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Heavy Metal Coaching YNE Open November 2019 Competition Write Up

Wow, what an intense weekend of lifting.

This week we travelled to York for the YNEPF open with 4 of my athletes to test their metal, to test my abilites as a coach and to generall have some fun lifting some big numbers.

Heather Murray

Squat- 127.5kg/135kg/140kg (no lift)

Bench- 72.5kg/77.5kg/80kg (5kg comp PB)

Deadlift- 145kg/155kg (no lift)/155kg (no lift)

Total- 360kg

This was Heather's return to the platform after what I'm sure she would describe as a difficult year of training until recently.

In the build-up to the competition we struggled with hitting depth on squats, with being able to train consistently and having to do a fairly major weight cut to make the competition.

All-in-all, she did amazingly well to reach this competition and perform so well.

The reason I wanted Heather to go for this was because I felt she had an opportunity to have her best competition yet, and while technically we missed out on a PB total, it was a competition that will put her in a good place to begin prepping for the British early next year.

Squats were an equal comp-PB of 135kg. I toyed with the idea of her last attempt being 137.5kg and objectively, that's true. She would have made 137.5kg but having spoken to Heather afterwards, she would have been angry at me for not letting her have a go at 140kg as a matter of pride.

So I'm glad we tried. Missing the squat probably had an impact on how deadlifts went later on, but with the lessons learned and a qualifying total achieved, the risk was worth it.

Bench went perfectly. I don't really have anything to say about these other than...WELL DONE ON YOUR 5kg competition PB Heather, you really smashed the bench press.

We went onto deadlifts and an initial opener of 145kg which moved really well, prompting me to make a jump to 155kg. This proved too much, with two failed attempts at it. Was it the failed squat? Did I psyche her up too much? Was it the weight-cut? Was my strategy wrong? Did I just make the wrong call when going to 155kg?

It is probably a little bit of all of them to be honest and I own that fact. The performance of a lifter is the responsibility of the coach who is handling them and as the man who programmed all her training and was there to make the calls.

With the lessons from our performance we will go to the British championships with a plan that will showcase Heather at her absolute best.

I'm so proud of this woman. It was wonderful to see her lift, and it will be wonderful to see her to continue to thrive and inspire many people with not just her training but her attitude, her refereeing and ability to chat for 6 hours between sets ;)

Ben Thornes

Squat- 222.5kg (+7.5kg comp PB)/227.5kg (no lift)

Bench- 125kg/135kg (no lift/ 135kg (no lift)

Deadlift- 260/280/300 (no lift)

Total- 427.5kg (Total PB)

I had to leave the competition at 2pm so I didn't see Ben lift.

The story begins with Ben MC'ing for the competition all morning. He was chugging lots of caffeine already at 10.30am so there was no way his nervous system would handle the plan I'd put together. Luckily Tim Garrett, both mine and Ben's former coach was on hand to save the day which I am so grateful for.

He recognised things were going wrong and saved the day to the extent that he could.

I should have put a stop to the MC'ing. I should have probably smacked the Monster out of his hand. I shouldn't of had to leave the venue at 2pm (although there was no real way to prevent this) and to be honest, I should have provided a plan B and C just in case things went slight off-kilter.

But we will know for next time.

The essential story behind Ben's lifting on the day was that he was wiped out before he even made the platform.

His opener which he hit easily in thegym was a RPE 10 and he missed his next squat prompting Tim to not let him take his third. A great call.

Bench, he only got his first bench, he's hit 135 fine in training. Would I have made the call to go 132.5 instead of 135? Probably not. He went out and failed it a second time. Once again, this had gone up in training numerous times, but the morning had shot him down before he'd taken off.

Deadlifts resulted in a competition PB 280kg, which is an amazing lift. Ben tried 300 and got so close. With the correct strategy, a morning of rest and recovery rather than being an MC and me actually being there on the day, and we will have redemption.

I can't wait for him to be on the platform again. I've never beaten myself up more for a competition where a lifter achieved a squat, deadlift and total PB. I made mistakes, Ben made mistakes and when we put that right when we next step in front of a barbell we will have redemption.

Here's to next time buddy.

Vegan Stevie Wonder Taylor

Squat- 160, 170, 175 (20kg competition PB)

Bench Press- 70, 75 (+5kg comp PB) 80 (no lift)

Deadlift- 180, 190kg, 200kg (20kg comp PB)

Total- 450kg (45kg total PB)

What a performance from Steve from start to finish.

I planned to have a go at 180kg on his final squat, but on the day that would have been just a little too high. Next time, 180kg will go I am pretty sure. During his first lift, he received 1 red light, which we weren't sure about. The next two squats were all white lights. Great work.

Bench followed. His second lift was a competition PB, so I allowed him to have a crack at 80kg, which I knew he'd love to get. Not this time, but it wasn't a grinder, so no real fatigue resulted from it meaning he still had lots in the tank for his big deadlift.

Deadlifts went incredibly well. At his last competition he missed a grindy 185kg. This time he hit a smooth 200kg for a 20kg PB, 8/9 lifts and overall, a wonderful performance. Well done Sir. You truly earned your 45kg total PB.

Jason Hoang

Squat- 185kg/192.5kg (no lift)/192.5kg (lifetime PB)

Bench- 107.5/115kg/117.5kg

Deadlift- 190/200/210kg (lifetime PB)


Well, this performance was something else entirely.

This was Jason's first powerlifting meet and he couldn't have handled it more effectively other than not relying on cheap scales while monitoring his body weight in the run up to the competition!

His second squat was strange. The referees kept him waiting at the top for a long time saying his knees weren't locked. They were but his knee sleeves created a bit of an optical illusion from the angle the judges were sitting. This threw him off, he may have missed depth and may have had downward movement on the bar too, I'm not really sure.

I think they got it wrong, but the standard of judging was brilliant all weekend and this was literally the only call of the entire weekend I disagreed with. Everyone is allowed to make an error, it was just slightly unfortunate it happened to Jason.

He went out and hit 192.5 again for a very brave third attempt. 200kg will be loaded for his next competition, that I am certain.

Bench went great. 115kg was a little grindy and the referees were taking their time with calls for everyone, making it incredibly equal as it should be but meaning taking a jump to 120kg would have been too much so 117.5 would have to do which he hit pretty well but the call was absolutley on the money.

Deadlifts were incredible even after a bit of a grindy warm up. 190kg moved like nothing was on the bar, 200kg moved like there was nothing on the bar and 210 moved like there was maybe just a little bit on the bar.

A truly great competition. Jason is showing great promise for powerlifting. I hope this will be the start of at least a few competitions for this man.

Well done Sir.

Overall we learned many lessons from this competition.

well done to everyone. We'll see you again on the platform very soon.

By Chris K

The Heavy Metal Strength Coach

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