Author Archive

BPU/ABPU -vs- Covid 19

Written by Emma James on . Posted in The Presidents Blog

The Trilogy 

Its been a frustrating, upsetting, demoralising and also inspirational time.

The BPU and ABPU have been firsts………..

First to ban people for personal defamatory comments (with no basis) on social media. This was to try and attempt to create a non-judgmental platform for everyone in the sport without fear of utter idiots unless youre being a nob.

First to combine tested and untested athletes on platform and make them damn well compete together instead of the old ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitude and respect each others choices.

First to hold 2 and then 3 platform meets in the UK

First to hold a full power competition in a major expo

This is one of those times that we need to do a few more firsts, take a few more risks and do what do best – have a go and not be afraid to get it wrong. To make mistakes, learn and improve.

We are in a precarious position right now with the ever twisting and escalating Covid 19 situation which has badly affected most of us in some way – some of us forever. This has been a silent assassin in many ways and in way a foe you cannot take up arms against as every time you think you have out maneuvered it, it turns again. Our outstanding scientists are fighting for us and our front line people are working with us, but the fact is that once again we have think laterally and about “we”, not just “me”.

In case it looks like mass gatherings are banned for some time or our gyms will be closed for months, another series of changes have to happen. I am absolutely determined to provide something in some shape or form but maybe not in the way, time or place you would expect.

Tomorrow government makes an announcement and a layout for an exit strategy. Probably no exact time frames will be given, and if they are they are bound to be fluid. Based on that, on Monday I will make a series of phone calls, including one to Bodypower – and send many emails to find out if plan A, B, C or D are even vaguely executable and somehow provide actual firm plans to move forward.

We are in a bad position – we are trying to keep everything going but the amount of work that has to happen with governing bodies, venues, logistics, negotiating to try and flights changed and so on and so forth not to mention insurance and risk assessments are all considerations that have to happen.

In short, once the announcement is out of the way tomorrow – let me make the calls and do the emails so that I have something to announce, even if it is that everything stays the same (which would be outstanding news).

In the meantime, thank you so much for your understanding, patience, kindness and messages of support, which frankly help immensely. Sometimes you just feel like you are powerless and failing at everything and everyone. Thank you so very much and lets cross our fingers for tomorrow.

North Wales 2019 for 2020 A/BPU Qualifier – Rhyl 23/24 November

Written by Emma James on . Posted in The Presidents Blog

What an outstanding competition the A/BPU North Wales Qualifiers was in Rhyl this weekend. Dayle Longford, the Lord of DL Fitness hosted us again for the 3rd time and we are really blessed. The man has a passion for the sport and the people and looked after everyone form start to finish. The DL crew as always were HOT on platform and had their hands full at times but there were some incredible saves, lots of shouting and a lot of laughing. I must thank referees Dan Whittall and Lisa Bulcock and Dayle who bunked in for some flights for their firm and fair refereeing and most of all consistency as well as taking the time to to talk to the lifters and explain decisions as well as getting out of their seats and being “pro” and “lifter” active. Saturday was the womens classes, all male teens, juniors, along with the mens open classes up to 82.5kg. The women as always were unstoppable yelled, raaaaared and whoooped thier way through the day. We had deadlift only Nia Golding in the 67.5kg M2 division pull 175kg taking a British record and head to heads going down to the last deadlift. Some really solid lifting form Nicky Corbett who, despite forgetting all about the squat command really excelled. The womens divisions are drowing exponentially as are the men’s teenage division where we had a new new lifter and the mens Juniors were pretty stacked. The mens classes up the 82.5kg were no easy either with ABPU totals going over 500 and many new lifters. I must mention the Junior NPU phenomena William Jonest who in the 125kg class scored a 742.5kg total. Sunday was TOUGH! We had NO RAW lifters – everyone was classic and we had classes that were battling it out and 6 lifters deep. A big welcome back to Aaron Moody who against all odds, surgery and having to miss out on worlds was back on platform today and so pleased to see him. Conor Neilly went for a huge pull of 300kg in the 100kg class – big just missed out and Ian Williams going for a 175kg bench on the 90kg class. The larger gentlemen had a tussle in the 110kg ABPU class with Curtis McLaren taking the win against 6 of them with a 722.5kg total. We wish we could mention everyone but this would be a very long post and most would be asleep by the end of it! These are only a few of the really exceptional performances this weekend and we thank everyone for being so supportive and kind and kind with each other and I hope this continues on social media. There were so many “behind the scenes” stories with this competition and I know many of these lifters had a lot to overcome to even be there – and that is one of the things that makes competing compulsive. Whether you hit what you wanted, or it wasnt quite there on the day – this is competition. nothing is the same as in training and sometimes there are things which can only be experienced and learned on platform. However, with a little support, a few kinds words or a small gesture, this can help help to keep the determination and perseverance alive and on fire to keep going. Thank you again to everyone this weekend and see you in May and June! The A/BPU team
“I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.” Charles Schwab

Presidents Blog August 2019

Written by Emma James on . Posted in News, The Presidents Blog


Only a few of the 29 lifters that traveled all the way to Orlando to compete at the AWPC World Championships 2019.

Well here we are. A week after the AWPC World Championships in Orlando, USA and the team is still talking on Whatsapp and I think probably will be forever more!

I have to say this was probably one of the most wonderful teams I have had the pleasure of being with and the camaraderie was loud, constant and all with best and honest intent.

It isnt an easy thing to do – first qualify, then do the British to fight for your place and then go to a foreign country long haul and try to produce results you have at home. For a lot of them they have to compete 3 times in a matter of months and hold that peak or backing off and then resetting for another peak for 4 or 5 weeks is really tough, particularly in the side of tested powerlifting.

A Whatsapp group was started to help everyone stay in touch and go over any travel, rules, kit etc issues plus a Facebook page – the Facebook page quickly become dormant after the Whatsapp group started! We had a full mix of people – from Teenagers and Juniors to Masters and a pretty even split between the male and female competitors. Sadly, due to a much loved co-promoters death in the USA, the numbers at the Worlds were down from other years but our British team had the formidable task of having to try and battle against the top 3 lifters of countries like the USA who have massive Nationals and therefor the standard was high for our guys to compete against. We also had India, Mexico, USA (obviously), Canada, Ireland, Korea, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan amongst others there representing their countries. This was not an easy competition so to walk away with the overall country trophy was pretty astounding and damn I was pleased for them.

Frankly, I dont do a medals count during the competition, nor do I watch to see if GB will win through the comp either as my interest is in each person hitting the numbers they want and having the best experience possible to facilitate them in competing as close to optimal as possible. Travelling long haul is hard to compete – and #i mean flights of 7 or 8 hours +. Jet lag, changes in food, sleep patterns, different environment, different equipment and not really knowing your place in the “universe” of that competition in that country all has an effect on results. General expectations are that you never hit PB’s at long haul internationals – so you play a reasonably moderate game. However, the amount of people who hit PB’s and took new World records was unbelievable and I stand by the fact hat due to the level of team support – many of the negative factors I mentioned above were negated.

The difference in equipment is also a factor – having front loaders instead of back loader monolifts, soft covering on the bench, different platforms etc all play a part of what you are used to on not used to. What did put people off a bit was the 25kg bench bar – which in fact feels exactly the same as an Eleiko and is actually better weighted, just psychologically different. I have switched between 25kg bench bars for years in the US and really you just need a few sets and its fine. I did partially solve the mystery of the “omg its a 25kg bench bar” when I was told by one of the comp organisers that he had found one of our team using a 25kg SQUAT bar for warm ups on the bench – so I suspect that this may have been used by a few others……! He wouldnt tell me who it was as he knew the piss taking would continue FOREVER. On the other hand – these things are easily done when you are presented with different types of kit in unfamiliar surroundings. I still remember the introduction of the Texas whippy bar (a very long time ago now and introduced at World Championships) and many people having terrible trouble on deadlift, falling over (including me), staggering about the platform, being sent hurtling backwards etc due to the acceleration none of us were used to – so if you think about that, I would say Team GB dealt with a 25kg bench bar really well indeed and with British finesse.

We did have some of our team that felt it wasnt the best day at the office for them. I wish that there were the right words to explain that what they did was actually beyond what most mere mortals would ever do. That the anxiety of being at a World Championships and being potentially very stuffed plus impact of long haul travel weighs heavy until you get a few long distance comps under your belt and know what to expect (no amount of warning helps – it is one of those things you have to experience yourself). I hope they look back and see the what in fact they achieved, the medals they won, the pb’s they may have got in other lifts and the competition they had to face. Its all very well going to some one off comp or managing to qualify for some invite only comp but this is a world stage for a word title with the distinct possibility of becoming very undone for many reasons discussed above. It is an “unsafe” environment emotionally and psychologically with many things which will knock you off balance very easily. It is also harder going to competition which you “may” win and may have to fight than to a competition you know you have no hope of winning which is the case with many of the invitationals. So, World and also European level internationals are miles above many of the “invitationals” that people chose especially if they are close to home even on a maintaining equilibrium basis.

We saw immense stories of overcoming adversity from previous injury, literally getting a major injury 3 weeks before the Worlds, having traumatic personal events happen RIGHT before the competition, overcoming past issues at competition and also seeing Team GB overcoming events on platform which would have knocked others completely sideways BUT THEY KEPT GOING. One of our lifters exploded so fast to punch the bar out of the racks on squat, the bar rolled and dropped which was the first time it has happened to them – and that lifter carried on and lifted the rest of the day. A few missed their 1st and 2nd attempts but FINALLY got it on the third which I can tell you from personal experience is a huge mind f%%K which most people dont recover from – but they got their 3rd.

So we had many stories, many tears of joy, relief, disappointment but above all there was a sea of blue team kit right there at the front cheering like hell every time a British team member stood on that platform and even now writing this I am welling up thinking about it.

I am adding the list of our team competitors at the end here and I would ask you if you would please, to make an effort of congratulating our team for an exceptional and forever memorable group effort as well as each person giving it absolutely everything they had – and it showed. Thank you all for what you did, everything you did for eachother, your effort and determination to succeed regardless of the circumstances. I am incredibly proud to have been part of the team and personally treated with great kindness. Here is to you all – go well and see you all soon xx

Bev Johnson
Freddie Isherwood 
Darius Stagner 
Robert Warberton 
Lucinda Perrett
Sal Lack 
Nigel Beattie 
Diane Leach 
James Martin 
Holly Davis 
Nicola Burroughs
Rose Pope
~Christine Clark 
Robyn Vaughan (female) 
Kane Francis 
Martin Cockroft 
Viv Dickinson
Richard Baker 
Julian McKerrow 
Gemma Wright 
Daniel Whittall 
William Lewis 
Laura Smith 
Dan Chalwin 
Jason Berrington 
Katie Rourke 
Jack Howe 
Cheska Webb
Rich Willis

Lifter of the Month May 2019

Written by Emma James on . Posted in News

Scott Neary

Good morning, Thank you very much
Ive not completed anything like this before so ive done my best effort so far.

1) Who are you?

Scott Neary

2) Why did you start weight training?

I went to a rugby specific strength and conditioning session at A&O in Aug 17, the owner set a deadlift challenge to win 6 months membership, managed to pull 210kg and to my surprise won it. At first I used weight training to assist with rugby but I quit rugby and fully committed to powerlifting after a year. My deadlift still hasn’t improved much since then!

3) Which Gym do you mainly train at and why?

Alpha and Omega Performance in Salisbury, the main reason I train here and only here is the people, they have a huge powerlifting team and a wealth of knowledge and experience, the owner Adam Hindle is my coach. This is the only gym I’ve been to where the whole gym stops to support a Pb attempt 

4) Can you give us a quick rundown of your best competition lifts and where, and also your most memorable competition lifts which were not necessarily the biggest.

Classic raw-270/160/260 at the Midlands and South Yorkshire Qualifier 2019

Recently had a go with multi-ply before euro’s build up, So much to learn here.

Multi-ply – 330/232.5/260 at the Southern Qualifiers 2019 after a 7 week crash course learning kit

Most memorable lift – 330kg multi-ply 3rd squat at the southern qualifiers to steal a British record

5) How did competing happen? What’s the story?

I’ve always been involved in team sports, I tested the water with a novice comp ran at A&O and really enjoyed it. I went to watch the Barnstable qualifier last year and signed up straight after.

6) Who was your hero in strength training across all fields? Did you have poster of them in your room?!

I didn’t really follow strength sport when I was younger, I didn’t really notice sports outside of rugby, I had Sonny Bill Williams on my wall, He was and still is my sporting hero

7) How long have you been competing now and what other sports did you compete in?

I’ve done 1 novice comp and 3 qualifiers, I’ve played National 3 rugby before powerlifting stole all my ability to jog

8) Whats the ultimate fantasy – re your competing – keep it clean!

1000kg in kit whilst still in the ABPU is my biggest one at the moment, So much to learn so it seems too far away at the moment, considering spending all next year in kit to chase it

9) Where do you feel you are now in terms of what you believe you can achieve?

My realistic goal is the ER/WR squat record in the 125kg classic raw division, I’ve done it in the gym, but we all know it’s a different beast doing full power on the platform, haven’t got the psychology right on the platform yet

10) What do you think about social media and powerlifting?

I’m a big fan of social media and powerlifting, I’ve only recently starting using Instagram as a platform for powerlifting, I’m a big fan of sharing training methods and learning by watching the random things others do

11) What was the best bit of advice you ever got about your lifting – and by whom?

Open light! Adam Hindle attempted to reign a few of us in when our egos took over, one guy bombed on squats by not listening, thankfully I listened so I still haven’t experienced bombing, I’m sure it will happen at some point 

12) What has been the best training method or approach for you personally? – we understand everyone is different.

Conjugate method, Adam Hindle bases my programming around this with a few others in the team, Leigh Routledge also uses this method at A&O so plenty of people to help out. This method has destroyed mental blocks with numbers for me.

13) Tell us how you feel the morning of the competition?

I always feel rubbish the morning of a comp, with deload and rest planned before the comp I always feel weak, phantom illnesses and I always regret my opener selections! It’s not until the warm up room I’ll settle down, so far all warm ups have felt good, Shows the programming/peaking works

14) Is there any advice you would give new lifters that you think is one of the “keys” to success on platform?

Ignore your gym Pb’s! They don’t translate to the platform. It’s all about building the biggest total you can, forget other lifters and chase your own total

15) Tell us something about yourself the powerlifting community will no clue about.

I donate my hair to charity as soon as it’s long enough, so you may see my with some tragic hairstyles

Kind regards