First Powerlifting Meet!

Well, my first powerlifting meet is in the books! I guess I can now call myself a powerlifter? ;)

Ready to lift!
The meet was held at the Sweatt Shop in Cincinnatti, a couple hours away from Louisville, so we had to get a hotel room for the night before. I was hoping to get get a good night's sleep...buuut that didn't happen. I slept maybe 2-3 hours, and that was on an off. It was horrible. I almost think I would have been better off not even sleeping! But regardless, I wasn't going to let that get me down and was determined to stay strong and kill the weights anyway! I figured the adrenaline would keep me going, and for the most part it did.

Well, I know you all are anticipating the results, so on we go to the recap:

First up was squats. I was in the first flight, which just means that I was in the first group to lift for each lift, since they go from lightest to heaviest weight. I was super nervous, but the opener was a light weight at 185lbs, so I new I'd hit it easily. Definitely needed that to calm the nerves! Went for 205 for the second attempt, which I also got easily, so for the last attempt we decided on 225. Going up to the bar I was fully confident I would get it....but.... I didn't.  I had hit 225 in training not that long ago, so it wasn't a mental thing. Just didn't have the strength that day.

Next up was bench. After the squats, we had to wait a couple of hours before bench. I was afraid my energy would fade having to wait for so long, but I just kept sipping on aminos and drank some coffee and made sure to eat even if I didn't feel like it.  

Bench definitely didn't go as planned. The weird thing was, I was shivering and really nervous right before going to bench, even more so than for squats for some reason! My opener was 125, which I got, and my second attempt was 135, which I wasn't even worried about. A month ago at the mock meet in October I got 135, and I thought for sure that I'd be able to get even more at the meet. But for some reason my bench press strength really went down in the last month of training, and I ended up failing it. :( I totally should have had 135, so that's a little frustrating! Just can't figure out what happened for my strength to go DOWN!!??
After another loooonng wait after bench, deadlifts were next. After benching, I was definitely feeling the effects of no sleep. I felt like I could have just shut my eyes and went to sleep right there. But I ate some food, sipped on some Gatorade, and after warming up, I started getting my energy back. I actually felt really good before deadlifts and was the least nervous for this lift than any of the other lifts. I got 205 and 225 easily and decided on 250 for my last attempt. My coach was going to have me go for 255, but with the lack of sleep and the way the first 2 lifts had gone, I wasn't sure I would even be able to get 250. But I went up the bar with confidence and pulled 250 easily! Waaaay easier than the first time I got 250 at the mock meet. I definitely could have gotten 255, but, oh well! 

There were 9 girls and one guy competing from my gym, 5 of us being first time competitors. It was definitely nice to have the support and encouragement from a team, and it made it a much better experience than if I had been on my own. These ladies are all so strong and just make me want to get even stronger! 

There were over 70 lifters at this meet, so it was a LONG day. We got there at 8 in the morning and didn't leave until 8 pm. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of the day! As soon as the meet was over, all I wanted was to do was EAT.  I had been so hungry all day, even though I was eating all throughout the meet. 

I had had a burger on my mind for days, so... a burger it was! We went to this place we found called Patty Burger, and I got a mushroom bacon cheeseburger, which was amazing. It had been SO long since I had a restaurant cheeseburger. Also had some fries and then some cookies for dessert that we got from Donna's Gourmet Cookies, who is Laura Phelps-Sweatt's mom! They were so good.

Even though I wasn't at my strongest the day of the meet and didn't hit all of my goals, I had a great time and really enjoyed the whole experience. And that's really what it was all about for me. Yeah, it's frustrating when you fail lifts you know that you can do, but it didn't keep me from having a good time. I'm disappointed with the numbers I put up just because I know I can do better. I definitely see myself doing a meet at least one more time, if for no other reason than to hit the numbers that I didn't hit this time! I want to prove to myself that I CAN get stronger. 

So now I'm kind of sad that it's over! I get it now when fitness competitors talk about the "post show blues"...It's like you put so much time and effort into your training for this one day...and then suddenly, it's over. I guess what I do now is address my weaknesses and try to figure out what I need to do strengthen them. I'm a little at a loss as to what to do next as far as programming. As much as I love having a coach and one on one training, it's just not something I feel I can justify paying for when this is just something that I'm doing for fun. If I were competitive, it would be a different story. If I decide to do another meet, I'll probably hire a coach again for the few months leading up to the meet. Right now I'm thinking that I'll probably do the same meet next December. 

I really didn't feel bad the day after the meet. I got a good 10 hours of sleep Saturday night, so that helped! My body definitely needed it.  My plan as far as workouts for this week is to not follow a plan or do anything super heavy and just do bodyweight and dumbbell exercises for the most part. I'll probably take a couple of months to do some higher rep stuff(as in 6-8-haha!) and then I was thinking of maybe giving Wendler's 531 another try. Or possibly follow the Uncaged program since I've always seen my strength go up on that. Plus, it's starting to be a tradition that I follow that program at the start of each new year. But we'll see. 

Overall, I'm really glad that I decided to do a meet. To anyone who is considering a powerlifting meet-DO IT!! Don't wait until you feel like you're "strong enough". Don't worry about feeling or looking stupid, because honestly, no one cares. Everyone is supportive and encouraging. Everyone wants to see others succeed, no matter how big or small you are or what weight you're lifting. Plus, it's just super motivating and inspiring to see such displays of strength that it will only push you to keep working even harder! 


  1. Alright, updates!! So glad to hear you had a great time! I bet it felt like the day lasted FOREVER! That is a long time to be 'ready' to lift. I bet the sport is growing more and more each year - so glad you had a team to help push you in the times you wanted that support.

    The whole thing looks like a success for you - I am so happy that you decided to do it. Now you know what to expect too, if you decide to do the one again next year. In the meantime, have fun relaxing (so to speak) and reflecting on that emotional and physical journey.

    Too bad the sleep was in short supply, but I know you can continue to grow and get stronger. And deadlifting twice your body weight - AWESOME! You need to go get yourself a full body massage now. Definitely deserve it.

    Thanks for posting and the videos as well! Fun to see and do a vicarious lifting meet!

    ~Jen :-)

    1. Thanks! I can only hope to do better next time!

  2. hi Lindsay! i've been following you for a while - great job on competing! If you're at a loss for what to explore next, i would recommend strongman, kentucky has some great gyms/competitors. Also, you could look into the cube method or westside if you're interested in a different style of training. :)

    1. Hi! Thank you! Not sure if strongman is something that I'd want to do(so many reps! lol), but I'm always into trying a new training plan!

  3. I loved hearing about your meet! It also makes me really nervous for mine :) I've been to four PL comps before and the thing I'm least looking forward to is the looooong wait between lifts.

    I second Caitlin's suggestion of strongman, but you know, I'm not biased at all ;) Well done and congrats again!

    1. Oh, I'm sure you'll do great since you've competed before! It'll be so much fun!
      Thanks! :)

  4. Congrats and good job! You look strong!

  5. I absolutely loved reading this. You are so, so inspiring lady, and your open honesty and candor really make for a refreshing read...THANK YOU! There are so many people (including me!) who are so so proud of you and think you accomplished something MAJOR, despite how you feel you did. You are always challenging yourself, and that helps to push me when I'm feeling stuck. <3 ps - I'm on my 9ish week of the 531 program - I'm loving it!

    1. Thank you, that really means a lot! :) That's awesome, definitely thinking about running that program again!

  6. Congrats girl! I would be super dooper nervous to lift in front of people (I have no idea why). The last couple meets I've been to with our clients have been extremely long as well, I can't imagine having to keep your energy up for so long.

    1. Thanks! You don't even really notice the crowd once you get up to the bar. It's like they disappear! But yeah, the long wait between lifts was hard, especially with basically no sleep. I wish I could've been at my strongest that day, but it doesn't always work out like that I guess!


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