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10 Tips to prepare for your first powerlifting meet

by admin

So you want to be a powerlifter? Welcome to the community. Regardless if you actually intend to compete or not here is the information you may need.


In that above link is the logistical information you may need including where and when to locate local meets, the rule book, and state/national records.

Do NOT Cut Weight

Unless you are attempting a state or national record and want to be in a lower weight class, do not cut weight for the competition. Many experienced and nationally competitive athletes will do so to compete, but your first power lifting meet should be just to get your feet wet. A fed state helps deal with the potential anxiety of doing things for the first time and will allow you to express more strength on the platform.

Schedule the Competition in Advance

Try to find a competition at least 6 weeks out. We do this so that you have sufficient time to prepare peaking programs and wrap up any current training blocks. Also, depending on your city, you may be traveling and have to make overnight accommodations.

Bring More Snacks than you Think Necessary

A lot of us powerlifters are always thinking about food so this might not be as surprising, but bring enough snacks and water. Meets can get pretty long and you may not have time between lifts to run and get more food. So, whatever you were thinking about bringing – double it and carry on.

Bring a Friend

But make sure that friend is into strength sports themselves. Powerlifting is not the best spectator sport for those not involved in the community, so keep that in mind before asking someone to spend a full day at a meet.

Plan the Competition Day

To help ease the anxiety of competing for the first times, plan your day out. This means think about food, transportation, the 9 attempts you plan on taking, and even warm-ups.

Take Conservative Attempts

The colloquial recommendation for first time competitors is that your primary objectives are to build confidence and not get injured. This is not to say do not challenge yourself, but don’t attempt three lifetime personal bests on your first competition.

Peak for the Meet

This is to say run some sort of peaking program. These sorts of programs are designed to taper your training blocks off for a one-time maximum expression of strength. If you follow the second tip, then also plan out your training and peaking blocks in advance.

Double Check your Equipment

Different federations have varying rules, but if you are to bring shoes, a belt, straps, etc. – make sure that it adheres to the rule book maximum size. It sucks if your whole mesocycle is done with a belt that is too thick for competition and you can’t wear it. Also BRING KNEE HIGH SOCKS. This is important and they will not let you dead lift without them.

Bring Headphones and a Phone Charger

Additionally make sure that your headphones are charged if necessary. You may not be one that needs to listen to music on warm-ups, but headphones are nice to have when it is time to focus. There is a lot of ambient noise between the audience and lifters.


My 10th and final tip was going to be to have fun, but that is a guarantee. If you are one of the people that is on the fence about competing I HIGHLY, HIGHLY encourage you to just sign up for a meet and follow through. You do not have to be strong or even competitive. This powerlifting community is phenomenal, so just sign up for one. Click the link at the top of the page.