designs for all their support, Dr. Edward Group and his staff for their support, my grandparents for their new support (I love y'all).

    All my friends on MySpace for all the positive messages I get everyday! Mr. Lorimer and Ms. Suzanne Irwin at the Arnold Sports Festival and especially my mom and dad for all their hard work to help me succeed in reaching my dreams and goals.

Mark & Amanda Harris Behind The Scenes
At The 2007 Arnold.

Download: WMV

    Also I want to thank all the Powerlifting Federations that I lift in AAU, APF, AAPF, IPA, USPF, APA, AWPC, WPC, WABDL and USAPL. Without all these federations and the people that run them powerlifting would not exist.

[ MW ] Thank you for taking the time for this interview, I really appreciate it. I wish you the best of luck at the 2007 Europa. I have no doubt that you will come out on top. Good luck!

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