Tag Archives: sg fitness

Charlie Shotton-Gale half way through a 1RM attempt in a conventional style Deadlift

Deadlift Seminar at Battleground Fitness UK

SG Fitness hosted an introductory seminar on the Deadlift at Battleground Fitness UK.  For those that attended please see reminder notes below to enhance your learning.

For those that did not attend, have a read and make sure you are there next time to make sure you get the best out of your lifting.

What you wanted to focus on:

  • Technique/Types of Deadlift

We covered various deadlift techniques from conventional, sumo and olympic style first pull deadlift.

Olympic Weightlifter completing his First Pull Deadlift

Olympic Weightlifter completing his First Pull Deadlift

Charlie Shotton-Gale half way through a 1RM attempt in a conventional style Deadlift

Charlie Shotton-Gale half way through a 1RM attempt in a conventional style Deadlift

Pat Constantine completing his Sumo Deadlift

Pat Constantine completing his Sumo Deadlift

  • Types of grip

We discussed the double over hand and alternating grip.

Double overhead is usually used for olympic lifting such as cleans and snatches as they require to catch the bar after the pull, the grip used is usually referred to as ‘Hook Grip’.  Whereas higher weight powerlifting style deadlifts tend to use alternating grips that are stronger.

If you are not training for a Powerlifting or Weightlifting competition it is advised to use straps if you experience grip issues.

  • Warm ups

We discussed a routine of

An example of a warm up routine that will ensure you are ready to perform you maximum weight of that day.

An example of a warm up routine that will ensure you are ready to perform you maximum weight of that day.


What issues you have experienced:

  • How to remove lower back pain

If you are experiencing lower back pain it is likely due to one of 2 issues:

  1. you are rounding your back during the lift and so putting pressure on the lower back in a flexed position
  2. you are leaning too far forward during the lift and so using the hamstrings and back too much rather then utilising the front and core as well.
  • Grip issues

Discussed above.

  • Belt usage

Belts are highly recommended to use when training for high strength deadlifts.  This is because of the intra-abdominal pressure that supports the lumbar section of the spine to enhance the stability of the upper body.  An explanatory paper by Dr Frankel covered the research on using a belt whilst weight training.

What did you want to achieve:

  • Bigger 1 rep max – how to achieve this

By altering techniques throughout the seminar there were 6 personal best’s achieved

A display of each person increase on Personal Best lift.

A display of each person increase on Personal Best lift.

  • Endurance deadlift.

We discussed endurance based deadlift as some participants are entering the ‘Super Human’ contest in which they will be continually deadlifting as a team for 20 minutes.

Recommended to adjust foot stance and hand position during training before they find a technique that is most suited to their body and posture that will reduce back pain and ensure leg movements are used for deadlift above back pulling.

Keep Lifting!

SG Fitness




Want to try Powerlifting? Know what to do and who to compete with.

This article will explain Powerlifting briefly.

If you would like more information please see Swindon Barbell, British Powerlifting or contact us.

This article will look at:

  • Classic and Equipped Powerlifting in the UK
  • What federations are out there for you in the UK
  • Which federations are best for able body and Paralympic powerlifting.
  • Where to find out more information

What is Powerlifting

Powerlifting is a pure strength based sport that tests leg strength using the squat, the upper body strength using the bench press and the back using the deadlift.

The video here shows the structure of a competition – 3 attempts on the squat, 3 on the bench and 3 on the deadlift.  the best (highest) weight from each lift are added together to give a total.

The person with the highest total wins.

Powerlifting has 3 subcultures – equipped, unequipped (Classic) powerlifting and bench press only.


The video shows an equipped lifter competing which includes wearing squat and deadlift suits, knee wraps and a bench shirt.


Dean Bowering (former IPF champion and multiple British Powerlifting Champion and record holder) deadlifting in a deadlift suit, belt, deadlift socks and deadlift slippers.


Bulgarian lifter preparing to bench press wearing a Bench shirt.


Charlie Shotton-Gale, multiple British Powerlifting champion and record holder, squatting wearing a Squat suit and Knee Wraps.


Powerlifting equipment started increasing in development at the end of 1980’s and beginning of the 1990’s.  It is a very different style of lifting to unequipped (Classic or Raw) lifting because the lifter has to not only be able to lift the weight, they have to be able to contend with the tightness of the equipment as well as the limited breathing and increased amount of pain.


Unequipped or Classic powerlifting is more akin to gym lifting in which you are allowed to wear knee and elbow sleeves along with wrist straps and a weightlifting belt.

Stephen Manuel, GBPF multiple British champion and IPF World Silver medalist, celebrating in Classic powerlifting approved SBD knee sleeves, wrist straps and singlet.

Stephen Manuel, multiple British Powerlifting champion and IPF World Silver medallist and squat record holder, celebrating in Classic powerlifting approved SBD knee sleeves, wrist straps and singlet.

There are many different federations within the UK and the are separated in to drug tested and untested federations.

Which Federation is for you?


The largest and most populated of tested federations is British Powerlifting, which is affiliated to the oldest powerlifting federation the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and adheres to the World Anti Doping Association (WADA).

This caters for Classic and Equipped, Full 3 lifter Powerlifting and Bench press only.  This does not have a separate Paralympic section (as of Feb 2018) however all abilities are welcome to compete.

British Drug Free Powerlifting Association (BDFPA) is an alternative which is affiliated to the World Drug Free Powerlifting Association (WDFPA) and is the only federation recognised by the British Services such as Army, RAF and Police at this present moment.

This caters for Classic and Equipped, Full 3 lifter Powerlifting and Bench press only.


There are many untested federations within the UK including British Powerlifting Congress (BPC) and British Powerlifting Union (BPU) or Federation (BPF).

If you are looking for natural or tested federations please check with the federation you competing in or are thinking of joining.

Brithsh Powerlifting

If you are thinking of competing in the British Powerlifting the pathway of competing follows

Developmental competition.

You do not have be a federation member and the cost of competing is generally 50% of that of federation competitions.  You also do not have to wear competition standard attire such as singlets.

Regional competition.

This is based on the area you live and Swindon is included in the South West (SWPLA).  Everyone can enter no matter your experience or ability, however it is required that you are a British Powerlifting member, be wearing competition attire and cost on entry will be full price (usually £25).

National competition.

Depending on weather you are equipped or classic will depend on when your competition is in the year.  Classic powerlifting has become very popular since the IPF introduced the Classic World Championships in 2012 and so national championships have separated from equipped nationals, with a further separation of men and women’s championships due to high numbers.

To enter nationals you will need to:

  • Achieve the qualifying total for your category of lifting (equipped or unequipped), age, weight and gender category.
  • Achieve this within the last 12 months at a regional level and be active within your region. (Please see qualifying procedures)
  • Be a member of British Powerlifting
  • Send in entry form including price of entry.
  • Wear competition attire.

International competition.

To be able to compete internationally you be will required to:

  • Have either won or achieve silver medal status at your national championships
  • Attend the relevant Squad sessions that you would have been invited to
  • Received an official invite from the British Powerlfiting confirming your position on the squad
  • Be able to self fund the trip.  British Powerlifting will partially fund aspects of the trip, but as of 2018 the cost of the trip falls entirely on the athlete and/or their sponsors.
  • Please see full details through International Selection criteria

British Weightlifting Paralympic Powerlifting

This is where it can get a bit confusing because, for Paralympic Powerlifting, they come under British Weightlifting.  Weightlifting is not Powerlifting, it is the Olympic sport of the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch.  However, as it is an Olympic Sport, Paralympic Powerlifting runs within the British Weightlifting banner under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) but more information can be found on the World Para Powerlifting website.

Help for Heroes Paralympic Powerlifting

Help for Heroes have joined forces with British Weightlifting (BWL) to enable injured vets to use Powerlifting as a pathway to recovery.

This has been taken in to the Invictus Games where a selected few athletes can go and compete in a multi-sport, recovery based competition.

Once these athletes have completed their recovery journey through H4H, they have 2 options in Powerlifting – to access one of the able bodied federations to compete in Bench only (or 3 lift if their abilities suit) or to compete under BWL heading toward World Para Powerlifting.

Alternatively, they could do both!

How can you get involved?

Check out the list of local clubs to you either by using the Brithsh Powerlifting club finder or on the British Weightlifting website.

For more information on anything you have read or seen in this blog please contact SGF by emailing charlie@sg-fitness.co.uk

Keep Lifting!

SG Fitness




Spaghetti alla carbonara – Simple, Quick, Healthy

15 Minutes to food heaven!

Whilst enjoying a relaxing Sunday sofa morning this weekend I managed to catch a ‘best bits’ of Saturday kitchen, on which I came across this recipe for Spaghetti alla carbonara by Rick Stein.

So the boyfriend and I tried it later that day, and boy was it simple and tasty!  If you have to watch the amount of fat you intake, you may want to consider using fat-free meats and mixing whole eggs with egg whites when making this, just remember the ratio needed to intake complete proteins from eggs is 1 whole egg to 3 egg whites. (1:3)


  • 400g/14oz dried spaghetti
  • 175g/6¼oz piece smoked pancetta, rind removed.  Now you can use a variety of pork based meats here depending on your dietary needs, traditionally it is pancetta or parma ham but you can use chorizo or simple bacon with the fat cut off.
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • handful flatleaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 50g/1¾oz pecorino sardo maturo (mature Sardinian pecorino), finely grated.  If you don’t have that you can use any hard cheese, or cheese of your liking.
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.


Preparation method

  1. Bring 4.5 litres/8 pints water to the boil in a large saucepan a couple of teaspoons salt. Add the spaghetti and cook for nine minutes, or until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the pancetta into small pieces, they want to be small enough to fit on a spoon or fork with the pasta – so you can enjoy all the taste sensations at once!
  3. Heat a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the oil and the pancetta and fry until lightly golden. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for a few seconds, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Picking out the Spaghetti from the water, place into the frying pan with the pancetta, garlic and parsley.  Add a little of the pasta water to make the sauce, maybe 2 or 3 table spoons.  Then add the beaten eggs and half the grated pecorino cheese and toss together well.
  5. Season to taste with a little salt and black pepper. The heat from the spaghetti will be sufficient to partly cook the egg, but still leave it moist and creamy. Take to the table and serve in warmed pasta bowls, sprinkled with the rest of the cheese.
  6. RECOMMENDATION. I would serve with a colourful salad as this dish contains very few vitamins and minerals from vegetables.

Once again, Eh Voila!

A simple and tasty recipe that kids and family will love, but that is filled with good nutrients such as energy, muscle building protein and cell regenerating good fats to keep you going.

More recipes to come.

SG Fitness




Keep Lifting!

SG Fitness




Home Made healthy Beef burgers



Always wish you could feed your kids burgers and chips but without the health concerns?

Now you can!

Above is a homemade burger (granted without the chips) on a bed of home grown salad leaves on a toasted half baguel.

Beef Burger Recipe

  • 1k mince beef.  I buy mine from Mike Mcguires Butcher in Swindon because the beef is real meat and fat, no connective tissue, and the quality is very high.
  • 1 red onion finely chopped.
  • 2 slices of whole grain brown bread, minced in to crumbs.
  • 1 egg, chicken or duck doesn’t matter.
  • Flavourings.  I used (blended together) tomatoes – without the juices-, oregano/thyme/basil leaves from the garden, garlic granules, salt, pepper.
  • Cheese of choice. (for this I have used lemon and lavender goats cheese, worked wonders with the flavourings, but often I use cheddar).


  1. in a bowl mix all the ingredients thoroughly with your hands until they are one big squishy, slightly moist, mess!
  2. take a small handful and squash down to make a patty (homemade burger presses can be used for ease)
  3. keep going until all the mixture has gone.
  4. Chop your cheese into blocks, maybe 2cm squared.
  5. then pile patty, cheese, patty and start moulding the two patties together until the joins are no longer seen.
  6. form in to a burger shape.

Eh Voila!!

Homemade burgers.

The chips are easy – chop potatoes into a chip shape, put on a baking tray and generously cover with extra virgin olive oil, a little salt/pepper.  pop in hot oven (I use gas mark 7-8, but that is up to you – as you can tell this is cooking at it’s most relaxed) then when they look baked remove them.  This can take a little while perhaps 30 minutes depending on how many chips you are cooking.

You can buy a ‘healthy fryer’ which I do have and that is great, you simply chop up the chips, add a tablespoon of oil and let it do it’s work!  However they are pricey to buy, around £80-120, so if you are doing this on a budget, stick with oven chips.

You can find Healthy fryer’s from Online stores, here is an example of my Tefal Actifry.

If you try this, or any variation of burger recipe, please comment and let me know, I’m always trying to find new or interesting ways to make popular meals healthy.

SG Fitness





Keep Lifting!

SG Fitness




GVT Update

Well, as I promised after my last blog about German Volume Training, here is my update about GVT in Squats…… ARRRGGGHHHHHH!!

I literally couldn’t walk from Tuesday AM to Thursday Lunchtime without looking like I had a broken hip or had sh*t myself!

I have completed my second session of GVT Squats last night but knocked the weight down by 10k – this was for 2 reasons:

  1. I need to be able to walk this week, and I do believe I started with too heavy a weight at 60k. I used box squats as my choice of squat exercise so I started at approximately 65% 1RM which was too high for first time.
  2. I went up a weight in my deadlift by 5k and I did that exercise before the squats, so my legs were already weakened and still not fully recovered from the previous week! If I wanted my back to survive at all I knew I had to reduce the weight. Doing 40k on the warm up was hard enough!!

And I still needed my belt for the last 2 sets!

I am back to chest 10×10 tonight, I started with 50k on the first try so this time I’m going to go for 55k, as I didn’t feel too bad after the first one.
I will updated you with that progress!

This week I believe I will be able to walk on wednesday and therefore will be able to do partial Deadlifts and so will use that exercise as my Back 10×10.
I will also let you know how that goes.

It’s interested following a friend’s training, Rob Love, who is being coached by Willy Lincoln for his first International Powerlifting Competition (World Powerlifting Championships 2012). Willy is also setting Rob for the 10×10 training and I’m glad I’m not alone on this journey! Using his updates, with my own feedback, I am forming a great build up program for this term but will be an even better one for the next build up.

European Powerlifting Medal’s here I come!

Let me know of any GVT/10×10 training experience you have had, the more information I can gather the better a program I can develop for myself and thus my clients.

Thanks for reading.

SG Fitness




Keep Lifting!

SG Fitness




Olympics 2012

We were fortunate enough to go to watch the Mens 105+ (super heavyweight) weightlifting at the olympics yesterday and wow was it amazing!

We arrived in london early and went to watch what we could of the triathlon at Buckingham Palace, then made our way over to the ExCel arena, and London made our day so easy!

There were signs all over the place of where to go for what venues on subways and trains and even just on the main streets!

The volunteers were all over the place letting people know where to go and helping them with queries, always with a smile.  They were so good!  They made our trip by taking out any hassle.  The only time we got lost in London was when the 4 of us separated and 2 of us went to go to the science museum!  We didn’t make it so we went around Harrods instead – such a shame!!

I was immensely impressed by the ExCel centre, it was huge and so well organised.  Made me want Powerlifting to be  in the Olympics more than ever before.

The seats were easy to find, and we had good ones by the front, saw all the action from close up – although sometimes, with those suits, our closeness was too much!

Then the men got going, and there was a huge Iranian contingent in the crowd cheering them on, I think the part of the evening that stuck out to me most was when the German defending champion Matthias Steiner lost his balance trying to lift 196 kilograms in his second lift of the snatch portion of the competition. He fell awkwardly to the platform as the barbel crashed down on him, landing on his head and hitting his neck before finishing over his leg.  He was so fortunate not be have been more seriously hurt.  Unbelievably he got up and walked away! (click here to see picture)

We did think he was actually going to take his third attempt, craziness if he had.  Luckily it looks like doctors said no, and took him off for a ‘check’ X-Ray, so the announcer stated.

The clean and jerk was the most impressive part of the competition, and I didn’t want it to end.

Watching their strength, style, technique and ability just blew me away.  They were simply awesome to watch.  The winner, Iran’s Double world champion Behdad Salimikordasiabi, won by a good margin and was always going to win judging by his strength and poise.

It was a marvel to see the Iranians in the crowd backing their two athletes, it hit home to me the importance of sport in life.  I’ve always been aware of it in my life, but to see the effect it can have on countrymen and women and bring them closer was, and will always be, awe-inspiring.

Once again, it tugged at my heart-strings that because of beaurocracy Powerlifting isn’t in the Olympics and I will never have that chance to bring any part of my country together like so Chris Hoy, Cath Grainger and all the olympic medalist’s have done this week at London 2012.

Part of this blog is to urge people to think about their goals, their wants and desires, and to seek out what they really are.  Then decide how dedicated you are to achieving them, and go for it!

I have noticed I want so much to be at an olympics, but at the age of 29 there are few sports I can take up now that I may still be competitive at in some years time.  I believe I have the choice of shooting and archery, both of which I am considering.  Not because I am not fully content with Powerlifting, if I could choose I would attend the Olympics doing what I love and am fairly good at.  But I want so much to be an Olympian, I may take up a sport that will allow me to take the years to develop skill from the age I am.

If you have children who young person’s who love a sport, try to enhance their drive within it, choosing a sport late in life is invigorating, but can be saddening also.

SG Fitness




Keep Lifting!

SG Fitness