Top Tips for Competition Prep
As your next competition draws near you are likely to be growing increasingly apprehensive about putting your best performance together where it matters most – on the competition platform.
Here are some tips to help you perform well and, just as importantly, enjoy the meet-day experience.
- Sit down with your coach and come up with a Meet-Day plan. This should include everything from your rack heights, when to start/finish warming up, your warm up weights and a comprehensive attempt selection plan. Having a solid understanding of what you are walking in to on the day is going to help minimise the stress of the ‘noise’ (things other than going out on the platform and lifting). This will allow you to relax on competition day and really enjoy the experience.
- Pack your kit the night before the competition. Without risking sounding like your mother, this is going to ensure that you are not rushing in the morning and will reduce the risk of you leaving something behind. Pack all the essentials (belt, singlet, t-shirt, socks, shoes, knee sleeves, wrist wraps, food and water) and double-check it just to make sure.
- Focus on recovery. In the week leading up to your competition, your attention should shift from making strength gains to reducing excess fatigue. The best recovery methods are ensuring you get enough sleep (8+ hours) and eating plenty of calories (being in a surplus with the correct macros). Your training volume should also be significantly reduced with the intensity dropping slightly, in this period you may perform a few reps at your last warm up weight or opening attempts. This ensures that the skill of lifting heavy remains whilst allowing fatigue to dissipate. Other recovery methods that you may want to try as supplementary to the aforementioned include; hot/cold treatment and/or a light sports massage.
- Be on time. Check what time your weigh-in starts and plan to arrive as soon as it begins. Once you have weighed in, given your opening weights and rack heights you can begin to settle in to competition mode. If you are rushing to arrive just before weigh-in closes you will put yourself under unnecessary stress and the rest of your day will feel flustered. Remember, if you miss weigh-in, you will not be able to compete.
- Pick warm-up partners. In most competitions you will need to share equipment with other lifters in the warm up room so be prepared for this as you are unlikely to have your own bar, rack and weights to warm up with. If you are able to organise a group of 3-4 lifters who are all lifting in the same group before you arrive then that is ideal. If you are unable to do this, then orgainsing it on the day is absolutely fine. You should look for people who are lifting in the same group as you, who are of similarstrength and use similarrack heights. Being in a group like this will ensure that you will always find somewhere to warm up how you plan to, you will have help loading your weights and also people to talk to that could help settle any nerves that you may be experiencing.
- Eat and hydrate. The last thing on your mind on the day of competition is going to be eating/drinking. Your nerves will be running high and you’ll be busy focusing on everything else that is going on. That being said, it is crucial to your performance that you are fed and well-hydrated. It is important that you do not try and eat something new on the day of competition because you saw your favorite powerlifter do it at his/her last meet. You do not know how a new food will affect you and you do not want to be spending valuable warm-up time sitting on the toilet. You should be packing foods that are dense in calories, high in carbs and easy to eat on the go. Rice based treats, fruit roll-ups, Nutella sandwiches and Haribo sweets are some of my personal favorites. Bringing your own large bottle of water and keeping it close-by is a great idea. Putting an electrolyte powder in your water is also advised (particularly if you have cut weight coming in to the competition).
If you would like more advice on how to prepare for your next competition, then please contact me or one of the team to arrange a consultation.