Presidents Blog: TEAM GB ROCKED! WPC World Championships 2018 Update

Written by Emma James on . Posted in News

So we are just back form the 2018 WPC World Championships in Orlando Florida and with a hoard of medals! Team GB set upon the USA with brute force and a fair bit of ignorance to bring the stiff upper British lip to Orlando and some very resolute performances. 

The team, made up of 23 lifters from Teens to M5 made it to one of the best venues we have seen at WPC Worlds in some time and the organisation was outstanding. A very posh venue indeed and tonnes of room with the usual Elite equipment as well. The Whatsapp Group was buzzing, the lifters were doing a bit of arm waving and the whole team was firmly behind one another and you cant ask for more than that. I am pretty sure that among WPC World records that the team took there were many personal bests achieved and I do also know that a few of our team had to overcome circumstances prior to coming out to the worlds, and during, that would have flattened most of us. 

Something I did notice was the positive approach so many of the team had before and during the competition. International events can be terrifying and if you are right on the edge with your numbers and going for something never attempted by a Brit before, the risks can be huge. I made a post while we were out there about how proud I was of the team and how hard they had worked and also made a point about the big fish small pond syndrome. What sparked this was a post that appeared and then disappeared on Facebook, the usual "youre not a real world champion as there are so many federations" nonsense which appears every year from some disgruntled person who usually has competed much outside the country if at all. 

The point I want to raise is that many of us at some or another know we are going out to international to meet our fate so to speak. That what we lift is probably not going to win us a medal but we want to compete anyway and give everything we have got. Others also know that there is a high possibility, like myself, that you are having to take a risk to hit numbers which havnt been attempted before and the possibility is you will bomb - but you still do it. Even if you end up in a class on your own, the fact is that you will have had to fight for your place to be there through the British, you will still have trained to improve and up your numbers and keep fighting to improve - with the potential of being hammered at the competition. None of us know what will happen but we go anyway to set foot on platform at world level. 

Now a phenomena which seems to have been appearing in the UK is this holier than though thing from people who have only been around a few years, not only think they are now a guru on the sport, but also they are in a position to criticise others and other federations publicly. Not only is this really "not cricket old chap" it is frankly a fundamental undermining of those people who have earned the right to compete and regardless of their level will be risking everything to fly off to do it. The UK on a whole is really very small, so these "superstars" in the little isle of GB, once on the international circuit where they dont go usually dont fare so well. The real superstars are the ones who are lifting internationally comparable weights BUT who have the humility and professionalism to support everyone, support the sport and also encourage people who are on the ladder no matter whether they do it for fun or a focused goal. 

Every person who lifted at the WPC World Championships was there for every other team member. Every one of the people on the team offered to help others. Every one of our British Team screamed and shouted for everyone else on the days they could be there. I am immensely proud of all our competitors and the damn hard work they put into not only getting there, but also pushing to improve and compete. Below is a list of our GB Team - please give them some love!! 

Emma Ylitalo-James 
Mitchell Wright 
Paul Morgan
Owain Tobias 
David Gibson 
Christopher Jenkins 
John Miller 
Mitchell Ravenscroft 
Kerri Morris 
Dominique Fisher 
Tom Sheppard
Naomi Sheppard 
Darryl Traince
Arran Sullivan 
Luke Geary
Rik davison
Phil Watkins 
David O'Sullivan 
Keenan Freer
Neil Stewart 
Paul Edmonds 
Stephen MacNeil
Nicholas Grasmeder 
Kevin Maher 
Andrzej Roszkowski


Results form the WPC World Championships are here:

AWPC – WPC Rules Update – 17th of July 2018.

Written by Adam Riman on . Posted in Rule Book Updates

Hi everyone,

The WPC has issued a rule update stating the following can no longer be used in competition:

  • Elbow Sleeves on Squats, even under classic raw category are no longer allowed. (Equipped is still OK)
  • Knee Sleeves on Bench, even under classic raw category are no longer allowed. (Equipped is still OK)
  • Knee Sleeves on Deadlift, even under classic raw category are no longer allowed. (Equipped is still OK)

However, it is not all doom and gloom. Wayne Pullum has said that the Mark Bell (Slingshot) X Knee sleeves are approved for use under the classic raw category.

Also, whilst I am here and with an upcoming international world championship within the UK coming up I think it is a good time to remind people that if you are attempting to claim a world record you must make sure the paperwork is filled in or if the paperwork isn't present at the competition to confirm with the officials that they are not required on that day due to different agreements between the hosting nations president and WPC president.

Many thanks,
Adam Riman 

President’s Blog – And now the Nationals at Bodypower is over…..

Written by Emma James on . Posted in News, Uncategorized

By Emma Ylitalo-James, President - BPU and ABPU. 

Holy crap. 

Well, as Alan Wilson said, we managed the impossible. Well actually, I think you all managed the impossible. 

I was sat at home writing about critical thinking and the use of cognitive restructuring when an email with the final numbers for the ABPU and BPU Nationals 2018 at Bodypower came in. 


409? no, hang on, this cant be right............ I checked the cells on the Excel file 3 times as I thought maybe the number started at 120 or something.......... but no. 

I telephoned the head honcho in a panic and the first words he said to me when he picked up were "Dont Painc"! The figures I had given him the whole time and had hoped for were around 250. 

How the hell, in the 3 weeks before the nationals were we going to be able to get 400 excited and way too bouncy, angry, stressed, worried and plain terrified lifters through in 3 days in one area and make it feel effortless for them with the least stress. 

Last year I had a grand plan - that the 2018 Nationals would be over 5 days, be absolutely lifter focused so every person felt like the entire competition was all about them and no one else. Then Bodypower asked if we would like to run the nationals there. Well the area that was there to start with 10 years ago was tiiiiiiiiny, it had become an "elite" competition and when I started the federation in 2013 and was then offered Bodypower in 2015, at 3 weeks notice because the previous person running it pulled out at the last minute I knew I wanted to make it all about EVERY lifter of every level, so that people at the Expo could relate and see they could do it too and also progress from beginner to potentially skull crushing weights! They gave us a bigger area and the story began there. Sport is not for the elite few - its for everyone at every stage of thier sporting career and this has to be respected, otherwise what the hell are we doing it for? 

So from the feedback we had from last year - lifters needed a loo beside the comp area, they needed to be able to get out and in, the warm up area needed to be huge, in fact we needed double the size at a minimum and also be right beside a food area. they said yes - so then I started talking tot he lifters and everyone said they wanted to do the nationals at Bodypower - this wasnt what I had in mind but hell - lets try it! I floated it past a couple of people within the federation who were absolutely against it - but at the end of the day if the lifters are saying they want it then thats it. 

The people that offered to help when the announcement went out was incredible. I will never be able to say thank you properly to the degree it should be to all the referees, the help with sending the invitations, setting up the flight lists, extra announcers, table crew, weigh in staff, runners and getters, people you trust who can talk to the organisers because you cant leave the platform, coffee grabbers, records writer downers, and, the most important part - the spotters and loaders and the platform managers. They were under immense pressure - I mean pivotal. The whole success of being able to get through 160 people in one day on 2 platforms on the Saturday rested with those guys - 1440 loads in one day. 3681 loads over 3 days.....................

If you think the platform manager does nothing you are wrong - the platform manager has to keep the time and pace going, be able to hand out anything up to maybe 300+kg, be able to work out the loads in their head even though the loads are on the screen (looking at the screen knocks seconds off the load time, multiply that by 1440 and you can see how late the day could have gone), get the loading right, check it, handle the spotters, and not many can do it, I certainly couldnt. The spotters have to be able to load and keep loading as well anticipate something going wrong but also not touch the bar - thats a fine line. 

We had the usual technical equipment issues, screens not working, no power, headsets needing changing and usually happened every morning so my heart was in my mouth every morning trying to get the AV guys to come and help us so we could start at 9am which was critical - and every time they appeared with a smile, fixed, added, changed and taped and all usually with a relaxed stroll and usually finishing with about 3 minutes to go!! They always knew it would be fine - for me, I get incredibly stressed if things are not right and ready an hour before hand. EVERYONE at Bodypower so so damn kind and supportive especially when they knew the challenge we were facing. I know there some jobsworth's on the Saturday (NEC staff, not Bodypower) not letting people in when they should have but I had no idea and when someone finally came to get me, it was the financial controller of Bodypower who happened to be standing close to the entrance who sorted it out for me in a matter of a minute - not his job but he stopped everything he was doing and dealt with it straight away. 

If the paperwork and lists and hotels and organising people and travel and timings and tickets and parking passes and all those things are not not done well in advance then it all happens last minute and thats when mistakes are made. With this comp - one tiny error as the timing was to tight - could cost the lifters everything and make is a rubbish comp. I was up til 5am a couple of nights just working on it all. Kalle and I through the weekend were still up doing data input until midnight then up again before 6am and at the venue by 7am. It didnt seem to matter how tired we were in the morning and the terrible anxiety of whether it was all going to fall apart - once the lifting started, the tiredness went, the Adrenalin soared and watching each person, especially being able to be there announcing, push to the limit to try and get a place at the AWPC and WPC worlds was just incredible. As the president and the founder of the federation, I have the privilege to know a lot of the stories behind the scenes. The trials and tribulations for people and how hard each person has worked to try and get thier places on the world stage. It is a shame in the last year or so I havnt been able to have as much interaction as I would like due to my own personal work commitments and the fact the federation has grown so much BUT with every person that walked on that platform, me and probably every person that has ever competed, went with them through the lift. Whether it was a 48kg woman pulling 80kg or a 140kg guy squatting 400. The atmosphere at times was completely electric - you could feel the entire area crammed with people and 10 people deep around the barrier willing them on and I still remember a few people bursting into tears because they had finally hit a target they been working on for so so long. 

I really must thank our lifters for going with it - I hope my posts and info that I gave warned people and set the scene for what it may be like and bless you all you, you took it in your stride and made this the most inspirational event I have ever witnessed. I desperately hope you got what you wanted, felt valued and somehow felt it was worth it all. I really must tell you all that Bodypower form the outset, because they knew we had a hard job on our hands went the extra mile. You wont have seen this but behind the scenes they helped so much. I must thank Paul (in particular), Ash, Grace, Tom and Nick for all the support they gave me when they reliased the pressure we were under as well as well as being under severe pressure themselves trying to run an event that size. Also for telling the NEC parking people to "f+++ off" when they were going to try and ticket our van at the back of the hall because I ran out of time and couldnt move it to one of the perimeter car parks from unloading that morning. 

It is still emotional thinking back over the weekend - I just cant thank every competitor who came there enough. I am beyond words for the help that was given and how tired everyone was but still kept going. I am also extremely grateful for the friendships I have made and the words that made the difference when I really did want to throw everything out the window and walk away.

Alan Collins - my dear dear friend and the man, who if it wasnt for him, there would be no federation. In the midst of the shitstorm when I ended up with the license in early 2013, there was no one else on board. He listened, pushed me and got me to keep going and set this up through all the shit and barriers and down right rotten stuff people were doing because they were pissed off. He leant all his equipment for every comp until we made the money to buy all of our own (we still had to borrow Alans kit for this one, and Dayle Longfords! because of the sheer size of this) and he is someone I cannot and never will be able to thank properly - the best I could do was to name a competition after him (Dan Evans idea). Also a few people who were part of the original founders who still are there when I get down or get shit and publicly stand up for me when so many do not want to put their neck on the line - Dan Evans and Dan Yeates and of course Alan - thank you all so much. 

Finally, my husband. He came on board in 2015 and is now the administration officer but in all fairness is a lot more than that. He has to live and breathe this with me, even when he is trying to get on with his own stuff, he has to listen to the exasperation when monumental pillocks are either giving me crap or when things fall apart while I am trying to make everything look effortless and smooth! He has had to drag equipment all over the country, answer emails at midnight through the admin, do lists (he isnt big on that), get shouted at for not doing things quick enough (nothing is ever quick enough) but mainly for seeing and feeling what I feel about the people and the sport we have and the true companionship and camaraderie a majority of the lifters bring to every competition. He has worked so very hard with me on progressing this federation in the last 2 years and I think without him i just wouldnt have been able to manage as well as bringing his own Finnishness and also some truly terrible Finn music! 

Anyway - thats it! My deepest respect to everyone - my endless thanks for helping get us all through this. I will let you know if Bodypower want to host the nationals again, if they do then we will work on the basis of 3-4 platforms! I should know soon. 

Until the next time - in France, at the Euros - yes I am lifting and woe betide anyone that tries to talk to me when im lifting............. (yes im a diva) SEE YOU THERE IN SUNNY FRANCE AND THEN AT THE WORLDS!



What you need to know about the BPU & ABPU British at Bodypower! MUST READ!

Written by Emma James on . Posted in News

Alright - so you are now almost 2 weeks out from Bodypower. Tensions start running a bit high and there are things you are not 100% of - this blog is to go through what is going to happen when and how and is a MUST READ!! Anyone asking questions that on this blog will get harassed when they come out to lift!! 

  1. I ordered tickets for other people and I am about to PM you to ask where they are! Answer: DONT!! The tickets dont have anything to do with us! When you ordered them when you were doing your entry - you will have been putin the system to receive them and they were sent to you by "Eticket", NOT in the post. If you havnt recieved them them FIRST check your spam, if not there then contact Bodypower directly please. If you are about to ask about your own ticket - see below! 
  2. WHEN do I get MY ticket! Answer: This is about your own tickets for the day you are competing. Then you weigh in you will be give YOUR own tick for the day you are competing - IE 24 hour weigh ins, you will be given your own ticket which is valid ONLY for the day you lift IE the next day. 
  3. How do I know where the weigh in area is? Answer: It is at the athlete entrance. You will go there, fill in a weigh in form and then take it with you into the weigh in cubicle. PLEASE do not ask any questions when you are being weighed - we have 100+ people waiting to be weighed. BE QUICK! If you have ordered a Tshirt then you ask for it and you will be given it at weigh in. They will not be given at any other time. 
  4. What happens on the day? Answer: You can enter at 8am through the athletes entrance. When you did your entry, there was a section you have to fill in about additional tickets for your coach, you had to email and declare ir so your coach could accompany you in at that early time. If you didnt do that then you will need to that NOW - do not contact us about it - please contact Bodypower directly as we dont have anything to do with tickets. Morning ON THE DAY weigh ins are only from 7.30am to 8am, you will get your ticket for the day you compete (obviously) then. 
  5. Where is the cheapest car parking?? Answer: I have put links and information on the event page on Facebook - you dont need Facebook to see this. 
  6. Im not sure of the rules, is my kit legal? Answer: There is a downloadable WPC rule book on the web site - READ IT! You have made it through the qualifiers and are now a fully fledged powerlifter - there is no excuse for not knowing the rules! with regards to kit - a few things that have happened recently - check your belt ffs! I have seen too many illegal belts arriving that are neoprene etc and also the weider belts with padding in the back. These are not permissible! Also - remember no zips on singlets, remember your knee socks for deadlift, no supporting briefs of any kind under your single for classic or raw, DO wear a tshirt on the squat and bench as well. 
  7. How many platforms? Answer: 2!  If this is your first event with 2 platforms dont panic. The flights will be published on facebook and will be up around the warmup area. We can give an "approximate" time for the flights to start but in all honesty until we get everyone weighed in which includes the one the day liffters, we CANNOT give you 100% assurity what time your flight will start. That will not be known until the morning. However - for the first flight, we will absolutely stick to that as you guys need to be warming up from 8am. Make sure you identify which platform is which and WHERE YOU WILL BE ! That information you will know the day before. There will be one monitor per platform in the warm up area you can watch the lifter data scroll through and see how many lifters are before you. you will also see at each side of the warm up area is a walk way to the lifting platform, you will NOT be permitted to go down there until you are called on platform. 
  8. How long do I have after bar loaded is called and how long do I have before I put my next attempt in? Answer: With the amount of lifters going through, no one will be given any dispensation if they are timed out. You have one minute to begin the lift from "bar loaded" if you are timed out, then it is a no lift. Once completed, successfully of course, - you then have one minute to get your next attempt in. If you do not - your next attempt will be a no lift. 
  9. Refereeing, tell me about it? Answer: I have already in my earlier blog - go and read it.
  10. I have loads of questions - can I ask on the day? ANSWER: Of course we are always happy to help, however we do have over 400 lifters in 3 days going through so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ THE RULE BOOK! Prepare yourself and do your homework BEFORE you arrive, email our technical officer Darren about any technical stuff you need reassurance on or ask on the Facebook pages for advice or answers. 
  11. WARM UP AREA: Please be aware only one coach can come with you into the area. We will have a lot of people there so please be respectful of this. Warm up weights there will be a lot of - DONT BE TWAT and refuse to work in and bugger off with all the weight, share, work in, spot who is warming up on similar weights, dont expect everyone else to load your bar and most of all give yourself PLENTY of time to warm up - an hour at least. The warm up is probably the most stressful thing of an entire competition - well it is for me! 
  12. CAN I PM YOU? NO. Dont PM me, as the nationals get closer my work load is going to triple and PMs will get lost and I also wont have time to answer them. Once the competition is running I wont be answering anyone at all and that goes for all our officials. Take some initiative and read the web site, post on the FB pages, many of our lifters know us well and are experienced so they will help you and we will as well as far as time allows. 
  13. Can I use talc for deadlift? Answer: Effectively no. We will put a small area down where you can use light talc but the safety of the other lifters is on you when you drag talc onto the platform and are followed by a sumo lifter. Talc is horrendous to get off anything and leaves the platform slippy as hell - do you want the previous lifter to leave talc on the platform for you? 
  14. When can I get the tshirt I ordered? At your weigh in - NOT AT ANY OTHER TIME! Please read the notes when you order! 
  15. Is this a qualifier for the Euros? Yes it is - but you will need to email me immediately if you want to go and have not qualified so far. You will have 5 days to email me and get your entry in to me after the British
  16. Can I dump the bar? NO - you will be banned. completely and utterly forever. 

I think that is about it!! It looks like a long list of do's and dont's but it will be useful on the day. Of course we are always there to help, especially if you are in trouble or need help. There are lots of wonderful people around, most arent that jovial on comp day so daont take offence and dont take offense if I had walk away, run off, blank you by accident as im trying to get through a load of people to get something done - on comp days I probably seem like a twat and serious, but to me trying to make sure everyone gets the best lifts in they can is a serious business!! The only time you will see me smiling is at other people's competitions and internationals (when Im not lifting)! 

Anyway - my lovelies, I wish you every success and thank you for wishing to lift with us. We are all grateful for your presence and the effort you have made to get here. Never forget, we all still compete so we do "get it" even if it seems like we dont. Good luck, go well and see you on platform. 

Much love

Emma Ylitalo-James

President BPU & ABPU 

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