A girl that I coach, Candace aka "Little Hulk", competed in her first powerlifting meet on the weekend. She did really well and I'm super proud of her! It was an IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) sanctioned event with quite a few rules and regulations but she got through all her lifts and finished the day strong!
This was my first meet as well and even though I didn't compete, I was exhausted by the end of the day!! I can only imagine how Candace must have been feeling! There were a few rules we weren't aware of, like having to submit your next attempted weight within 60 seconds of your last attempt, so it was a bit of a learning curve for both of us but we figured it out along the way and will be much better prepared for the next time around.
Picking the attempts for each of the lifts, the back squat, bench press and deadlift was a bit more challenging than I thought. We based her initial attempts off of her current previous bests but as the day went on and fatigue set in we had to make some adjustments. We ended up making her first attempts significantly lighter just to make sure she completed at least one successful lift for each. We also decided to take smaller jumps in weight between attempts.
The other big thing we learned at this meet is that you have to keep a tight grip on the bar at all times during the back squat. On her 3rd attempt @ 198.5 lbs (which is 1.5 lbs under her personal best) she opened her grip on the bar on the way up and even though she completed the squat, it didn't count because under IPF rules you can't release your grip at any point during the squat.
Anyways like I said, it was a great learning experience and we will know better for next time. There is another meet coming up in February and if my shoulder is up for it and I can start benching safely every once and awhile, I think I'll jump in and get my feet wet! It's been a while since I've competed (my last was a boxing fight a few years ago) and I'm getting the itch to get those nervous butterflies before a big competition!