I only started competing in weightlifting two years ago (i.e. not that long ago), and sometimes that makes me hesitant to write about it because I know I still have so much further to go. However, I’ve come a long way and learned a lot since I started, so I wanted to share some of what I’ve picked up over the past two years.
1. Know Your Weight & Whether You Need to Cut
These things aren’t much fun and can negatively affect your performance, because all you’re really doing is losing water weight/becoming dehydrated.
If you don’t need to cut or have only a small amount to lose, monitor your weight and eat healthily, but don’t stress out about it.
2. Deload!!! (aka REST)
Leading up to a competition, it’s important to decrease training volume and in the final days just rest (easier said than done). I know a lot of people (myself included) dislike going too long without training because we get antsy and irritable and feel as though we’re “falling behind.” Frankly, we aren’t sure what to do our sudden abundance of free time, either.
But it is important to realize that our bodies need those extra rest days to fully recover/recharge — something that probably doesn’t happen often during regular training. Also, not training for a couple of days is a good way to make us “itch” to pick up a heavy barbell, which is exactly how we want to feel for a competition.
3. Have a Game Plan
- what your openers will be
- what you plan to lift on your 2nd & 3rd attempts
- the total you’re trying for
You should have visualized yourself hitting these lifts over and over in your head. Though our strength & technique determine how much we are physically capable of lifting, whether or not we actually make the lift has much more to do with our mental preparation.
N.B. This “game plan” is not set in stone & you should be prepared to change/modify it if necessary (e.g. your warm-up didn’t go well, you dropped an opening lift, etc.).