Bristol Co-operative Games: A Fundraising Festival of Collaborative Weightlifting

Lotte and Imogen demonstrating the double deadlift

On Saturday 9th April from 11:00 to 18:00 we will be hosting our first ever weightlifting event!

We will be competing (in the loosest, most friendly sense of the word) in random pairs to double deadlift the heaviest weight we can.

This little day-festival marks the halfway point in our crowdfunding campaign towards building our dream gym.

To attend, please register your interest and then donate at least £15 to our crowdfunder.


  • 11:00-11:30 arrive
  • 11:30-11:50 group warm up with Millie Morfitt
  • 11:50-12:00 draw pairs from the hat
  • 12:00-12:30 meet your partner, do some warm up reps, decide on your first lift
  • 12:30-14:00 lifting!
  • 14:00-15:30 communal lunch
  • 15:30-17:00 go for a walk in Nightingale Valley together
  • 17:00-18:00 come back to the gym and conclude

Getting here and staying over

Our gym is in the south east of Bristol, with good transport links and plenty of cycle and car parking. Please see here for detailed access info.

If you are travelling far, you may prefer to stay over on Saturday night – there are a number of co-op members who are able to host people and you will be asked about this during sign-up.

How the “competition” will work

We are limiting attendances to 26 people so will have a maximum of 13 pairs competing.

At the start of the day we will draw names out of a hat to select pairs. In our experience, significant height and strength differences between partners don’t cause problems with the double deadlift but we can do some swapping around if necessary.

Each pair has three attempts to lift the heaviest weight they can in the double deadlift. Of course, the real purpose of the event has nothing to do with this.

Pairs will start warming up together and decide on the weight they’d like to lift for their first attempt. Generally speaking, this should feel hard but reliably manageable. The pair writes this number on their slip of paper and hands it to the person organising the order of lifts.

The order of lifts is based on weight, with the lightest going first. The bar is loaded and the first pair is called to the deadlift platform to make their attempt. If successful, the judge announces a “good lift”. Otherwise, it is a “no lift”. In that case, the pair can choose whether to attempt the weight again (after a 2 minute rest) or select a new, heavier weight to try next (which is worked in to the order of lifts). The weight on the bar is always increasing, so each attempt must be equal to or heavier than the last.

The bar is loaded for the next weight in the order of lifts and that pair is called to lift.

The process repeats until every pair has completed their three lifts and the pair who went heaviest is the winner!

Other activities

We have booked the room besides the gym for non-competition activities, with games and a Fitness Culture Library of interesting books if you’d like some quiet time.

There will be the opportunity to order exclusive t-shirts and other goodies towards our crowdfunder and we will be able to take card payments.


A communal vegan meal is being prepared by our co-op members.

At sign-up you will be asked if you have any dietary requirements.

Lunch will be included in the ticket price but you’re welcome to bring your own, if you’d prefer! There is a Co-operative supermarket within 5 minutes walk.


After lunch we will walk down to Nightingale Valley, a “hidden gem” of urban woodland along a meandering brook.

It can get muddy so bring a change of shoes.

After the event

Afterwards we will return to the gym, bid farewell to those who are leaving and then probably head into town for a drink and maybe something to eat.

It will be a really enjoyable day and we’d love to have you there.

Jayde Perkin‘s glorious poster