Amanda Harris: Wonder Kid

How many fifteen year olds can bench more than their own body-weight? Huston teenager, Amanda Harris aka Barbie Barbell is a phenomenon.

Check this out.

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Trained by her father, Mark Harris, a nationally recognised strength coach, the 50 kg Amanda benched 70.8 at the American Powerlifting Federation meet in Texas. She also set a squat record of 115.91 kg, and a deadlift record of 115.91kg. Amanda recently competed at the Arnold Sports Festival 2007 and the power lifting community, including John Inzer, got right behind her.

Amanda Harris

According to the Arnold Sports Festival Newsletter, Amanda’s dad, Mark Harris was a 5 time National and World Champion and a 5 time AAU World Champion. He attributes Amanda’s resilience to his unusual disciplinary techniques.

“When my children were young and able to understand the difference between right and wrong – I never spanked them. I made them do push-ups and flutter kicks. On a bad day Amanda could have done 200-300 push-ups a day.”

But is there more to it than that. Harris’s approach to Amanda’s diet is also unconventional.

In the morning, during what Harris describes as the cleansing phases of the body, Amanda eats only fresh fruit, a different group each day, based on the “enzymatic activity within the digestive system.”

Between 10 am and 12 noon, Amanda snacks on nuts and seeds. During the loading phase of the early afternnon she carbs up on sweet potato or brown rice. A mid-afternoon protein shake is followed by training. For dinner, Amanda eats fish, chicken or beef, vegetables or salad, or legumes. Over all, she consumes 2500 -3500 calories a day.

Amanda supplements her diet with high-absorption vitamins.


Amanda is all for power lifting to be made an Olympic sport. Meanwhile she’s two-time World Champion within the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). By the end of 2006, Amanda won 5 World Powerlifting Championships. She is the 1st powerlifter to ever achieve this.


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