by Teresa Parsons
If you are contemplating competing in powerlifting but have been putting it off until you are stronger, bigger, smaller or otherwise more prepared this blog is for you. If you think you are interested in competing and can safely execute a squat, bench and deadlift then you might be as ready as you will ever be. I was signed up for my first competition before I even really knew what powerlifting was, and I have not looked back on that decision. For me it took one competition and I was hooked. Had I not made the decision to step on the platform I may have never met the people I have met, or have had the experiences that powerlifting has given me. The only advice I would give my past self is read the rulebook! Here are my top reasons why I think you should compete, and the reasons why I like to compete.
- Because you will meet more powerlifters! For me this has been the highlight of my powerlifting career. The powerlifting community is unlike any other sport I have been part of. I have met people I would have never had the opportunity to meet and made friendships I may have otherwise not had. Every competition I go to I meet more awesome people. Despite being an individual sport many people have stepped up to help me and be part of my “team”. From meet day handling to spots in the gym I never really feel like I am competing on my own.
- Because it is fun! Competition day is exciting you get to eat, laugh, lift weights and see your hard work pay off. You get to hang out with all your powerlifting friends and see people that you don’t get to see very often.
- Because you will never be strong enough! If this is your reason to wait you may wait forever. While you are waiting to get stronger, whoever it is you think is strong enough is out there getting even stronger. From my personal experiences standing both on top and beside the podium I have always felt strong but never strong enough. No matter how much I lift I always want to lift more.
- Because you will get stronger! Physically, mentally or both. Whether you choose to compete against yourself or against others, if you are trying to break personal records or national records. If you are putting in the effort you will reap the benefits. I have gained the strength to add weight to the bar and the confidence to lift the weight on the bar.
- Because it gives you a goal! Knowing that you have a competition on the horizon can give you something to work towards in the gym. It can give you motivation to work hard. For me competitions have been where I really test my strength. I do not regularly PR in the gym so on competition day I might lift something heavier than I have ever lifted this keeps me excited and motivated.
- Because you can! If you want to compete and the opportunity arises take it! Powerlifting is something that you can do completely on your own if you choose, but chances are if you are new to powerlifting someone will be more than willing to help you out.
- Because you will feel accomplished and gain confidence! Win or lose you worked towards something you showed up and gave it all that you had on that day. If your like me standing on a platform in front of an audience is far from a comforting thought. Being the center of attention even for a minute can be nerve racking, but the more time I spend on the platform the more confident I become.
- Because you will be inspired! Weather you are self motivated or motivated by seeing the strength of others, competition is an opportunity to see what you are capable of and see what others are capable of. Both success and failures are perfect reasons to set new goals. For me no matter how well a competition has gone I always am ready to do even better the next time.
- Because you might surprise yourself! A competition is a great place to see how much you can lift. As much as it makes me uncomfortable to be the center of attention the energy of a crowed is invigorating. I have far surpassed all the things I thought were possible when I started my powerlifting journey.
- YOLO! If you want to do something do it. Challenge yourself to try. If you love it keep competing. Work hard. Enjoy the process. Remember to have fun! If you hate it, chalk it up as a life experience.