A woman who holds the title of the World’s Strongest Woman left Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford stunned when she bent a frying pan in half during an appearance on This Morning.
The presenting duo were agog when Andrea Thompson, 36, performed the stunt, managing to contort the metal easily between her hands.
Ruth branded her skills ‘amazing’ as they chatted on the sofa, where the mother-of-two revealed she only started working out four years ago after she was spurred on to get fit for her sister’s wedding.
‘My big sister Kelly was getting married and she asked me to be bridesmaid,’ Andrea explained.
‘We both struggled with weight when we were younger so we both joined a local CrossFit class, which is about strength and conditioning.
‘Us going together really helped with the confidence to walk through the door, but the classes were full of like-minded people, both men and women, who just wanted to have a bit of fun, to exercise and get fit.’
Andrea had previously tried to shed some weight by going to the gym and trying various diets.
However she realised that she needed to be doing something that she enjoyed to keep up momentum.
‘I got bored of doing gyms and the intimidation,’ she said. ‘I’ve done all the diets, the cabbage diet and the tablets.
‘I wanted to do an exercise that I would enjoy, so that’s what I was doing at the time, I was just enjoying getting fit.’
The turning point for Andrea came when a coach in the class told her to enter some strength competitions.
‘It set a little seed in my head. I thought, “What could I do? Am I really that strong?”,’ she explained.
‘I did a bit of research, came across Britain’s Strongest Woman and entered the competition off my own back.’
Andrea enrolled her coach Ben, whom she is still with today, to help her prepare – and currently holds the world title and will battle again later this year to retain it.
‘The competition comes around every year. It’s in November this year in Florida – it was in North Carolina last year – so I’ll be going back to defend my title,’ she said.
‘In the competition last year we had to throw some sandbags over a height behind us, we had a dead lift ladder where there were four bars that we had to lift as quickly as possible.
‘Everything you hear about the guys doing at Christmas time for World’s Strongest Man, I do that.’
During the chat, the mum-of-two revealed what her young daughters thinks of their mum’s title.
‘It’s now second nature to them. They’ve seen me in competitions and they watch me on TV,’ she said.
‘They get a lot of attention from their friends at school. I often come up in research for inspirational people when they’re doing projects at school.’
Sadly, Andrea also admitted that her coveted title has seen her receive negative attention.
‘People within the sport will talk to me about it and people who are trying to lose weight or some sort of lifting exercises, they’ll talk to me about it,’ she explained.
‘People who don’t know what I do just stare because I’m bigger than the average woman.
‘I think it’s not knowing how to approach me, I look intimidating and I’m really not, so the attention I get isn’t always positive.’