April Weightlifting Course and Coaching Update


Whilst our members are hard at work bettering themselves, improving their skills, movement patterns, strength and aerobic capacity, our coaches are also at work developing and honing their coaching skills.

These improvements have a direct effect on the standard and quality of the coaching we are able to offer, and we are excited to announce to you the following update.

Recently, both James Grogan and James St Leger achieved their Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Weightlifting, through the leading UK governing body, British Weight Lifting.

On top of this they also both achieved their tutor and assessor qualification as an accredited British Weight Lifting Tutor, enabling them to teach, coach and assess other coaches.

So what does this mean for our members?

– A continued high level of coaching, both within normal classes and the specific Olympic Lifting Classes that we run.
– A finer eye for detail within the coaching environment.
– Continued high level structured progressive programming.
– The paved planning for future Olympic Lifting Workshops, Seminars and courses.

Our current schedule has a dedicated Weightlifting Class on Tuesday evening at 8pm, and all day during normal classes on a Wednesday.

If you are not sure what Olympic Lifting entails, and would like to give it a go, we are running a 4 week weightlifting course starting on Sunday 17th April from 10:00am – 12:00pm –  The course is £79 for members of CrossFit Portishead and £99 for non-members.   During the course you will learn both the theory and practical side of Olympic lifting.

 To book your place on the course – Click here – Then select weightlfting Course from within the sessions tab

CrossFit Games 16.3 – Joe Dark – My Experience


This week we get to hear from one of our more experienced members and the first ever member of CrossFit Portishead – Joe Dark.  Currently he is sitting top of the interbox league table and is competing in his 4th CrossFit Open.  Here’s what he thought of 16.3

Called it!

I had a feeling Bar MU’s would show up in the Open this year. Generally movements that have been established in Regionals eventually make their way to the Open. (Start practicing your handstand walking people!)

16.3 was a 7min AMRAP consisting of 10 light weight snatches and 3 Bar MU’s. Out of the 3 workouts we’ve had so far, this is the one I’ve looked forward to the most. Although any 7min AMRAP is pretty much a sprint, pacing is still vitally important. In fact its usually what separates the more experienced athletes from the newbies.

Before I attempted the WOD, I came up with a score I’d be happy with. For me that was 8 rounds or 104 reps. That worked out at one complete round ever 52 seconds. I took a shot at completing 1 round just for practice and finished it in 45 seconds, so knew my target was possible. Game on!


The first 10 snatches were easy! The bar had never felt so light! The MU’s were a dream too. I jumped off the bar and hit the snatches for the second time. Once again they felt great. On to the pull-up bar for the second time. Second set of MU’s no problem. I didn’t know what all the fuss was about! Then it started to hit me around the 5th rep of round 3. Dem forearms! I could feel my grip start to loosen with every snatch. Loosing confidence in my hands each time. I knew round 3 would be the last I completed unbroken. Once your grip starts to fail there’s very little you can do to recover. I was however slightly ahead of my target so I knew I could start to break up the snatches to save my failing forearms. From round 4 onwards I broke up the snatches into 6 and 4 (Pro tip: When breaking sets up, always go for decreasing reps) and managed to continue the MU’s unbroken. I finished the 7th set of MU’s with 1min left on the clock. I had literally zero feeling in my hands and forearms by this point so actually picking up the bar to snatch was a risky proposition. Still, somehow I got the 10 reps in the bag with 15sec left and 3 MU’s between me and my goal. I managed to chicken wing 1 last rep before the time was up. 102 reps in total.

3 down 2 to go!

CrossFit Games 16.2 – My Experience – Louisa Rees


This week we get to hear from another one of the Rees’s – Louisa – on her experience competing in the CrossFit Open for the the first time and how she found 16.2

So 16.2….

I arrived on Friday at 6pm not feeling in the best shape due to the copious amounts of red wine that I had consumed the night before.  I wanted to do the workout with everyone else at CrossFit Portishead as it’s a great atmosphere and this was my only chance before the cut-off!  Accordingly, I drank loads of water and prepared myself for what seemed, on the face of it, an ok workout (well compared to 16.1).
It started well, the adrenaline had kicked in and the memory of wine and my hangover was dissipating with every rep.  That said, 16.2 was not quite as straight forward as it first appeared; you had 4 minutes to complete 25 knee raises, 50 single skips and 15 squat cleans with an increasing weight per round, if you completed 1 round you got the bonus of another 4 miuntes to complete another round, need I say more.

Anyway, I got through the first two rounds at a decent speed and managed to get to the 42.5kg squat cleans with three minutes to go…I had never lifted this weight before and I just could not get under the bar!

In three minutes, I managed one solitary rep!  However this was a PB and this is where the CrossFit Portishead community came into their own.  Although I was a little disappointed in only getting 1 rep it would have been zero if it was not for my fellow Crossfitters.  They could see I was in trouble and  knew I needed some serious ‘come on Lou, elbows through Lou, get under the bar Lou, it’s up by your ears Lou!’  Anyway, thanks to the encouragement I did it.

My aim is to now work on my cleans and perfect my technique so that I can smash those 42.5kg squat cleans!