Andrea Thompson: Strongman Evolution and the World’s Strongest Woman (Podcast)

Today we’re talking to British strongwoman Andrea Thompson. After beginning her strength career in CrossFit, Andrea found she had a gift for many of the disciplines in the sport of strongman. Early competition success led to what is now one of the sport’s most stacked resumes. She’s a 4-time Britain’s Strongest Woman, the 2018 World’s Strongest Woman, and a multi-time record holder in lifts like the log press and deadlift. Andrea joins us to talk about training for the log press and deadlift world records earlier this year, one of which she did on a virtual live stream, as well as the growth of the sport and what’s next for her.

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Turns out that a little flirting with @savickas_bigz goes a long way🤣 I'm totally overwhelmed by the love and support I've had with this record and nothing is going to burst this bubble anytime soon. Massive thanks to @worldsultimatestrongman for giving me the opportunity and continuing our sport during this pandemic. These guys couldnt do enough for me and treated me with the highest level of respect, setting the standard👌🏽 Special thanks to my loaders/hype team/friends @s2s_physio and @farahfonseca you knew what was needed and got the job done. You know the celebrations will be messy🍾 Forever grateful to @thecoffeemod for letting take over his gym to train for this🙏🏾 To @biglozwsm my coach, number 1 believer and friend. You trusted me, I trusted you. Big things to come🤗 ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ @cerberus_strength QUEEN10 @sturdybydesign ANDREA15 @teamaffinity ANDREA @muhdo_health  #lifestyle #fit #supplements #girlswholift #fitness #crossfit #gym #strong #workout #gymlife #blackgirlmagic #teamcerberus #strength #health #traps #lockdown

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On this episode of The BarBend Podcast, host David Tao talks to Andrea Thompson about:

  • Andrea’s origins in strength sports (and going from CrossFit to strongman!) (2:01)
  • Winning World’s Strongest Woman in 2018 (5:13)
  • The CrossFit workout Andrea still loves (6:45)
  • Becoming the world’s best at the log press (10:00)
  • Optimizing equipment for strongman (15:20)
  • British strongman secrets (18:33)
  • Favorite strongman competitions (and taking her mother to the Olympia) (21:00)
  • Competing at the Arnold Classic in 2020 as COVID-19 began to impact competitions (23:40)
  • Future goals in the sport (27:25)

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

I didn’t want to go for 130 because I think the actual previous record was a 129.4, so when you convert it into pounds it was a whole number. For me to do a 130 kilos was about 500 grams more than what Dani had done, and I was like, “No one wants to break the record by one kilo. That’s really boring!”

David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

 

Today I’m talking to British Strongwoman, Andrea Thompson. After beginning her strength career in CrossFit, Andrea found she had a gift for many of the disciplines in the sport of Strongman. Early competition success led to what is now one of the sport’s most stacked résumés.

 

She’s a four-time Britain’s Strongest Woman, the 2018 World Strongest Woman, and multi-time record holder in lifts like the log press and deadlift. Andrea joined us to talk about training for the log press and deadlift world records earlier this year, one of which she did on virtual live stream, as well as the growth of the sport and what’s next for her.

 

Also, we’re incredibly thankful that you listen to this podcast. If you haven’t already, be sure to leave a rating and review of the BarBend Podcast in your app of choice. I’d also recommend subscribing to the BarBend newsletter to stay up to date on all things strength. Just go to barbend.com/newsletter to start becoming the smartest person in your gym today. Now let’s get to it.

 

Andrea, thanks so much for joining us. Your accomplishments this year, even during the pandemic, have made waves in the Strongman community, which is doubly impressive because we just haven’t had that many competitions. You’ve been doing this all virtually.

 

For those who might not be super familiar with you, how did you get started in strength sports?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

I actually started out on CrossFit. I did that as a way of trying to get fit, a little bit of exercise, changing my routine because I’m not an exercise person. It was actually during one of the Olympic lifting classes, the trainer said to me — I think I was doing Grace, during the Grace movement — “I’ve never seen anyone do it as fast as you have and make it look really easy. You need to go into strength sports.”

 

I was like, “Really?” I was like, “OK,” just whatever. I’m kind of like whatever person. I’ll try. If I don’t like it, I’ll try something else. I did a little bit of research and found Britain’s Strongest Woman. I entered myself into that competition. I had no idea what a yoke was, no idea what a log was, but I knew I could do the deadlift. That was all I knew at that time.

 

I had six weeks to train for that; found a coach. He got me through the first couple of weeks, but suggested I did a small competition first, because the ladies that were doing Britain’s Strongest Woman had been practicing and training for a long time, and I was going six weeks in. I went into a local competition, which was another qualifier for England’s, and I came first after two weeks of training.

 

I was still doing CrossFit and Strongwoman for about two to three months. It doesn’t mix very well. [laughs] It doesn’t work very well, so I had to make a decision, and I chose Strongwoman.

David TaoDavid Tao

About what year was that? Just to give folks an idea of how long you’ve been training in Strongman, Strongwoman, whatever we want to call it.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

 2015, so I’m about five years in now.

David TaoDavid Tao

Five years is a good, long time to build strength, but it sounds like you had a good base coming in. We see Strongman careers over the decades. We see some top competitors competing for 10 years, 15 years even at the highest levels sometimes, so you’re still relatively new to the sport compared to some of your competitors.

 

Do you still feel like you’re learning? Do you feel fresh to the sport at all still?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

No, I don’t feel fresh to that.

 

I definitely don’t feel fresh to the sport. My body is saying, “You’re not fresh, Andrea.” I don’t know. No, I still learn. With every training session that I have, every coaching session I have, every competition I do, I’m always learning from something, somebody.

 

I feel like I’ve been around a little bit now because there are so many girls, so many women that are involved in the sport who are very fresh, and very agile, and make it look really easy. [laughs]

 

I’m five years down the line thinking, “I’m impressed.” I’m impressed by the level of athletes that are coming through now. Although I don’t feel like a veteran just yet, I’m definitely not a fresh. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

You’re in your prime.

 

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Yes.

David TaoDavid Tao

You’re at that peak level.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Yes. I did actually feel like I peaked when I won World’s Strongest Woman in 2018. I felt like I was at my peak then, but actually I just had a really good year. Then the following year wasn’t so great. I just didn’t feel good about anything, competing, life itself.

 

It goes in peaks and troughs, training and competitions. I’m now coming to a peak where I feel really good again. Now that the pandemic is settling in, I feel ready to compete again.

David TaoDavid Tao

You talked about finding Strongman through CrossFit. That’s pretty rare. The only other athlete in your sport who I know found the sport through CrossFit was Rob Kearney in the United States. He was a much smaller version of himself today.

 

I’ve got to say have you tried Grace again? The workout Grace?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

I haven’t actually, no. Not [indecipherable 6:14] , not in particular. I do do that movement as a part of my training, but not for time. Oh, my goodness. I’ll try it. I’ll give it a go.

David TaoDavid Tao

 I asked because, look, I’m not going to try and convince a Strongman or a Strongwoman to try Fran, and I’m certainly not going to ask them to go do a 20-minute metcon. You run Grace or Isabelle by them, and a lot of Strongmen and Strongwomen will look at that and they’ll say, “Yeah, I can do that for a minute. I’ll tackle that one.”

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

I used to like Karen as well actually, with the wall balls. I’m quite strong in the legs so the Karen was one of my warm-ups. I used to it as part of a warm-up session.

David TaoDavid Tao

That’s 150 wall balls for time, right?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

Did you do it unbroken? I’ve seen some people do it unbroken, and I’m just blown away.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

No. I can get about 50, so I do it in three parts and then give it a little bit of a shake.

 

It just hurts everything.

David TaoDavid Tao

That’s one, if you’ve never done it before, you think of wall balls and you’re like, “OK, it’s a 20-pound ball for man. I think it’s what, 14 for ladies?” 16, or 14, or something like that. It’s a little bit less.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

In kilos. I’m trying to work it out in kilos.

David TaoDavid Tao

We’re not going to figure that math out in this recording. The first time you try it, it really bites you the next day or the day after that because you’re like, “It’s not so bad. These aren’t heavy squats.”

 

If you’re listening to this, if you’re a powerlifter, a Strongman, a Strongwoman, an Olympic lifter, and you’ve never done 150 wall balls for time, I would encourage you to try it, but also understand that you might have trouble walking two days later. When that soreness hits, it’s unlike anything. It’s not like a heavy squat set…

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

A different kind of soreness at all. It’s almost painful. I can do DOMS any time of the day, but it was stabbing. It’s like a stabbing soreness, that is.

David TaoDavid Tao

Your first Britain’s Strongest Woman was after just a few weeks of training. It was your second competition. Were there any movements that just caught you off guard? Obviously you hadn’t had a ton of experience with the yoke, with stones necessarily. Were there any that caught you off guard, and you thought to yourself, “Wow, I really have to go back in the tank and work on this.”

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

The log. The log was one thing. I knew I was strong overhead, but the log is a complete different to flipping an Olympic bar to your chest. I was really unstable. I kept dropping it. Every time I went to balance, it just kept rolling forward. I just couldn’t get the lift. I think I failed at about 70 kilos, 75 kilos.

 

Then also carrying anything. We had a keg, a Farmer’s Walk, and a sandbag. I just could not pick up the sandbag. Still to this day, it’s one of my weakest things to do, is to carry anything. Sandbags, pick up stone. I couldn’t get it off the line. I just couldn’t pick it up. I don’t know what was happening.

 

That’s not necessarily down to technique, I don’t think. It may be a little bit down to technique because you’re just lifting it in your arms, but that really threw me out, sandbags.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

The good news is that the log press was challenging back then, but I would say that’s certainly not a weakness of yours now. You made waves earlier this year. We loved reporting about it on BarBend, because you made it look so easy. Also, you — spoiler alert — broke the world record twice in one live stream, just kind of showing off a little bit. Just a little bit.

 

Let’s talk about how you turned the log press from something that was really unfamiliar to your strength because hands down, you are the best in the world at the log clean and press right now.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

It comes with you have a favorite lift. Every so often, your favorite event just changes, depending on how your body is. Sometimes it’s the deadlift, and then it really hurts, so I don’t deadlift so much. Then I focus more on overhead. At one time the yoke was my favorite event, so I would just yoke all the time.

 

I think because I had just done the deadlift at the Arnold in March, my body was actually still recovering, and I didn’t want to go to do another deadlift. I thought I’d focused on something else. The overhead, the log was the next best thing. I knew I was really good at that, just not very technically good.

 

What many people don’t realize is I struggle with the clean. It’s never really been heavy enough for me to be technically good at it. It’s just been about heavy enough for me to almost bicep clean up to my chest. When you get to the weights I was trying to go for, the biceps won’t hold on to that.

 

It was stripped right back to [indecipherable 11:19] logs to 40 kilos. I was going back to the start of the program and working on that clean, getting right down into the squat, and using my chest and my belly to throw it up before it was actually allowed to put any weight back on the bar. Taking it back really.

David TaoDavid Tao

What was that training cycle like? When did you know that you wanted to go for the log press world record? How long did you train specifically for that before you accomplished it twice in the same live stream?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

I knew about it about two to three weeks before it was announced. Having Laurence as my coach, who was actually the commentator, I’d obviously had a little bit of inside knowledge. I was like, “Oh, OK. Yeah.” We started training for it, not majorly because we weren’t overly sure that I would be invited to go to do it.

 

I started training on it just in case. I started training about two weeks later. I had about an eight-week window; six to eight-week window of training. It was a normal squats overhead and deadlift program, but focused more heavier on the overhead and lots of assistance work.

 

Lots of holding the log to my chest and just gently dipping because, again, this was my weakness as I was coming forward. Lots of half squats with 200 pounds on my chest. That’s not nice at all. Then towards the end, the last three or four weeks was overhead every day. Every day was log day.

David TaoDavid Tao

How many training sessions per week where you were you logging at this time?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Four.

David TaoDavid Tao

Four. I say logging. I understand there’s a pun there. I might’ve used the wrong word. [laughs]

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Yeah. I became very shoulder heavy. My physique changes depending on what I’m doing. At the time, my upper body just changed dramatically. I all of a sudden became like this [laughs] to accommodate for that [indecipherable 13:30] I was doing.

David TaoDavid Tao

Were you pretty confident heading in, thinking the week before training, maybe your last heavy session before a de-load, were you pretty confident heading in that you could set the new record?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

100 percent. Set it and break it again. I didn’t want to go for 130 because I think the actual previous record was a 129.4, so when you convert it into pounds it was a whole number. For me to do a 130 kilos was about 500 grams more than what Dani had done, and I was like, “No one wants to break the record by one kilo. That’s really boring!”

 

I had 135 in my head. I had to agree with Laurence, if I broke the record and made it look easy and I still had energy left, then I could go for 135. I’ve got four lifts to do. People were saying, “She got an extra lift. She got five lifts,” but actually what you get is you get 60 seconds to do the lift, and you get two attempts at one lift.

 

Although I had five, it was two attempts at the 135. That was the rules that we had to go by. I’d been given specific lifts to go by by Laurence. He said don’t change anything just do as you’re told, and that’s what we did.

 

I messed up the first attempt. I knew I was going for 135 and the jump from 130 to 135 was actually really heavy and I felt that a lot. I rushed it. I rushed it, and it didn’t go to plan. I still had another chance to go for it, and I knew I wanted…I wasn’t there to just to break the record. I was there to take the record properly.

David TaoDavid Tao

I got to ask, and this is something that I saw a lot of people commenting on. The shirt you wore that had the I guess they were plastic or rubber lines to increase grip. A lot of folks hadn’t seen that before. Tell us a little bit about how you dressed for that lift, and when you started wearing that shirt that gave you that little bit of extra friction on the lift.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

That’s a grip shirt. You can have it have rubber on the top. You can have rubber on the shoulders, and it can go across the back. It works for the yoke as well, to stop the yoke from slipping, and a bar when you’re squatting.

 

I didn’t actually start using that shirt until about three weeks towards the end because it’s an assistance basically. I didn’t want to get used to having that there. I needed to get used to having my arms there, and then just used it for the last few sessions.

 

You have to have the shirt really tight as well. There’s no point in having a baggy shirt with the grip because it just slips. Getting into it almost takes two people because I’m like this [indecipherable 16:30] a wedge on my arms, and you are tucked into that shirt.

 

It’s almost a suit but in a t-shirt style. It’s quite common in Strongman. It also works really well for stones as well to stop you from slipping down [indecipherable 16:45] .

David TaoDavid Tao

I think that for a lot of folks who might just be casual Strongman fans, a lot of them come from the powerlifting community or the weightlifting community. They’ll watch Strongman, and they’re not necessarily familiar. I become more familiar over time and still have a lot to learn about the equipment about using the tacky on stones and things that.

 

There are a lot of trade secrets in the Strongman community that we learn over time. That was one where all eyes were on you, so a lot of questions like, “What is that shirt she’s wearing? What is that logo?” It’s like, “Nope. That’s for a purpose. That serves an actual tactical purpose.”

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

There’s lots of little secrets. The same with my belt as well. There was a few comments I saw about me having my belt turned around the wrong way. I don’t like having the buckle at the front because it catches. I rather just have a complete streamline so that there’s no buckle, no flaps, nothing getting in my way for that.

 

I’m not an expert on stones. Stones is actually one of my weakest events. I was taught a few tips in one of the OSG Games did for carrying a Húsafell Stone. You’re not allowed any tacky for that. It’s purely a grip thing.

David TaoDavid Tao

You can chalk for that, right? You can still chalk.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

You can chalk for it. You can, but you’re not allowed to use any kind of sticky, anything sticky. I’m not going tell you what it is because it’s a little secret that I have myself I’m going to keep, that’s got me through two competitions. I was given a good tip from Nick Best for how to carry the Húsafell Stone.

David TaoDavid Tao

Here’s a question.

 

I’m not going to ask about that secret. My next question is not to find the secret to the Húsafell Stone. Are there secrets that you’ll only share amongst British Strongman athletes, and you wouldn’t tell the Americans or you wouldn’t tell the Icelanders?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Yeah, 100 percent. Only because I know that they do it as well. That’s all it is.

 

I’ve never been one of these people that’s like, “Oh wait. Us Brits, we need to sleep together because all of the Americans sleep together.” I’ve never been like that at all until 2017, when I was part of that…No, not [indecipherable 19:09] , it was the Americans versus the Brits.

 

I think it was just as I was coming into international level. I was making a little bit of a name for myself. That’s when I realized the different sections almost between the nationalities. There is a few tactics.

 

Even Eddie Hall. Eddie Hall has given me some really good tips. That’s something that I won’t share with probably a couple of other British girls, to be honest, who I know are really good at stones. Everyone’s got their own little tactics, I think. You can choose whether to share them or not. It depends who the competition is. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

Who do you see as your biggest rivals in the sport?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Donna Moore is always going to be my biggest rival. She’s one that I’ve been chasing since the day I started. She was in Britain’s Strongest Woman. I came third to her, and she won that. Every competition I’ve ever been in, I’ve been chasing her. I always comes second to her, and it’s so frustrating.

 

The year that I finally beat her, I was like, “I did it. What do I do now?” I didn’t know what to do. I was literally completely gobsmacked. I didn’t celebrate for about a day, to be honest, because I was still unsure as to whether I’ve actually finally beaten her. We’re really good friends outside of the sport. That was actually her on the phone.

David TaoDavid Tao

She knew you were about to talk about her.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

We talk all the time. We’ve got Jessica Fithen. She’s amazing, a really good presser. Dani [indecipherable 20:54] . She’s a middleweight, but she is very strong. Very new, very strong. Mind’s gone blank.

 

Couple of new girls from Britain as well. We’ve got this couple of girls from Britain who are…I’m having to watch my back. I’ve told them as well.

 

 [indecipherable 21:10] have to watch myself. There are a few girls. I know that I’m still one of the girls that has to be beaten. There are people in front, there are women in front of me that I still have to beat, that challenge me all the time.

David TaoDavid Tao

What are some of your best competition memories from the last few years since you’ve reached that international and highly competitive on-the-world-stage status?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

I love going to the Arnold. I love the Arnold Sports Festival. Even this year, when there was nobody allowed into the stadium, it was still amazing place to be. The atmosphere is always exciting. There’s always things going on. The events are usually quite exciting as well. They’re a lot more interesting.

 

I’ve been to Vegas. I took my mum to Vegas for a competition. We just flew out to Vegas for a competition for the weekend. That was an experience.

David TaoDavid Tao

Going to Las Vegas with your mother, it doesn’t matter why you’re going.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Again, it was an eye-opener for her. She’s not been to many of the competitions. It was at the Olympia so there was lots of bodybuilding going on. My mum has never been around those kind of things.

 

Coming from a Caribbean family, we’re all very big, hefty women. To see lots of half-naked ladies and gents walking around in their underpants, she was horrified. [laughs] I had to keep telling her, “Mum, this is the sport.”

 

[indecipherable 22:50] . Then this Jamaican accent comes from somewhere. I’m like, “Oh my god. This is embarrassing.” That might not be one of the best memories, but it was certainly an adventure. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s talk about the Arnold this year. You did compete, and you did make some news. What was it like? What was your time? You had to…traveling internationally, that was at the very beginning of I guess you could say the COVID-19 pandemic for the United States and for Great Britain.

 

We really didn’t know for a while if the festival was going to happen. Eventually they ended up having it without the…They had some of the competitions, but not the consumer fan side of things.

 

Were there doubts? I’m not sure what your travel schedule was. Did you ever think that you wouldn’t be able to come? That maybe you arrived and you have gotten here, and there wouldn’t be a competition to take part in? What was that timeline, and what was relayed to you?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

It literally started from the day that I left. I normally travel a couple of days before, so I get acclimatized. I’m not a good traveler. I left early at three o’clock in the morning here to go and get my train to the airport. I got onto the coach, and I had a call from a couple of girls that were already over there saying, ” This virus thing…” “This virus thing?”

 

That was what it was. It was just a virus thing at the time. “Seems to be causing a few problems. The festival might be canceled. Are you still coming?” I was like, “I’m literally on my way. Everything is paid for. If the flight will let me on, I’m still coming. It might be a week away in America. If I don’t compete, I’m still coming.”

 

When I got there, there was lots of meetings that we had to go to. The Strongman Corporation we’re really good and trying their hardest to make sure that we had somewhere to compete. The city was in the state of lockdown already.

 

I know Arnold would have been fined quite heavily if he was to put on the sports festival. They were talking about bringing the National Guard to make sure [indecipherable 25:05] because it takes over the whole city, doesn’t it? Ohio is all about the Arnold.

 

It was actually quite scary. That was even before we’d hit competition day. It was down to literally the morning of the competition. We had to wait outside the arena to be let in. Again, we were herded in to certain areas of the arena. It was literally day by day. We weren’t allowed to compete [indecipherable 25:33] .

 

I know the Strongman [indecipherable 25:34] had another venue that just the athletes are were allowed to go to, a short walk down the road. We were told that no spectators were allowed in. We were like, “Oh well. At least we can still compete.”

 

Equally, we had front row seats. It was the pro Strongman, the big guys that everyone fights to see. We had front row seats to see that. We as athletes and coaches weren’t overly fussed. It was still a really eerie atmosphere. As noisy as they tried to make it, it was a really eerie atmosphere because the city was deserted. There was nobody about when you know it’s very busy normally.

David TaoDavid Tao

You’re used to seeing Columbus, Ohio, at peak capacity, when hundreds of thousands of people descend on it. Seeing Columbus, Ohio, anytime outside the Arnold would probably be a shock. Did you have trouble getting back home, getting back to the UK after that?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

No. I think we were the last lot of flights. That day, I think I flew home on the Monday. I think maybe coming into Tuesday, it was the last time they were going to let people out of from Columbus.

 

I would normally go Columbus to Miami, or Atlanta, or somewhere, and then go home from there. The internal ones, they were reducing those quite a lot. I know that our flights were one of the last to be let out. I was lucky to come home. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

That’s a harrowing experience. I think we’re all glad you got to compete because you put on a quite a show, especially, the deadlift portion. My question for you now is assuming we get back to competitions — which we will eventually; not everything will be virtual forever, hopefully — what are some of your goals in the sport that you haven’t achieved yet?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

I want to win the Arnold Pro Women’s. That’s something that I haven’t been able to win yet. Again I’ve come second to Donna. I actually came fifth this year. I wasn’t there to win this time, I just enjoyed being there. Because I had the deadlift in mind as well, I didn’t want to bust a gut too much on the competition.

 

The Arnold is definitely one I want to do. I want to get another couple of records if possible. I know there’s a few things in the pipeline that might be available to me.

 

I don’t really know, to be honest. I know [indecipherable 28:14] been canceled. I’m getting to the point where I’d like to do other things other than compete for three days. I might leave it to the young ones to do the three-day competitions. I enjoy doing one record. One event, one record, [laughs] and then just live my life.

 

I’ve got family. I work. I’m also training to be a personal trainer as well. I am a nutritionist. There’s lots going on at home that takes so much time out. When you’ve got competition coming up like that, you have to train four or five days a week. It’s all about the food. It’s all about getting to the gym.

 

There’s just so much that goes on, and it takes so much out of your life that people don’t realize that I’m also a mom behind the scenes. [laughs] It’s just too hard sometimes.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

A lot of people, if they’re new to these sports, they don’t realize, or it’s tough to realize, or it takes a while to realize that many of the top athletes, some of the world’s best, this is not their full-time job. They don’t have the luxury of having a wide-open schedule where they can build their day around training.

 

They have to build training around the rest of their day and around the rest of their lives.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Yeah, that’s 100 percent what it is. I don’t even know if I’d like it to be full-time. I’m a really terrible Strongman supporter. I only found out that Martins was the World’s Strongest Man a couple of weeks ago. I literally don’t follow the sport. I’m all for the women. I’m an advocate to get women involved in the sport or just any sport itself.

 

I don’t put too much into the sport. I give as much as I can but just don’t put too much into it. It is just a hobby, and it’s an expensive hobby. At this level, a lot of our competitions seem to be in America. If you think about it in family terms, that’s the whole holiday that you’re taking out of the family pot to go and compete for fun. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

Pretty exhausting holiday when you think about it. Not a lot of relaxation.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

That’s what people think I do. “Oh my God. You’ve been to Florida. You must have had a great time.” “Not really, because I see airports, and I see arenas, and then I come home. [laughs] That’s about it.” I’d love to say that I spend days on the beach, but I don’t. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

Unless the competition is on the beach, in which case you’re not doing a lot of relaxing. You’re not doing a lot of sunning yourself and lying back.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

 No, not at all. It takes a lot of time. If you’ve got that time, then put everything into it. I don’t have as much time as I would like to put into this sport.

David TaoDavid Tao

Makes a lot of sense. Andrea, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today. Where’s the best place for people to follow along with your training, competitions, and the work you do in Strongman, and even outside of that?

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

I’m on Instagram. That’s the best place to reach me, on @andreathompson_strongwoman. I’m on Facebook, just not as much. Instagram is the best place to get me.

David TaoDavid Tao

Excellent. I really appreciate you taking the time, and I really enjoyed getting to chat with you today. Appreciate it.

Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Thank you.