- Know when you are scheduled to lift - When I arrived I checked the run sheet and the lifters were seperated into 3 groups. these groups essentially aligned with weight classes. I was in the last group and my name was second last. Therefore erroneously I assumed that I was second last to lift. I was wrong. they called to the squat rack my name literally 30 seconds after I had just attempted a 90% squat as my final warm up. This brings me to the second thing I learned;
- Conserve your energy - As a result of my mistimed warm up lift I came out and whilst I lifted the weight in my flustered state I really found what would have been an easy weight difficult. I learnt quickly as I warmed up for the bench and the deadlifts that you really only need to feel warm and that if you have done the required work leading up to the comp that you will lift what you had set out to achieve.
- Listen to the commands - When I came out for my first squat as mentioned I was taken by surprise and hastily lifted but in that continued haste I racked the bar before I was instructed to and as a result was given 3 red lights. Lesson learned, listen and follow the commands. Simple really but believe me you can get it wrong!
- Be prepared to surprise yourself - If you have done the required work you will be amazed how with the spotlight on you, the adrenaline and the eyes watching you, just how much more you are capable of lifting. If your like me and lift at home wrapped up in your own thoughts and motivations you may think a certain weight is as far as you can go. Be prepared to have an extreme response when the pressure is on and your ability to lift (I hope for you to) will far exceed what you thought may have been possible before.
I enetered my first powerlifting competition earlier this year and had an awesome time. It has just cemented in my mind that I want to continue to improve and get as brutally strong as possible. The contest certainly didn't go by without it's hiccups however so in the spirit of trying to save someone the same type of issues I faced these are the things that I learned the hard way:
Into all things Strength and Conditioning. A bachelors degree in Leisure Studies and an M.B.A. Certified Elite Trainer with the ISSA - PT, Specialist in Strength and Conditioning & Sports Nutrition. Gym owner 12RND Fitness, Published author on Powerlifter Today. I compete in IPF sanctioned powerlifting competitions and am a former professional Rugby player.