British Weight Lifting

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IT has been another great few weeks for British Weight Lifting.

We have seen some fantastic results in the European Youth Championships with Rebekah Tiler not just winning gold but also voted Under 15 Female Lifter of the tournament and Mercy Brown bronze – a great testament to their talent and dedication, and the hard work of the coaches and staff who are helping to unearth talent across the country.

As part of this work in developing weightlifting, we are excited to have appointed Jon Mason as our first Regional Development Officer in the North East.

Partly funded by Gateshead College, he will be playing a key role in strengthening links with existing clubs and helping develop new opportunities and facilities in the area, with the ultimate aim of getting more people lifting weights.

Another change we have made recently is a move away from a centralised World Class Programme for our elite lifters. Potential GB weightlifting athletes will now train in their own environment, live at home and work far more closely with their own coaches, a plan which it is hoped will enable them to better prepared for major championships and ensure they are in the best possible shape to challenge for medals.

Our Head Coach Tamas Feher is playing a major part in this new system, by travelling the country and working closely with lifters and coaches at their clubs. As one of the World’s most experienced coaches, Tamas will be on hand to offer technical advice and give positive tips to help take our lifters to the next level.

As an organisation we would also like to wish Darius Jokarzadeh all the best following his recent decision to move to the United States to follow his ambitions to break in to American Football.

Although this decision compromises his position to commit to our sport, which is very disappointing for all GB Weight Lifting fans, it is a fantastic opportunity for Darius and one we hope he excels at. Rest assured we have made it very clear if his plans ever change the door is always open and he would be more than welcome back in the GB lifting ranks.

But changes aside, we are excited and optimistic of athletes achieving some good performances in forthcoming major events; we have the World Senior Weightlifting Championships in Poland next month, and the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in Malaysia in November.

Good luck, and good lifting!

* Members of British Weight Lifting are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting on at 2pm on 27 October at the Legends Suite, Leeds Rhinos, Headingley Stadium, Leeds.

It is an important meeting for the members with changes to the memorandum and articles, an opportunity to meet the new Chairman Peter Rowley and share the vision for the future. There will also be an opportunity for a question and answer session.

THREE member of the GB Paralympic Powerlifting team attended National Paralympic Day earlier this month, where they gave demonstrations and helped celebrate one year since the London 2012 Paralympics.

London 2012 Paralympians Ali Jawad, Natalie Blake were joined by GB team-mate Micky Yule at the Queen Elizabeth Park at Stratford, London, where thousands of spectators crowded to get another taste of the sporting magic served up at last year’s spectacle.

“It was great to be back at the Queen Elizabeth Park to take part in National Paralympic Day,” said Ali Jawad. “The public were fantastic during the Paralympics last year, and it’s good to see so many of them have not lost their appetite for sport.

“We had plenty of people taking an interest in our powerlifting demonstrations and coming up to say ‘hi’ and get autographs.”

British Weight Lifting staged the latest of their powerlifting performance camps at the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre at Tedworth House, Tidworth last week.

British Weight Lifting ran a second performance camp for funded athletes out of the Wiltshire venue. The second camp came on the back of a successful first visit earlier in the year. Alongside the performance camps British Weight Lifting are working with Help for Heroes’ sports recovery programme to increase the exposure of injured service men and women to IPC Powerlifting. The camp will provide a week long opportunity for any interested body within the armed services to be introduced to the sport and find out more information.

It is a fantastic opportunity to dovetail performance training with talent intro sessions throughout the week and integrate any service man or woman who has an interest in trying the sport into the week's activities.

The program is always looking for new talent after previous identification of a talented athlete from a services background. Michael Yule who is currently on the British Weight Lifting Performance Program is preparing for the IPC Asian Open this November prior to the World Championships next April.

Before the camp Tom Whittaker, the British Weight Lifting Paralympic Performance Manager, said: “We are extremely grateful for the hospitality and opportunity to work at Tedworth House for the week. The house offers fantastic accessibility, accommodation, catering and a world class gym with access to recovery modalities.

“The house was chosen after developing a great working relationship with Help for Heroes Lead S&C Coach Jonpaul Nevin to provide a world class training environment for funded athletes to get together and train hard on a regular basis. It highlights one area where the London 2012 legacy as had a positive effect. It also gives the program an opportunity to offer opportunities for military personal who are looking to sport to be part of their rehabilitation program to try Powerlifting and enter our talent pathway.”

Following the recent completion of phase two of the BWL Talent Assessment scheme,  15 athletes have been selected to take part to in either the England Talent programme or  the GB Talent programme, both of which make up the overall vision of  the BWL Talent Pathway.


The aim of the BWL Talent pathway is to develop Olympic weightlifters and IPC powerlifters of the appropriate age and ability to progress onto the British Weight Lifting World Class Performance Programme, who will go on to win medals at major championships and the Olympic Games. This is to be achieved via;


  • Developing a comprehensive network of regional Centres of Excellence which introduce, enthuse and upskill large numbers of Olympic weightlifters and IPC powerlifters
  • Provide for athletes optimal competition/training environments, key technical progression and exposure to the right experiences.
  • Developing and delivering quality coaching, sport science and performance lifestyle support at each level of the pathway.
  • Delivering organised athlete development programme which includes physical, technical, tactical & pyschological development at each tier of the pathway


The England talent squads are underpinned by a series of regional training days, if you are aged between 13-23 years and would like to attend a regional training squad please contact BWL Talent Pathway Manager This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


The dates of the training squads are as follows;



Talent Squad


Regional Coach

14th September

Central & South West

Oldbury Academy

Sam Hayer

21st September


Leeds HPC

Yousef Ziu

28th September

London & South East

Bethnal Green

Giles Greenwood

4-6 October

England Talent

Leeds HPC

Sam Hayer, Yousef Ziu, Giles Greenwood

25th – 27th October

GB Talent

Leeds HPC

Tamas Feher

9th November

Northern Talent

Leeds HPC

Yousef Ziu

15th – 17th November

England Talent

Leeds HPC

Sam Hayer, Yousef Ziu, Giles Greenwood

29th – 31st November

GB Talent

Leeds HPC


7th December

Central & South West

Oldbury Academy

Sam Hayer

8th December

London & South East

Bethnal Green

Giles Greenwood

The British Weight Lifting powerlifting performance program has recently invested in a GymAware Power Monitoring System.

The state-of-the-art kit will help athletes develop a better understanding of current athlete state, how certain variables such as force, velocity, power and bar path change over time which will provide great insight and help coaches make more informed decisions about loading and exercise selection and training timing.

The ability of the team to make better day to day training decisions based on the coaching eye supported by real time information will add value to the lifters training experience and ultimately aid performance progress.

Over the longer term we aim to paint a picture of what each athlete looks like at different times of the year/training cycle, closer too and further away from competitions. This will lend itself to comparison of present day data with historical intelligence previously gathered.

Knowing what to expect and what standards to aim for at different times of the year will enhance preparation periods before competition. Understanding what we see in the gym on a given day will help us predict with greater accuracy what we expect to see later that session or down the line in the short term.

We are always seeking insight into what is changing and what isn’t but more importantly whether or not these changes are appropriate and expected based on our short term goals and objectives and longer term plans.

British Weight Lifting reached an exciting milestone in its development of coaching for 13-17-year-olds recently when they appointed their first Regional Development Officer (RDO).


Jon Mason joined the team on September 2nd in a joint venture between BWL and Gateshead College.  The RDO role will work in tandem to deliver BWL’s core Sport England targets in the North East and also specifically to develop weightlifting at Gateshead College as an avenue to support student sport enrichment and future student recruitment.


Jon’s main responsibilities are to increase the provision and access to weightlifting and IPC Powerlifting across the North East, provide support to existing clubs in addition to the developing of new clubs within the region, to engage with external agencies to identify routes to maximise participation in weightlifting and to also promote British Weight Lifting events and initiatives on a regional level.


Jon has previously held numerous roles across a number of different organisations.  After completing his undergraduate degree, he spent a couple of years working as a Further Education Sports Co-Ordinator (FESCO).


After this role he then decided to return to university to compete an MSc in Strength and Conditioning at the University of Teesside.  Upon completing his degree he spent some time as a Performance Analysis Intern at Newcastle Falcons RFC before taking up the role of Fitness Co-Ordinator at the YMCA.


Prior to being appointed by British Weight Lifting Jon held a role of teaching assistant within a primary school.  Outside of employment he has volunteered as a strength and conditioning coach across varying sports including rugby league, football and ice hockey. 




* BWL continue to engage with our targeted County Sports Partnerships (CSPs) across England and the year 1 delivery plans are currently undergoing a midpoint review to track progress and development of our core funded programmes.


The RDO recruitment will widen the scope to incorporate a further two North Eastern CSPs in the very near future, adding  further depth to the relationship with each of the four North Eastern CSPs.


The CSPs allow British Weight Lifting to reach a network of local and regional partners which would otherwise be difficult and time consuming to make contact with.


The CSPs network is also invaluable in providing development opportunities for clubs and coaches and access to any local funding streams available.  To find out which CSP covers your area please click here.


BWL’s current target CSPs are: Northumberland Sport, Tyne and Wear Sport, West Yorkshire Sport, Greater Sport, Black Country Consortium, Active Gloucestershire, Active Surrey, Kent Sport, Pro-Active West London, Pro-Active East London, Pro-Active South London, Pro-Active North London and Pro-Active Central London.


Soon to be added to this will be County Durham Sport and Tees Valley Sport click on the links here to be taken to the individual CSP websites.



* The Strength and Power Series is nearing the final stages of year 1 development, with bespoke programmes now being produced in collaboration with British Universities, British Colleges, Fusion Leisure and More Energy (West London).


These versions of the Strength and Power Series are to be challenge based with a combination of cardiovascular activity along with a weight/resistance related challenge.


The National Strength and Power Series will re-open this month for anyone who wishes to take part in our one repetition max based challenges, promotion for the challenges will be driven via the BWL website, Strength and Power Facebook and Twitter pages so watch this space for news of the first lift!


I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Sarah Davies and Jack Oliver for helping to produce the marketing materials and instructional video for the forthcoming lifts! It’s great to have two of our top athletes and ambassadors supporting the development of the sport!



* Club development continues to progress and I’m really pleased to see a steady stream of new clubs affiliating to BWL and some familiar establishments rejoining the organisation too.


This year we’ve seen a really positive growth in clubs in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and I’m increasingly pleased to see more CrossFit boxes and sports performance providers registering their club and activities with us.


The bigger our network of clubs becomes, the more opportunities we can publicise, support and target for development.


It’s been great to hear from AFS barbell in Andover and their progress with Club Mark accreditation and youth weightlifting provision, on a similar note Hull City Weightlifting club have made the first steps toward a Small Grants application to support their planned engagement projects with surrounding schools in East Yorkshire.


Two clubs - Sussex Strength and Raise the Bar (Newcastle) - are this month in the process of relocating to new premises as a result of the growth in demand for their provision.


In London, Stars for the Future have been shortlisted for the Community Partner award following the young athletes’ performance at the London Youth Games weightlifting competition early in July.  Great work and thank you all for your continued support of Weightlifting and IPC Powerlifting.



* I’d like to take this opportunity to again encourage any clubs who are looking for funding support for the development projects to take a look at the Sport England Small Grants fund.


The fund offers support from £300-£10,000 for projects which satisfy BWL and Sport England’s target areas. Support in submitting Small Grant applications is available from myself at BWL, your local CSP and also directly from Sport England in the form of their dedicated grants team.


A particularly handy tool is the pre-application check list, Sport England have suggested that around 80% of applications that satisfy the check list then go on to be awarded so this is a great starting point to find out if you’re on the right track and eligible.



* BWL’s development competitions are gathering momentum now with the first in the new series of CrossFit events.


A big thanks to TRAIN Manchester for co-delivering the event and making sure the day ran incredibly smoothly.



A full report on the competition is available here.


The next CrossFit event will be delivered in collaboration with Reebok CrossFit Glevum (Gloucestershire) with confirmation of dates and entry to be announced shortly.


The BWL University Match Series will be launched in the London area for London based university students and I’m really pleased to have the support of Rich Kite in developing the series and supporting the management of the events as we move into the new academic year.


This programme of matches will be developed initially in the London area with longer term plans to generate opportunities for students nationally, the end goal being to build a foundation so that weightlifting is in a position to become a BUCS sanctioned sport.


The ethos of both the University match programme and the combined CrossFit competitions is to provide new weightlifters an opportunity to take part in judged weightlifting competition in an informal setting. The natural next step for these participants is to take part in a club or regional level competition as part of the core BWL competition programme and of course gives them the opportunity to be talent identified through competition performance.



* BWL’s workforce development programme is now up and running and we’re taking expressions of interest from any potential candidates who can demonstrate that their use of the coach education funding provided can be directed towards contributing to our shared targets with Sport England.


These targets are specifically around club development and participation, competitions, talent development and the Strength and Power Series.


Some of the best examples of applications so far have revolved around running club sessions for specific audiences (e.g. female only, over 50s weightlifting) developing local competition opportunities (e.g. inter school competition in local areas) and providing support to the Strength and Power Series via entries and supporting talent identification and talent development opportunities.


The coach education funding provided covers the full cost of the course and the training provided should be aimed towards target audiences of those aged 14 and over as this is the minimum age at which Sport England are looking to influence an increase in participation.


The workforce development programme at present is focussing heavily on level 1 coach education but this will develop further to incorporate level 2 coach education and officiating at a later date, more information will be provided as soon as possible.


If you would like to express your interest in taking up a fully-funded coach education place, please complete the online form here



* In other news I’d like to say a big thank you to Terry Surridge and Team Manchester Weightlifting Club for providing weightlifting taster sessions at the BBC studios in Salford last month.


We’ve received some excellent feedback from both the BBC and from some of the participants who ranged from 4 – 14 years old.


The event, which took place over a weekend, saw more than 200 young people have a go at weightlifting activities in a Shaun the Sheep-themed event on the piazza outside the main BBC buildings at Media City UK.


Following the huge success of Body Power Expo 2013, we’re already making plans for our enhanced presence at the event next year so watch this space for more information as we look forward to another great event!


Looking forward to reporting back next month on more exciting development activities, thanks again to all for your continued help and support.


Sam Jamieson

BWL National Development Manager

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The vast majority of athletes, no matter what their sport, compete clean but every now and again there are those who inadvertently fall foul of the rules. One common way athletes and weightlifters can slip up is through the use of supplement products.

Weightlifters who are not aware of the risks are likely to fall foul of the anti-doping rules and could end up with a two-year ban.

Supplements: understanding the risks

Weightlifters, their coaches and support personnel, need to be aware that there is no guarantee that any supplement product is free from banned substances. We therefore advise athletes to be extremely cautious.

Supplements pose risks because they;

• contain banned substances

• list their ingredients using different names to those specified on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List

• contain substances not yet approved for human use

• may be contaminated with banned substances during the manufacturing process

• may not be the genuine article if bought over the internet – there are many counterfeit products

• may in some instances aggravate underlying medical conditions. These are often unknown to the person before taking supplements and can cause serious medical conditions, and in some cases even death.

All athletes should be sure they are taking a supplement for the right reasons: speak to someone from British Weightlifting or a qualified medical professional for further information.

Supplements may advertise themselves as a ‘quick fix’, however most sports nutritionists would agree that a balanced diet, combined with good sports nutrition principles, are sufficient to meet the energy demands of sport.

If, after seeking professional advice there is a medical need to use a supplement product, UKAD advises athletes to use the Informed-Sport programme (

Informed-Sport batch tests supplement products for a range of banned substances and also checks for any contamination. It can still not provide a 100 per cent guarantee, but it will significantly reduce the risk of inadvertent doping to athletes.

Remember: There is no guarantee that any supplement product is free from banned substances. If you don’t know or can’t be sure what a supplement contains, then you don’t know how your body will react. Supplements can endanger health – this doesn’t just apply to athletes, it applies to everyone.

Please visit UK Anti-Doping’s supplements webpage for further advice -

If you have any questions please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Creating a safe and positive environment for young and vulnerable people to take part in weightlifting is a vital part of club operations and development.

British Weight Lifting have put together some key advice and considerations for club officers including some great tips on how to advertise and recruit a welfare officer.

Click here for more information -


Upper body muscles’ development on female weightlifters


The female upper body, primarily the arm and the shoulder muscles are proportionally weaker than the muscles of their legs in comparison with the males.


While the relative strength of the strongest muscle of the body, the four-headed thigh extensor muscle (Musculus Quadriceps Femoris) approaches, sometimes may be close to the values registered in male athletes, the strength of the arm extensor muscles are significantly lower than that of the males.


It is therefore a definitely important requirement that the muscles of the upper body should be developed with slightly more emphasis than in case of male athletes.


Some of the main training exercises for this purpose and their recommended loading characteristics (depending on age and competition age):



Preparatory Period

Competition Period

Intensity range %



Intensity range %



Military Press (from chest or behind neck)



5, 5-3



5-3, 3, 3-2

Push Presses



5, 5-3


6-8 (9)

5-3, 3, 3-2 (1)

Power Jerks




85-95, 95+


3, 3-2, 2, 2-1

Split Jerks



3, 3-2

85-95, 95+


3, 3-2, 2, 2-1

Front Squats combined with Jerks (or Power Jerks)







Front Squats combined with Push Presses







 Copyright ©

There were some great performances at a recent weightlifting competition staged at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland.

After the weigh-in the athletes were sorted into three groups with a mix of males and females.

Group one included the three youngest male and females, but there was some great lifting and only seven failed lifts from 32 attempts, despite it being a first competition for many.

Group two had six female competitors. After the girls had shaken off the nerves there was some very good lifting, especially from Eve Flack who did well until her clean and jerks which suffered from some nerves.

There was also some very good lifting from Gemma Burns and Sarah Howes who won the best lifter award by one point from Michelle Finlay. With a total of 30 lifts and only 5 failures.

Group three saw the last female competitor and the final five male competitors in action.

Michelle showed good form, and just missed out with her last clean and jerk which cost her the best lifter award.

There was also some good lifting from the youngest and lightest of the group Declan McCullagh who showed good technique and speed.

The best lifter award was won by Lewis Knox who, despite failing his first jerk to a press out, made sure on his second effort.

The trophies were presented by Chris Baker on behalf of BWL and the best lifter awards were presented by Lawrence McConnell. Thanks go to all the loaders, officials and helpers on the day.

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