Halley Contreras - Powerlifter

Author: Jonathan. L, owner - Models Observer
December 2017

1. Tell us about yourself and how long have you been powerlifting?

I am an ICU nurse and an avid equestrian. I have only been going to the gym for about 2 years. I started at a commercial gym doing HIIT workouts. About a year and a half ago, I moved to a new state and joined my current gym. I only started powerlifting in March of 2017.

2. How did you get into it?

When I joined Main Street Gym I began weightlifting for aesthetics. Eventually I became strong enough to add squats, bench, and deadlifts into my routine. The first time I deadlifted, I fell in love with the feeling of empowerment and pure badassness of the sport.

3. What are your best lifts?

Honestly it varies. As a powerlifter I would like to say my squat, bench, and deadlift are my best! Right now bench is my strongest and where I知 the happiest with both the weights and my form.

A post shared by Halley Contreras (@hcget) on

4. What is your lifting technique like and how did you develop it?

I知 currently on a powerbuilding routine. My foundation is aesthetics and I still want to develop my overall body on top of going beastmode with my strength. I believe accessory exercises help to build a well-rounded athlete.

5. How do you utilize your diet as a way to maintain your weight while increasing strength? What is your caloric intake?

Over the past year, my weight has only decreased slightly but I have dropped significantly in my body fat percentage. My goal has always been to build muscle leaving me less focused on the scale and more focused on progress pictures and measurements. I try to eat to fuel and nourish my body through cleanly matching my macros each day. My caloric intake varies between 1300 and 1500 calories per day depending on my lifts and if I知 working a 12 hour shift. I知 a firm believer in healthy cheat meals!

6. Please describe your daily/weekly training. Which muscles do you target to improve lifting?

Between working full time, owning and riding a horse, and working at my gym, I知 only able to lift 4-5 days per week. I spend the first part of my workout focused on my main lifts and then I switch to a more accessory and aesthetic focused workout for the second half. When I do cardio, I prefer HIIT workouts due to lack of time.

7. How do you monitor your strength building process in squat, bench and deadlift?

I track all of my workouts in a notebook from what exercise to what weights to how many sets and reps I completed or missed. I normally try to lift as heavy as I can with good form, backing down on the weights as needed to fix problems, and then I will test my maxes every few weeks. I致e noticed that my strength is not linear and I try to listen to my body on how each week should go in terms of my one rep max percentages and sets/reps.

8. Which lift is easier for you, and why?

Currently it is my bench. I知 progressing fairly rapidly with my weights after hitting a mini plateau and my form feels on par for where I am experience wise.

A post shared by Halley Contreras (@hcget) on

9. Tell us about some of your most memorable moments in powerlifting so far.

Every single time I PR a lift. That feeling never gets old and keeps me hungry and excited to try more. Additionally, the first time I ever stepped out onto the platform. The atmosphere and the support from both the crowd and my fellow competitors was exhilarating. My favorite part about powerlifting is the incredible community who is so welcoming and uplifting.

10. How do you successfully grow your mental strength in addition to physical strength?

Staying hungry. Motivation will fail and there are days when going to the gym after a grueling 12 hour shift is the last thing I want to do. I have found that by going anyway, grinding through either a different workout than planned or with lighter weights, that both my will power and my dedication have significantly improved. The dedication, drive, and mental willpower have enhanced my lifts not only on the days when I知 drowning in responsibilities and want to curl up in bed, but also on the days when I知 pumped up and excited to move some heavy ass weight. Additionally, I follow awesome powerlifters on Instagram who give me the drive and enthusiasm to push myself to be the best.

11. What do you like doing away from powerlifting?

I have a horse that I actively compete in Dressage. He keeps me fairly busy and broke!

12. What is your favorite motto/quote in life?

My favorite quote is by the equestrian George Morris who routinely says 添ou either go to the hospital or you get back on... hospital or on! Life will beat you down and you will miss lifts, what happened doesn稚 matter, it is what you did after the event that痴 important.

13. Future goals?

To become an elite powerlifter. My current major goal is to compete at Arnolds. I have a lot of hurdles to overcome between now and then but I知 determined and supported by the best.

Contact info:
IG: https://www.instagram.com/hcget
email: halley.contrerasgould@gmail.com

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