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David

My First Competition - A Few Questions

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Hello, I'm competing in my first meet in ten days and have a few questions for those of you who've done this before.  Hope these don't come across as too ridiculous . . .

 

*WARMING UP - How much do you warm up once you get to the site? Do you do your usual number of warmup sets for each lift or shorter versions?  And how heavy do you go?  

 

*SHIN GUARDS - i've been using a couple of plastic soda bottles cut in half.  I put them under my knee socks.  I can't see anything in the rules saying that kind of thing isn't allowed, but I was wondering if anybody's seen/heard problems with that kind of thing.

 

*T-SHIRT - Do you wear a t-shirt over your singlet when squatting? I just got my singlet and realized I'll be squatting with a bar on my bare shoulders, which I'm not used to. 

 

*NECK CHAIN - I wear a silver chain and religious pendant thing around my neck all the time, even when lifting.  Will they make me take it off?

 

Any other tips anyone has will be gratefully received. I'll do a full writeup afterward.  I'm really excited just for the chance to meet other flesh-and-blood lifters and learn new stuff.

 

Thanks!  

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Warmup: In order to know your warm ups, you need to first know what your opening attempt is going to be. Your opener should be something you can hit EASY. Plan what warm ups you do based off that. Warm up as much as you're used to. You don't want to change things radically from what you've been doing.

Shin guards: Dunno. No fed likes you sticking anything under your clothes in general. Seems kind of unnecessary anyway to use.

Tshirt: The shirt goes on under the singlet. Put the singlet on but don't put the straps up. Put the shirt on. Then pull the straps up over that.

Chain: I doubt they'll make you take it off because it doesn't affect/obstruct the lifts at all.

The one tip I'll give is, make sure you look at the roster and see what order you fall in. That way you can plan when your last warm up will be.

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Thanks Mike. This helps

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FWIW, on warmups I just used the same approach I used during the peaking cycle (Carter's 5@40%,4@50%,3@60%,2@75% progression).  For the first, second and third attempts it was the familiar 85%, 93%, 100% that Carter advocates.  It worked well for me.

 

Also, the very first opener you'll probably have a bit of extra nerves.  By the second attempt you'll be in game mode and the rest of the meet will go well.  It's better to be a little more conservative on that very first lift since this is your first competition.  I missed my opener, not because it was too heavy, but because of the nerves I got a bit off balance and had to step forward to maintain balance--lift disqualified.  I'm not telling you this to psyche you out, but to let you know it's more a mental game than it is a physical one.  Prepare accordingly.

 

All T-Shirts go under the singlet, and they might require the chain to be tucked in the shirt.

 

The shin guards will probably be a no go, which is why they have you where long socks.  You might have some bruised up shins, but you won't feel any pain during competition due to the adrenaline.  You'll be OK.

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Be a mental giant, David!  I don't have any practical advice but good luck with the meet and I look forward to the write up.

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Thanks, guys! Really helpful! Mark, that giant thing is going to be key. :)

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I'm newer at lifting than you are, David, so I have nothing meaningful to contribute.  Just wanted to add a word of encouragement.  I know that some of my best lifting has been when my wife is in the room to help evaluate form, etc.  There is something about being watched that drives success.  I find the weight easier and form better.  The human mind is a funny thing.

 

Kudos for signing up for this.  You'll do great.

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One thing I want to say about the warm ups is to be weary of the amount of people competing and the equipment available. For my first meet, I had my warm ups completely planned out beforehand but during the meet I had to change it up because there were a lot of people competing and not everyone wants to use the same increments in weight as you.

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Can I get in a 4rd to the suggestion about making sure you hit an easy opener. 

 

Also get a copy of the meet rules.... different Feds have different rules and interpretation of similar rules.

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Yep, openers should essentially be your top warm up. In warming up, I pretty much echo what has been said. While it's true that there are usually limited bars and lots of lifters warming up. There's still no reason why you can't put the weight on the bar that you want to use to warm up with when it's your turn.  In my four meets, no one has ever been upset by adding/removing weight during warm-ups. You might also find that when you get to deadlifts, you're feeling pretty warm and you won't need to do as many warm up sets as you did earlier. Overall, take as many sets as you need without taking away form your attempts.

 

For the "shin guards," it really does depend on federation. 100% Raw allows them and I'm pretty sure, but not positive, that USAPL allows them, too. Whatever the federation, do yourself a huge favor and read the rulebook and no the commands. If you can, practice your lifts with someone calling out the commands to you. Getting red lighted because you missed a command really sucks and is totally avoidable.

 

Most feds are going to require you wear a shirt for squats and benching. Typically, you are allowed to remove the shirt for deads.

 

Finally, I've posted this before, but it's definitely worth reading - Top 10 Mistakes Novice Lifters Make.

 

Good luck!

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Thanks, guys.  All the advice very very much appreciated.  Will let you know how it goes!

 

EDIT: just read that article, JJ. Great piece, thanks again!

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