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Old 10-02-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
Blake Barnes
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 386
Default Competition Preparation and Meet Day

We get a lot of questions from people who are going into their first meet and don't really know what to expect. Use this thread to ask questions/share your experiences on the day of the meet (i.e. what to eat, cutting to make weight, warm-ups, openers, strategy, coaching, general rules, etc).

Notice I put this under "Olympic Weightlifting" so let's stay specific to Olympic weightlifting meets to avoid any confusion.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
Matt Foreman
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 59

Okay, I'll throw in a few thoughts:
- What to eat- Try to stay as consistent as possible with your normal routine and habits. I personally like to eat a small meal 4-5 hours before I start lifting, and then something really small (Clif Bar or something) about an hour before.
- Cutting to make weight- The best way to do this is to make sure you're not in a desperate panic on meet day. Making weight is all about discipline and prior planning. I only had to do the panic sauna thing twice, and both times I made weight but got some kind of little dehydration-related tweak or strain during the meet.
- Warm-ups- As close to normal training as possible.
- Openers/strategy- Huge topic...short answer. I'm a big believer in planning to make all six lifts. The opener should be something you've made on the first try plenty of times in training. 2nd attempt is around PR level, 3rd attempt is a new PR. All of this has to be balanced with picking attempts that might be needed to beat competitors, etc.
- Coaching- Calm coach = calm athlete. Panicky coach = panicky athlete.
- General rules- Have a good plan for everything already established way ahead of time, then adapt and overcome when things don't go exactly the way you want.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:23 PM   #3
Gwen Chamberlin
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 4

This is a very timely topic. I would love to get advice from people with more competition experience than I have.

I've been lifting 2 yrs and had few meets so far. At all previous meets I had my coach there to coach and handle "logistics" - counting attempts to time my warm up, etc. But soon I have a local meet I will be attending completely alone. I need the platform experience and to get more confidence going to meets alone.

I would appreciate any tips on how to I can stay focused on all the various things I need to do at the meet. I will have worked out warm up & openers strategy with my coach ahead of time. It is also unlikely anyone from my weightlifting team can attend to assist me. Any tips to keep me sane enough to lift well would be appreciated.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:38 PM   #4
Blake Barnes
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It's a little more tough going into meets without a coach to count for you. Make sure you go up to the table to count the attempts for yourself so you have an idea. Write down what warm-up attempts you will make before your opener. Remember that there is one minute in between lifts unless someone before you is following themselves, then they have two minutes in between. So try to listen from the warm-up room and count how many attempts have gone through so you can stay on track.

Also, try to get to know and interact with some of the other lifters/coaches in your session and and that may keep you a little more at ease. And you never know, maybe their coach will help count for you while they're counting for their lifter.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:08 AM   #5
Keith Miller
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 130

Gwen, I count for myself at almost all of my meets. Basically, what Blake said. As soon as the cards get put out for the session, go over and see where you are at. Count all the 1st attempts. There will be some that will finish before you start, so go ahead and count those lifter's 2nd and 3rd attempts as well. Just go down the list and make assumptions about the 2nd and 3rd attempts to see where you will be, roughly. You won't get it exact. Do your warm-ups and periodically go up to the cards and check where they are on the platform to where you are in your warm-ups.

Best is if you can find another lifter with similar starting weights as you and just follow them, especially if they have a coach. Most will be more than happy to have you work in with them, and their coach may help you out too.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
Gwen Chamberlin
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 4

Thanks for this advice. I may also adjust my expectations for this meet and be more conservative on my opener and #2. I love the idea of trying to get adopted by another coach.

I just spent all summer fixing my mutant CF Technique* and hope to see if I can still hit my old PR's when it counts. But maybe I need to re-adjust and take into account it being a little more mentally harder without a coach. If #2 feels solid I can always take a chance on #3.

* (Hi - Matt loved and lived the article. I could write one from the point of view of the lifter after the summer I just spent.)
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