Over the years, powerlifting and strongman and strongwoman sports have become increasingly popular. Lately, people are lifting weights not only to look good, but also to increase their strength and power. If you’ve been showing an avid interest in powerlifting lately then you’ve probably considered signing up for your very first meet. You may have even decided to take the plunge and sign up. Remember, all powerlifters were once novices, even the best in the world, which means that once upon a time, they too were in the same shoes as you. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, we can all agree on the fact that you will enter each competition with the intention of placing as high as you possibly can. Unfortunately, many novice powerlifting make very common and very avoidable mistakes which cost them points and can impair how well they perform on the day. Most frustratingly of all is the fact that these mistakes can easily be avoided. To ensure you perform well on the day, here is a list of some common powerlifting mistakes you won’t want to make on the day of your powerlifting meet.
Not Doing Your Research
This should go without saying but you’d be surprised by just how many people actually sign up for powerlifting meets without realizing what they are letting themselves in for. Sure, they may have a very impressive squat and deadlift, but do they know the rules and regulations of powerlifting? For example, in order for a squat to be classed as a ‘good lift’ it must be performed at a certain regulation depth, otherwise it will count as a ‘no lift’. You may have a strong bench, but are you guilty of bouncing the bar off of your chest? If you are, that won’t cut it at a powerlifting meet as the bar must be held in a paused position on the chest. Knowing the rules of powerlifting is essential, so if you are seriously considering signing up, make sure you learn as much about powerlifting meets as you possibly can.
Not attending a powerlifting competition beforehand
If a powerlifter could offer a novice one piece of advice, it would be to attend at least one powerlifting meet beforehand. There are many reasons for this. To begin with, when you attend a powerlifting meet, you get to see other powerlifters in action and you get to observe how you should perform each lift, and perhaps even observe what you should not do at your meet. Not only that, but you will also get to experience the atmosphere of the contest and get to see how others interact with one another. You may even be able to pick the brains of a few of the competitors and find out a few things you may have previously been unsure of.
Trying to go too heavy
Powerlifting by nature is a very dangerous sport, and unfortunately, injuries are fairly common. However, if you warm up correctly, use and wear the correct gear, and train smartly beforehand, you will be able to substantially reduce your risk of injury. Commonly however, many powerlifters will often never actually get to experience their first meet. The reason for this is because many of them will unfortunately injure themselves in the lead up to a contest. Obviously the idea is to lift heavy weights, but if you are pushing yourself too much, and trying to lift weights which are much heavier than you’re used to, you could run the risk of seriously injuring yourself. When training, know your limits and train hard by all means, but don’t try to get too clever and train too hard, otherwise you may never even reach your first contest.
Trying to re-adjust whilst under the bar
When lifting, there is nothing more annoying than not quite having your grip position where you want it to be. This can make the lift uncomfortable, it will play on your mind and interrupt your mind-muscle connection, plus it may cause you to slip and potentially hurt yourself. When you attempt a lift however, whether it’s a squat, a deadlift, or a bench press, if you know that your grip is not right once you have started the lift, you should never try to re-adjust. Instead, simply set the bar down carefully, take the loss, and rectify things for next time. In order to prevent this from happening, try to spend a little extra time making sure your hands and feet are placed in a position that is comfortable for you.
Not eating enough
If you’re worried about losing your six pack abs then powerlifting may not be the sport for you. Of course there are many shredded powerlifters out there, but if you want to look great, it may be worth focussing on bodybuilding instead. In order to generate enough strength required to perform the strenuous lifts, and to nourish your body enough so that it has everything it needs during the recovery phase, you must ensure you are getting enough calories in on a daily basis. If you aren’t, your strength will diminish and you won’t grow. Try to get many of your calories from healthy, wholesome, and nutrient-dense foods, but don’t sweat the odd squeeze of mayo on your sandwich here and there.
Not using supplements
A powerlifter relies heavily on supplements, in fact, without them the sport would be much, much harder. Not only do they need protein for muscle performance, recovery, and repair, they also need amino acids for energy and recovery, and energy bars and snacks for between meals and shakes. Of course there is no replacing a healthy diet but to help you take your prep to the next level and to increase your chances of placing well at your first meet, make sure you throw together an effective supplement stack.