So, this was interesting, having never competed in Northern Ireland it was great to finally got to go there and see just how good they run their events, and boy they do a good comp.
So, bodyweight went well and I was down to under 74 for the first time in a while, weighing at 73.8Kgs. That was a great start but then the squats did not go to plan, I opened up on 212.5Kgs a lift that I was happy with when I decided on starters. During the warm ups my last was a lot heavier than it should have been, I missed my opening lift second, I went down and basically stayed there then managed to scrap through on the last lift. The long and short of it was I opened tooooooooooo heavy. With the big shock to myself I dropped both my bench and deadlift openers a bit to regain confidence and get me back building a total. Bench went 132.5/137.5/140 last 2 attempts were British records for Masters 2
Deadlifts I went 210/220/225 and with loads left in the tank I finished the day down on what I wanted but without a decent squat it was inevitable my plan went tits up on the day. I will say Belfast you were great and it was lovely to catch up with so many friends and others i had yet to meet.
For anyone who wants to watch the lifting it was streamed and the link is:
So now that is over it is onto the next comp and that’s only a few weeks away and that is the European Masters Equipped Championships, these are being held in Sweden at the start of July. With not much time between these 2 comps it will be interesting to see how I feel come the next one.
With May now coming close to the end it has been a quick few months’ worth of training, it does seem to be gym comp and then repeat. But after the last few years I figure it is something we have all taken for granted and with the world situation now coming to the new normal things we have taken for granted are now back on track. Well, the big news for me is that whilst I have a few comps lined up in the next 6 weeks I have now been selected to lift at the UK Arnold classic, in September at the NEC Birmingham. Having lifted there last year and now this time they are having lifting over 3 days now it is sure to be a massive Powerlifting event in the UK.
Anyway, that’s in the future and for now it is still mixing my training up for the British Masters Classic and the Equipped Europeans and that I have found to be a fun challenge in itself. So my master plan will be all being well win at both and then I have my options open for next year and maybe actually get round to a international in the classic side of the lifting. Talking about classic I saw a video on social media with a lifter trying to get into some ridiculously small knee sleeves. Now this got me thinking and my thoughts were this, a knee sleeve is 7mm thick so going down in a size or 2 maybe even 3 would only stretch the material a lot more then it is designed for and I would think make it thinner on the knee joint. There fore it would possibly make the sleeve less effective. Now I do wonder if that would be right but it makes sense to me and well in my little world, I can comprehend that and make sense.
Anyway if you want really tight kit then just go equipped I think is the answer…..
So that’s the Welsh done and dusted, so the basics are I lifted in the 83s and despite being very light in the class I won the open class. Along the way I did manage to break the Masters 2 British Squat record twice 220.5Kgs and then 227.5Kgs.
We moved on to the Bench then and did another British Record on my last lift of 146Kgs. Deadlifts went 210Kgs 220,230 it was a 9 from 9 day also and I was pleased with the whole day, in fact the lifts were all Welsh records also, including the Deadlift.
I will say the WPA did a great job this weekend and it was good to see so many new faces and loads of great lifting. The weekends videos are up on their YouTube channel for anyone wanting to catch up on the lifting.
So, with no peace for the wicked it is back into training this week and with another 2 comps in the next 10 weeks it has to be that way. Firstly, I have the British Masters Classic over in Northern Ireland and then the Equipped Masters in Sweden. So, the next few weeks will be a mix of classic lifting and equipped.
So, with the Welsh Championships only a few weeks away the training has started to wind up and taper down ahead of the comp. With a few things going on I have decided to lift over weight at this event and go in a light 83(well very light). Things have gone good for me and I think things are all on target for what I have in mind. As you all know though it is all down to what happens on the day and even as an experienced lifter your still at the mercy of the Rules and lifting to them. Training is great but there is always a chance you are not lifting to the rules and we do tend to pick up bad habits and that sort of things.
So, this week we have a few bits left to do and then it will be rest up till comp day, some light moves in the week and a massage will all get me ready for the day. Unfortunately, there is limited spectators allowed on the day, but on the other side anyone who wants to watch the event it will be live streamed on the Welsh Powerlifting association You tube channel:
with the numbers in Wales now getting bigger and bigger they have the championships over 2 days (30thApril/1St May). Myself I am on the Sunday now if anyone wants to watch. It is great to see how much Powerlifting has grown and more so in Wales.
So here is the update on the European Classic Championships. For me I was really looking forward to this event and training had been good and on target, bodyweight had been good also. Then the madness started with the Russian situation with the Ukraine. Now about a month or so ago I had my flights cancelled that had been booked up since last December. So, we got the new flights sorted and flight out got cancelled just before the championships itself started. So, it was then making a decision on whether to find new flights out with another airline. The one I had booked with did not have anything going out in the week to get me there in time to compete. So, I made the choice not to go and give it a miss this time. I do think I did the adult thing and make sure I did not go there and subject myself to any possible hasstle. I had hoped in the last few weeks prior to the championships it would have been postponed and rearranged.
So, with all that in mind I have now readjusted my training and the focus for now will be on the Welsh Championships at the end of April. whilst that in Cardiff is not the same as Lithuania it is a need must. It ill then be onto the British Classic championships in Belfast, now this is quite funny I have never lifted in Northern Ireland, every time we have had something on there I have had to pass for some reason. Then it will be the Masters Equipped Europeans in Sweden in Eskilstuna. Now this will be my second time going to this town I went there years ago as an open lifter and think it was my first international in the 67.5Kgs bodyweight class. So, all in all it will be a busy few months and with the plan now firmly in place it is something I am looking forward to. The rest of the year is still a bit sketchy but I am sure things will work out well and there’s still the fingers crossed for the Arnold is September.
So, it has been just over a week now since the British was and I have had time to look back on the whole day and what should or could have been.
Weight now this had been great in the build up and in the last few days I do not know what happened it jumped up a fair bit that expected and I felt that it was going to be touch and go, being wrapped up and in the last 12 hours I dropped close to a Kg and a half and that was definitely not the plan. So on the day I weighed in at bang on 74Kgs so that was one thing off my mind.
Onto the comp, squats felt good and I opted in the end to just take the one lift to give me time to get ready for the bench. Now since the whole lockdown thing has come and gone and I feel that my bench went with it. It has been the hardest part of coming back to competing. The plan was to get close to a 200Kg bench and after my opener on 190Kgs I felt confident that this was possibility. However, my second did not go to plan and some foot movement just threw me off and I missed it, the third was slightly different and still ended up in a miss. Deadlifts did not feel as good as they have done and for me the biggest challenge was to make sure I was able to hold onto the bar, this ongoing issue with dermatitis on my palms has become a pain in the ass and has made holding on harder then normal. Suppose not being able to deadlift for a few weeks prior to the comp was not the best idea. So opener went well 225Kg I then jumped to 245Kgs and my whole set up was wrong and when I went to pull it was just not going anywhere.
So, the conclusion apart from making weight it was a below par days lifting and not what I wanted.
Looking forward now it will be Lithuania in march for the European Classic Championships and this will be my first classic international and will take me out of my comfort zone. I did go back into training a few days after the comp and now I have things I want to add and change about my build up towards the comp and hope that things go better there. Fingers crossed
Here’s to a happy new year to everyone and let’s hope things are going to be much better this year.
Well with the British Championships only a few weeks away now I am starting to wind up this training cycle and the inevitable hope it all goes well on the day thoughts are going through my mind. This training plan is based on some of the lifts I finished with last year and I am hoping it will be a good foundation to start the rest of the years training. Having been selected for the forthcoming European Classic championships in March I want to get back into training as soon after the British as possible and I have a 6-week training cycle towards that event. I think there’s a big misconception out there that equipped lifters use kit all the year round and are not strong without the kit that does it all for us lol
However, the real truth is we all do a load of raw training in order to build the strength before the kit goes on then we transfer it too the real lifting. Equipped lifting is so much different to classic as the kit does try to take you out of the correct form you have built up without kit. Working with kit is an art form in itself.
Here we are a few weeks away from Christmas and may I wish you and your family’s a lovely Christmas.
Training has been on point for the last o many weeks and all focused towards the British champs in January. Normally I would do some form of deload before I do my final build up on kit. This time I ends up doing a weeks holiday instead, to relax a bit. Mind you I did end up finding a nice gym to have a session at. So what’s next well it is back home to cold wet Swansea and once all my tests are clear it will be kit on and get focused towards the British. Whilst this year is not finished yet I have started to plan the year ahead. I am sort of hoping to make up for this years madness and get some internationals under my belt. So with each championship It is one step closer to the end goal. Leaving this year behind I think I have made a stamp on being an M2 lifter, and that’s just the start. Let’s hope for bigger and better things to come.
So now that the Arnold is over and all I can say it was an amazing event to be competing it. Now I have had the privilege in the past to compete at the European event and this one in the UK was just something that was so much bigger and better. I think with Eddie Hall being a big driving force with the event it had to be such a big success. If any of you made it there during the 3 days I am sure you will agree.
So let’s set the scene with around 20,000 people in attendance then all the events stalls and other sports going ahead the NEC was jam packed. Now when the lifting was going on we had a few thousand stood watching the whole comp. I have never ever lifted in front of so many people and the buzz that they have not only myself but all the other lifters was unbelievable.
Now onto my lifts, openers were squat 265kgs, bench 190.5kgs and deadlift 220kgs. These are all weights I have done so many times before and feeling confident with my selection, making weight was surprisingly ok this time. I did not have to drop a lot to get myself in the body weight class I wanted to be in. Now whilst there was no real stipulation on me being a weight in order to have a chance of breaking any sort of record I needed to be in my weight class.
Squats, opener was a British Masters2 record then on my second I went 280kgs this was now an European M2 record. Then we went to 290.5kgs this was a successful lift and a World M2 record.
Bench, oh this is where the fun really started. My opener was a weight I have done maybe a dozen times in the last month and today it was just rubbish. My warm ups did not go right I was sloppy and just rubbish. Missing both first and second attempts it was all or nothing on my last and with the weight being 190.5kgs it was actually a British and European M2 record. Just scrapping it in on my last attempt really was for me a pressure lift. A miss would mean the previous records I had done would all be lost as no total no records. So as I said I scrapped it in.
Deadlift, opening on 220kgs was a weight that I can do an day time or place and was what I needed to post a total and make sure the previous records all stood. Now also that weight gave me a British and European total record for the M2 age and being 701kgs. Now in the last few months I have had some real issues with ripped callouses and a bout of dermatitis. So with my hands potentially being the weak link in my armour the easy opener was then upped to 250kgs for my second lift. Again a weight I have lifted many a time before and this weight was chosen to also give me a shot at bettering the previous total records and attempting to break the World total record. With such a big build up from the MC and the crowd making so much noise it was a pure adrenaline rush. A successful lift followed and a new World total record was set 731kgs. This was a day like no other for me. Yes I have lifted more in the past, and broken records but with the whole Arnold mania it just made it what it was.
The breakdown is 6 British records. 5 European records and 2 World records in the M2, 74kg body weight class.
The Icing on the cake was a 2nd place overall and a cool 1,000 Euros in my pocket. A big shout out to all who watched and supported me with this and everything I do. The organisers who made the event possible. Table staff, referees, loaders and finally the Arnold for inviting the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) to take part and being run under the British Powerlifting affiliate. It has been a while since we had a big international event in the UK and boy was it great.
So here we are the weekend of the Arnold whooooo hooo so apart from this being the first UK one it is hopefully going to be a great event to be at. In the last few weeks I have enjoyed training more than ever and I have started to feel like the forced Covid break is well behind me and I can now get back to full strength again. Hitting Masters 2 this year is another milestone in my Powerlifting journey. I was asked the other day about how do I keep going after all these years. For me it is still the same I want to better myself and now in a different age group it has opened up new challenges to me. Goals and titles are there to be taken. I don’t feel any different to when I was 30 or 20 tbh. My strength well was still on the up and I do feel that will carry on again from here on in. I have a great work, rest balance and that give me time in all aspects of my life.
So back to the job at hand this weekend. Firstly to make weight and then it is into having fun at the event. Masters lifting is less stressful than the open and that allows us to enjoy it and have fun. For those who are masters and unsure you should try it out. Now I have had at times had a different outlook on competing. Nerves still play a big part in what comes with comp day and let’s hope that never stops. It is a big driver for me and something despite how prepared I am I still have. Dealing with them on the day is something that can be hard, I do put myself under some pressure to do good and that’s because I don’t like to let people down. My lovely partner Michelle, my family and close friends all of who are so supportive of what I have done and continue to do.