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Powerlifting: When to start competing [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Dec 4, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Powerlifting: When to start competing

Powerlifting: When to start competing

If you don’t mind your performance start as early as possible as competing sharpens your training. If you want to win your first meet put some more thought and training into it which might take years until you start competing. 
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What is your why 

Before we go into the details of when to start competing in powerlifting, let me ask you a couple of questions: 
  • Why do you want to lift 
  • Why do you want to change your body 
  • What happens when you do 
  • What happens if you don’t 
These questions are essential for your personal success and failure. Research shows that people who write down their goals and reflect on them are more likely to make them a reality. When was the last time you did this? Can you even remember? If you can not it is time to get a pen and paper and start. Many people go about their lives like this: 
  • What do I want 
  • How do I get it 
  • Why do I want it 
This is a great way to get your thoughts muddled up. What you want changes hundreds of times a day depending on what you do, where you are and who you are with. Making this the guiding principle of your life will spread your resources thin and scatter your time between too many activities. This is a great way to get frustrated and unhappy. Something interesting happens when you flip the running order of these questions on their head:
  • Why do you want something 
  • How do you get it 
  • What needs to be done 
This way you will focus on your life goals rather than only what is right in front of you. Your thoughts and actions will become more connected and success will follow. If you want to know how this works on a psychological level read Daniel Kahneman's thinking fast and slow. Simon Sinek's Ted talk on the golden circle will change your life. 

What is your goal 

To decide whether you start competing in powerlifting or not highly depends on your goals. If you just want to compete and gain experience, start as soon as possible. If you want to win the competition you might want to learn what kind of level you need to reach before you start competing. 
Preparing for the competition will give your training purpose and sharpen the mind. Keep this in mind when you make the decision to compete or not. Those who compete usually progress faster than those who don’t. 


Powerlifting is the sport of the total. Your total consists of three lifts. These are the bench press, squat, and deadlift. For each lift, you get three attempts to lift your maximum. The best attempt for each lift will be counted towards your total. Based on your total you will be ranked against your competitors. 
The big difference in lifting weights in the gym is that you will be judged. Three referees will observe your actions. They decide whether you performed according to the standards of the federation you are competing in. Two out of three judges have to agree for your attempt to qualify. You need at least one qualifying attempt for each lift to make it on the board. Otherwise, you will be disqualified. 

Powerlifting when to start competing 

If you don’t care about your placement in the competition pick the next meet you can find in your area which is ideally six months out and start training. If you want to step to the plate and win your first meet scope it out first and set the goal to beat the winner by at least 10% of your total. Then hide in your gym until you can lift these numbers for a triple. This might take a decade or so. 

Topics: Powerlifting