British Masters squad training South. New dates!!

Here at OXP we have been broadening the range of our Weightlifting activity, to try and encompass more of an age demographic. We have successfully done more with our “Uplifting Youth” team, securing medals at National Championships.

One of the other areas we wanted to increase opportunity and activity is Masters lifting. We have been attending Masters events since 2009 with various lifters, most of them gaining medals again at National level.

Masters is a great community, but doesn’t get the opportunity to train together, in the same way that Senior Regional or National squads do. Training away from your own club, is a great way of broadening your experience.

We intend to run these squads over two hours, Saturday’s from 12:30 hrs.

We have a bar here at Oxford rugby Club, or there is a nice pub up the road called “The Fishes”. Bring Oxford money to that one though!!

Spaces are limited to 20, we have 2 or 3 BWL L2 coaches on hand and it’s open to all Masters ages and levels.

This would be a great opportunity for squad sessions in readiness for the Worlds in Barcelona!!

First two dates:

  • 14th July 12:30 hrs
  • 28th July 12:30 hrs

Hope to see you at OXP soon!!

European Championships Bucharest 2018

British Weightlifting has just announced the team for the European Championships in Bucharest Romania.

With the Commonwealth games due to start, the team consists of a lot of younger and less seasoned international lifers.

The biggest news in this championships that, Julie Morrish our Womens coach and team manager, travels with them as “Team Leader”.  Julie has managed the OXP team domestically and Internationally for over ten years. Now she has the opportunity to work with some new faces with the GB team.

Well done Julie!!

Noorin Gulam from Bournemouth Uni, becoming accustomed to a new category. Won the English Championships this year, with a143 total -48. I hope Noorin is now settled in her weight category.

Amy Williams, listed as “Norwich B” but I think coached by “Wisdom for Weightlifting” Sarah on the particular day. Won the English with a 166 total -53, we had noticed Amy on a few occasions, wasn’t part of the GB set up. We knew it wouldn’t be long before she got a call.

Olivia Blatch from “Europa” won the English with a 177 total -58. Typical tough Europa stock, really good to watch.

Bobbie Ross from KBT 184 total to secure The English title, Bobbie achieved 6/6 at the English. Will be exciting to see her try and extend these PB’s. Nice strong technical lifter.

Chris Murray, Locker 27 is first of the men. Looked really good in the Snatch, missed a second attempt only to go up and secure it anyway. Another lifter that is good to watch, likes a bit crowd participation. English Champion with 286 -77.

The second of the men is a Celt, Jason Epton coached by John Mcewan, form the fiery “Glasgow City Barbell” This describes pretty much any Scottish lifter to be honest. Will have the bit between his teeth to prove his nation proud.

All in all this is an exciting team, headed by the original “Lifting League” Emperor Giles Greenwood (Head Coach)

Hope to see this young team take the opportunity to secure future selection.

Coaching Coaches

Olympic Weightlifting is probably the most popular it’s ever been, this rise in participation is largely due to Crossfit and their significant use of media to promote it.

There is more and more Weightlifting style events at their games, if you are not proficient at lifting you may not do that well. This has resulted in a lot of Weightlifting coaches being hired into CF boxes for “Barbell” sessions or seminars.

Coaching at these is slightly different to being at my club, there is a different set of people each week. Sometimes there are large numbers in quite restricted time.

The sensible ones book in every week to gain coaching, it works out quite good value that way. It also allows me to build a relationship with them in order to make progress.

There are plenty of “Weightlifting Clubs” at CF boxes with good coaches, not all of us can afford to join though.

As there is an increase in people who participate in Weightlifting there becomes a need for more coaches. Not just at CF boxes but also at original Weightlifting facilities, who have also benefited in the rise of lifting activity. It’s is fair to say that you cannot be a good coach by sitting a weekend course, what you do after is what really makes one a coach. For me, I spend as much time in “Coaching” activity as I did in my career.

I have also probably made as many mistakes in programming and cues over the years, but the willingness to become better over time is very important. Both in lifting and coaching, so I view both of them in the same light.

Coaching decent level lifters is quite personal, for instance you have to know who you can “ball out” in order to get the desired response. Some people do not like being shouted at, you need to know who you’re dealing with in order to coach them properly. Again this takes time, months of contact in fact.

The only exception is our “Elite” level coaches or national team coaches. They can take on and coach lifters having had little history with them, they are selected for the job because of this. It is also likely that the national coach would know the lifters home coach, with the fact that elite lifters are used to doing as they are told and probably quite a hardened individual makes this temporary handover work well.

So along with more people taking up “lifting” we need more coaches, preferably hands on coaches, like the ones that take you to comps.

If a Weightlifting club grows as we all have, you will undoubtedly have situations where two comps are happening. You may even decide to go on holiday (selfishly).

Do all your lifters get enough time with you? Take for instance at my club we could have 15-20 team members passing through in one night. We also have national level, regional and beginner lifters all the facility at the same time.

All of our members are programmed, quite often hitting goals/comps at different dates.

The need for more coaches to share the work has long been with us. When you begin to look at sharing work out anywhere, either at work or at a facility you can quite quickly tell who you can approach. It’s normally the ones that would put someone else’s weights away or joins “gym fix it days”

Some of my lot have been with me over ten years, I get the same people turning up for said days every time.

Shadowing a coach is a pretty good method of learning. It is likely that if you are like me, a “Himbo” you haven’t noticed the person that has been shadowing you for years coaching wise. If you are confident in your coaching this is the individual you send to BWL for certification in order to become licensed.

It is also worth considering that you don’t relate to everyone, I have had some quite nervous lifters that needed particular guidance, which I don’t have.

I found someone else that is good at that, these lifters have now progressed and overcome nervousness to a point that they can cope even with me. Grumpy!!

I have mentioned different tiers of programming. There was a need to program for the general team member whilst individualizing for the national lifters. This has become one of the assistant coaches duties, which frees up actual gym time for myself.

Beginners inductions are still being dealt with by myself, once programmed they join the facility and are guided by assistant coaches. Sometimes me. This system works well as the “newbie” doesn’t have to hope that I am there, they know they have a number of coaches at the club. The lifters also share knowledge as they have always done, I think this makes for a good unit.

You will have to guide these coaches of course, on programming and exercise prescription. Perhaps allow them to make they’re own mistakes (not at the British) so they can learn for themselves

Above all share your workload, before doing too much badly!!


OXP squad training dates.

At Oxford Powersports we held a squad training session which was well attended, both by my regular team and also a few lifters that are in contact with our programming and me as a coach.

With around 20 lifters attending this session, my plan was to set some dates for further squads. I have set the following dates:

  • 4th April 2015
  • 7th July 2015
  • 26th September 2015
  • 24th October 2015

The first squad session in April will be followed by an OXP affiliates “night out” in the Zabb Thai restaurant.

The remaining three will hopefully have some food after training, I need to talk this through yet but it worked well last time.

I have set only four dates for a couple of reasons, one is I quite like a weekend off now and then. Another is the early part of the year everyone is busy with “Lifting League” activity, I feel we need to let lifters concentrate on this ever growing competition. Find the lifting league here.

I have placed the later ones close together towards our regionals to give an opportunity to make good progress towards the championships. This is where a lot of people are trying to qualify for various Comps.

As I have said it’s pretty much open house to anyone wanting to come. Email me if you wish to attend first though –

A chance to come and train in a different environment alongside other lifters, sometimes from different regions. It is also a chance for my contacts via seminars and Crossfit Barbell classes to train outside the “Box” and meet new contacts.

See you soon.


Lifting League Final 2014/going forward 2015



The lifting League finals were held quite late for 2014, I had a difficult time collecting results. Results were not sent to one particular place, instead scattered amongst different media/text/email.

Some not even reported or taken place.

I will come back to that later, first 2014s final!


Because the League is now “national” we had decided on a middle venue, that being Sammy Hayers Oldbury Academy. Thanks Sammy.

A late afternoon meet in the sunny Shire of Birmingham for me, whilst Giles coped with incessant rain in a little village called Barcelona.


The following teams could reach this venue “easily” setting regions and venues are always a bit of a problem.

League winners St Birinus, Core Weightlifting and CF Exeter. St B is a specialist lifting club, the other two are CF facilities. Both the CF teams have quite a serious lean toward weightlifting though.

Thanks to Shaun Harrrison and Alan Court who I presume had it set up before we got there.


We ran two groups as usual, this time though we had three teams involved each group. I quite like the flexibility of the league which allows to change format. Changing the format could be read as making it up as I go along, it isn’t of course.

I decide to score matches with the “Sinclair” formula, adding the 1.3 coefficient to female lifters from the male Sinclair.


Rank 1 lifters;

Nick Cantwell-St B

Ben Harnell-CF Exeter

Stef Owens-Core Weightlifting


Rank 2 lifters;

Robert Green-St B

Tom Collinson-Cf Exeter

Shane Williams-Core Weightlifting


Our “round Robin” system brings lifters out from top to bottom of the order, gives a specific rhythm to the competition. A hard day for the loaders, one of which was Ben Watson medalist from the games.

In the Snatch Nick Cantwell won rank 1, Rob Green rank 2. Both St B lifters showing typical consistency from that team, missing nothing.

Worth noting that 14 lifts were achieved out of 18, in the whole group.


Clean and Jerk showed the same winners, our points system was 2 for a win, 1 for second, 0 for third. So already St B had 4 points, Core 2, CF Exeter 0.


Rank 3 lifters;

Eddie Chambers-St B

Leah Clarke-CF Exeter

Mike Bakewell-Core Weightlifting


Rank 4 lifters;

Josh “Captain” Cox-St B

Ellie Skinner-CF Exeter

Dave Mckay-Core Weightlifting


Again the two St B lifters missed no Snatches, as it’s the most technical lift of the two disciplines it shows the amount of work St B do on this lift.

Winning the first section again, continuing on to win the Clean and Jerk phase too.

Leah Clarke grabbing CF Exeter’s only point, the results were;

St Birinus 8 points

Core Weightlifting 3 points

CF Exeter 1 point


Although late in the season the Final was of a very good standard, it was my first time meeting a lot of these lifers. I don’t know their previous form, I am sure that a few PB attempts were being made though, this makes for an enjoyable comp. With a high percentage of valid attempts, it showed why these teams had made it this far.


The 2015 season is about to kick off;


Lifting League web;


Homepage and South East booking