Your First Powerlifting Meet

Advice from powerlifter Al Brown (LtL on the forum) to another forum member regarding his first powerlifting meet.

I would train as per your plan. Go reasonably heavy in the last singles session, maybe up to an opener or a last warm-up. Do NOT miss a weight. Lift in your singlet and in the same shoes as you will come meet day. Practice how you play.

For meet day I might take a pre-WO but be aware of how you normally feel after a session. If you suffer from an energy slump later then be mindful that you may have to wait a while between squats and bench and then again before deads. I normally just take a little caffeine before each squats and bench and then go all out for deads as I know I don’t have to worry about crashing.

You need a plan of the weights you will lift for a warm-up and what your openers are. Set the plan now and STICK TO IT. On meet day your mind can play tricks on you and you will be tempted to try new things and change the plan. This normally doesn’t end well. Stick to the plan until you get your opener in. Then it’s open season πŸ™‚

You should have a rough idea as to what your openers are. As it’s your first meet I would be very conservative. You don’t know how strict the judging will be. Jesse Israel (I think he was quoting Louie Simmons) told me to pick my lifts as follows:

  • Opener – Something you can triple easily. You should be able to lift this on your death bed.
  • Second attempt – Close to a PB or a small 5lbs PB.
  • Third attempt – If your other two attempts were good, it’s time to go for broke. Balls to the wall, lifetime PB time.

Again as it’s your first meet you can be a bit more conservative on the above.

My last piece of advice would be to have a handler with you. You will need all of the energy that you can get so the ideal is to have someone to bring you food, load the bar, wander off to find out timings for your flights, etc.

Most importantly just enjoy yourself. You aren’t competing against anybody else. This is for you and you only. It’s your first meet so every good lift is a PB. Lifting on the platform is not the same as in the gym and anyone who tells you different has never competed. Enjoy it. Enjoy the adrenaline and lift big. Oh and get someone to film your attempts please.

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