Quick Tip #7: 5 Things to Consider On Competition day

By: Jonathan Byrd

All the work you have done in training really comes down to the 9 attempts you take on meet day.

You have spent the last few months preparing for those 9 attempts, pouring countless hours into making them successful, keeping track of your training and you want to make all 9 and hit PR’s.

I have sometimes been my own worst enemy by not sticking to some very simple and basic meet day advice that could have saved me a lot of headaches.

These tips I have learned over the years, and they will help you greatly come meet day.

1. Arrive to the meet site early! Some lifters will disagree with me on this, but I have my reasons for this. A huge reason I suggest for you to arrive early is to stake out a place in the warm up room. Every meet I have ever been a part of becomes crowded and the warm-up area fills up quickly. Get yourself a few chairs near the air conditioning vents and place your stuff there. If you want to socialize or just kick back and take a nap until the rules meeting you can do so after you have your space situated. This will also allow you time to get any rack heights for equipment that you have not already done. Why rush around with coming late when you can get your ass up early and get yourself mentally ready without worrying about finding a place to park your ass.

2. Fluids are extremely important. Get hydrated and stay that way. Even if did not have to cut weight for the meet, dehydration can creep in on you quickly. Make sure you have consumed plenty of water, Gatorade, and Pedialyte. I have been the victim of muscle spasms due to dehydration, and that was at a meet where I didn’t have to cut weight for. I spent too much time talking with other lifters, rather than focusing on what I needed to be doing on meet day, which was getting in some more fluids. Your first priority is to take care of business, which is preparing to lift.

3. Don’t forget to eat. You have to eat on meet day; it cannot all be just fluids. Plan ahead and bring some sort of food for the day. I am not suggesting that you bring in a cooler filled with food and a portable stove, but bring something to keep your energy levels high and your body going. I like to snack on some protein bars, have half a meal following the squat, and the other half after the bench.

4. Warm-ups, simple right? Not always. Don’t be that guy at the meet who starts to warm up two flights before he should. There is something to be said for taking your time getting ready, but you need to remember it is a long day and you have to avoid burning yourself out. Hopefully in training you have spent some time and developed a plan for the specific warm-ups you plan on taking. This is a plan, not winging it. Warm-ups are as important to your meet day as selecting an opening attempt. If you warm-up with your opener, you are going too heavy in the room. Nobody is going to care if you warm-up with 500 pounds on the bench and then bomb out with 510 on the platform. They are only looking at the numbers that count.

5. Have quality help that knows you well! Hopefully you have a training partner who has seen you lift over this training cycle and has been there to help you, but if you didn’t it is imperative to find quality help. While you are lifting on that platform alone, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. A good helper at the meet can assist you in the warm up room, help with wrapping, and help you know where you are in the lifting order. Most importantly, they are there to help you stay calm and focused. It is often a good person helping you on meet day that can make the difference in your numbers. You are only as good as the team you have around you, if you bring someone to the meet that isn’t capable of helping you when you need it the most; you are going to be surprised at how much that affects your performance.


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Jonathan Byrd

Jonathan Byrd is a competitive powerlifter, with over 16 years of training experience. Byrd has been ranked nationally for the past 6 years under multiple categories. His total has ranked as high as second nationally in the 275 class. He currently has a best total of 2500lbs. Best individual lifts include a 1040lb squat, a 750lb bench press, and 735lb deadlift. His 1040lb squat ranks him 26th all-time squats at the 308 class. Jonathan currently trains out of Team Samson Gym in Jacksonville, FL. Before powerlifting Jonathan was a college athlete at Methodist University as both an all-conference football player and track athlete. Following graduation he played four years of arena football in various leagues.

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