Getting Ready for Your First Weightlifting Competition
Testing your strength against other weightlifting enthusiasts is an important milestone in the personal fitness journey of many men and women. In competition, all those workouts and energy bars pay off as you get to share your achievements with others and get the rush that comes from striving to be the best.
For first time weightlifting competitors, events may be intimidating, and there are many mistakes that new competitors may make that can result in embarrassment or injury. To make your first competition a memorable one for the right reasons, try these preparations for your debut event:
- Know the rules – Weightlifting is a very detail oriented sport, and there's little leeway for error at competition. Be sure you know your weigh-in and lift time, and be prompt. Also, be sure you lift according to the rules, and avoid lowering the bar until you hear the “down” command from the center judge.
- Don't compete until you're confident – Lifting in front of judges and an audience can cause a bit of stage fright, especially among lifters who are unsure about their strength and abilities. Enter an event when you're sure you are ready to compete.
- Have and established training routine – Prior to a competition, you should have a steady diet and workout regimen. Just a few weeks before competition is no time to make major changes to your routine.
- Be conservative in your initial lifts – Don't overextend yourself or try to lift something heavier than you usually do. Ease your way into competition, and realize that it will take some practice before you start winning events.
- Have the right attire – Not having the right attire not only puts you at risk of injury, it can also make you the object of derision among fellow lifters. Take the time to get the right shoes, belts, braces, and other gear you need to compete at weightlifting events.
- Work with a coach – If you plan to lift competitively, working with a coach is strongly advised. Coaches can guide you through the mechanical aspects of a competition, ensuring that your form and technique are proper. They can also help you with the social aspect of competition, instructing you on proper etiquette during events. The weightlifting community is pretty tight-knit, so connecting with a coach who knows the ins and outs of competitions is a huge help.
Better coaching, a renewed national interest in fitness and increasing numbers of women participating in weightlifting is quickly growing this exciting sport. Competitive weightlifting is a great way to build your physical and mental strength, and make new friends and social contacts. Making a good first impression by hitting all the right cues on your debut event will go a long way toward helping you make the most of competitions.
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