Author Archives: Phil

Arnold mania

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. 

Arnold classic Uk



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. 


It’s getting closer

So, what’s been happening since my last update, well training has gone great and I will say I am really enjoying each session. It’s been great to have things all running well and with no real issues to report let’s hope this continues up to and beyond the Arnold. I suppose it would take some time to come back after the Covid lay off and all the problems that brought along with gyms being closed. Still, that’s all gone and hopefully it won’t come back to that situation, well not till the Arnold is done at least. So today was a good day in the gym over the last few weeks I have been trying a few different shirts on to see what I wanted to compete in. Today we got the shirt sorted and it was a good bench session ending up on 195.5Kgs for a few singles (if you know you know), and whilst my bench seems to be the one thing that is taking its time to come back to what it was, I have to say it was great to feel that weight today and more so to move it comfortably. I have been very conservative for this comp with my bench numbers and whilst I feel I now starting to get that lift back I have no big aspirations for anything like I have done on the day all I want to do is to get some tidy weights out and have a base to build on for the future events. I do think this will be the last comp for 2021 and it will be good to leave it with some tidy numbers, and as I said something to build on for next year’s British championships yes, I know the date and I have already planned that weekend out, work, training and accommodation. I do like to have things worked out ahead. In my day job I work shift work and have to del with going between days and night shifts. So, some planning is always required and let’s hope that next year brings the year that this was not eh.

So, tomorrow is Squats and I am looking forward to that it, the weights are starting to creep up and I know that they are all things I am more than capable of. This however doesn’t mean I will not be focused on each session after all it has been a while since I handled these weights so I cam not be complacent and take each session lightly. The order of the day is “FOCUS” and that is something I have not had for a while like this. As always, I am posting some snippets up of training on Instagram for anyone who is board and wants to see it.

Bank Holiday

So, what’s up guys, hope things are going good for you all. Well, here is a training update for you all. things are going to plan ahead of the Arnold UK. With a slight jump up in weights this week and the reps going down a bit I am really enjoying all my sessions, whilst I am not in full kit yet it is still only half kit and a lose bench shirt, Videos are on Instagram if anyone wants to see them @ph11hof Bodyweight is doing ok also and I do feel better for being slightly lighter. I do think that come sept I will have to adjust a few bits to start to get a bit closer to the comp weight.  

Whilst I am not a million miles away from weight I know when I get a bit lighter, I will be going into different kit that I will use on the day I compete at the Arnold. This week in Romania was the World Masters and it would have been good to compete there, it was not possible at the time I had to commit to it. Oh well there’s always next year now, I guess. Let’s hope things keep going like they have been and we all get back to the new normal world we are living in.

Anyway for now that is it an I hope you all have a good bank holiday weekend and stay safe

British Masters Classic championships July 21

That’s the British classic done now and here is my take on how the day went for me, after making bodyweight for 2 months in a row for this one I did think It may have been easier but there were some ups and downs on that side as I suppose I could expect.

Bodyweight was on the dot 74kgs. Great start to the day and that was made at the first weigh in.

Squats basically went 195kgs opener and that was 2.5Kgs above the M2 British record. I then went on to 205 and finished on 215Kgs. Pleased with how they felt, and a good point to be at considering the training time I have had since the Gyms reopened.

Bench, opened on 130Kgs and then went onto do 136 for a British M2 record on the full power and single lift record, previous records stood at 135 and 135.5Kgs so it chipped both them. Again, that felt great and was all I wanted to do so I declined a 3rd attempt.

Deadlifts a conservative opener on 212.5Kgs superseded the M2 Record total by a few Kgs and then I jumped to 230 for a good lift I did work bit more on that one than I had wanted, I did then call for 241Kg to have a go at the deadlift record an get a full sweep on the records but today it was just that bit to heavy and I was unsuccessful this time.

So, the final outcome was 581Kg total, beating the previous one by 21Kgs so not too bad for my first time classic British championships.  So that makes me British champion at both Equipped and classic. I guess not many will be doing that. So, with that over with it is full stem ahead for the Arnold classic in the UK, with this being the first time it has been held over here it will be great to be a part of this. There was some doubt due to the covid situation and with things now slightly better it is a big go go go.

So this week it is back on program and lets hope things keep going as well as before and that there is nothing stupid with the pandemic that effects my plans, and lets not forge the Arnold is running under the IPF banner so that means it is an international event and there is the chance of Continental records to be broken at this prestigious event.

This great pic is from the media company that covers a lot of Powerlifting events check them out

Home – White Lights Media

British Champs review

Again, a quick update on the British Champs, so it has come and now gone. It was great to be back competing and whilst the outcome was not the one, I wanted I, it was what it was so to speak.

So, with only making 3 out of 5 attempts I ended up with a 250Kg Squat, 185Kgs Bench and 200 Deadlift for a really poor 635Kg total however I did make the Bodyweight and weighed in at 73.8Kgs. now for me it was close on 2 years since I made the 74Kg weight class and that was the big plus for the day. I did miss a 270 Sq and 192.5 bench, the 185Kg was a M2 British record. So now I have a bench mark to work from it is back to the grind and looking ahead to the British Classic later this month. Doing my first British Classic was something that was on the cards for a while now the delay was as you all know Covid and the situation. I have changed my plan for the comp and again it will be at 74Kgs bodyweight class and the sole outcome will be to qualify for a Classic international at some point. My first year as the M2 has not gone to plan so a few adjustments is now to be expected. With the rest of the year ahead and now the option of some form of international championships it is time to look and see what I am able to compete in. for me the World Masters has been ruled out with short notice and the possibility of a family holiday I am waiting some other news on a championship

Great Pic courtesy of White lights media

For anyone who wants to watch the Equipped British champs the link is

2021 British Equipped Championships on Livestream

British Champs

It is about time I did an update on the blog side of things. So, we are a few days away from my first comp in 18 months. Yes, this weekend is the British Champs the real one you know equipped. So, with some restrictions around the comp, it is good to see a championships go ahead even if it has some restrictions. I do believe there will be a live feed for the championships if anyone wants to watch. I will post that up when I know what it is.

Training wise well with the prolonged training break I felt that being back training was best not rushed and I did not want to end up with some form of injury from going to heavy too quick, when tbh there is no real need to. So, all my programs have been very conservative and even what I have planned at the Champs will be well below what I have done before. My main aim is to make weight and all my Covid weight gains now need to come off, I did find being close to 80Kgs for some time was different this time and if I am honest was way to heavy for my frame, after all I am no giant am i.

So, the plan for this year has changed a fair bit it was my 1st year as a M2 lifter and I wanted to kick start it with a few comps and some classic ones also to (gasp and horror lol). Well, that has had to change but like all good plans you do have to change things around on times. Then recently we find out that for the moment there will be no international teams sent by British Powerlifting at the present, and I can’t say I disagree with that after all we need the world to start to come back to some normality, and possibly a new normality.

Onto the plan well it goes like this Make weight lift and then get back training a few days later ahead of the British Classic, where I want to compete and hopefully get selected for some classic internationals. Whilst my big come back I have focused a lot on my raw strength and it seems to be coming back just as I wanted, well apart from bench and the upper body stuff but I am sure that won’t be long before I am back to feeling like I used to in the gym and able to push myself a lot more.

It is good to see that this year the Arnold classic in England is due to go ahead and that will be a great event to go and see, maybe even lift at, this weekend is the first step towards the selection in that process.

So, guys and girls I hope you are all enjoying being back in your own gyms and back training smart. Strange how withal this that has gone on we realise how things like gyms, and being fit and healthy make a big difference towards everyday life.

New Year same situation

Firstly, may I wish you all a Happy New year

Well, here we are in a new year and most making some form of new year resolution, however I don’t think that is going on much this year. With the ongoing Covid-19 situation and lockdowns going on all over the country it is making life hard to have some normality and to focus on the future.

For myself it was meant to be a big year with me turning 50 and moving into the Master 2 category, I had hope of doing a few classic powerlifting comps also alongside my main powerlifting events.  But the reality is who knows when we will get to do a comp, we do have some dates pencilled in but they are likely to change with the current situation in the country. And combined with Gyms being closed, like most I don’t have access to home facilities to keep me going. I did have some bits earlier in the year and did do some form of exercise but then the weather was much better and doing it outside was more enjoyable.

So, for now I am on the Fitbit wagon and getting those steps in most days. I did have a pushbike for a while but tbh I did not find that worked well for me and preferred walking. It is just more suited to what I want to do. I get my headphones on and listen to a few podcasts to keep me going while I walk. I don’t set myself big targets when I walk, I have an idea of the route I will take and then go, and at my pace. I am fortunate that where I live there is a lot of cycle paths I can walk along and they are mostly flat. This is something I will defiantly be keeping going with the cardio, after all I do know when I am back at the gym I will recovery much quicker and feel a lot better during my gym sessions. For those who know me I do puff and pant like an old billy goat on times.

So, with the ongoing situation I do hope everyone is hanging in there and for those who are competitive lifters like myself I am sure you are able to work around things to keep you occupied and focused on some form of exercise to keep your mind and body healthy.   

Hopefully it will come to and end soon and we can get back into some normality and back into life as we knew it before. So until then stay safe people.

Better late than never

So how are you all doing in these strange times ?? for myself it has defiantly been a strange year so far, So I think it is fair to say Covid-19 has been a pain in the arse for us all. Yes, we are wearing masks and washing our hands more than ever. Social distancing has become the new normal.  Alongside all of that is has become a on off year with training and as there are no competitions and very few planned for now. This was a big change for myself as I do compete a few times a year and if I am honest, I do like competing. So, with this being close on a year build up from my last comp to the next one that I have planned to do. With that I mind the comp will be the British Championships in March, that is as long as things don’t go mad again.

With all that said next year I now move into another age group and I hit the big 50 in March. Leaving the M1 was not done in the way I wanted and at the start of the year I set out some clear-cut goals. That was done for the first time in all the years I have been lifting and then it all went tits up. So next year I have some idea as to what I want to do and where I want to compete too. But this time I am not going to think too far ahead just in case. On the plus side I have been enjoying my training and still following a program to give me some thing to stick to and it has given me the opportunity to change things around and there have been a few exercises that I have changed around and some stuff I have toyed with to see how things go. Along with that going on I have a new found love for cardio. I did get myself a pushbike but after trying it a few times I figured I was better suited to walking than riding a bike.  I have been posting some videos on my social media for anyone who is interested in that check them out and feel free to leave a comment if you want. Now with a few weeks till Christmas it is still going to be full steam ahead on my program as I don’t want to slack off at this point with so much missed training this year already. Th focus will be hard training, cardio and a few subtle lifestyle changes

Masters 2 lifting

So Covid-19 has now taken another victim in the form of the Masters World championships later on this year, The IPF have decided to cancel the Championships that had already been changed from April.  for me it was inevitable it was going to happen but the worse thing is that means that next year I am moving age group to the Masters 2 age group. Whilst growing old is one thing there is another thing to consider and for me that’s going to be a new challenge ahead. I had planned a fun packed year to end my M1 but that’s not to be and the focus now goes onto the year ahead.

I am back training now and with the disruption from the last few months it is time to start to rebuild and take things slow. I don’t want to jump right up too heavy weights right now, doing that could lead to picking up an injury and I don’t want that. I don’t need to squat over 300Kg right now so I can build slow, adjust training and get myself back up to those weights in time for the first comp of 2021. I am now enjoying my training and with the lower weights I can focus getting back to a tidy standard ahead of whatever prep I need to do ahead of the first comp back.

With the gym being quiet right now I am doing some more cardio outside of the weights and along with the focus on working at the bodyweight to make sure things are in a good place to start the year ahead.  This is something I will be keeping an eye on as time goes by I don’t need to be fat while I am turning into an old man, well older man eh