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Becoming a powerlifter - The final countdown

Meet minus 48 hours.....


Well this is weird.

My meet is happening in just a couple of days and I feel oddly underprepared because I haven't done anything for a week!

I'm a dancer, and when I have a dance performance to prepare for, the last week is a frenzy of preparation, costume adjustments, last minute rehearsals. I might not even have decided on my music until a week out!

Powerlifting is very different.

I've heard it said that the reason why lifting meets are so supportive and non-competitive is that the winner is decided in training, not on meet day.

I peaked (hit my heaviest lifts) in the penultimate week of my programme. Then I had a week of taper, where I trained with substantially lighter weights and less sets, followed by a week of deload.

On Monday this week I tested my openers - the first weight I will attempt to lift on the day, a weight I know I will definitely nail - the rest of the week has been walking and yoga. My only other intensive exercise was teaching kettlebells on Thursday. I feel super lazy, like I might have forgotten how to lift by Sunday; but those in the know tell me that resting out like this will mean I can lift at my best on meet day.

So I am learning to surrender to the understanding that I have already done all I can, and now it's about going with the flow.


Last minute preparation


There are things I have to do of course. One is to pack my bag. It wasn't until I tested my openers and had to take all my kit to the gym that I realised how much STUFF it takes to do all 3 lifts. Look at this!


And that's not even all of it - for the actual meet I also need my singlet, t-shirt and deadlift socks!

Then I also have to pack food.

The weigh-in is on the morning of the meet. I have to demonstrate that I am within the weight requirements for my class. In addition, the lower my weight is at weigh-in, the better my Wilks (weight adjusted score). So I won't eat or drink until after weighing in.

I'm not cutting weight seriously pre-meet, but I am dropping out my carbs for 2 days (to reduce my glycogen load) and doing a small water cut (to shed water weight). So post weigh-in I am going to eat all the carbs I am already craving just one meal into my low carb days! I need lots of small, high energy snacks to keep my energy up through the day, because while I won't be doing a lot of lifting, the adrenaline and phosphocreatine powered lifting will deplete my blood sugar fairly rapidly. I'm packing the trusty jelly babies.

How does the day work?


The competition is based on the 3 lifts, back squat, bench and deadlift. Each lifter gets 3 attempts at each, starting at a low weight and adding for each attempt if successful (and sometimes if not, there's tactics there).

There's warm up time before the lifts and with all the competitors it basically takes the whole day to get those 9 lifts in. There's a great video here for people wanting to know how it all goes down.


So I'm pretty excited, this has all come around a lot faster than I expected, I've learned a lot from the process of training and preparation, and I can't wait to get out there, meet more lifters and get my first official PRs!



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