So if you have registered and prepped for a competition now it is time to compete. The day of the competition once you get there, there are some general notes any strength sport will have. After that each sport has their own specific organization. Do your best to keep these points in mind and your first competition should go much smoother for you and hopefully be a great time.
Meets nearly always take longer than you would expect. Plan your day accordingly and give your friends and family members a heads up on this if they decided to come out and help support you. Dress in layers so you can keep from getting too cold in between events or even attempts in much longer and larger competitions. Having a “handler” aka a friend that helps you out at the meet through getting things ready for you, getting you water, checking on timing, etc. is worth its weight in gold. Make sure this is someone you trust and knows how competitions are meant to go. When you have a long period of time between each event in the competition try to just relax. Save your energy and getting fired up for your maximal attempts, not just sitting around waiting. The toilets the day of a meet tend to get destroyed by a number of people using them, so if you have to have a bowel movement try to do that before you leave for the competition. Also pack water, since drinking fountains and otherwise can get busted up over the course of the competition day. Concession stands can be very expensive and friends will often have to pay a spectator fee to watch you compete so factor all of these in. When in doubt pick openers that are lighter than you would think you need for your competition so you can for sure get in a weight for the competition.
Strongman – These competitions will typically follow the order of the events on the entry sheet so be sure to practice them in order so you are aware of how fatigue from previous events effect your later events. Each event can take a while and you can learn how early or late in each event you will get your run (you might go first, last, or somewhere in between). This is important for your warm ups. Also, some events involve maxing out and it will be a rising bar, so you don’t lift until they get to your openers. This can mean having to wait half an hour or more until you do your first lift when the other competitors are already done. Try to relax after each event when you can, stay warm (through layers of clothes), and keep relaxed right up until you need to throw down. Be aware of when you are meant to go in order for each event since the order of competitors can change with each event.
Powerlifting – This competition goes in order of squat, bench, and then deadlifts. Each person does their first attempt, then second, and so on. How many people you have in each flight will give you an idea of how much time you have before each of your lifts. Figure each person will take one minute between doing the lift and changing weights. This can help you with doing your warm ups and being ready for when you will do your second and third attempts. Don’t be surprised if you have hours between your squat and bench. Don’t be afraid to take a nap or just relax.
Weight lifting – This competition goes snatch then clean and jerk. The bar is a rising one, which means you don’t start until they get to the weight that you have to perform. Also, if you miss and need to repeat a weight then if no one else is up to do that weight, you have to two minutes to try this again. This can be hard for planning both your warm ups and for doing the actual lifts. Be aware that you might sit around waiting for your first attempt and then have to follow yourself three times in a row after that.
Highland games – this is super laid back with people getting to warm up on each implement before competing and then getting to do your three throws in order for the distance events. For the events for height you get three misses at that height then you move on to a higher height you need to throw. Jump in where you need to and don’t be afraid to start in earlier than you think you need to on a height events so that you can get one on the board and be able to dial in your performance for when you are getting close to your personal bests.
There are my basic tips for a variety of competitions that I have competed in throughout the years. Each has its own differences with rules and how quickly they occur. Make sure you plan and pack accordingly. Just go out there with the idea that you are going to put forth your best effort and that you are going to have fun. For your first competition it is about getting experience, not winning. If you have never competed you have no personal records to break, so just performing sets a meet record for you and gives you goal of something to try and beat in the future.