Preparing for a meet
There is nothing like putting a check in the mail and committing yourself to put your training on display in front of a crowd. Whether it’s the drive of competition or the fear of showing up unprepared, nothing can focus your training like a Strengthlifting meet. When you have put in the hard work and come prepared, your first and subsequent meets are a great experience.
First things first, you need to find a meet. They are conveniently located here. While there are many powerlifting meets out there that may be great, Strengthlifting meets are friendly to newer lifters for a variety of reasons. Lifting is a weight class sport, but it is a mistake for newer lifters to be concerned about the weight class they are competing in. This is an unnecessary stress that we have eliminated simply by performing weigh outs. You will compete in the class in which you weigh with no unnecessary or dangerous weight cuts. Additionally, we have eliminated unnecessary commands so that the judge need not participate in your lift. Therefore, you do not need to practice commands at all during your preparation. In fact, if you have been practicing your lifts in a controlled manner you will likely not have to modify your lifting technique at all. You can learn more about Strengthlifting here.
Training, leading up to the meet, does not have to drastically change. Looking for a competition specific program can be a mistake. These programs are designed for experienced lifters, with the intention to improve their total just a little bit over the course of several weeks or even months. If you are an intermediate or certainly a novice, your program will continue to get you strong in a much shorter amount of time. The addition of a few heavy singles for practice and a short period of reduced loading may be all that is required. The more experienced you are, the more appropriate a more complex program, with a lengthier period of loading reduction becomes. Stick with a program that matches your training advancement.
Leading into a meet make sure to train with the exact equipment that you will use in competition. Yes even the singlet. No, nobody looks good in one of those. The closer you get to competition the less you should be adding new techniques or equipment. Practice like you will compete, and compete like you practice.
Make sure the day of the meet is not the first time you are hearing the rules. The current USSF rules can be found here.
Lastly, if you are someone that values continual progress, we cannot recommend enough the value of a good coach. A good coach will get you stronger, improve your form, adjust your programming, guide you in attempt selection, and generally help you prepare for your big day. To look for a qualified coach in your area, check the directory at https://startingstrength.com/coaching. If not, online coaching is an excellent option. USSF President Jordan Stanton is a coach at Starting Strength Online Coaching, and they’ve helped competitors at all levels of training advancement set new personal records. If you’re going to compete, and you can afford it, we highly recommend hiring a professional coach.
For more tips on preparing for a meet, also check out our friends at Barbell Logic Podcast for the most current and well produced content on the market. They regularly publish lengthy discussions about everything that goes into preparing for and competing in a Strengthlifting meet.