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My First Powerlifting Meet

Hi Guys and Gals,

Back in October 2017, I competed in my first Powerlifting competition. Not knowing what to expect, (besides my coach telling me what weights to lift and what to eat), I felt nervous and excited! My competition was called the 2017 Michigan APF Fall Meet in Grand Rapids, Michigan where I competed in the 100KG weight class. In this blog, I want to share my experience with you and also highlight the top three takeaways that I learned from my first Powerlifting competition. To whoever reading this, I hope my experience motivates you to compete in your first Powerlifting meet!


First off, I want to share with you my three attempts on each of the big three (Squat, Bench, and Deadlift).


For the squat, I opened with 315#. I wanted to open with a weight that I knew I could lift without any issues. I believe that the first lift is crucial in dictating how successful you are in your overall meet.

For the second attempt, I lifted 340#. Again, this was a comfortable weight that I knew I could lift.

For my last attempt, I decided to go for 365#. I did not want to go for a PR in this attempt because I wanted to make sure I could accomplish my primary goal of completing the meet 9/9.

After all three attempts on the squat, I felt very good and could not wait to compete in the second lift which was the bench.

So on to the Bench!

Background info: At the time, my bench was the weakest out of “The Big Three.” This was primarily due to the consistent discomfort I have had in my right shoulder for a very long time. I credit most of my shoulder issues to ignorant coaches from my past who demanded that their athletes lift an excessive and dangerous amount of weight, but I digress. On my third attempt, I was able to execute a PR which got me pumped!


For my first attempt on bench, I lifted 225#.

For my second attempt, I lifted 240#.

For my last attempt, I lifted 260#.

At this point, I was on fire! I had just set a PR on bench and my body was feeling great. I was ready to finish the meet 9/9. Let’s go deadlift!

My first attempt on deadlift was 405#. If you were wondering about the lights, there was a power outage that delayed the start of the deadlift portion of the meet by two hours.

My second attempt on deadlift was 440#. As I was driving up on my attempt, a second power outage occurred, but I was still able to complete the lift. How’s that for concentration!

And for my last attempt, I went for 480# and I got it!


My first powerlifting competition was an amazing experience. I went 9/9 and set two PR’s (bench and deadlift). I will be competing in my second powerlifting competition in April 2018.

Earlier I mentioned that I would list my top three takeaways for getting ready/competing in your first Powerlifting competition. They are as follows:

  1. Set a Goal

Before you begin your training, set a goal for yourself. This was one of the most important things I did. Writing down my goal allowed me to maintain focus on what I wanted to accomplish and what I needed to do to get there. In addition to writing down my goal, I also shared my goal with my coach. By doing so, he was able to devise several training programs that were consistent with my goal of going 9/9.


  1. Body Weight Doesn’t Matter

One of the questions I had asked my coach was, “Do I need to cut weight?” My coach responded that because it was my first competition, cutting weight was not something I should focus on. The reason behind this is that cutting weight (depends on how much) has a lot to do with your overall power output. So if you are preparing for your first competition, don’t worry about cutting weight.


  1. Verbal Commands

Spend time researching what verbal commands you will need to know ahead of time. What I’m talking about is to make sure you know the squat, bench, and deadlift cues that will be used on the day of competition. If I were you, I would work on this a couple weeks prior to your meet (during training). Preferably, have your coach yell out the commands during your lifts so it will not seem foreign to you on competition day.


Lastly, I just want to say that the biggest things to remember on the day of competition are to have fun and to immerse yourself in the moment!


Till next time.

Stay Strong!