Lesson 1 - Know your weigh in time - If you receive an email from the meet director a week before the event stating that they have withdrawn from the event as the organiser and it has the details of the new organiser, then ring the new organiser and find out what the hell is doing. Otherwise like a chump you wake up at 6.30am to make sure you arrive for the 8am weigh in only to find that you weren't needed until 10.30am as that is when they put the raw weigh in on. You can then sit around for 2.5 hours watching the light men and women in the suited section lift before you even weigh in.
Lesson 2 - Read the rules - Leading up to the event I consulted the Powerlifting Australia website to check the rules and technically I read them but I obviously wasn't taking much notice as I thought in the raw section I could wear knee wraps when in fact all you can use are those elastoplast type knee guards, which to my mind are as useful as they giant wings you see tools put on there hotted up Hyundai Excels. All looks no function. As a result of having trained with knee wraps I readjusted my opening squat attempt down too much and therefore finished about 10kg to 15kg behind were I wanted to be on the squat portion finishing with 190kg squat when I had hoped for 200/205kg's.
Lesson 3 - Triceps ARE key to big bench - In the bench all in all I performed more to my liking but the lesson whilst always known to me was brought home when I attempted a new PR of 142.5kg's. The 125kg opener and the 135kg second lift went up without a concern so feeling confident I called for the additonal 7.5kgs and attaked the lift. It came off the chest relatively easily (probably has something to do with the fact that all my bench is done off of the bottom position as a result of the fact I do not have a proper bench and have to train off of a squat rack that allows me only to start off my chest) but then I was just past the 1/2 way point my triceps just couldn't lock it out. If I had called for 140kg this would have been bang on the money but it wasn't to be. This brings me as a result to my last and most important lesson
Lesson 4 - Be confident and "gamble" appropriately with your weight selection - Whilst I was too conservative on the squat and too aggressive on the bench I didn't learn from my first comp. I noticed that as the competition wears on I actually get stronger and when I pulled on my second deadlift attempt 212.5kg's (new competiton PR) I went for 220kg which is a new PR in training or competition I pulled it and frankly I was at least 5kg if not 10kg off of an all out attempt and therefore left the competition feeling a little down as I new I had left a few kilos on the platform. Therefore be confident in your ability, "gamble" on the weight selection with some aggressiveness and learn from each attempt.
All in all it was successful and also enjoyable with a new total record for me of 545kg's which is 30kg's up from my first competition.