Fri, 14 May 2021

Our work is never over: we weightlifters train all year round. What's more, be it an Olympic gold medal, or overcoming our fears and insecurities, or outdoing our personal best, we train to win! And as a person who knows the sport inside and out, here are my two cents on what factors you should have in mind while preparing for an Oly weightlifting competition.

1. Technicalities

Know your competition warm-up routine! Plan your warm-up lifts ahead and get used to them. If something doesn't work, you'll have the time to make a change. To add to this, if you turn your warm-ups into a familiar routine, you'll feel the same way about your competition lifts: calm and secure.

Make your rest periods shorter. During a meet, things are often done at a faster pace than you may be used to. Make sure you control your rest periods and they aren't excessive. In fact, in the last few weeks before a competition, try limiting yourself up to 2 mins of rest at the most.

Plan your opening attempts. Countless times, I've seen athletes hit the platform, miss their opening attempts, lose their confidence and, well, bomb everything afterwards. Just ; chose a load you know you will hit, and have hit consistently in training, even on your bad days. Nail that first lift, get a score in the books, and you'll be prepared for more successful attempts.

2. Pay attention to the little things

As the incomparable Michelangelo put it, 'Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle'. There are so many factors that we cannot control that affect our performance. The life stresses unrelated to the competition.

  • Accomodation or travelling issues. Ugh. On the other hand, there are probably as many factors that we do have full control over and shouldn't overlook.
  • Trust the plan that you and your coach came up with. It's completely normal if you start missing some of the programmed weights, so don't panic if the numbers in your head are way different from what you're seeing right now. With the right mindset, you'll do just fine on competition day. Also you can find some cool solutions, tips and drills of men weightlifting program on
  • Weigh in regularly. Don't ignore this stage until you absolutely have to pay attention to it! It's not our favourite thing to do, but it helps us control our weight and hydration, and makes the weigh-in procedure a lot less dreadful.
  • Note the time of the day. Schedule some of your workout sessions around the time of the meet. This way, you'll know how you feel at that hour of the day, or if, for instance, you need to make any changes in your warm-up routine.
  • It will be hot. You may already know that most times, the warm-up rooms at meets are stuffy, hot, and crowded. Prepare yourself for a more aggressive and difficult environment by trying your moves without air conditioning and/or fans.
  • 'Spice up' your lifting environment. Competition lifting means you're at an unfamiliar location looking at unfamiliar things. So prepare your mind for changes beforehand! You can lift outside the gym, but you can also try lifting on a different platform, or facing an opposite direction, or taking up a different bar. Finally, you can do a 'mock' weightlifting meet around 2-3 weeks prior to your competition, just to get used to the feeling, and maybe tame some of that stress.

3. Um ; So what's next?

Congrats! You've reached new heights, met or exceeded your own expectations, finally saw all that diligence and perseverance pay off, wow, what a mix of emotions! But once the wave of those sweet sweet brain chemicals subsides, you may find yourself wondering: 'What the heck do I do when I hit the gym again?' Yep, having a more or less formed idea of your next goal is also part of weightlifting training. This will help you stay focused and not feel like you've lost your purpose. Even as you are taking your deserved rest and recovery time, my advice would be: start mentally updating your training program with the next competition in mind. And, of course, ask your trainer/coach to share their professional opinion on your performance and what your next target should be.

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