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Comp Recap - North West Open Series 1, CrossFit XXVI, Wigan. 18/6/22

I've been really excited to write about this one! Not only did we have a big squad turn up for the comp, but we also had 3 great lifters from Fitcess Weightlifting Club join us on the day as their coach unfortunately could not make it.

As always a massive thanks goes out to the hard work of the Crossfit XXVI team for putting on a great comp in their gym, the atmosphere was mega! And to Eddie Halstead and the technical officials for running the show yet again!

We had 8 lifters compete from LWLC! Fiona, Sharon, Umar, Danny, Greg, Mark, Michael, and Karl. So this write up might be a bit of a bumper one so I best get started!

*We didn't get all of the lifts recorded this time, sorry!


Snatch: 30/32/34

C&J: 38/42/47x

Total: 76

Fiona has been in a string of competitions over the last few months and with this competition in particular she really took next to no supervision in her warm ups. Fiona's lead up to the comp was a little bit less than ideal, just due to work commitments etc (which can't be helped!).

She really did not struggle at all with snatch, smashing out power snatches across the board (not what we practiced but hey ho!). Clean and jerk was much of the same, with the exception of the same jerk issue that was an issue last comp - feet disconnected with the floor entirely in the dip, lost position in the drive and threw the bar forward making for a very difficult catch.

What next?

  • If Fiona can dial in her jerk she will increase her competition total overnight.


Snatch: 33/36/39

C&J: 40/45/47

Total: 86

Another 6/6 performance for Sharon! And like Fiona, looking very comfortable with competitions now! So comfortable in fact, that she had to wake herself up by head butting the barbell in her snatch warm up haha!

With Sharon we worked on 2 things since her last competition, punching the barbell out HARD in the snatch, and increasing the strength of her dip and drive in the jerk. The punch in the snatch was simple enough, we just added snatch balance into her warm up and cued it when she performed the snatch, nothing drastic! For jerks we noticed that in isolation her split position was great, she was just getting pulled out front in the jerk in her dip. So we added in a couple sessions which included heavy push press, followed by quarter squats and that seems to have done the trick for now.

What's next?

  • Strength! Her technique is pretty damn consistent, she just needs more horsepower!


Snatch: 55/60/64

C&J: 75/81/86

Total: 150

Umar is our first supertotal athlete to compete in Wigan! He has been doing a lot of powerlifting over the last three months, and switched back to mainly weightlifting for the build up for the comp. I'm actually surprised at how well he has managed to maintain his ability to weight lift whilst learning 3 new competition lifts for powerlifting! Maybe we are onto something?! Umar managed PBs in snatch, clean & jerk and in the total, which is amazing! He has come such a long way since his last comp (stockport) in his overhead work in particular which has led to a solid performance in the snatch and huge PBs in jerk in training and helped him hit a C&J PB on his final attempt!

What's next?

  • Umar has Battle of the Bar in August, which is a powerlifting competition. He did really well last time at maintaining his weightlifting by doing frequent focussed technique work so we will likely do the same this time.


Snatch: 60/65/70

C&J: 75/82/86

Total: 156

This was Dannys first competition! And managed to slay a 6/6 performance! Like with Fiona, he powered all of his attempts in the snatch, which is a shame because his full snatching has been beautiful of late! But I think sometimes on your first comp, nerves get the better of you and what is most habitual comes out! Regardless, he put up 70kg, which is top end for Danny in training so in incredibly pleased that he managed to put it up in comp.

Clean and jerks were as smooth as you would like! Prior to the comp we planned for 90kg for a last attempt but in typical tin man Taylor fashion he picked up a bit of a shoulder niggle during snatch so we didn't want to risk losing kgs on the jerk and pulled him back a little.

What's next?

  • Like Umar, Danny dabbles in Supertotal! So he will be at Battle of the Bar too! This will be really cool for me to program for, Danny is a powerlifting coach by trade and to provide a program to someone who is so established as a coach already is honestly a bit terrifying but also a very cool opportunity!


Snatch: 73/76/78

C&J: 96/100x/100x

Total: 174

Last time out Greg had a real difficult time with snatch - this time we definitely nailed his warm up situation and he went out and killed snatch! Clean & Jerk didn't quite go to plan as I think that he would have liked 100+ however he just seemed a little flat when it came to jerk - in honestly, he just needs a little more conditioning so he has more gas for those later attempts! he will smash 100 next time, zero doubt.

What's next?

  • a solid general strength block. I'm excited to see what he can do when we get him shifting some solid kgs in his squats, presses and pulls!


Snatch: 85/90/93

C&J: 107/111/115

Total: 208

Last outing at Altrincham was mega, smashed his previous comp PBs, 6/6 performance and an all round amazing day! Our glorious giraffe only went and did it again! Mark's opener of 85kg was precise, solid, stable and really set the president of what was to come. His second was more of the same. Snatch third attempt wasn't as crisp as the first two however the FIGHT was outstanding, and what a save he made to stand it up! Great start!

Clean & Jerk went a similar way, first two attempts were solid then we agreed on a PB third attempt. The clean was tough, but the jerk was beauuuutiful and really capped off a great day at the office for Mark!

Mark has prepped for ages for this comp, and we really put him through an aggressive peak on the lead up to the comp which I'm glad we did despite Mark feeling awful going through it as it seemed to really slingshot his performance!

What's next?

  • Recovery for the next two weeks then building towards the British open which will be in Loughborough!


Snatch: 78/85/88x

C&J: 96/100/105

Total: 190

Not too long ago Michael was a little disappointed at missing out on the BUCS qualifying total - now he is going 5/6 and smashing that target. He will be going next year, and not by the skin of his teeth, his total will be well within what he needs.

Anyway, snatch was a display of how strong Michael has actually become over the last few months. Every attempt he took got some real height, even his missed final attempt was more of a result of over pulling than not having 'enough' in him to manage the lift.

Clean and jerk was more of the same, minus the missed lift and plus one big ol' PB! We normally take a slightly smaller jump on second to third than from first to second attempt, but just based on how his second attempt went it was clear 105kg was absolutely there for him to go out and take!

What's next?

  • Now that he is clearer on his positions we can start developing some real strength! I'd love to see Michael hit a 200 total in training soon. "Kee-Mannnnn".


Snatch: 80/83/86

C&J: 110/117/121

Total: 207

So Karl's entire story on comp day is just epic. And really encompasses why having a really good attitude, positive mentality and belief in yourself can make up for the circumstance that you are presented.

Karl had to work away in the weeks leading up to the competition, no barbells best of times, long working hours and absolutely not the ideal for prepping for a competition. On flight back he was met with a series of delays and bullshit, and managed to make it home at 1am, the day of the comp. Karl decided that he was to pull out, and the day of the comp he decided that he should still come and support the team regardless (and of course he packed his kit just in case ha). As the day went on Karl perked up! He weighed in at around 2 and his session was due to start at 3:30 and he decided to go for a walk with his wife and grab some food. So fortune would have it, whilst he was away the final session got brought forward half an hour (oh no). So I contacted Karl and got him to head back over asap. 2:50pm passed and the athletes were lined up and introduced to the audience, no Karl. 3pm, first lifts are taken. No Karl... Not good...Then like a cheesy underdog tale Karl turns up just in time!

Karl's head was 100% in it and really brought an energy to the back room which I genuinely think lifted the athletes around him (one of which included Michael!).

Karl opened on snatch at 80kg, a weight that he planned to take in the back first. He missed it the back but we knew the issue was that he disconnected in the third pull. Went out 2 minutes later and smashed it on the platform - great start. His next two lifts just got better from there and managed to get off to a dream start.

For clean and jerk we were initially going to open around 115-117, but we opted for a more conservative opener at 110kg and to take bigger jumps instead. He smoked every single one. Could not have been happier. 6/6 performance, an epic turnaround from a disaster situation into a winning one and an all round awesome performance on the platform and off.

This week marks a year since Karl joined us, and what a year it's been!

What next?

  • After submitting the scrip of the day to a movie producer, Karl is due a good rest for the next fortnight. From there I think the next few kgs are there in the C&J simply by increasing his max jerk and improving his overhead strength.

My Summary

One of the most exciting competitions I've coached at to date and one of the most satisfying too. To watch a lot of the team improve so much compared to last competition makes me so happy, and hopefully I can continue to guide them all to bigger and better things!

To comment on my own coaching, I came in really sharp, organised and feel as though I didn't miss a beat on the day. Attempt selections brought the team a load of PBs and any missed lifts were only ever 'just' out of reach! I think we made something along the lines of 92% of attempts made on the day, with all but 1 snatch and one clean and jerk resulting in a comp PB, and 5/16 lifts ending with all time PBs. Every single athlete made a PB in the total. Not bad stats.

I found handling more than one lifter from another club really interesting. I think that it is tempting to go into full error correction mode, make it about you and try and streamline their lifts in the backroom but the reality is that their work has been done well before the comp in training with their coach. So you need to shut up and only really comment on their lifting if you can be clear, concise and can pitch it to their level - which requires some rapid rapport building which I feel as though I did well.

(Interestingly: The coach from the club who's lifters I handled - I actually helped him during his first comp!)

Want to check out the recap from our last comp? Click below to see how Liverpool Weightlifting Club did in the Fitcess Weightlifting Club competition!

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