I met Natalie Hanson when she was in Ireland for EPC18, where she presented her talk on Nuances of Coaching the Female Lifter. I'm so glad that I decided to pursue coaching with Natalie; I feel like I've made great progress in and outside of the gym as a result.

I went from training in a powerlifting gym with coaches around to training alone in a commercial gym so I was eager to find an online coach that I could build a good relationship and maintain regular contact with. Natalie has been amazing, making the transition to online coaching so much easier. She designed a program tailored to my needs and organised a Skype call to explain everything before I started the cycle. 

It did take some time to adjust to RPE as I had never used it before but Natalie was always reassuring and helpful on how I was progressing. Every week, she provided in-depth feedback on my videos that I sent her.

Leading up to my competition, the communication was more regular as Natalie suggested keeping her updated during my sessions. This was particularly important when I needed a second opinion when deciding on loads for heavy sets. Natalie provided me with an attempt selection sheet for comp day and I followed the plan on the day. Knowing Natalie had confidence in me achieving those numbers made me sure I would get them. I went 9/9 finishing up with a 17.5kg PB on my total.

I'm already a few weeks into my next training cycle and I'm excited to continue to progress under Natalie's guidance and support.

  • Alison O’Reilly