Athlete Spotlight: Amanda, the Unassuming Ironmaiden

Meet Amanda: amanda santiago

She is awesome, and not in the over-used sense of the word, but she truly is awesome. She started training at SAPT last September. When she first showed up, she was familiar with the barbell but was looking for further instruction in the iron game. Her words were, "I just can't figure out the squat. It's just a mess." But she wanted to improve at barbell lifts, specifically the squat, bench, and deadlift.

Her first pushup was on a barbell elevated up to her waist and she really struggled with any sort of single-leg movement. Lunges and split squats were tough and she hated how she wobbled. Not only that, but we started her goblet squatting with 25lbs to groove her mechanics.

Amanda trained, with intensity, three times per week consistently for months and months (and still does!). She was the perfect client: she was consistent, she focused during her training sessions, and she did exactly what we told her to do. Lo and behold! She accomplished her goal of losing 55lbs AND increased her total body strength by enormous levels. Here is a video of some pushups:

I don't know if you, dear reader, can grasp HOW MUCH WORK that took for her to get there. She trained pushups- and their variations- almost every session for MONTHS. Some days she felt as if her arms would fall off and would be sore for days afterwards. Guys, you have no idea how hard it can be for women to accomplish pushups (with great form, by the way) on the floor. It does not come naturally for us and it takes twice as long (if not more) to gain any sort of strength. The above video is a testament to Amanda's tenacity and overall strength gains.

Aside from her pushup accomplishment, Amanda decided to compete in her very first powerlifting meet. This past weekend, actually, was the date. Below are some videos from the meet. (I apologize, Amanda, they're not the most flattering angles, but I was behind the platform.)

Squat- 137.5 lbs (A far cry from that 25lb kettlebell!)

Bench- 81 lbs

Deadlift- 181lbs

I am beyond proud of Amanda and all her hard work!! What you can't see from these videos is that this meet was enormous and there was so much confusion and frustration behind the scenes. But Amanda handled it with a cool, determined attitude and she did fabulously well!!

Amanda has rocked all her workouts and has improved in so, so many areas and it's been a privilege and a blessing to work with her and I'm looking forward to the next meet!