Family & Weightlifting: Interview With Nick Cantwell

Nick’s Weightlifting career started as a young school boy and by year 10 (aged 15) he had already been part of the GB and England squad and represented the country at a Youth European Championship. In his twenties he was invited back on the England squad and won the 2016 English championships. He currently Snatches 125kg and Clean & Jerks 160kg in the 77kg body-weight class, while bringing up a young family and working a demanding job.

What is it like training full out alongside a young family and a demanding Job?
In short, very difficult. It’s hard to find a set routine and balance the three. I have to take training where it comes. I am however fortunate to be able to train at either St. Birinus Weightlifting Club or The Athlete Centre - Didcot to suit my needs; be it 6:30 in the morning or 19:30 in the evening.

Would you want your daughter to do weightlifting? And if so, is there an age restriction you would enforce?
It’s entirely up to her. I will support her in whatever she decides to do. If she did want to do Weightlifting I wouldn’t put an age limit on her because, as a youth, it’s all focused around participation and technique. This is providing she is coached properly.

What do you think are the top two key attributes that make a successful lifter?
Dedication and consistency. If you have both of those they will take you far in this sport.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
Anyone who competes between the two [CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting] and sticks with it as it’s very hard work. I don’t have anyone in particular, apart from Eddie Chambers.

Top tip for aspiring lifters?
Work on your technique before you put weight on the bar. Otherwise you’re just going to limit yourself.

Is there a specific routine you do/ have before you go out for a big lift on a Platform?
Don’t worry about things out of your control, just focus on yourself.

How do you think CrossFit has helped your lifting?
My body adapts very quickly to the style of training I’m doing. Different variations of strength and CrossFit exercises I firmly believe make me stronger.

Would you recommend CrossFit to Olympic Weightlifters?
Certain elements and constant variation can help but it really does depend on the individual. Give it a go and see for yourself.​