Cometh the hour, cometh the man. This was a do or die rep at 164kg.
Pic courtesy of the awf.com.au Facebook page.



It was necessary to produce a comprehensive competition report for Shire Speed and Strength lifter Jackson Roberts-Young at the AWF 2016 Australian International.


An ambitious task of trying to improve his PR total of 270 and get it up to 286 (an AWF A Grade necessary for Oceans and Junior Worlds) was added to by the fact that although that 270 was back at Nationals last August, he has played a 3 1/2 month gridiron season in that time, taking out Team MVP honours in the process.


Adding to the flavour of the difficulty, was that the original plan included an earlier competition 3 weeks prior until injury struck. A subluxation of the elbow on a heavy snatch attempt 5 weeks out from the competition and final chance to qualify in time meant a radical change in training.


A grade 1 to 2 strain of the UCL would usually be a medium term lay off for someone like a baseball pitcher; the sort of people more likely have these problems. Weightlifters are not common in Australia, so not a lot of experience is available on rehab options and recovery possibilities. A huge shout needs to go Gwen Sisto and her blog that touched on this scenario for weightlifters which you can read here.


Between that blog write up, some coaching moxie, and some excellent discussions with the physiotherapist members of the Shire Speed and Strength gym, a daily rehab protocol of wrist, forearm and tricep work was added immediately followed by carefully reintroducing the competition lifts again over 5 weeks. A lot of squat and pull strength is never a bad thing, so we used our time wisely to get some work there done and make the best of a bad situation.


No less than the great Haitian Revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture had a biography named after him titled, ‘The Hour and The Man‘, and whilst hitting an AWF A grade is hardly in the stratosphere of leading an Army of freed slaves against the Napolean’s French armed forces and birthing a nation; when you hit a big key rep and there are 5 or 6 good reasons why you shouldn’t, you can’t help but feel pretty happy about it.


The next addition to the gym will be some highly accurate scales for the reasons disclosed in the video. Its quite possible that we’ve gotten some readings that aren’t really spot on and effecting preparation like this. As the level of sporting success rises, the margin for error gets ever smaller.