British Masters Weightlifting: The Interview

British Masters Weightlifting
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Our very own coach & athlete, Jess Johns-Green, recently caught up with two British Masters Weightlifting hopefuls.


Right around the corner from BULK POWDERS™ HQ, is the training ground of two newcomers to British Masters Weightlifting who are taking the Masters division by storm.  Andrew Kearton and Wayne Elphinstone each brought home gold medals from the national competition at few months ago in Lilleshall Sports Centre.  Kearton and Elphinstone both lift with Essex Weightlifting Club and I stopped by to speak to them about training, nutrition and competing past the age of 35.

The Interview

Q – What was it like to win gold at the British Masters Weightlifting?

Wayne: It was unbelievable!

Andrew:  It’s been an eye opener.  I think I have good chance in the World’s in October.

Q – Have you always been involved in lifting and sports?

Wayne: I started some weightlifting in CrossFit about 3 or 4 years ago but weightlifting more seriously with Darren Hotten and Essex Weightlifting about 2 years ago.

Andrew:  I have a background in martial arts and powerlifting.

Q – What advice would you give to others who might want to get more involved in competitive weightlifting, especially at a masters level?

Wayne:  The earlier you can start the better!  And work on flexibility and coordination, then strength will come.

Andrew:  If you want to lift, find a good lifting club and stretch, a lot!

Andy Essex Weightlifting Club

Q – What are the challenges that masters athletes (35 years and older) face that younger lifters might not have to contend with?

Wayne:  Well, I would say, try not to focus on that, but also train responsibly and don’t injure yourself.  And also, flexibility.  Don’t over think, don’t over train, be patient and focus on mobility.  Strength really comes to the old men, but flexibility we have to work on.

Andrew:  The more you have going on in your life, the harder it is to get in the 8 hours of sleep – which I don’t get with 2 children – and get in the right food.  So it’s harder than for a single person in their 20’s.

Q – What is your average training week like?

Wayne:  It’s not ideal as masters, we have full time jobs.  We have to balance our training with work.  I train about 5 days a week and aim for one day on, one day off.  3-4 days are on a program with my coach.

Andrew:  I am fortunate that I have a good deal of flexibility because of my martial arts background, and I’m married to a yoga instructor.  I train 4 days a week, and that’ enough for me.  I need more rest days and fish oils.  Some might think it’s excessive,  but I squat 4 times week and regularly do my big powerflifts – deadlift, squat and bench.

Q – Numbers on the bar? What are your current PB’s?

Wayne:  Clean & Jerk is 125kg and Snatch is 100kg.
Andrew: Snatch 95kg and Clean & Jerk 112.5kg.

Wayne Essex Weightlifting Club

Q – What about you weight class?  And do you have to do anything nutrition-wise to hit your weight class?

Wayne: I wanted to be in 77kg weight class, but when you’re training really heavy it’s really hard to get down into that weight.  So I decided to go up a class, and I made a choice to train the way I want to compete.  I don’t really change my eating habits a great deal and now just stick to a routine.  I generally eat a more high fat and low carbohydrate diet, and the day before the competition I will eat what I would normally eat.  That way when I go into a competition, I know I can perform because my body is used to it.

Andrew:  I compete at under 69kg, and usually I hover around 70kg.  It would be too difficult to move up a weight class right now.  I was too far under for this competition, which was a mistake, but a learning experience to pay attention to my weight more closely.  To make my weight, I lower my carbs before the competition and a few days before I limit my water.  I just lay off beer for a bit!

Q – What does your normal daily diet look like?

Wayne:  I use a very basic protein powder from BULK POWDERS™ along with yoghurt.  For lunch, I often eat leftovers from the night before, which includes protein and fat.  In the evening, I will focus more on complex carbohydrates and protein, and less fat.  I might have another serving of protein powder before bed with some nut butter, or something.  As far as supplements, I use the BULK POWDERS™ multivitamin powder and their Omega 3 for recovery.  I try not to over supplement.  I don’t cheat much because it cheats you back.

Andrew:  I’m not a very clean eater because I have to cook what my family will eat.  But I eat as much veg and protein as I can.  I use fish oils for my joints and amino acids, a lot of BULK POWDERS™ stuff.  Dextrose after a workout and coconut oil in my coffee.

Q – What’s next for you guys?

Wayne:  I have another 3 years in this age class and if I can continue and get stronger, it will be the chance to hopefully win some medals in the World’s.
Andrew:  The World’s are next. And some new weightlifting shoes!

About the Author

Jess Johns-Green is a level 1 CrossFit trainer and Psychologist. She specialises in Performance Psychology and interventions for eating disorders and obesity. Jess is an athlete at CrossFit Colchester.

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