Muscle Pit Perth's Strongest Gym

After breaking the ice last year and putting together a summary of our team’s achievements at the close of 2014, I’ve been happily surprised that there have been a few requests from members, ex-members and supporters to pen together my thoughts of our gym’s growth and highlights for 2015.

DISCLAIMER

Now…even though I’m as “Proud as Punch” of our member’s achievements and the reputation our training facility has built through its members over the years, I always find it hard to “beat the drum” about our accomplishments publicly as I don’t want to be seen as arrogant as it goes against all of our crews values.

I’d rather err on the side of being humble as there is enough try-hards boasting about average performances or pretending they’re something they’re not.

I’d rather err on the side of being humble as there is enough try-hards boasting about average performances or pretending they’re something they’re not.

For those that are genuinely interested in what we do, hopefully this will shed a bit of light on the events of 2015.

THE GYM

Now, before we get into the performance side of things I’d like to say thank you to all our members that have volunteered to help when needed or just showed initiative doing things to advance Muscle Pit as a gym and a second home to most.

I was particularly pleased to see newer members confident to step up to help as the year unfolded, working side by side with our established members and embracing our culture and values.

The main focus to get off the ground this year was MPS Remedial which is a natural development for our business and ties in well with some of our key sponsors.

Again this has been a true team development with Ross and Anne Semplice, Rod Marchesi (and team), Shannon Florisson, Corey Ettia, Corey Millar, Julie Preston, Cliff Gilmore, Jac Taylor, Shane Manihera, Neihana Day, Jess Ngarotata, Anthony Balcombe, Aaron Thrumble, Greg and Alisha Rawlinson all playing a part that will see a solid growth in 2016…. !!

POWERLIFTING

After a huge year for a number of lifters in 2014 cumulating with the GPA Worlds that November, 2015 was always going to be a hard act to follow and to some extent 2015 was always going to be a year of consolidation.

For a few the 2014 GPA Worlds was seen as the pinnacle of their lifting careers and they simply needed time out from the platform for various reasons ranging from much needed rest to rehabilitation of injuries and one or two decided they wanted to put back into the sport and get involved helping behind the scenes.

Stealing the limelight this year I thought were our women lifters.

Stealing the limelight this year I thought were our women lifters.

Kat Becker joined our team in May looking to build on some very solid performances posted earlier in the year.

She had immediate success hitting Personal Best numbers at the CAPO State Championships setting CAPO Australian records in the 82.5kg division and rounded out her year with an invite to ProRaw 7. Lifting against Australia’s best lifters weighing above 75kg’s across all federations (she was the lightest lifter in the field). Her squat of 230kg and bench of 95kg were PB’s and all was on track to hit another PB on the deadlift when she came down with a severe migraine. What followed was a performance of sheer will power and determination.  Those that witnessed her out the back on all fours puking her ring out and quite obviously in a tonne of pain moments before her lifting started will still be wondering how she managed to get on to the platform let alone pull 215kg.  White as a ghost and virtually collapsing as she was helped from the platform.  Kat ended up placing second behind Chleo Van Wyk and 2.5kg ahead of Amanda Price!!  Full respect Kat and an inspirational highlight for the WAPA ProRaw team.

Kat’s total at ProRaw 7 of 540kg is the biggest raw total by a female lifter in West Australian Powerlifting History….!!

One of the most satisfying rises I witnessed in 2015 was the development of Jess Ngarotata. She embodies all the qualities that is needed to be successful at this sport.  Jess is teachable, has passion, keeps faith in what I put in front of her and does the work consistently with enthusiasm and a “Can Do” attitude.

Arriving at Muscle Pit as an 82.5kg lifter, I felt Jess in the long term could become a dominant force in Powerlifting circles at 67.5kg in the interim though we needed her strong at 75kg.

We changed her technique, completely rebuilding her squat and bench and tweaking her deadlift.

Jess represented strongly at 75kg in each comp she represented Muscle Pit in 2015 her numbers improving as the year unfolded; The Arnolds, WAPA State Championships placing first in the 75kg division and 2nd overall, overall 2nd place at the Wild West Shoot-Out, placed 5th at ProRaw 7 amongst Australia’s best and won the overall at the Deadliest Deadlift push and Pull comp in December.

Her best lifts in 2015 where Squat 180kg, Bench 95kg and Deadlift 195kg and Total 460kg

Personally it was awesome working with her as a training partner in 2015 and I’m excited at the prospect of what her numbers at the end of 2016 will be.

Kate Moore had a pretty quiet year competition wise but boy did she finish well. Kate deadlifted a Muscle Pit record with a solid 140kg lift weighing 60kg body weight at the Deadliest Deadlift in December.  She is slowly maturing as a lifter and the signs are there that 2016 could be her breakout year.

GPA World age group champion and record holder Amy Coe followed on strongly from her outstanding success in 2014.

The first half of the year saw her breaking records at the Arnolds and winning the teenage section of the State Championships before school activities took over.

On the men’s side two performances stood out; the “Big Flo”, Shannon Florisson, at the 2015 CAPO national championships posted a new sub masters world record in the 140kg division with a Total of 932.5 kg (340kg Squat, 240kg Bench, 352.5kg Deadlift)

On the men’s side two performances stood out; the “Big Flo”, Shannon Florisson, at the 2015 CAPO national championships posted a new sub masters world record in the 140kg division with a Total of 932.5 kg (340kg Squat, 240kg Bench, 352.5kg Deadlift) and ranked him on the All-Time under 140kg list at no.2. It’s probably worth a note that Shannon’s performance was done at a body weight of 129kg, so there is plenty of room for growth in the coming 24 months.

Joel McCaughan finally delivered a performance with no injuries hitting a personal best Total of 810kg at Proraw 7 in the 110kg division. I think this will be Joel’s ideal weight division for the next couple of years.  Joel has an awesome work ethic and is one lifter that leaves no stone unturned in his quest to be the best he can.

With some of the younger crew starting to mature I think this year’s States is going to see our record boards hit hard.

STRONGMAN

2015 marked Dan Macri’s 7th year in the sport since transitioning from Powerlifting.

Over the years I have seen Dan’s progress hindered through injury and it’s probably conservative to say he’s missed something like 2 5years of training during this time to one ailment or another.

Each time the man mountain has licked his wounds and fought his way back learning to train smarter (not necessary harder), to extract the best from his body.

Years of perseverance paid off at the start of 2015 with Dan receiving his Pro-Card Invitation for the 2015 Arnold Classic held in Melbourne.

Going head to head with the likes of Brian Shaw, Eddie Hall and Robert Oberest is no easy feat however Dan came a credible 8th, setting an Australian Record in the 25 metre Car Walk (410kg) of 21.62 seconds.

Scott “The Future” Lockyer also participated at the 2015 Arnold Classic in the Amateur Division coming home in 7th place and with a tonne more of experience and increased enthusiasm under his belt.

Living up to his nick name “The Future”, Scott went on to win the 2015 West Australia’s Strongest Man title and I look forward to seeing more of this big unit’s progress in 2016.

Also on the winner’s list at the 2015 WA Strongman Titles was Shaahni Carter who dominated the Women’s section in her first ever competition. Reinforcing that to win anything you need to enter, show up and have a go.  What’s that saying “nothing ventured nothing gained”?  I know Shaahni’s win has inspired a few girls to give it a crack in 2016 – Congrats again Shaahni.

ODDS AND ENDS

Most people when they hear the name Muscle Pit predominantly think Powerlifting and Strongman however in essence we are all about strength development across a number of sports.

Most people when they hear the name Muscle Pit predominantly think Powerlifting and Strongman however in essence we are all about strength development across a number of sports.

Leading the charge was super fish Damien Eyre who finished the year with a FINA ranking of 4 for both 800 & 1500 freestyle masters and continued his domination at this year’s Masters Swimming Nationals sweeping the pool with 3 Gold, 3 Silver, and 3 Bronze across a myriad of events breaking 5 State Records along the way.  Not quite done Damo finished off the year with a national record for the 800 metre back stroke with a time of 11 mins 5 seconds taking 3 seconds off the existing record.

On a side note Damo is looking to crack a 200kg at his next Powerlifting meet.

Other notable performances saw Jake O’Driscoll continue his climb in the world of BJJ winning Gold at the National under 75kg Gi title in Adelaide and picking up the Silver in the open No Gi division.

Jake’s progress has been solid over the years, his strength development has made him probably the strongest lifter nationally in the 75kg division.

Jake’s bench of 140kg at Heavy Duty’s “Sons of Odin” Powerlifting contest saw him debut on the Muscle Pit records board – which is no easy feat in a weight category that boasts Corey Ettia, Corey Millar and Stephen Ramsay.

Staying with BJJ, Tim Thomson the Pit’s teenage sensation who has just turned 16 has a huge future in front of him; he has an abundance of natural talent but more importantly has a great temperament and a solid support system in his father Peter.

Tim had an outstanding year winning Gold at the Arnold Classic, followed with 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze at the Pan Pacifics.

From there he won silver at the Worlds and to cap the year off travelled to Brazil to win the South American championships at the home of BJJ.

Both Jake and Tim are strength coached by Corey Millar who is rapidly becoming one of the best strength coaches in this state – his eye to detail is up there with the very best.

TRACK AND FIELD

Mat Barber continued to weave his magic with the Curtain Track & Field team that train out of Muscle Pit.

Arguably Mat is the best coach in Australia when it comes to track and field

Arguably Mat is the best coach in Australia when it comes to track and field, the man’s eye for detail is exceptional and I’m glad to have him as a sounding board here at “The Pit”.

His young brigade is building nicely and I think 2016 /17 will see many of them feature strongly at national level.

This year two performances caught the eye, Poppy Schwass’ performance at the National Athletics Championships placing a close third in the women’s under 20 Heptathlon with 4718 points and Kobi Evans winning the women’s section of the Bay Sheffield Gift over 120m clocking a time of 12.04 secs.

Both outstanding efforts in very rich company.

At the 2015 State Championships team members continued their rise through the ranks with the following results:

Isabella Morton Smith, Under 16 High Jump: 1st place at 1.45m.

Liam Gartlan, Under 16 Javelin (700g): 1st place at 47.63m.

Cody Beattie, Under 17 Men’s 100m: 1st at 11.27 sec.

Cody Beattie, Under 17 Men’s 200m: 1st at 22.90 sec.

Kiara Reddingius, 4kg Shot put, 1st at 11.37m.

Ellie Nagle, 400m under 17, 3rd at 1.00.21.

Courtney Heinze, Discus throw (2kg), 1st at 46.96m.

Courtney Heinze, Shot put (7.26kg), 2nd at 15.38m.

Poppy Schwass, Under 20 Heptathlon, 1st with 4 459 points.

Kobi Evans, Open Heptathlon, 2nd with 4 650 points.

Kiara Reddingius, Open Heptathlon, 3rd with 4 633 points.

SUMMARY

In amongst all of the above gems there has been many personal milestones conquered and self-satisfaction attained from the time invested under the bar that has enabled many of our crew to look positively forward to 2016.

For some there are records to break (or reclaim), State Teams to be made, World Championships to attend and for others it’s just to be the best they can be.

On a final note I’d like to acknowledge each of you for your contribution in 2016 that has made Muscle Pit an enjoyable place to train and a positive environment that cultivates and shares ideas.

Above all thanks for making Muscle Pit Perth’s Strongest Family.

Cheers Henry