First Powerlifting Meet

I Signed Up For My First Powerlifting Meet

First Powerlifting Meet

I get talked into things.

Like Strongman competitions and going on a surf trip to Nicaragua.

“Get talked into things” may not be the right phrase, exactly, because all it took to get me on a plane to Nicaragua was my friend Hanna saying “Want to go to surf camp with me?” We really thought that through… Luckily, it turned out to be one of the best experiences EVER.

The Strongman competition though? That was straight up peer pressure.

So, what have I agreed to do now?

I’m competing in my first sanctioned powerlifting meet.

And if we’re being fair here, I talked others into it, too.

I’ve competed in a charity meet twice, as well as Festivus last year, but never a sanctioned meet. The charity meet raises a lot of money for local charities, and my coach, Justin, has served as judge, so it’s been a comfortable environment and a fun morning. The sanctioned meet will be a lot different.

The meet is less than a month away. At this point, I’m not nervous. I trust Justin and company to have me ready, and I’m not putting pressure on myself. As long as I hit my lifts and get new PRs, I’ll consider the meet a success.

There are a few things to note about my first powerlifting meet.

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(Hitting a one-rep max of 355lbs off of blocks – more than twice my body weight!)


I have to wear a singlet.

I am NOT excited about this.

I got my singlet over the weekend, and I haven’t tried it on yet. I refused to put it on in the gym for the first time. I’ll wiggle into it sometime this week. In my bedroom. With only my dog to judge. I’ll have to suck it up and wear it in the gym at some point soon so I can get used to lifting in it, but I won’t like it. I much prefer my usual leggings and tank top combos.

I’ll also be wearing knee sleeves. I put them on briefly Sunday, and found I needed to size up on one leg so those didn’t last long, but they will help increase my squat and offer more support. We’re also supposed to wear compression socks while deadlifting.

Save for the sleeves, I am not excited about this dress code.

Lights and Judges

At a sanctioned meet, there are three judges to determine if your lift is good. What they look for varies by lift. In a squat, they will look to make sure you go below parallel, and during bench, they make sure you obey the “rack” command, for example. A set of lights indicate whether your lift was good or not. You’re going for three white lights. Two or more red lights means no lift. I’m going to spend some time studying up on all of that. We’ve talked about it, but I like to study and educate myself, so I will be going over the rules closely before meet day.

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(Hitting a one rep max at 255lbs with a GCB bar on Sunday!)


We had commands like “rack” and “squat” at the charity meet, but it was a charity meet, which meant we were given some grace. I’m not too worried about my squat or deadlift, although I need to make sure I listen for the commands and not just go when I’m ready to go. My bench is my weakest lift, and where I’m most likely to ignore the commands, particularly the “rack” one as I’m usually pretty eager to put the bar back as soon as the press is over. 

As I mentioned, my goal is to go into the meet with the intention of making my lifts and gaining new PRs. I’m there for the experience. And who knows? I might decide I love competing and sign up for my next meet as soon as I get home that night. 

I’m going to share more about training for my first powerlifting meet and of course, recap meet day. I’m excited to share my experience, but I’m also excited to show women that it’s okay to lift heavy and be strong. Women can be afraid to pick up a heavy weight, and they don’t need to be. One of my missions is to help change that perspective. 

And look good while doing it.

Even in a friggin’ singlet.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

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