Best Lifter spotlight from the USPC Hickory Classic on June 19, 2021.
Top OVERALL Wilks 2020 (again going to a female!)...
Name, age & how long have you been Powerlifting?
Amanda Smith, 21, 3 years
Best lifts in competition?
Best lifts in competition: squat-166kg bench-95kg deadlift-196kg
Athletic background? What you did before powerlifting?
Before powerlifting I played basketball and volleyball in high school until my senior year and then I lifted weights to stay healthy before actually becoming a powerlifter.
I chose powerlifting because it was something that I enjoyed doing and my competition would always be myself. I like that I was just me and the weight and nothing else stopping me. I love the mental challenge it brings and testing those boundaries that you’ve never experienced before. Plus I LOVE the community that powerlifting has.
Tell me something about your gym/team.
My team consists of a group of guys that lift a lot heavier than I do but have pushed me and motivated me to fight for what I want. We all met at liberty university through our powerlifting club and all have so much fun when we lift together. They are guys that are more like family to me than just lifting partners. The most important one is my boyfriend Zach Tyree who I get to compete with (and against lol). He is my biggest motivation and coach as we have been programming and training each other. I know I can always count on him and know that he has my best interest in mind.
Something most people you train with (or those who follow you if you train alone) don't know about you?
Most people don’t know why I train powerlifting. I train powerlifting as a way to show girls, especially younger girls that it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. Strength is strength. Who cares what you look like as long as you are having fun doing it, that's all that matters.
Biggest inspiration in the sport?
My biggest inspiration in this sport is one of our training partners named Duncan Hundley. He is the one that got me into powerlifting and is the most motivational person I know. He is the biggest example of fighting for what you want throughout his career.
What's your favorite lift? Least favorite lift?
My favorite lift is deadlift and my least favorite is well I don’t have one lol.
Biggest challenge in your training?
My biggest challenge in training is overthinking and mentally getting to where I need to be. I have to be happy and laughing keeping my mind off of the lift to do well and I think ever since I have started dating Zach I have been able to get over that slowly.
Ideal training atmosphere? Focused and dialed in or noisy and high
For me the ideal training atmosphere is where everyone is encouraging and positive. Personally I like to be in a happy state of mind not focusing on the specifics of things. I like a high energy and noisy environment but not to the point where I can't focus on anything. I'm the type of person who listens to country music while lifting if that tells you anything lol!
Training plan. Do your own programming or have a coach?
I am currently programming myself with the assistance of Zach as we like to bounce ideas off of each other. I plan to start a strength block coming up in the next two weeks and then start meet prep 8 weeks after that so that we can peak correctly coming into the October meet.
Social media. Positives and negatives
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I like that my family and friends can stay in touch and keep up with my competitions but I hate the way that people can be and how it makes you feel like you have to live up to everyone else's expectations.
Diet you follow? Supplements?
I currently don't follow a specific diet however, I can't eat much gluten, sugar, and dairy as I tend to have stomach problems when I do. I typically eat meat and vegetables on a daily basis and I also eat the same thing almost everyday throughout the week. On the weekends I don't have many restrictions so that I can enjoy my time out especially when I am with friends. I do think that a diet is important if you want to gain strength and still maintain a certain weight. If you try to cut wait at a fast pace a day or two before the competition then it can be difficult to not let it affect your strength during the meet.
Biggest accomplishment in your powerlifting career?
My biggest accomplishment in my career was pulling 405 for the first time right before COVID hit at age 19.
What's one of your non-powerlifting goals?
One of my non-powerlifting goals is to become a high school strength and conditioning coach this fall and be able to work with the football team of that school.
Finally is there anyone you would like to acknowledge or give a shout
out to (team, coach, spouse, sponsors)?
I would like to shout out to my gyms back home Kinetix Health Club and Legendary Strength Gym. I would also like to shout out to my friends and family who are always there to support me, the Liberty Powerlifting team, my professors that taught me everything I know (Justin Kilian and Jessi Glauser), and last but not least my coach and boyfriend Zach Tyree.