Hannah Chan - Powerlifter

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

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

I started lifting in 2012, did my first powerlifting competition in 2014. So almost 3 years competing.

2. How did you get into it?

I started lifting when I got to uni for aesthetic purposes. Even then I was somewhat focusing on strength, and I had heard about/seen powerlifting online on social media and thought it looked pretty cool, so eventually transitioned to a more strength based approach. Later on there was a powerlifting competition specifically for university students who wanted to give it a try so I signed up, and it all went from there.

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3. What are your best lifts?

I compete in the 57kg weight class in the junior age division. Best competition lifts are
137.5kg squat
77.5kg bench
155kg deadlift

Best gym lifts are
140kg squat
80kg bench
155kg deadlift

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

At first I watched loads of videos on youtube and read loads of articles on common mistakes, cues, tips, etc on technique. The rest comes with practice and time. As long as technique is 80% + correct and the lift is compliant with the rule book, and technique poses no major injury risk, I’m not a believer in spending weeks / months in stripping weight down to something really light to focus on correcting that 2-3% “error” in technique. The really minor stuff will often correct itself through time and repetition as you get better overall and your body finds the most efficient way. That’s the principle we follow at RTS too.

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

When I am not dieting down for a competition (I sit above my weight class when I don’t have to restrict my calories because I love food too much) I rarely track my daily caloric intake and just eat intuitively. As it is a lifestyle after all and I am not a fan of having to track calories on MyFitnessPal when I don’t have to. My main goal when in “off season” or not dieting is to not overeat and drifting too high above my weight class and to make sure I am eating enough protein.

When I am dieting my main goal is to make sure I stay compliant, stay in a deficit and eat enough protein. Calorie wise I probably average at 1500 daily – some days I eat more (weekends), some days less.

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

Weekly frequency is something like this:
2x Squat (1 competition, 1 secondary movement like pause/pin)
2x Deadlift (1 competition, 1 secondary movement like pause/deficit)
3x Bench (1 competition)

Since being with Reactive Training Systems in 2015 we’ve always implemented a single @ RPE 8 for competition lifts. On squats we use a high volume approach. Bench is high volume and frequency. Deadlift is high intensity, low volume

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

We have an app on the RTS website where you enter your training and it calculates and graphs your estimated 1RMs over a 1 month, 3 month, or 1 year period. So progress on competition lifts are presented visually in graphs.

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

Bench press. Physically and psychologically I find it the least taxing.

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

Winning the British championships in 2015 was a really happy moment for me after I hit a big PR on deadlift. As was coming 4th at the past 2017 IPF World championships and managing to get a bronze medal on squat. That was big for me as I was initially nominated 11th.

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

I like to set realistic tangible and short-term goals which I can directly influence. Not things like “I want my squat to go up by 30kg in x amount of time” because ultimately that’s out of control. But things like being compliant in hitting my macros, or being in bed by a certain time, or setting a weekly bodyweight timeline/goal when dieting. Focusing more on myself and less on others has helped too. In competition I see it as a way to showcase my strength and work, as opposed to focusing on wanting to place X positon. Visualisation, positive self talk and staying positive are also big parts of it for me.

11. What do you like doing away from powerlifting?

Eating, sleeping, Netflix.

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

I like “If it’s important you will find a way, if not you’ll find an excuse” and “work so hard your idols become your rivals”

13. Future goals?

I want to eventually maintain my level of competitiveness as I enter the open/senior age category and represent the sport of powerlifting well and increase its’ awareness.

Contact info:
IG: https://www.instagram.com/hannahchan921
email: hannahchan921@gmail.com

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