This article will aim to shine some light on what it is like to prepare for your first powerlifting competition.
In summary, the article will cover.
- Choosing Federation and membership.
- Equipment and food on the day
- Openers and having fun
- Meet day prep
- Useful links
First things first you have to decide on the basics, will you compete in a drug tested federation or a not drug tested federation. After that, it’s pretty simple to sign up to your local governing bodies such as the GBPF (Great British Powerlifting Federation) in the UK and USAPL (United States Powerlifting ) USA these being the easiest examples for me to use. Right so once we have a location, date and time as well as training has been or will be leading up to this point. The next thing to remember is even though powerlifting does have weight categories do not stress over it too much first time you compete. Just focus on enjoying the experience and getting some numbers on the board after all anything on the board will be a PB either way. Make friends enjoy the day and learn from it.
The day it self-does requires a few things from you such as your membership card which you should have on you all times so you can tell your friends you belong in a cool club of strong people. The last thing you want is to show up on the day and not have your membership card with you, believe me, I have seen it happen. Let’s talk food and equipment
As displayed above here is some standard equipment you might see on the day, along side addipower lifters or Reebok lifters. Now it is important to know all of this equipment is optional so if you are not used to it or simply prefer to lift without a belt or knee sleeves then, by all means, go for it. Each piece of equipment does have its own use and advantage. In terms of food, pack light and easy things to digest and eat, bananas, salty crisps sugary energy drinks such as monsters or red bulls. You want to be fueled through the day but not full so you throw up or feel sick on the platform.
Equipment sorted, you are at the venue and registered, weighed in and all set to go. So what to expect next. Well depending on the federation you are lifting in, chances are you have a few hours before the comp starts (some comps allow a 24 hour weigh in, but we won’t get into that for now). This time you will use to just plan the day, you will have an allocated warm up area and depending on which weight category you are competing at, as well as your opener, will determine how late or early you start the day (unless you have multiple platforms on the day, but even then you might start a few hours later). Let’s imagine you start 10 am and you have about 1 hour to get ready, this is the time you will use to warm up and get everything ready.
One thing we can’t forget is choosing openers, now these should be based on a weight you have done multiple times in the gym and even on your worst day you could nail it or another way to see it as is 95% of your 1 rep max or there about. If you have a coach chances are they will choose them for you and have a good call, but if you are alone and unsure you can use resources such as The Strength Athlete TSA they have a freebie excel sheet you can download and use as an attempt calculator. Second call outs will be based on how the openers moved and thirds will follow the second call outs. Most of it will come down on the day how you feel, whether you had good rest a good prep to the comp and just how much you actually want to push your self.
Lastly, we wish you the best of luck in your journey of powerlifting, have fun stay strong and natty. Below are some useful links we thought might be good to include.