Your First Powerlifting Meet

First, congratulations on thinking of entering a meet  — you’ll love it. It takes a lot of guts to get out on a platform and be judged by your peers and I admire anyone who does it.

Second, just do it! You don’t have to be an all-star the first  time you go to a meet. The important thing is to get in one and see if    you like it. No one’s going to judge you as a person on how much weight you lift; and if they do, their opinions aren’t worth a watery shit.

Since you are new to this, let me offer a few points.

• Open light in the squat. No need to add fuel to the nervousness  by attempting a weight you think you MIGHT get. The opening squat sets    the whole tone of the meet for you: If you destroy it, your confidence is up, the butterflies will be gone, and you’ll be awesome. You’ll  go back to your seat with a huge smile on your face. Of course, if you  over-extend yourself too early and shit the bed, the opposite is true.  In that case, prepare to have a long, miserable day.

• Bring someone you trust. This doesn’t have to be anyone  experienced in meets but someone that will help you navigate the meet  and help you through the day. It DOES help if this person has meet experience, but as long as you have someone that can handle you (wrap knees, get you water, check on flights, etc.), it takes a whole lot off your plate.  You can just concentrate on lifting weight.

• Don’t cut weight — just weigh what you weigh. Worry about your training for the meet; no need to add cutting weight to your list of worries.

• Know the rules — every federation (about 458 in the United  States) has different rules. Know the judging rules. Know the equipment  rules. Don’t be caught off guard.

• Ask other lifters and handlers at the meet for advice. 99% of  the time people are going to be more than helpful. Just don’t do it right before someone lifts.

So getting back to your original question, there’s never a perfect time for entering your first powerlifting meet. You’re never going to be strong enough; in this sport, the quest for a total shows that  you can never be strong enough. Just go out there and do your best, and you’ll have the respect of everyone in that room, no matter  how strong you are.


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  • Comment by HEADstrong — October 7, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    Mutha fuckn word homey!

  • Comment by Jeff — October 7, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

    Thanks! This is perfect, I’m doing my first meet on Sunday!

  • Comment by Mads R — October 7, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    Nicely written. I’ll be entering a meet in december, a “christmas meet” which is just for fun.

  • Comment by In_search_of_yoke — October 7, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    Excellent! bookmarked

  • Comment by Aaron T — October 7, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Awesome post Jim! I had my first meet August 28th this year. It was a great experience and I had a hell of a time.

  • Comment by Mike — October 10, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    First meet at 34 coming up on 11/6!

  • Comment by Kathleen — October 13, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    I really want to do a lifting competition. I’ve been working the Wendler program for almost 8 weeks now. I started my deadlift at a 245 max and I really want a 300. I’m thinking that for a woman that’s new to this, it isn’t half bad.
    I have to FIND a competiion, now.

  • Comment by BrittanyBullock — October 17, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    So true!! My first meet was back in July, i competed in the Lexen Xtreme Summer Slam. I went in the meet with butterflies because I knew I was going to be the person that “started the meet” witch for my case just F*ed me up…But once everything got going and I was stretching/warming up all the butterflies went away!! I went 6 for 9 and walked out with a 415lbs total @ 97 lbs!
    So I thought I had a great day being a first timer!

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