A TEACHER at Whitmore High School in Barry is proving a positive role model for pupils following her powerlifting success in major contests.

Amanda Gisby, 37, a science, physics and A-level maths teacher, lives a second life as a tested athlete lifting for one of the largest drug free powerlifting organisations.

She recently competed at the ABPU Welsh qualifiers for the British, European and World Championships in the U67.5kg weight class Open Category, securing her title for the 7th year in a row with 162.5kg Squat, 72.5kg bench and 170kg deadlift.

She currently holds world records across the disciplines of powerlifting as well as seven European and 12 British records.

She said: “There are three disciplines involved in powerlifting, squat, bench press and deadlift. I train four to six times per week on a gruelling schedule, anywhere from 90 minutes to four hours in one training session. Depending on my competition schedule, my training profile varies from strength, explosive or hypotrophy training in all three areas of competition, followed by specific muscle group assistance work. I also train as a strongwoman lifting cars, pulling lorries, lifting atlas stones, yoke runs and farmers carries to name but a few of the interesting exercises that I participate in.

“I also competed in the tested BNSF strongwoman class last year in Carmarthen and became Wales’ strongest natural woman. The feeling of hitting your personal bests both in training and at competition are like no other feeling I can describe. It is the culmination of hard work, dedication, discipline and self-sacrifice pushing you to new limits that were once goals and now a reality.

“After leaving the British Army 2011 I was looking to be able to apply the same level of focus and determination that my career once held and so I ventured into the world of powerlifting. Within the first six months of training I became Welsh Champion.

“My students at WHS are supportive of my ventures and there are always numerous questions. I like to use some of my powerlifting examples in the classroom so we can study the theory of forces and the application in the real world. I like to involve the students where I can in my training processes acting as a positive role model in sport, actively demonstrating how an active lifestyle can be both beneficial for the mind as well as physical health.”

“My aim is to make positive differences to peoples’ lives.” To aid people in the building of the best version of themselves through education in school, being a positive role model and through the medium of fitness.”