Year in review and World Championships,Pune,National Clubs, All Schools, Michael Keelan Shield, Australian Opens

Looking back on 2015

When I look back on 2015 its been a good year for the club with lots of new talented lifters joining  and lots of new juniors, while more long term members have kept on improving. The committee and especially Jimmy, Tony and Erika have brought different skills that both Angie and myself do not possess to Cougars and its really helped improve the club spirit.

For me its great to see that a lot of club members get together outside the club to enjoy themselves and also have a lot of fun together while training – after all that’s why we do it don’t we?

Also there has been a lot more discussion on lifting on social media (thanks to Martin and Leo and others) and the internet in general which is great for the sport and its good to see the AWF is getting out Ma Wenhui, former Head Coach of the Chinese national women’s team to work with us in January.





2015 World Championships in Houston



It was a great honour to be selected as a coach for the Australian Team for the 2015 World Championships.
I really enjoyed being at the event from watching the great lifting to being in the training hall to coaching out the back it was a great experience and one I shall treasure for a long time.
The team performed very well with everybody getting some sort of PB and Jenna getting 6/6.
Tia  did a PB snatch, CJ and total as a 58 and 4/6 lifts and had a good crack at 112 CJ and handled her 2nd major international very well


Commonwealth Championships Pune



Damo, James and Ryley lifted at this event
It was great to see James pip Aydan yet again and also Ryley do 5/6 in his first international



National Club Championships


Cougars winners of the National Club Championships
Ebony PB Snatch and Total by 2kg
Erin PB Total by 1kg
Harry PB Total by 4Kg
Jax PB Total by 3Kg
Guyan PB Snatch CJ and Total by 9Kg
And Damo 6/6 and his best total since the Games of 370Kg



All Schools Championship



St Lauries provided a great venue for the all schools and there was lots of good lifting and battles on the day
Alex Loft Pb Snatch, CJ and Total of 6Kg
Angus  PB Snatch of 6Kg
Eamon  PB Snatch CJ and Total of 22Kg
Harry PB Snatch CJ and Total of 4Kg and best U17 lifter
Jett PB Snatch Cj and Total of 4kg and best U15 lifter
Josh M PB snatch of 4Kg
Lincoln PB Snatch CJ and Total of 5kg
Matt PB snatch CJ and Total 11Kg
Michael PB Snatch CJ and Total of 11kg
Tashaun PB snatch CJ and Total of 6Kg


MK Shield


The MK results were combined with the Open results to deliver this years winners Ebony and James
The stand out performance was James Norman who did PB snatch of 5kg PB clean and jerk of 5Kg and PB total of 10Kg and A grade at 77 and qualified him to go to World Juniors in Georgia next year – I am glad I misunderstood what his PB snatch was in training 😛
Alex Loft PB snatch PB CJ PB total 5kg
Celeste PB snatch PB clean and Jerk PB Total of 8Kg
Dan PB snatch PB CJ PB total 6Kg
Dave with some peer encouragement :) PB snatch PB CJ PB Total 12Kg
Eamon PB Snatch 2Kg
Lochlan PB Snatch PB CJ PB Total 6Kg
Paige PB Snatch PB CJ PB total 7Kg
Peter PB Snatch PB CJ PB total 9Kg
Quyen PB Snatch PB CJ PB Total 23Kg
Rowan PB Snatch PB CJ PB Total 6Kg
Stephen PB Snatch PB CJ PB Total 10Kg

Australian Opens



This event turned out to be much more fun than I thought it would be and its great to have another BW event on the calendar.

The stand out performance was from Tia who was due to start on 80Kg but missed 75kg 3-4 times in the warmup I took her down to 78, and  then 76 having only been successful with 70Kg out the back but then she proceeded to get 76,80, and 83 for a new PB ! – on the Clean and Jerks she started on 102 4kg above her previous starter at 58Kg and then jumped 9kg to 111kg and got that lift to move her into number 1 ranking position for the Rio Olympics with 1 more event to go also a Qld CJ record of 111kg and Total Record of 194Kg at 58Kg. She then cleaned 113 and missed the Jerk behind.  If anything demonstrates her toughness it is this competition.

Leanne PB Snatch CJ and Total 6kg 165kg at 69Kg and a swag of National masters records
Ebony PB Snatch  PB CJ  PB Total by 4kg  – 180Kg 69
Erin PB Snatch PB CJ PB Total 2Kg – 167 Kg- 75
Jax PB CJ 7Kg 169Kg PB Total 4kg 299Kg
Guyan PB Snatch, CJ Total 2kg 218Kg at 69Kg


December 28th, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

2015 Nationals

Detailed Results

Qld Won both the Senior and Junior Team Female Shields and was in 2nd Place in both the Male Senior and Junior Team Shields
Erika (coached by Angie) won best Female and was the first Australian female to do a double bodyweight CJ of 106Kg and Leo Lark (coached by Craig)  won best Junior Male

Mary Barter- National Senior Champion 48Kg – 1kg PB CJ and Total
James Norman – National Junior and Senior Champion 69kg  – 2kg PB snatch 3kg PB total
Josh Mak 6th Junior  69Kg
Ashley Adams 9th 85Kg
Kris Corrie 10th 85Kg 2kg PB total
Ebony Gorincu – National Senior Silver Medalist 1kg PB Snatch
Nanda Stoltz – National Senior Bronze Medalist
Leanne Knox 5th  – Masters 40-44 Snatch CJ and Total Records
Lydia Olsen – National Junior Champion 75Kg
Luke Gardner  – National Senior Silver Medalist 94kg
Regan Hams – National Senior Bronze Medalist 105Kg 1kg PB CJ and Total
Damon Kelly – National Senior Champion 105+Kg  and 2nd Best Overall lifter
Jackson Solofa 4th 105+ 2kg PB Snatch and Total

Video Interviews
Damon Kelly
James Norman
Mary Barter





The majority of people tend to only see the fabulous outcome that a successful person has achieved throughout their life.  These achievements blind us so that we often are not even aware of the huge efforts that were necessary to make these accomplishments possible. 

The next time you see a successful person you could try to direct your focus to the necessary efforts that this person had to make in order to achieve his accomplishments. If you are willing to make similar commitments and efforts you have the chance to become as successful as them.





2015 Crossfit Games

Congratulations to Tia Clair Toomey, Shane and CoachRx on her second place at the Crossfit Games and Rookie of the Year and also the first Australian ever to get a podium finish

Listen to her interview about the games







September 5th, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

In Memoriam

Thanks to Robert Kabbas for this article


August 2nd, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Should you wear lifting belts

This is from Physio/CrossFit Box Owner/Coach/Lifter  – April King

“Should you wear lifting belts? Wrist wraps? Hand guards? Knee sleeves?
These are questions I am regularly asked by my CrossFit clients so I thought I would write a quick blurb about the first one (the weightlifting belt).

The short answer (in my opinion) is definitely yes but I’m sure you’ll find others who don’t agree. Nonetheless, here is what I think and why.

If you are squatting, pressing or deadlifting >80 to 85% of your 1RM you should consider putting on your belt because it will help to:
a) increase intra-abdominal pressure
b) support the lumbar spine in a compressive way
c) give feedback regarding your spinal posture during the lift.

The way I see it, at heavy weights, it makes sense to support your body in every way you can to minimise or reduce the risk of injury. But please note, wearing a weightlifting belt will not:
a) take over the job of your “core musculature”, i.e. your deep spinal or deep abdominal muscles or
b) make you stronger

So putting on a belt does not mean that you can suddenly increase your weights and lift heavier. You actually have to get stronger to do that, because despite the advantages it might give you, it is not a guarantee against hurting yourself. “



Some people are buying Creatine Hydrochloride, its a waste of money according to Dr Greg Haff, creatine monohydrate is a better product – you can calculate dosage on this page –



Harry – Commonwealth Youth Games

Congratulations to Harry on making the Australian Team for the Commonwealth Youth Games


Tia Crossfit Games 

Great interview with Tia-Clair Toomey in WodLife

Tia-Clair Toomey will be competing at the Crossfit Games
The CrossFit Games will start at Hermosa Beach California on Wednesday, July 22 – You can watch on ESPN via Foxtel or the Crossfit Website
All the best to Tia and her Crossfit Coach CoachRx


Thanks Brisbane Barbell for the photo!

July 18th, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

2015 Pacific Games

15 years ago I interviewed Mike Keelan one of Australia’s best coaches and coach educators and asked him what he most enjoyed about being a coach and he said “Seeing the success of his athletes” – now at the time I did not really feel the same myself, it was not why I enjoyed being a coach.

But now as I warmed up Mary Barter at the Pacific Cup trying to hide from her the tears in my eyes from the emotion of just thinking how far she had come in now representing Australia at this event I really understood what he meant – and it was a great feeling !



Mary with here 4 Silver Medals in the 48




Tia-Clair Toomey with her 4 silver medals in the 58




Mitch with his very gutsy 125 snatch to secure Bronze



A special moment of the Games for me was chatting to Chief de Mission – Dual Olympic gold medalist –   Malcolm Page
It was interesting to hear his journey in his sport and his views on improving the sport in Australia. – Malcolm’s a unique
and special person and it was a privilege to meet him.


Australia won both overall Senior Team cups




The full results can be found here




July 11th, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Qld State Championships – a great 2 days of lifting


It was just a great State championships with lots of close battles and some awesome lifting !!

Maria Barter Gold 53  – PB Snatch and Total
Georgia Gaffney 58 Gold Junior Bronze Senior  – PB Snatch, CJ and Total by 7kg
Tia-Clair Toomey Gold 63  – PB Snatch and Total
Leanne Knox Silver 63
Nanda Stoltz Gold 69  – PB Snatch, CJ and Total by 13kg
Ebony Gorincu Silver 69 – PB Snatch, CJ and Total by 4kg
Emma Zawila 69 Gold Junior Bronze Senior PB Snatch
Lydia Jayne Olsen Gold Junior 75 – PB Snatch, CJ and Total by 6kg
Lucy Graham Gold 75+

Best Junior Female – Georgia Gaffney


Harrison Gaffney Gold Junior
James Norman 69 Gold – PB CJ
Josh Mak 69 Silver Junior  – PB CJ and Total by 3
Mitchell Delbridge 85 Silver
Shane Orr 85 Bronze PB CJ and Total by 6
Luke Gardner 94 Gold
Liam Hadfield Bronze 105 PB Snatch and Total by 3
Damon Kelly Gold 105+
Jackson Solofa Silver 105+ – PB Snatch, CJ and Total by 11kg

Best  Senior Male – Damon Kelly

Full Results


Thank you Brisbane Barbell for the great photos !



June 30th, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

World Juniors and National Masters

Congratulations to James Norman 69Kg who at his first World Juniors in Poland did  6/6 lifts and
PB Snatch 103 by 1kg
PB Clean and Jerk of 135kg by 5kg
PB Total by 6.

Its a mark of his character how James has come back from a flat period in his career to pull out such a performance on the world stage.

Great photos by  Gregor Winter (All Things Gym)

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National Masters

Congratulations  Leanne Knox who at the National Masters won a gold in the 40 to 44 category and was best lifter in the 40-45 category and overall best female lifter of the event !!
She now leads the Nationals masters rankings which contains an impressive number of QLD athletes – Also thank you to Linz and Jenny  who did a great job with the coaching in what can be a VERY hard coaching gig !



June 13th, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Tia-Clair Toomey and Andrea Miller Crossfit Pacific Regionals 2015



Angie and myself headed to Woolongong to watch Tia-Clair Toomey and Andrea Miller and Andrea complete at the 2015 Crossfit Pacific Regionals.We had great seats right next to the competition area and really enjoyed  watching the individual events.

My heart was in my mouth wondering how Tia and Andrea would go snatching directly after the handstand walk – I was hoping that they had not bitten off too much in their weight selection – but they nailed their 80Kg lifts with Tia doing a “competition PB”. and tied for second place in that event.


I started working with Andrea in 2012,  her Crossfit coach Rudy Nielsen  was very supportive in her working on an weightlifting program and she was unfortunate to miss out on a NZ Commonwealth Games Weightlifting Team slot in 2014.

She did very well at the event and came 8th overall even though her preparation had not been the best and an inner ear issue effected her on some events, she is  one of the unluckiest athletes I have worked with and I hope things turn round for her as she is such and kind and hard working athlete with a great supportive partner – Regan Hams.


My association with Tia started in Oct 2013 after the Again Faster Semper Paratus Comp when I started helping her the technique and weightlifting programming.

After she competed at the Commonwealth Games Trials in 2014 I really felt that it would help if she had a specific experienced Crossfit coach, I suggested a few names and she chose Coach Rx. We all met as a group for the first time at Cougars in 2014 and starting planning along with her partner Shane how we would work together.

After the 2014 Crossfit regionals her niggling back pain started to become really bad and a scan identified a stress fracture in her back.
We got the physio Andrew McGough  to then plan her 12 weeks progress back to full health with CoachRx programming just enough to allow the healing to occur and prevent her going mad with boredom :)

She then starting working on mainly a weightlifting program with some input from CoachRx until the end of 2014 when she made her first Australian Representative spot at the Pacific Cup in New Caledonia.

Then CoachRx took over the programming up to the Regionals with me making a few suggestions on what I would like in it.

As Shane said after her 3rd place at Regionals its been a team effort and it been great to work with CoachRx and Shane and Tia.
Above all its been the huge commitment from Tia  to do the 6h drive from Gladstone for coaching and to give up her shift work job so she could focus on being an athlete.

Without a supportive partner like Shane who also now is a great technique coach I do not think it would have been possible.

July is now going to be a huge month –  she is off to PNG to compete as part of an Australian Olympic Committee Team in the Pacific Games and then a few weeks later off to represent the Pacific region at the Crossfit Games


June 7th, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

James Norman World Junior Championships Selection

At the U15, U17 states in  Toowoomba James Norman did 96,100,102 124,128,130 and did a 9kg PB and 6/6 at 69Kg to do 2kg over the qualifying total to be selected for the World Junior Championships in Poland

He lost 8kg in 6 weeks and took 2 weeks off work to prepare

Thank you to Amie for the diet plan and Rob for warming him up and supporting him in training and a big thank you to all the people that drove up to cheer him on at the comp.

It was great to see all the hard work he put in pay off on the day


May 3rd, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Wow what a busy start to the year !

Its been a while since I posted as its been a super busy start of the year !

JME Round 1
It been great to see the rise in lifting in Qld and this weekend clubs up and down the state were competing in the JME round 1 see full clubs list also Damo has done a great Google Map of affiliated clubs 

The stand our lift to me was Tia doing a 175 total – 247 sinclair at 58 to put her 3rd in Australia on Sinclair  – all done while competing in the Crossfit Opens ! and Leanne doing a B grade total at 63 to place her at the top of the Australian Masters Rankings.

League Round 1

The full results of League round 1 are here
Harry won division 2 ! with a great performance with Sam Downs coming 3rd in Division 3 and Vanessa 3rd in division 4

Arnold International

The Arnold International saw Mary and Mitch compete in their first International Event with a new Luke Gardner in the 85’s

They all snatched very well with Mary getting a PB Snatch and Mitch leading the Australians on Sinclair after the Snatches
The Clean and Jerks did not go so will with some press-out’s and bad luck with wrist straps coming undone
Luke once he stabilizes at this weight will see the lifts return – its a great job he made it to 85 in itself.
All in all they performed very well with Mitch getting a PB total in his first international and 5/6

It was great to see Angie’s lifter Erika win the women’s event with 3 national Records

The event was very well covered by the AWF and the press.





High Performance Coordinator Jacquie White

It was great to catch up with the new High Performance Coordinator Jacquie White this weekend and I am looking forward to working with her this year to help improve the performance of my athletes and my own coaching .



March 22nd, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post