Hannah Gula – Weighlifting Training Success

Chapter Overview:

0:00 Who is Hannah Gula
0:06 How old did she start weightlifting
0:44 How did she get started at LPS
1:40 What are the struggles she had overcome in her sport
2:18 What sacrifices does she have to make
2:49 What is her biggest dream
2:57 What does DOMINATE mean to her
3:13 What advise she can give to other athletes

My name’s Hannah. I am an Olympic Weightlifter, and I compete for LPS. I’ve been competing in weightlifting for three years.

What age did I start weightlifting?

That would’ve been three years ago now. So I’m 24. I started around 2021. I got into the sport because, well, I was a gymnast for 10 years of my life.

When I quit, I had 30 hours a week of extra time. So I started doing CrossFit to fill that gap. And with CrossFit, being an ex-gymnast, I was really good at everything except for the weightlifting.

So I started taking weightlifting lessons. Got swindled into doing a local meat because there was a potluck, and I’m a sucker for a good advertiser. From then I qualified to provincials kind of an accident, and then they picked me to go to nationals, and I kind of start both from there.

There was an Ontario training camp at LPS for some of the top athletes. I came here and I found I got a lot of value out of the sessions, and I wanted to be part of it.

I’m from Thunder Bay. There really wasn’t much of an option to have a local facility or local coach. I was working with a friend who was fantastic and helped me out as much as he could, but it was time to move on to someone who had experience with bringing athletes to that world-level training online has been fantastic. Clance helped me make my first international team, which was huge.

It’s been almost a year, I think eight months working together, and I’ve PR-ed and gained so much expertise in the sport. Even with the distance, Clance will always answer the phone even in the middle of a training session.

When I’m struggling, I send in my videos and I get feedback very, very quickly. It’s been awesome.

So, of the struggles I’ve had to overcome, I live in Thunder Bay, so it’s pretty isolated. I train by myself most of the time, and that starts to get to your head. Trying to struggle and grind it out alone versus with a team or with a coach.

I’ve learned a lot about myself on how to push through those hard days. And I think it really helps build mental toughness as an athlete. It gets tough, but I wanna push through. I get a lot of value out of it.

I really enjoy being able to express my athleticism and competitiveness through a sport. There’s not a lot of opportunities as an adult today to kind of express that.

I’m really grateful for the Ontario Weightlifting, Canadian Weightlifting Association and to have Clance worked with me along the way.

In regards to sacrifices, I get this question a lot and I don’t really think that I’ve made any. I’m doing exactly what I want to do. I had these great opportunities to travel and yeah, that costs money, but so does everything else.

I don’t go to a lot of parties, but I’m in bed by 9 PM by my own choice. Some of my best friends have come from the gym. I’ve met my boyfriend to the gym and everything, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. So I don’t think it sacrifices so much as I’ve made some choices in my life. But I don’t view it in a negative way at all.

My biggest dream as would anyone say would be to go to the Olympics, I think that would be awesome.

DOMINATE to me, that means being able to go into meet and know that you are confident and gonna be successful regardless of the outcome, being able to surrender the outcome and still be proud of the work that you’ve put in and not have to worry about if that day is gonna ruin your career or anything because you’re prepared.

The advice I’d give my younger self, or anyone like me, is that it’s really awesome to be strong. I was a gymnast for 10 years and it’s really funny. I started squatting, I started pulling, doing the traditional list, and I’ll go play around in the gym and my skills feel easier than when I was training 30 hours a week. Now I don’t even train and I can go and I can throw a double back off the trampoline and it’s better because I’m stronger.

So like, never underestimate what strength and like lifting can do for yourself.

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