Falling back in love with training.

Within the first week of programming I started to feel my enjoyment for weightlifting come back after a long period of injured training

Before working with Wildboar I had experience with competitive weightlifting for just over two years. I had worked along side two other coaches, however once I picked up a back injury my training had to be altered and this is where I felt I wasn’t receiving the necessary help. My attention turned to Wildboar after seeing the amazing technical and strength work with younger lifters. Weightlifting is challenging enough but to have the skill to teach it to a younger audience is really impressive and a sign of both good knowledge and patience. This filled me with a lot of confidence when approaching Wildboar for coaching. 

Within the first week of programming I started to feel my enjoyment for weightlifting come back after a long period of injured training. The taster week was full of exercises that were perfect for my areas of weakness. Wildboar are super flexible and happily accommodated to how my back was coping with the training. Everything is done with your health and enjoyment in mind. The app used to communicate and share videos, Truecoach, is a very professional and easy way of sharing my training, receiving feedback and constant support. 

During the last 2 months of training not only have I made significant technical progress, which in turn has lead to huge improvements on my back injury! The confidence I have gained as been amazing, limits that I set myself have been smashed and weights I’d be scared for have turned into my working sets. 

Moving forwards, we can continue to address weak areas and build up a solid foundation for my lifting. We have a line up of competitions to work up through the rankings. After recent competition, we managed to qualify for the English Seniors, lots of hard work to be done in preparation for this which I’m confident working with Wildboar will give me the best chance of a successful competition. 

I cannot recommend Wildboar enough, the amount of knowledge and attention to detail is amazing. Super friendly and supportive coaching. Best decision I have made for my weightlifting. 

Wildboar Winter Open 2019

On Sunday we hosted the Wildboar Winter Open weightlifting competition. An open competition for all age groups and abilities. Our aim was to put on an event that was welcoming, supportive and created an environment for lifters to flourish.

In total we had 56 lifters down to lift over the course of the day within 6 lifting groups, including 10 of of our own lifters, some stepping out onto the platform for the first time which was exciting!

In the first group of the day we had two of our Youth Academy Libby and Melody hit the platform.

Libby had another good day on the platform hitting 33kg on the Snatch and 46kg in the Clean and Jerk, narrowly missing 50kg for a big PB! Its 100% there next time!

Libbys 46kg Clean and Jerk and 50kg attempt


Melody hit Comp PB’s across the board hitting a 35kg Snatch and a 47kg Clean and Jerk for an 82kg Total.  This was Melody’s best comp to date and is a credit to all the hard work she has put in this year! We are excited to see her progress moving forwards.

In the second group we had a couple of the guys Jacob and Hayden hit the platform. This was Jacobs Second competition and Hayden’s third as we looked to add to their previous comp totals!

Jacob opened his Snatch with what he finished up with in August making light work of a 35kg. He was then super unlucky on his other two lifts, getting red lights for a slight press out.

He didn’t let this phase him and came out strong on the Clean and Jerk hitting 51kg for a PB and looking good for more! This was a significant improvement on Jacobs first competition and weightlifting still hasn’t been a huge focus of his training so we are excited to see what we can do moving forwards.

Hayden hit a PB Total of 130kg hitting the qualification standard for the English Age Groups finishing with a 58kg Snatch and a 72kg Clean and Jerk. This was a big Comp PB total for Hayden who had his best day on the platform as he starts to realise his potential within the sport.



Next up were a group of our next group of female lifters!

First up was young Kayleigh in her 4th competition but first with adults (Kayleigh is only just 10). Kayleigh kept herself composed and hit 23kg in the Snatch for a new PB followed by a huge PB in the Clean and Jerk of 30kg! This was Kayleigh’s best competition so far and she did an awesome job!


Next up was Katy Davies. This was Katy’s 3rd comp and she has made some impressive progress over the last 12 months! Katy hit 55kg on the Snatch for a comp PB and 67kg on the Clean and Jerk, finishing with a PB total of 122kg, 9kgs up from her last comp! We are excited to knuckle down with some Strength Development work and continue to push on!


Rachel Ellison was our 3rd lifter in this group to grace the platform in her first competition. Rachel is a few months out from a Knee Operation so the aim of this comp was experience and just getting out onto the platform! Rach hit a 48kg Snatch and a 67kg Clean and Jerk. What makes this really impressive is that these weights are around 90% of her all time maxes! A great first comp of many for Rach!


Our next lifter was Rob Palmer, a remote athlete of ours who is coached by Isaac. Rob has made huge progress since focusing on some individualised programming and it certainly paid off! Rob went 80/104 for PB’s in every lift and a great debut on the platform, hitting qualification for the British Masters in the process. It was so great to finally get Rob on the platform and we can’t wait to see his further development under Isaac.


Next up we had another remote athlete of ours Rae Trowbridge. Rae was heading into her first competition for a little while after getting back into some regular training over the last few months. Rae had a great day back out on the platform finishing with a PB 67kg Snatch and an 80kg Clean and Jerk, narrowly missing 84kg! This puts us in a great position to move forwards moving into next year where we are super excited to see what progress we can make!


In our final group of the day we had Campbell and Jake our heavyweights competing!

Jake was up first and finished with a 169kg total. Jake sprained his elbow in his first Snatch attempt so it was awesome to see him bounce back and still make a total from that. It was a great learning experience for Jake and we know he’ll come back stronger than ever next year!


Campbell excelled himself once again on the platform. He hit two comp PB’s, 86kg in the Snatch and 110kg on the Clean and Jerk as he pushes close to a 200kg total. Cam didn’t have the best prep after a wrist niggle but still managed to produce on the day!


We are excited as a club to move forwards with our lifters and are excited to see their progress and share with everyone over the coming months!

Wildboar Youth Academy set up

Our Wildboar Youth academy is set up to provide the best opportunities for kids to get into Strength based training, be that to improve and compliment their chosen sport or to explore the Sport of Weightlifting

We are proud to be a talent academy for the South West and Midlands region, one of 12 in the country and in two years have got young guys from never having lifted weights to competing at a national level in weightlifting.

Since we first started working with young people we have been developing a model of best practice. This best practice is ever changing and evolving as we seek to grow our youth academy, provide better experiences, work with more young people and support the development of these young people as they become more experienced and advanced within their chosen sport, or the sport of Weightlifting.

We are constantly adapting our model to fit what we believe provides the best opportunity from someone starting out all the way to someone looking to reach a high level within the sport of Weightlifting

Note: I’m sure you can appreciate the needs of a beginner and a talented young Olympic Weightlifter are very different.

So what does our set up look like?

How does a young person interested in training get involved within our youth academy and what does their potential progression look like within our club?


Step 1 -General  Strength and Conditioning

General Strength and Conditioning is our access point for all young people prior to doing any Olympic Weightlifting. This is where we can safely introduce strength training to young people and give them all the foundations to be successful, be that in their chosen sport or within the Sport of Olympic Weightlifting.

From our experience, a young person spending a period of time doing this training is the best way to set them up for success.  We teach them to squat, deadlift, press and do various plyometric movements alongside some conditioning work to provide all round fitness.

We run these sessions every Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as 3.30pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays.

Step 2 – Youth Development group

Our Youth development group is for those who demonstrate a passion for strength training and show potential commitment to and interest in the sport of Olympic Weightlifting.

This group is invitational and we look for much more than just physical ability when selecting people for our development programme.

Individuals within this group will have the chance explore the sport of Olympic Weightlifting more alongside their general Strength and Conditioning and potentially look to train to compete within the sport at some point. 

This new group gets together on a Friday evening.

Step 3 – Talent development group

Our talent development group is an invitational group for those actively participating within the sport of Olympic weightlifting, are committed to the sport and seeking to or are already at national age group level. 

We do not single these groups out via ability or treat them any differently We have created this tiered system simply because as people evolve within our youth academy their needs begin to differ. Therefore it is key to split up the groups somewhat if we are to maximise physical development.

If you know a young person who would be interested in working with us and getting started within our Strength and Conditioning program then we’d love to help get them started!



Watching high-quality Weightlifting either in-person or on video is one of the most useful learning tools you can use to help improve your own lifting.

Very often people will see the top athletes in the World Championships and Olympic Games, watch their technique and then try to emulate it in their own lifting .

Sometimes, this will work very well – as obviously they’re doing something right to be at the top of their game in the sport!

However, it also has some serious potential to go nipples north!

The times when this won’t work, is when people try to emulate top lifters with no regard to the similarities and differences between them and the lifter.

For example…

The Chinese are an incredible Weightlifting nation and have multiple World Champions, Olympic Champions, World Records you name it – however, for a White British lifter who has been lifting for a couple of years trying to emulate the technique of Lu Xioajun (81 kg) or Tian Tao (96 kg) who are built very differently and have a completely different training history – this would be a big mistake (trust me, I tried it and it wasn’t fun).

Many of the Chinese lifters tend to be built very differently to us here in Britain – with longer torsos, shorter femurs and shorter arms than we tend to have.

This is very apparent when you look at their start and receive positions with their very upright posture – also not to mention the monstrous amount of weight they can lift in their strength exercises!

Compare that to some of the Eastern European lifters, where many of them have longer femurs, shorter torsos and longer arms (more similar to us).

When you look at the weights lifted in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk relative to strength numbers, the Chinese tend to have this huge excess of strength and lift lower in proportion to what they can squat.

Useful to be strong? Absolutely.

Is there technique as efficient as some other lifters? Potentially not.

The point of this is just to make you aware of a few things:

1. Watch Weightlifting as often as you can as you can learn so much from watching the top athletes.

2. Be careful who’s technique you try to emulate, as it may not be the most efficient way to lift for YOU.

3. The Chinese are awesome and great to watch – however it is unlikely that trying to lift like them is going to work out well for you in the long run.

How to stop losing Jerks in front

Jerks can be frustrating to say the least.

I’m sure we have all been there or at least seen it.

We Clean a weight beautifully, it feels amazing, easy in fact and then we annoyingly fluff our jerk and as if in slow motion feel the weight get away from us and leave it in front, failing our lift.

Love them or hate them they are an integral part of the game of Weightlifting, so we can’t ignore them.

We commonly see peoples progress limited by their Jerk and understandably so.

When we start Olympic Lifting we get all caught up in the Snatch and trying to improve each component of it. We pick up the Clean  relatively quickly (in comparison to the Snatch) and it becomes the part we can lift the most weight on.

However for some reason a lot of the time we neglect the development of the Jerk which is a highly technical component of the lifts in its own right. One that needs sufficient time spent drilling positions, technique etc.

Heck I as a coach in the past have neglected spending as much time on the Jerk as i should have and then end up having to back track later on as we play catch up with the Clean.

So why do we miss them in front so often and what can we do to improve them?

One big common error we see is a lack of control and a rushing of the dip portion of the jerk.

Weightlifting requires speed, lots of it, however certain parts of the lift require control so that we can then apply speed to the barbell. The dip is one of these.

Not controlling the dip portion of the Jerk can cause a few things to happen.

1 – Moving the bar away from the base of support.

This basically means if we dip too fast  the weight of the bar is likely to shift forward away from the base of support. As we subsequently drive, the bar is pressed away from us – causing us to miss the lift in front

Note –  Base of Support is defined as – The area beneath a person that includes every point of contact with the supporting surface.

2 – Dropping the Elbows.
The elbows dropping or changing position during the dip is a common error we see and usually comes as a result of rushing the dip portion of the Jerk. By the elbow position altering during the dip we are compromising the amount of force we can place through the bar with the legs leading to a missed lift.

So how do we drill this control of the dip and stop ourselves missing Jerks?

One of our first exercises we would use to address this is a Jerk with a pause in the dip. This is a great way to reinforce controlling the dip. The pause emphasises keeping the bar over the base of the support and keeping the elbows dead still.

If you’re guilty for rushing your dip keep this really light and use it as a primer before any heavy Jerk work.

Power Jerks would be another exercise to include within your program to help fix this.

There is much less margin for error with these so keeping the elbows still and weight through the base of the support and in the mid foot is key!

Give these a try a few times a week for a few weeks  and your Jerks will thank you.

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