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Larissa Hanley Q&A

Recently I had the opportunity to chat to Larissa Hanley an upcoming Powerlifter and Nutrition enthusiast! She has competed in Fitness as a First timer, Fitness novice & Fitness Opens (At INBA Tropix) followed by Fitness Novice & Opens @ the INBA Brisbane Classic.

Here's what she had to say about Training, Nutrition, Diets and Lifestyle choices that formed the unstoppable force she is today:

When did you start lifting?

I initially started lifting when I was 18 (in 2004) for about 8 months before getting off track and stopping. Got back into lifting in 2012 after living an unhealthy lifestyle of partying and neglected nutrition etc.

Were you also playing sports?

Used to do Equestrian but that was about it!

Is competing or becoming a professional something you've always sought after?

Not “always” but definitely in the last 3 years since I started lifting.

When did you decide you wanted to compete?

2 years ago once weightlifting had become a serious part of my life.

Are you currently sponsored?


What are some of your favorite products or supplements?

Protein - International Protein

- Quest


- Bulk Nutrients

L Glutamine

L Carnitine

Beta Alanine

Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Magnesium

Green Tea X50

Who are your Role models?

My Fiance Michael. He encourages me, supports me and is always excited for me to chase my dreams. He’s also insanely strong and good at EVERY sport. Literally haha! My coach, Alex Bewsey

Alex Muscat (Friend and owner of House of Supplements, Jymlocker, Citizen Zeus and Chief Gelato. Have known him for years since he had a tiny business to now an ever growing business empire and he is STILL the same humble, down to earth, awesome human being who is always happy to give advice to others or just have a general chat about the health and fitness industry.)

Layne Norton

Katie Anne Rutherford (one of Layne’s clients)

Lyndall Vile

Christmas Abbott

Renee Lowe

Diana Johnson

Hattie Boydle

What obstacles did you find during your career?

My current situation has been the product of a 3 year journey for me. From overweight & massively unhappy, to "fit" but with an absolutely horrendous relationship/obsession with food & exercise that led to an eating disorder and over exercise obsession that saw me eating bugger all food, being afraid of carbs, doing 3 cardio sessions per DAY along with weight training that left me weak, exhausted & metabolically damaged to today - the leanest, happiest, food relationship repaired & STRONGEST I have ever been. I have literally done it all - from Paleo to Keto, clean completely restrictive eating to today; a balanced approach.

How did you overcome these?

It's taken time, consistency, experimentation, dedication, motivation, hard work, failure, high points, low points & determination to get to this point & I am FAR from finished. Meeting my coach Alex Bewsey was a pivotal turning point for me in terms of getting out of the under eating and over exercising trap. I have also immersed myself in studying 2 separate sports nutrition courses to further my knowledge about nutrition.

Do you have kids?


How do you find the time to lead such an active lifestyle?

Quite simply, you make time. It’s not easy and I can definitely say there are days I honestly don’t want to go train but - I suck it up and go as I’m a big believer in the only workout you should regret is the one you didn’t do! I have a huge respect and admiration for those who manage to lead an active lifestyle who also have children as juggling so many priorities, schedules and commitments is extremely tough and takes a huge amount of dedication.

What is your approach to Nutrition?

As stated previously; I’ve done it all! I now follow a flexible/balanced diet approach where 80-90% of my nutritional intake comes from wholesome, nutrient dense foods and the remaining 10-20% comes from other foods I enjoy that most people would consider “naughty”.

Do you weigh your food or track your Macros?

Absolutely, I do both. I have found this to be the best and most precise way of tracking my progress and seeing consistent results over time. Although at first people might complain about weighing and tracking food, after a time it becomes habit and is easy to do. I have also found it has taught me a great deal about the nutrient content of my food so when I go out for a meal at a restaurant I can choose an option that still works within my current calorie goals and allows me to employ intuitive eating”.

What obstacles did you find with nutrition?

Coming from a place where I was obsessed with calories and scared of carbs, I tried a range of different diets from keto, paleo to super strict clean eating but found that none of these enabled me to stay on track for long periods of time due to the ridiculous restrictions. I don’t see it as obstacles - more so lessons learnt and experience which have enabled me to get to a place where I have a wonderful relationship with food and no longer fear it.

What's some of your favorite meals or recipes?

I honestly LOVE my morning Oats - Oats mixed with my favourite protein powder, berries, maple syrup and a dollop of peanut butter. I love peanut butter everything as well, definitely have a huge sweet tooth! Peanut butter and raspberry jam on toast is my fav pre workout snack at the moment.

Whats been some of your greatest achievements?

Doubling my lifts on my Squat, Deadlift and Bench in 6 months with my coach. Deadlifting 137.5 kgs 1 week out from my first body building comp weighing 50kgs while sitting at 10% body fat. Stepping on stage in my first 2 body building comps this year.

What are your goals for the next 5 years?

Compete in powerlifting comps, continue increasing my strength on all my lifts, step up into the figure category in Body Building

What's your immediate goal?

Currently doing my first DUP training Block, specifically focusing on building strength back up after injuring my back and more specifically on increasing Squat strength.

Are you currently prepping for a show or competition? If so which one?

Currently, no. Will be looking to compete in my first power comp next year and still deciding on whether I will be doing Season A or Season A in body building.

Do you undertake clients interstate? i.e. QLD or NSW


What kind of legacy do you plan to leave behind?

If I can inspire one person to simply step outside their comfort zone and incorporate health & fitness into their life I will be happy. I am also extremely determined to show women in particular that there is nothing to fear from lifting HEAVY and eating to perform not eating to restrict. I also want to help people to have positive relationships with food and not to fear it!

How would you like to be remembered in the fitness industry?

Humble, dedicated, motivated and ridiculously strong!

Finally if you could only Bench, Squat or Deadlift for the rest of your career which would you pick?

Hands down, Deadlift. I personally believe I have seen the most progression in my physique since incorporating all three lifts but in particular, the Deadlift. Deadlifts are just…my BAE!

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