Preparing For Your First Powerlifting Meet: Part 1 - Girls Gone Strong
You've trained day in and day out for the big meet, but did you miss something in preparation? Read this blog with advice for your first powerlifting meet. This weekend I had the honor of coaching two amazing clients through their first powerlifting meet. Shayna and Bill both train with me at Yet, every single woman who takes that first step to do a powerlifting meet comes back Ask others lifters, your training partner, or the owner of your gym which.
The deadlift must be locked in a straight position with the shoulders back, then lowered under control. Never Bomb Out In a powerlifting meet, you have three attempts at each lift - the squat, bench, and deadlift. The goal of any first-time competitor should be to go nine-for-nine on the lifts. Bombing out happens most often during the squat. For a new lifter, it can be intimidating to see other lifters in your weight class open with large numbers - it can make you question your attempt selection and go heavier.
But many lifters gas themselves on openers that are too heavy, which then also puts them at risk of more missed lifts later. Using common sense and the selection criteria explained below will ensure you are taking the right attempts at the right times.
But by using sound data and knowledge of your own lifting, you and your coach, if applicable can choose numbers for you to open with that will not only keep you in the meet, but also build your confidence and knock out some of those butterflies. Success in your first powerlifting meet is all about confidence and planning.
Having a good first meet is about making your lifts - simple as that. Selecting your attempts properly will allow you to progress appropriately from one lift to the next, continuing to prime your nervous system and build your total. You will also get far more enjoyment by going nine-for-nine, even if the weights are lower than your ego desires, then by overestimating your attempts, missing a bunch, and finishing five-for-nine.
Choosing Your Opener The job of the opening squat, bench, or deadlift is to get you into the meet for each lift. This lift sets the tone for the rest of your lifts and is vitally important in gaining confidence as you move forward.
This is the lift from which you build your next attempts. If you open too heavy, you are putting yourself in bad position for the next two lifts and further draining your gas tank.
Treat this opener essentially as your last warm up, so it is a smooth transition from the warm up area to the platform. Better to get over that nervousness on a warm-up style lift than to still have it while attempting something that requires every bit of your mental focus.
This opener should be something you can triple even on that day. Other coaches may advocate lighter or heavier, but I find this range is usually spot on with most of my lifters. There should be zero conversation about missing this opener. Your Second Attempt Now, we want to continue building on the success of the first attempt. This is not the time to be going after a PR.
This is the time to take a bigger jump between lifts and execute the lift successfully so you can continue adding to your total. Did the opener feel way too light? Were you not feeling the first lift and want to get some more confidence and better execution? Go on the lighter side and nail it.
Training PRs are one thing, but save your big attempts for later in the meet to conserve your energy. Going for a PR on your second attempt is risky and could ruin all the hard work you put into your training and preparation by draining your energy and putting you in a position to possibly miss what would have been a makeable third attempt.
There are different types of belts that use the same type of mechanism as your regular pants belt to tighten which can be hard to get on and off, and some that use a clasp and locking mechanism.
There are different lengths, stretchiness, and widths so as always ask around and see what seems to be the preferred brand. Your federation will give information on the size requirements for the wraps. Wrist Wraps Same as knee wraps, there are different sizes and types so check with your federation to ensure you are using some that are allowed. Some lifters use them during squats as well.
Singlet Really a singlet? It can feel embarrassing to wear a singlet but you get at least 20 pounds extra on your total when you wear one. Buy one that looks cool, I would suggest staying away from bright colors unless you like to grab attention.
Be prepared for wedgies and moose knuckle. In order to come into your meet being your strongest, there are some things I could advise training wise to help you prepare, which I will get into here in a bit. Once you know your 1 rep max you can determine your opening attempts. If you miss your first attempt, you cannot go down, you can only go up. Your first attempt should be something you can do for a triple on an off day.
Starting too low is less common so be sure you set the bar high enough, but not too high. Remember, a PR is a PR.
How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet | Breaking Muscle
Third Attempts Here is the time to make or break a huge PR. Go off how your last attempt felt and gauge how much you have left in the tank and go for broke. This is your time to get a bigger PR and really let yourself lift something heavy.
Training up to the Meet Generally taking your openers 2 to 3 weeks out from competition.
- Preparing For Your First Powerlifting Meet: Part 1
- 12 Weeks to the Platform: Your First Powerlifting Meet
- 10 Ways to Crush It at Your First Powerlifting Meet
No need to do these on the same day, take your time over the course of a week and do them. Get a feel for the weight and make it feel as light as possible. One Week Out To some people this might not make sense but your last week you need to deload.
Some advocate light movements to keep the blood flowing, mobility and foam rolling, and other easy exercises. Some advocate taking a week off completely from the gym resting up, getting food in you and ensuring you are fully recovered.
How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet
Do whatever you feel is necessary but if you go to the gym, no heavy work at all; you want to be fully recovered for the meet. Supplementation and Nutrition Supplementation and nutrition should not be changed during your meet training unless you are trying to cut weight.
This happens often so I try to invite people to not make any drastic changes. I would not recommend for your first meet worrying about making a specific weight class. That variable can be tackled in your next events should you plan to keep competing. Meet Preparation When preparing for a meet, there are many things that you need to do and pack and bring with you. When you weigh in, you will need to get your rack height and your bench height.
Your rack height will be used if you use a mono lift for squats or have a walk out rack for squats. If you are unsure how the heights work, politely ask around and you will get some help.
12 Weeks to the Platform: Your First Powerlifting Meet
Be sure to register for your meet as soon as you can to ensure a spot at the meet. Get a hotel room and plan your trip as soon as you can, a lot of times you can save money booking in advance. Bring all of your equipment. Each federation has different rules on what is allowed so be sure you understand the rules before you go.
Get your wraps, belt, shoes, etc.