Monday, January 26, 2009

Williams whipped a weed

This article read like something from the Onion, so who knows if it's true, but Andy Roddick admits Serena Williams beat him at the age of 10 and she was bench pressing dump trucks and has smaller biceps than the younger Williams sister.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/williams-whipped-a-weed/2009/01/26/1232818341856.html


Friday, January 23, 2009

Beach Volleyball coming to a campus near you.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=buckheit/090120

For more on the sport of beach volleyball check out this story.

Not Just a Pretty Face: Teen excels in powerlifting, fitness modeling


Amanda Harris, of Conroe, holds 462 state, nation and world powerlifting records. The 17-year-old will receive a proclamation from the city of Conroe today.
By Jay Langley
Published: 01.21.09
Looks can be deceiving – especially in the case of Amanda Harris.

At first glance Harris looks and acts like a typical teenager.

“I’m like any girl my age,” Harris said. “I like going to the mall.”

But the 5-foot-4, 120-pound Harris is not like most 17 year olds.

Harris owns 462 state, national and world powerlifting records. She has never lost a teen competition and two years ago became the youngest person to attain professional status.

She can bench press 225 pounds and squat lift 420 pounds.

“I get told I look like a cheerleader,” Harris said. “One of the biggest things I try to get out to girls is that you don’t have to be big to lift weights.

“Lifting weights helps give you the curves that every woman wants.”

In honor of her accomplishments, the Conroe City Council will present Harris with a proclamation at its meeting at 6 tonight. Councilman Jay Ross Martin also will give her a key to the city and declare Thursday as “Amanda Harris Day.”

Harris was eight years old when her parents Mark and Ann Harris bought her a 15-pound barbell for Christmas.

Amanda was in the second grade when it was discovered she had an irregular curvature in her spine. Doctors suggested she either wear a harness or exercise to help straighten her spine.

Powerlifting runs in the family as Mark Harris is a five-time world champion, both as an amateur and professional. He currently trains his daughter at One Stop Fit Shop in downtown Conroe. Mark Harris opened the business last month.

The duo became the first father-daughter combination to win world championships in the same year in 2003.

“Amanda’s biggest asset is her determination,” Mark Harris said. “No matter how strong you are, if you don’t have a lot of heart, you are not going to be any good in this sport.”

Amanda Harris’ determination allowed her to become the first athlete to win seven powerlifting championships in one year in 2006.

But her talent is not limited to lifting. She is a successful fitness model and will be on the cover of Pose Down magazine. The January issue is scheduled to hit the stands this week. She also will be featured in Iron Man magazine in February.

Wishing to maintain her femininity in a sport dominated by men, Amanda Harris adopted the stage name “Barbie Barbell.”

“Barbie Barbell represents someone that is feminine and strong at the same time,” Amdanda Harris said. “I will always keep the makeup and the blondehair. Even in powerlifting shows, I am always wearing earrings or a necklace.”

Amanda Harris was born in Conroe and is currently home schooled by her mother.

In addition to her lifting and modeling, Amanda Harris makes numerous public appearances. She was the guest speaker at the Eviva-Vibe National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. and the featured athlete at the Arnold Sports Festival in Florida the last three years.

She has a laundry list of sponsors that includes an automobile dealership, a nutrition company and a powerlifting apparel distributor.

“College is not really in her future,” Mark Harris said. “At 17 she’s already getting a bunch of exposure and there is pretty good money in it.”

Her father is not worried about the money she earns going to her head.

“She was raised to be a very humble young lady and that is what she is,” Mark Harris said.

Amanda Harris, who helps train younger lifters under her dad’s direction, already has her future mapped out when her career is over.

“I want to write books or make videos to teach others how to use their minds and their energy,” she said. “You can do anything in life if you put the right energy into it.”

Although she does not turn 18 until May, Amanda Harris knows she is a role model to other girls.

“I want young girls to know that you can be very femine but be very strong,” Amanda Harris said. “Guys are not the only ones that can be successful in this sport.”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The strength of the female player

Last Updated: January 20, 2009 12:34 PM Comments0Recommend4
Kim Mccullough The Female Game

Now that I have retired from playing at the elite level of women's hockey, I have the chance to watch my former teammates and opponents play a lot more often. I have probably watched more high-level female hockey in the last 4 months than I have seen in the last 10 years. At some of the bigger games I have watched here in Canada and in the United States, the stands have been packed with girls who dream of playing at the elite level one day.

These young players are amazed by how hard the elite women shoot the puck. They always seem to leave the rink talking about how they need to work on their shots when they get home. While it's true that most girls don't spend enough time practicing shooting, improving their technique is only part of the solution.

The big reason why these elite players can "fire" the puck like they do is that they are just plain strong. I've had the chance to train many of these elite players off the ice and their focus and determination in the weight room is the same as it is out on the ice. They are "all business". They aren't just working out - they are training to be the best in the world.

I don't think many players, parents or coaches realize just how much hard work these elite players put in off the ice to play at the highest level on the ice. To show you how impressive the strength of these women is I am going to give you an idea of what the fitness testing results of the top female players in the world would look like.

The majority of the elite women's players can bench press their own body-weight. Some of them can squat 1.5 times their own body-weight. Those numbers may not mean a lot to you if you have never done serious weight training before, but I can guarantee this statistic will impress you. The average number of chin-ups that the best players in North America can do is 10. And that's just the average. I have seen one of these women do 29 consecutive chin-ups before!

While it's true that the chin-up is one of the best body-weight strength training exercises around, it takes time for young female players to be able to do just one chin-up - let alone 29 of them.

These elite women's players didn't just pick up some weights one day and get this strong by chance. Many of them have been training off the ice for almost as long as they have been playing hockey. But they didn't start out by lifting weights. They started with basic body-weight training exercises first and then progressively worked their way up to the elite level.

You can't become an elite player, and train as hard as these women do, without having a foundation of strength and stability in place first.

I'm not saying that girls need to be able to do 29 chin-ups in order to play at the next level, but they do need to start building their strength off the ice if they aspire to compete with these elite players on and off the ice down the road. Girls can shoot as many pucks as they want against the garage door, but getting stronger is the real key to shooting, skating and playing at the elite level of women's hockey.

The strength of the female player

Last Updated: January 20, 2009 12:34 PM Comments0Recommend4
Kim Mccullough The Female Game

Now that I have retired from playing at the elite level of women's hockey, I have the chance to watch my former teammates and opponents play a lot more often. I have probably watched more high-level female hockey in the last 4 months than I have seen in the last 10 years. At some of the bigger games I have watched here in Canada and in the United States, the stands have been packed with girls who dream of playing at the elite level one day.

These young players are amazed by how hard the elite women shoot the puck. They always seem to leave the rink talking about how they need to work on their shots when they get home. While it's true that most girls don't spend enough time practicing shooting, improving their technique is only part of the solution.

The big reason why these elite players can "fire" the puck like they do is that they are just plain strong. I've had the chance to train many of these elite players off the ice and their focus and determination in the weight room is the same as it is out on the ice. They are "all business". They aren't just working out - they are training to be the best in the world.

I don't think many players, parents or coaches realize just how much hard work these elite players put in off the ice to play at the highest level on the ice. To show you how impressive the strength of these women is I am going to give you an idea of what the fitness testing results of the top female players in the world would look like.

The majority of the elite women's players can bench press their own body-weight. Some of them can squat 1.5 times their own body-weight. Those numbers may not mean a lot to you if you have never done serious weight training before, but I can guarantee this statistic will impress you. The average number of chin-ups that the best players in North America can do is 10. And that's just the average. I have seen one of these women do 29 consecutive chin-ups before!

While it's true that the chin-up is one of the best body-weight strength training exercises around, it takes time for young female players to be able to do just one chin-up - let alone 29 of them.

These elite women's players didn't just pick up some weights one day and get this strong by chance. Many of them have been training off the ice for almost as long as they have been playing hockey. But they didn't start out by lifting weights. They started with basic body-weight training exercises first and then progressively worked their way up to the elite level.

You can't become an elite player, and train as hard as these women do, without having a foundation of strength and stability in place first.

I'm not saying that girls need to be able to do 29 chin-ups in order to play at the next level, but they do need to start building their strength off the ice if they aspire to compete with these elite players on and off the ice down the road. Girls can shoot as many pucks as they want against the garage door, but getting stronger is the real key to shooting, skating and playing at the elite level of women's hockey.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Girl Power

Kaysie Junco sure knows how to pull her own weight, and then some!

By Alina Larson
New York, New York

Meaty hands hoisting the barbell, bulky muscles straining, sweat dripping from a grimacing face...when you think weightlifter you picture a big beefy guy, right? Not if you live in Florida, the only state to sanction high school girls' weightlifting.

How do these young women weightlifters stay strong against stereotypes of femininity, which can be especially overwhelming during the teen years? They support each other! And what happened in Florida is that high school boys—and the rest of the community—realized that these girls are athletes with drive and determination equal to any boy's.

A standout among these ambitious athletes is Kaysie Junco, 16, of Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange. Not only does she buck the trend by weightlifting, but as a 98-pound lightweight, she does it without the heft you normally see in the sport.

"She might be small, but she's loud," says coach Tom Bennett. "Even though she is just a sophomore she's really shown she has leadership. She's very supportive of her teammates and really dedicated to the sport."

Kaysie shrugs off the praise. "I'm all about doing different stuff," she says. "It's unusual. It's not every day you get to say to somebody 'Oh yeah, I'm a weightlifter.'"

She doesn't worry about not looking girly or cheering too loud. Though her parents introduced her to gymnastics and ballet, she turned to karate at age eight and did it for seven years until she earned her black belt.

When she decided to try weightlifting, her parents supported her 100 percent. "My dad gets a real kick out it," says Kaysie. The guys do, too. She's noticed, "They think it's different that a girl can be strong."

Kaysie discovered strength requires more than weights. "After you learn that most of it is mental, it's about getting in the zone and getting that lift up," she says. "If you don't have good technique you can't lift to your greatest potential."

And what about Kaysie's potential? Not surprisingly she's aiming to be state champion. "I like that feeling, to work that hard for a goal and then to get it."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can Top Dog Springstead Be Tripped Up?

http://www2.hernandotoday.com/content/2009/jan/13/can-top-dog-springstead-be-trippedhttp://media.tbo.com/her/images/photos/citspggwl1.jpg

Friday, January 2, 2009

Student making mark with passion for powerlifting

By JEFF ARENZ
Sports Writer

FREMONT -- Alison Streacker's passion for sports and activity extended to her Christmas list. The St. Joseph Central Catholic sophomore asked for a treadmill for Christmas.

Streacker enjoys playing volleyball, Streacker has a passion for another more unusual sport -- powerlifting.

"It all began originally for volleyball training," Streacker said. "I needed to use weights to gain strength for volleyball. I found out that I was stronger than I thought."

About 2 1/2 years later, Streacker is hooked on powerlifting. So much that she asked Santa Claus for a treadmill, which she would use for cardiovascular workouts.

"In the winter, it gets really cold and I need to get to the gym," Streacker said. "Sometimes, the weather does not cooperate. Having a treadmill at home would give me more motivation."

Streacker spends four days, 8-10 hours a week doing three main exercises -- bench presses, deadlifts and squats -- at Ironman II. Her trainer is Scott Vickery.

"She's relentless," Vickery said of Streacker's work ethic. "She is the hardest working lifter I have at the gym because she's never satisfied with her effort. In her mind, nothing is ever good enough."

Since 2005, Streacker has entered about 20 powerlifting competitions. She competes in the 13-15 age group, 165-pound weight class, where she has bench pressed as much as 245 pounds and deadlifted as much as 340 pounds. Streacker has yet to record a squat during a powerlifting event.

"You have three attempts to qualify a squat, but I haven't been able to get one," said Streacker, who has successfully squatted 505 pounds in practice.

Streacker has competed in powerlifting events at the state fair in Columbus, Hamilton (in the Cincinnati metro area) and Louisville, Ky. Vickery said Streacker's next competition will be at the International Powerlifters Association Pro-Am on Jan. 17-18 in Columbus.

"One thing I have yet to understand about her is that she's not afraid of the weight," Vickery said. "For someone who is relatively new to powerlifting, she will get under the weight without any fear."

Vickery said some powerlifters will attempt any amount of weight, but fear later they have taken on too much. But Streacker isn't one of those powerlifters.

"If you take on too much, you could hurt yourself," Vickery said. "Just looking at it, some times you can see there's a lot of weight on the bar."

Streacker is also keeping busy by practicing with her Black Swamp Volleyball Club 16-and-under team and by sticking to her workout regiment. The club volleyball season begins in February.

"I have to force myself to take time off from working out," Streacker said. "Even though I'm very active with volleyball and powerlifting, I have to have time for myself too. Working out can be addictive."

But when Streacker is honing her skills in the gym, she expects top results.

"I'm a perfectionist," Streacker said. "I've thought about playing volleyball in college, but lifting is something I can do for the rest of my life."

She is also a perfectionist in the classroom, where her GPA tops the 4.0 mark.

Streacker even has her eye on breaking a powerlifting world record.

"The top girl who has the bench press record is in the next highest weight class," Streacker said. "The record is 280 pounds."

That leaves Streacker 35-40 pounds short of the mark. But as her star rises in the world of powerlifting, Streacker has a lot of time on her side.

"When people at competitions have seen Alison compete, they assume she is 18 or 19 years old," Vickery said. "They can't believe she's only 15."

In Spring 2009, when Powerlifting USA releases its annual rankings, Vickery thinks Streacker has a shot to be rated No. 1 in the world in her age class.

"She's already among the top 20 women powerlifters in the world," Vickery said. "When the teen rankings come out, she should be right up there."