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Your First Powerlifting Meet


What to bring Meet Day.

Part 4: Dem Ingredients

  • Pack some food and water. The meets can, and probably will be all day long.
  • Pre-workouts, stimulants, and whatever else you are used to taking.

Duffle bag checklist:

  • Singlet
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • ID (Sometimes for age verification)
  • And everything else you typically use

Loading Chart:

Part 5: The Big Day

  • Show up on time for briefing where they will explain some mandatory details
  • Figure out your flight (Typically ordered from smallest to largest lifts)
  • Pay attention for your name over the loudspeakers, and understand when your turn is coming up

Understanding the announcements:

  1. “You’re three out”: There are two people in front of you.
  2. “You’re in the hole”: One person waiting to lift before you.
  3. “You’re on deck”: You’re next up. You can chalk up your hands and wait for the ref to signal you over.
  • How the lights work: White = Pass, Red = Fail. Three judges have control over three separate pairs of lights, majority rules. Two or more white lights is a “good lift”, two or more red lights is “no lift”.
  • You will have three attempts of each lift, for a total of nine attempts.
  • Know what to expect for the commands. The rules below can vary depending on the federation, so be sure to check these details.  Look at your rule book, and try to watch the lifters before you.

Squat: Un-rack the bar, walk it out, and wait for the judge’s squat command. Squat to depth, then back up to lockout. Stand still until you receive the “rack” command.

Bench Press: Un-rack the bar, wait for the judge’s start command, descend the bar to the chest and wait for the press command. Press to lockout and again, wait for the rack command.

Deadlift: There is no start command. Grip the bar and pull to lockout position, wait for the judge’s down command, then lower the bar in a “controlled” motion. Leave your hands on the bar until the bar is resting on the floor.

That’s it. Once you are done, hang around and make some new friends. I hope this helps give you an idea on what to expect going into your first powerlifting meet.

  1. Sherry

    This was extremely helpful. Thank you! First meet is this weekend!

  2. Brian CP

    “Make sure you are reaching proper squat depth. If your squat doesn’t reach the standard depth, it will not pass.”

    Well, it SHOULDN’T be passed, but most feds have some questionable judges.

    That said, assume you will have to squat to proper depth (hip crease below top of the knee) and you will be stronger than the half squatters getting by on gifts.

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