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How do you know if you're ready to compete?

August 13, 2020 2 min read

How do you know if you're ready to compete?-VPA Australia

How do you know if you're strong enough to start competing in powerlifting? Is there are minimum standard for which you should be aiming? Some signal or light-bulb moment that makes you realise it's time to put on the soft suit and take the platform? Coach and gym owner Jacky explains when the the optimum time to start competing.  

"I'm not strong enough to compete?"  

I can't tell you how much it ANNOYS me when I hear people say that! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you will likely never be strong enough. There will always be someone out there stronger, better, more dedicated, more gifted, etc than what you are. That's the beauty of competition. But those stronger and better athletes are the ones that push YOU to become stronger and a better athlete.

And let me tell you another thing, if you wait until you are 'strong enough' you'll most likely have a pretty bittersweet experience on the platform. Competing is NOTHING like training, and your first competition may not go as well as you antocipate. In fact I like to think of your competition debut as dress rehearsal for the ones that will follow.

In my second ever Powerlifting competition in 2013, I PR'd my bench and got so excited I racked the bar before the ref made the rack call. Guess what? The lift didn't count! Comps have rules...and rules are rules!

Competing is a skill

Competing is a skill, much like strength training, and practice makes perfect. The more comps you do, the better you get at them. There are plenty of reasons to take the plunge from training into competing, and few of them relate to being the strongest, or winning the competitions.

6 reasons you should do a powerlifting competition

  • It's fun!
  • Like seriously...a lot of fun.
  • It gives you a goal to work toward.
  • It keeps you focused with training.
  • It gives you an environment to push yourself to the absolute max, which can NEVER be replicated in training.
  • Competitions have a great atmosphere of camaraderie, yes, even among competitors!

I LOVE COMPETING. I've competed in 11 Powerlifting comps since 2012, and a handful of Strongman comps, but have had to step back to concentrate on my second love...organising powerlifting competitions (notice a theme here?)


So what are you waiting for. Remember that:

Powerlifting is an inclusive sport

There are no prerequisites to compete.
There is no minimum strength standard.
There are no age restrictions.
There are no weight restrictions.
There are no expectations.

Doing anything worthwhile in life generally starts by stepping out of your comfort zone. Those experiences are also often the most rewarding. So get out there, and give it a go!

Iron Strength Power and Performance

Elias Wright and Jacky Feher are the owners of Iron Strength Power & Performance. Their gym is a high performance strength training facility in Cairns. They specialise in powerlifting, strongman, weightlifting and sports performance.

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