So for the Northern Districts, we’ve had a bit of a view from the other side. Martin Boa from Gym 300 gave me his insights on the day in a bit of a different competition report.
Martin: Myself, Tom and his wife [Nicola] prepped the studio and we all helped out the SP guys with setting the stage. It was my first sanctioned comp. The adrenaline is real, but I guess I had something of an idea as to what to expect from a technical perspective, how the flights work, etc. as I’ve trained a couple of lifters who regularly compete and been to SP events. But nothing really prepares you for that wave of adrenaline that hits as soon as you’re up.
Scottish Powerlifting: Who do you train with?
Martin: I usually train alone at Gym 300, sometimes I will train alongside the other lifters there, and during training for this competition I got to train with some of the other guys competing.
Scottish Powerlifting: How different did you find it being on the platform rather than lifting in the gym or coaching the lifter stepping out?
Martin: On the platform, there’s a lot more going on. There’s timing to consider, the judges commands and a large audience who are extremely helpful in their support to each and every person, but that’s a variable that’s not in play in a training environment. At the same time, the feeling vs being a competitor and not a coach is similar, you’re not actually lifting as a coach, but each attempt selection, thinking about the execution of a lift, the mental approach when stepping onto the platform and trying to communicate that to either yourself or your trainee the feeling is quite similar. Also, that anxiety once the lift is completed, immediately looking towards the light panel!
Scottish Powerlifting: That moment really does feel like it goes on forever sometimes!
Martin: It does. Waiting for the down command on the third deadlift felt like an eternity. Same for the Bench, waiting for the start command. It can vary so much depending on the judge. Same could be said for the squat, but for me personally there it’s a bit different as in training I spend a lot of time at the start position typically, so I actually got the squat command earlier than I’d normally squat.
Scottish Powerlifting: The wait for the down command was worth it, though, given you got your third lift.
Martin: And yeah absolutely worth that moment of eternity. There’s always that lingering doubt when waiting for the judges’ result, where you question “Did I lock it out? Did I make depth? Was there downward movement when I hit the sticking point?”
Scottish Powerlifting: Tom Ashmole’s record-breaking squat was definitely a highlight for you guys, but were there others that stuck out amongst the men?
Martin: Craig Smith from HBC going 9/9, he chose his attempts really well.
Szymon’s 155kg Bench was a highlight too.
Dylan Macphee, a Junior, going 9/9 in his first competition, really nailed it. He’s a 120+ and has a hell of a lot of potential. Lot of skill in all his lifts
Scottish Powerlifting: There was a 265kg Deadlift in there, right?
Martin: Oh yeah, by some muppet from Ullapool.
Martin Flett did really well on the Equipped Bench, went for a new M3 record, but couldn’t quite lock it out, but his speed off the chest was insane. He was actually telling us right away what he needed to work on, the guy was already thinking about his next training cycle before the end of the competition!
Scottish Powerlifting: Great to see Martin Flett back on the platform, rather than behind the mic. Although, I wish we could get him to commentate on SP events sometimes.
Martin: Oh by the way, Ed Dougan got misses on his first two Squats, and PAUSED his third!! [And got it. SP]
Scottish Powerlifting: So what were your highlights amongst the ladies?
Martin: The one I need to highlight the most is Jordan Wemyss from Silverback. Hellishly strong for her size and a Junior, 110/60/130, the bench alone raises eyebrows , she was a sumo puller and just boom! Off the floor!
Sarah Hammerton from HBC, went 130/75/142.5 going 9/9 too. 84+ but very athletic, she’s got a background in Rugby and selected all her attempts really well.
Martha’s final Deadlift was off the hook, I lost my voice shouting there
I spoke with her today about it, that was a highlight because she missed it on the second and just fought like hell to get it on her last attempt.
And normally on the dead, from what I’ve seen, if you’re dealing with a near absolute-max effort, say RPE 9.5 and you miss that rep, it’s very rare for somebody to actually make it on a second try, so it was just guts and courage there
Scottish Powerlifting: A well-deserved Best Lifter, then?
Martin: Yes, most definitely!
Scottish Powerlifting: Any final thoughts, after the day was done?
Martin: The best part about the competition was just how much good will and support everybody had for each other. Different gyms, people competing who’d never met before and a hell of an audience. There was a lot of sportsmanship from everybody on the day.
Scottish Powerlifting: So you’ll be back to compete with Scottish Powerlifting again?
Martin: Oh yeah.
(Photos courtesy of Gym 300.)