Lis is a USA Powerlifting Club Coach and state record holder. She earned Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Master of Education degrees at the University of Georgia and has lived in Atlanta for 14 years.
Since 2010, Lis has coached private and group strength & conditioning classes all over the city. In that time she has worked with over 1,000 Atlantans, coaching boot camp, CrossFit, powerlifting and beginner barbell classes.
She co-founded and managed two Atlanta gyms, CrossFit Midtown and EAV Barbell Club. After selling her shares in both businesses last year, now Lis coaches clients online and at three Atlanta locations.
Lis grew up doing gymnastics, cheerleading, running track and playing softball. At age 16, she tore her ACL in a tumbling class and had reconstructive knee surgery. After recovering, Lis played intramural sports through college and competed in several triathlons and road races after graduating. She has coached youth cheerleading and also served as a mentor with the Team in Training triathlon team.
In 2009, she had a second knee surgery performed by Dr. X at Emory Sports Medicine. His recommendation: stop distance running and try cross-training. So she took up this thing called CrossFit, and immediately excelled at the powerlifting and weightlifting elements of the sport.
Frustrated by the lack of compassionate and responsible coaches she encountered in her early athletic days, Lis became a coach and personal trainer in 2010.
In late 2012, she took a dare and registered for her first powerlifting meet just five days before the competition. She won her weight class, and was inspired by the strong women she met that day and the camaraderie of the powerlifting community.
Since 2012, Lis has won her weight class at three local meets and set seven Georgia-state USAPL records (in squat, deadlift and total). Her current state squat record is 152.5kg/336# at 72k/158# bodyweight.
Lis Saunders is committed to expanding the strength community around Atlanta and beyond. She lives in Grant Park with her boyfriend Jeff and their dog Cady. When she’s not training or coaching, you’ll probably find her chilling with the family, crushing a PB&J sandwich.