Chris Peil recently went to Hamburg as part of the English team to compete in the IUKL World Kettlebell Lifting Championships. He finished 2nd in his weight class. Chris kept us updated whilst at the competition and we posted his progress on our Facebook page. When Chris got back to the UK he was only too happy to give us an interview.
FGH: How did everything go leading up to the event itself? Was it easy for you to make the weight limit?
I was a bit tight on the 95kg limit for my class; I showed 94.8 kg on my scales Thursday morning. As I didn’t much relish the prospect of a naked weigh in I fasted all that day. When we met at the Sportshalle it felt very serious very quickly, as the doors opened the Ukrainians rushed to the scales to test it before official weigh-in; competitors were running laps in tracksuits, hats, coats and gloves as a result. Once our team was registered we were led to a basement where two officials sat behind a scale and many uber serious-looking blokes, complete with game faces, were lined up in their tighty whities waiting to weigh in. Suddenly my choice of Union Jack boxers seemed less funny. I came in at 93.3kg; I was hugely relieved.
FGH: So after you made weight what did you do prior to the competition?
I didn’t lift until Saturday so Thursday night and Friday I rested, fed and watched some of our team put in great performances. As for my turn; I was half way through my warm up when our team rep came to tell me we were delayed an hour- not great for the nerves. However, my coach Abi and her team mate Reece kindly prepped my kettlebells for me, gave me a final kick up the backside and we were led out to the platform by an official.
FGH: How did the actual competition itself go and were you happy with your performance?
I was looking for 76 reps, I had done 74 in training fairly comfortably and so was confident it was there on a good day. As soon as we started I felt I was in trouble. CFFP Watford (the gym where Chris trains) is a brilliant gym but doesn’t waste money on frivolous heating. It felt boiling in the sportshalle and my mouth was like sand paper within seconds. I kept to my planned pace up until about 7 minutes. At that point I needed to be upping the pace for a strong finish. Instead I had to drop off and cling on. I really wanted to put the Kettlebells down from then on. All of a sudden there were 30 seconds left and I drew on my last resources to finish on 70 reps. That equalled my competition best and got me second in the group.
FGH: That’s still a great result at an international level. What are your plans for the future?
For me watching a professional-class team mate [Will Dollar] become the first male English ‘Master of Sport’ [a huge deal in the kettlebell world] is an inspiration to keep pushing on and improving. I now can’t wait to get back to training to get ready for next year.
FGH: Thanks for your time Chris and good luck in the year ahead.