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Gainesville's Emily House qualifies for Powerlifting National Championship
Qualifying totals made for Gainesville High grad at Powerlifting For Pups meet
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Emily House shows her award after winning the novice division of the Powerlifting for Pups meet Saturday in Atlanta. To her right is her husband Morgan House. - photo by For The Times

Emily House is part of an elite group of people who have qualified for a national championship in two different sports.

After growing up paddling the waters of Lake Lanier with the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club, House is now honed in on getting stronger in the gym. During 11 years of competing in the kayak, and seven trips to nationals with the LCKC, she’s now ready to add powerlifting to her athletic resume of appearance on a nationwide stage.

On Saturday, House won the novice division at 72 kilograms of the Powerlifting for Pups meet in Atlanta.

In the three-discipline meet, she bench pressed 210 pounds, squatted 275 and topped it off with 391 in the deadlift, finishing with a first-place total of 876 pounds. The win for the 26-year-old from Gainesville punched her ticket to the US Powerlifting Nationals Oct. 14-18 in Scranton, Penn.

Making the accomplishment even more exceptional is the fact House was competing in her first powerlifting meet.

“I really love how strong I’ve gotten,” said House, who works as School Nutrition Coordinator for Gainesville City Schools.
After just a little more than one year of training six days a week at Elevation Fitness in Gainesville, she paid the $75 to enter the meet.

“I signed myself up to lock myself in to doing it,” she added.

Emily figured out rather quickly what was so fun about weightlifting, now that she no longer competes in the water.
“I am seeing progress every week,” she said. “It’s me against me in the gym.”

House said the pinnacle of her career in kayak was taking part in the World Championships.

Even though she’s been an athlete most of her life, achieving a high level of success in the kayak, the principles involved in weightlifting were totally different.

Training has been achieved in the gym, despite balancing a career and raising a 2-year-old son Liam with her husband Morgan, who is manager of the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue.

After work, she hits the gym and has Morgan record her videos, or uses a tripod to capture the action. She sends the tape to her coach Chris Aydin, who lives out of state. Aydin gives feedback and gives workouts for Emily to complete.

House is part of a team, The Strength Athlete, along with her friend Caitlin Clark in Gainesville, and many others across the nation.

“(Morgan) is my biggest fan,” said House.

House also follows a structured diet plan, which allots a set amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat to eat in a given day.

It was when House saw Clark lifting at Elevation in the summer of 2014, when it set into motion her desire to be a weightlifter.

A mother of a one-year-old in 2014, House approached Clark to ask what she was doing to maintain such a high level of fitness. That encounter struck up an immediate friendship. Clark gave her information about her team and coach, House said.

When House first got started, her form was ‘horrendous,’ she said. Early on, she struggled to squat 135.

After just one year, she’s more than doubled that total, along with going 165 to 210 on the bench. Her next goal in the dead lift is 400.

She’s so new, in fact, House doesn’t even know ultimately where she wants to go with this sport based on raw strength and technique.

She just knows, first, she wants to go and strive for some hardware at nationals this fall.

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