Article written by Jay Stadtfeld for LiftBigEatBig.com. Jay continues his series on competition in this article.
Here at Lift Big Eat Big, we encourage people to compete in their respective sport. Many won’t because of fear of failure, some won’t because of money, and others won’t because of a myriad of reasons. We want to put an end to that fear, and get you up on the platform. You’ll learn more about yourself in competition than you likely will anywhere else. I’ve never really understood the point of working incredibly hard day in and day out in the gym, but not having the gumption to go compete. It just doesn’t work in my head, kind of like Accounting. I just don’t get it.
Competing doesn’t have to be a fearful time. Some put an extreme amount of pressure on themselves to hit a PR (personal record) in the meet, but end up “bombing out” (not making one lift in three attempts in Powerlifting) because they set their openers too high and found out they can’t hit them. To me, that’s not the point of a meet. A meet is about doing YOURbest, while not worrying what Joe Schmoe who’s 275+, wearing gear, and donning a mohawk thinks about you. It’s about getting three whites. It’s about going 9 for 9. It’s about leaving everything you brought with you, everything you worked for in the gym on the platform.
Admittedly, my first meet I had to be persuaded to do. I felt I wasn’t strong enough, good enough, and simply just not good looking enough. One of those three reasons is still heavily debated. However, I did it, went 4 for 6 (it was a push/pull meet), and discovered a part of me that has been dead since I quit playing baseball some odd years ago. The fact that we humans are made to compete. We compete for a job we want. Some compete for food. Some compete for their lives by battling cancer, or some other atrocious illness. What gives you the sense that you’re too weak for competition when you know some are battling much worse things than fear alone?
I’ve already compiled a list of things you’ll need for your first meet here, but there are a few steps you’ll need to mentally prepare yourself:
• Know your attempts.
– So you tripled 380 in the gym. Use 380 as your opener. It’ll give you the confidence you need to start out with a bang and set you up for success the rest of the way.
• You want to go 6 for 6 if it’s a Push/Pull meet, or 9 for 9 if it’s a full meet.
– Nobody likes the guy who calls for 700 on any attempt knowing full well he can’t budge 600. Don’t be that person.
– In addition, going perfect across the board sets you up for your next meet, as you have already set a nice total for yourself. Now you have a goal to beat!
• Walk in knowing that everyone there is willing to help you. Especially the judges. Not sure an attempt? Ask someone. I’m willing to bet they’ll assist.
• But, most of all, if you’ve followed the previous article to a T, and follow the above, there’s very little left to do but to… wait for it… ENJOY YOURSELF! Competition is supposed to be a fun event. Don’t make it life or death.
Hopefully this makes you get out of the gym and onto a platform. The world’s a scary place, but the brotherhood of iron is there to make something of you. To make you feel like what you’re doing is worthwhile. We can only hold your hand so far, but at some point, you’re going to have to cross the street yourself.