2014 British Men’s Classic – report

By Martin Bass

GBPF British Men’s Unequipped Championships – 4th & 5th October 2014, Astor College, Dover

Five Lifters competed at this year’s British Championships.

Leo Doubble 83s
Dave McWilliams 93s (U/23)
Louis Bichard 93s (U/23)
Ivan Otim 93s
Reece Smith 93s

Leo lifted on Saturday afternoon and the others on Sunday morning.




Squat – An easy opener of 175kg was followed by an equally good 180k. A third attempt at 185kg for a PB was successful, so off to a good start.

Bench – 115kg to open followed by a tough 120kg. 125.5kg for his third was missed after a good fight.

Deadlift – Leo hasn’t pulled heavy much lately so we were hoping he would be fresh for his Deadlift. A good solid opener of 215kg was followed by an even better 225k (his previous best). So a PB attempt of 230kg for his third was asked for. 230kg done!!!

Leo had a good day as it is not easy pulling a PB Deadlift after also getting a PB Squat. Leo was due a good day and deserves his success due to the hard work he has put in.



The 93s would be in two flights, Juniors and sub-Juniors first group then Seniors in the second group. P/L competitions work on a round-robin system ie. a group may have two or three flights; every flight Squats, followed by Bench then Deadlifts. For the Lifter this means he or she could quite easily have an hour or more between Squat, Bench Press etc. The ability to be able to switch on and off between lifts is not always easy, but it needs to be done so as to save energy for the work ahead. One of the things that I have observed over the years is that invariably the better lifters are able to cope with this (it’s not like training in the gym). PBs at National Competitions are not easy and have to be worked for.


Dave had set himself some targets and was hoping to achieve them. He is a good trainer and always puts in a shift when at the gym. We would see whether his work would pay off.


Squat – An easy opening of 175kg was followed with a solid 185kg for his second. 195kg for his third and, if successful, a PB. Plenty of speed and aggression from the bottom gave him a very strong 195k PB (more to come).


Bench – Dave was looking for 135kg, so we shall see. An easy 125kg opener was followed with an easy 130kg for his second attempt. 135kg for his third was missed so he had to settle for 130kg.

Deadlift – The Deadlift is not Dave’s strongest lift but he has persevered and is beginning to make progress. An easy 205kg was followed by pretty hard 220kg. This was a PB and took plenty of work to get it. 2.5kg was added for his third attempt but was not completed.

Dave’s reward for some good lifting and solid training was PBs is the Squat, Deadlift and Total (well deserved).


Louis has just returned to Uni, so I was interested to see whether it had affected his lifting.


Squat – A good solid opener of 180k was followed by even better 190kg. 200kg for his third attempt and if successful, a PB. Plenty of effort was required – and given. Three White Lights from the Refs and the 200kg was his.


Bench – 122.5kg for his opener followed by a second of 127.5k. 130kg for this third was missed, so Lou had to settle for 127.5kg.

Deadlift – At the English Louis had to work really hard for his PB and today would be no different. A 215kg opener wasn’t as comfortable as he would have liked so 220kg for his second. This was better but to me Louis was starting to look a bit tired, so we left the last call for his Deadlift up to him. He fancied a go at 235kg for a PB attempt. A good attempt it was but, unsuccessful. Louis’ reward for the day; a PB Squat at the National Championships! (Louis weighed under 90k so with a bit more b/wt, more to come!)


Squat – We were hoping for a good Squat from Ivan as his training has been going well. 180kg should have been an easy opener, but due to him not warming up properly, he had to take it sooner than he would have liked. He failed 180kg on depth so he took it again for his second. This time he was successful. 190kg for his third and a PB attempt. Ivan has a problem keeping his chest up when he squats and this always makes it difficult for the centre Judge to see his depth. The centre Judge ruled him out (on depth), but fortunately both the two side Judges gave him White Lights. Two whites, one red, was good enough, so PB Squat for Ivan.


Bench – Ivan’s levers are not the best for Benching, (long long arms) but he always gives his best. An opener of 110kg was followed by a steady 117.5kg. 120kg for his third was missed so on to the Deadlift.

Deadlift – In July Ivan pulled a PB 265kg and looked fast then. It will be interesting to see what he had today. An opener of 235kg was put away so 255kg for his second was asked for. This was not as fast off the floor as I would have hoped for and although successful, Ivan was starting to look tired. A last big effort was required to get a third attempt of 267.5kg and a new PB. It came off the floor strong but slow and faltered at Ivan’s thighs. As much as he tried he couldn’t finish the lift so had to settle for 255kg. Ivan’s reward for the day; A PB Squat and Total.



Reece last competed at the English posting a 585kg Total. He had set himself a target of 600kg today and was determined to get it.


Squat – A good opener of 195kg was followed with 205gk. The 205kg pushed him forward slightly resulting in him to having to fight hard to get it. Reece has recently changed from flats to boots with heels so he needs to get used to the slightly different position he finds himself in when squatting. A third attempt for a PB 210kg was asked for. This time Reece set himself up better with a more solid upward drive – perfect! Three Whites and a very good squat.

Bench – Reece was hoping for 145kg today as this number keeps eluding him. 135kg to start was followed with a hard 140k. 142.5kg for his third was missed so Reece had to settle for 140k.

PBs in competitions especially National Championships are hard to find as the time between lifts and the additional stress cannot be duplicated in every-day training.

Deadlift – To achieve his 600kg total Reece would need a 10kg increase on his best Deadlift. The weights in the warm up had felt heavy working up to 220kg. Reece is developing in to a good competition lifter so we gave him 235kg for his opener- all good. 245kg for his second was very strong and successful. All or nothing for his third, 250kg on the bar for a 600kg total and a 10kg increase on his best Deadlift. Reece really got after the weight and was rewarded with three Whites. A good good day, PB Squat, Deadlift and Total.


All the boys lifted exceptionally well. Preparing for a National Championship involves watching your weight, coping with your nerves, getting up early then lifting, not always when you’re ready but when you are told to go. It is not easy. So all credit to the lifters who take part; it is not like hitting PBs in the gym!

Thanks to Laura and Anna for making the journey to support the boys along with Anthony who was supposed to lift but missed the weigh-in. Also Big Dave for helping with the warm up and Chris who also had a lifter of his own.


Next up the Greater London’s on the 22nd November. See you there.


All photos © Dave McWilliams