Olympic lifting, Powerlifting and Crossfit combined bring in new Welsh Records for SGF Client Rachael Armstrong

In October, 2014, I met with novice Powerlifter Rachael Armstrong.

She wanted to improve her strength to compete in the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association (BDFPA), reduce her body weight to compete at the 70k weight category and improve her power and cardiovascular fitness to continue with her CrossFit.

10965336_10153246417453243_1637870015_nI started Rachael on an online support program, which involved developing programs, nutrition support and weekly catch up’s via Chat or Skype regarding her development.

I wanted to include as much weightlifting derivatives that would compliment her Powerlifting technique and improve her power development (Garhammer, 1981, Kawamori & Haff, 2004).

“Naively when I first started the programme I was a bit unsettled that I wouldn’t be testing 1RM for a few weeks as before I’d always had at least 1 ‘man test,’ sessions a week at the gym. I really liked the inclusion of Olympic lifts in the programme and they’ve really helped with my explosive power (my max box jump used to be 30″ and now it’s 36”).” Rachael discusses her training with SGF.

10967686_10153246417288243_2131380879_nThroughout the following 12 weeks we worked together to develop her program, which was based on an undulating (Rhea, Ball, Phillips, & Burkett, 2002), and to ensure it complimented her lifestyle as she had been posted to overseas with the RAF and was limited to the foods she could eat and exercises she could choose.  Rachael also suffered with a small wrist injury after a minor incident with a power clean which had to be taken in to account.

Regardless she trained very hard and completed everything that was given to her and more so as she kept up with her CrossFit alongside her Powerlifting training.

Rachael competed at the BDFPA Welsh Powerlifting Championships on January 28th 2015 achieving +7.5k on her squat with a 107.5k, increasing her bench by 2.5k to 62.5k and adding a massive 15k to her deadlift with a final lift of 155k.

“I was absolutely petrified the night before the comp and kept on going over the warm up routines you’d given me. Was slightly put at ease after I’d got into my weight cat with .4kg to spare. After talking through with my trainer, Charlie Shotton-Gale, the Monday before, I decided to not go all out on the squat and save myself for the deadlift.”

This competition was also in the 70k body weight category which is a lower body weight then her previous competition, which means Rachael lost 6k in bodyweight whilst still increasing her individual lifts by a total of 25k.

Rachael completed the competition by winning her weight category and taking the welsh records, an excellent result and a very happy lifter, as well as coach!10872379_10153246417193243_1044209989_n

“One of the best things Charlie told me was to take your time on the set up, that’s improved my squat no end”

Rachael is in maintenance training at present preparing for the Single Lift Championships in February 25th 2015 in which she is aiming to break all the previous personal best’s.



  • Garhammer, J. (1981). Strength Training Modes: Free Weight Equipment for the Development of Athletic strength and power-Part I. Journal, 3(6), 24–26.
  • Kawamori, N., & Haff, G. G. (2004). THE OPTIMAL TRAINING LOAD FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF MUSCULAR POWER.  [Review]. Journal of Strength, 18(3), 675–684.
  • Rhea, M. R., Ball, S. D., Phillips, W. T., & Burkett, L. N. (2002). A Comparison of Linear and Daily Undulating Periodized Programs with Equated Volume and Intensity for Strength. Journal of Strength, 16(2), 250–255.

Keep Lifting!

SG Fitness



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About SGFitnessTeam

International Powerlifter Charlie Shotton-Gale offers this unique service in to the world of health and fitness by introducing you to goal specific training, lifestyle complimenting nutrition and diet advice and positive support to enhance your lifestyle change. As a Powerlifter, Charlie is 3 times British Champion, Commonwealth record holder and ranked in the top 10 in the world.