The Lifting League is a weightlifting league which started in the South East of England as a competition between Bethnal Green WLC, Oxford Powersports and St Mary’s WLC set up to give our lifters more chances to compete. Competing is a skill and experience of competition improves your skill level. We need our lifters to compete regularly to improve on their competitive ability. It was good fun having matches, our lifters all benefitted, so we invited some other weightlifting clubs to get involved and the Lifting League was started. The first Lifting League title was won by St Mary’s in 2012.
2013 saw the league expand from 5 clubs to 10 including two Crossfit clubs, Crossfit CM2 and Athletic Alliance. These teams both competed well. Although they were a bit outclassed by the top specialist weightlifting clubs in the league they were good competitors and enjoyed the matches (that’s what they told me anyway). There’s nothing wrong with being outclassed in weightlifting, I spent my international career being completely outclassed by the best in the world and my team was comprehensively defeated by St Birinus twice in this year’s league, that’s just the way it goes. It’s not like boxing or MMA, the only thing that gets bruised is your pride and hopefully that is motivation to get stronger for next time. Now Lifting League is a national competition with Weightlifting and Crossfit teams competing in 5 regions with the top weightlifting and Crossfit team from each region going on to a knockout stage to decide the national Lifting League (weightlifting) and Affiliates Cup (Crossfit) titles.
Now that the quick history lesson is over I’ll get to the real point of this article, which is to give some good reasons that your Crossfit facility should join the league, in a minute but I’ll start by explaining why we want you to join. It’s simple, more teams creates a better competition and we want the league to be a great competition. The organisers of the league (myself, Marius Hardiman and Rob Anderson) are all weightlifting enthusiasts and would like to see as many people lifting competitively as possible. We love the sport of weightlifting and think that it would be a better world if everyone lifted!
But what’s in it for you?
1. It’s all very well lifting and going up to 1RM’s in your gym. Going up to 1RM’s in a competition environment is a completely different kettle of fish. Some people thrive, some don’t like it so much. It’s a different skill to be able to focus intently on a single rep while all eyes are on you than to do lots of reps among a group. It’s even better when that single rep may win or lose the match. As well as being a great experience in its own right, this ability to focus will be an advantage when learning movements and competing in other competitions. Nothing is like weightlifting for concentration. The touch of fear also does you good. My best snatch in training is 170kg. In competition it’s 180kg. That extra 10kg was fear, adrenalin and motivation. Want to improve your 1RMs? Enter a comp.
2. You’ll meet all standards of lifter and be exposed to different lifting styles. There’s no better way to learn about lifting than to see it done, both well and badly. You’ll see the lot competing in the Lifting League (although the standard is rising!). Seeing a world class lifter on YouTube is great but to see a really good technician lifting heavy weights in the flesh is how you learn. Video doesn’t do the effort, the speed or the precision justice. It’s good for some technical analysis but you can’t beat the real thing. Once you’ve seen a few lifters you’ll be thinking “they need to keep over the bar in the first pull” or “I like the way they finish their pull, I’ll give that a go”. You can’t beat experience.
3. As well as meeting lifters, you’ll meet their coaches. After a match most people are happy to have a quick chat about any specific technical issues you may have etc. Just generally shooting the breeze after a match can prove to be enlightening as you pick up habits and ideas from experienced lifters and coaches.
4. It’s not all about learning – lifting is f***ing brilliant! There’s a good reason that lifters can be seen shouting, jumping about etc after a successful PB attempt or winning lift. Imagine all the effort you put into a WOD distilled down to a couple of seconds. It’s intense!
5. You might win! There’s no reason your team can’t win either the national league or your regional league. This year we’re also running a separate a knockout stage of the competition for the top Crossfit team in each region so you could be crowned Lifting League’s Affiliates Cup Champions!
There you have it. Five good reasons to join the Lifting League in 2014. You should be guaranteed four matches with more if you make the knockout stage. You might take a national team title home.
For more information, online entry forms and to contact us please see our facebook pages
South East – https://www.facebook.com/Liftingleague
The 2015 Lifting League begins on Saturday April 25th