Even if you don't compete you work towards your 1 rep max day.
You constantly strive to add more kilos, fix technique, work on recovery and just stay motivated.
You spend hours each training day, often training by yourself. Videoing your lifts, watching other lifters videos.
You don't get to be glamorous, wearing your best lululemons in front of a big group class. Lots of us train in our garages.
This morning (Sunday) I got up at 6:15 am and trained in my garage alone till 8:15 am. I then came back later and did my assistant work in my ugg boots (its cold in Canberra!)
This all may not seem like very much fun but it all becomes worth it on comp day. You walk onto that platform knowing you have done everything you can to beat your last total.
So this year my first comp was Nationals in March. My prep for this consisted of no training in January then a 17 day holiday in Thailand where I put on 6 kg. When I got home I had 5 weeks till nationals, 6 kg to lose and no preparation. All I could do was minimal training so as to not exhaust myself at the same time as a grueling weight cut diet. I lift at under 52 kg and I weighed about 57.8 kg.
Needless to say this was not my best comp. My total went down 5 kg, which was actually pretty good considering!
This gave me a good kick in the pants. I was taking the fact that my lifts kept going up for granted. I have good genetics and I was being lazy because of them.
Shortly after Nationals I went to Stephen Pritchard's programming workshop and he suggested I try to get into the Worlds team. So began my comp prep!
I started a Russian system worked out by famous Powerlifting coach Boris Sheiko. This system is extremely high volume. You often spend at least 3 hours in the gym, 3 to 4 times a week. This was perfect for me as I had to try and get some decent technique, I needed to be consistent. 16 sets of squats each session will teach you consistency :)
Once I knew I had made the Worlds Team I was even more motivated as I felt quite out of my depth. I did not miss a single session.
When I got to Worlds in Russia all my hard work paid off and I added 16.5 kg to my total.
In Russia I was told that the coaches there sometimes bomb their lifters if they don't think they have enough drive. It's meant to wake up their determination and get them to work hard enough so they never fail again. This was kinda how I felt after Nationals. I don't want to feel like that again!
Now that I'm home again I have started a new program called Reactive Training Systems (RTS) developed by Mike Tuchscherer. This is another high volume system that means I'm in the gym 1.5 - 4 hours 3 or 5 times a week.
I am now hitting the numbers I got at Worlds for doubles. Woooooo hoooooo!
One of the most important things I have found leading up to a comp is staying consistent, not missing training, getting enough sleep and remembering why you are doing it. I just keep the idea of getting to Worlds in my head through every hard session. For others, just adding to their total is enough. I find competition works best for me.
A lot of people say in Powerlifting there are two competitions, the first is making weight, the second is what you lift.
I usually sit at around 54.5 kg so have to cut about 2.6 kg to be at weight.
I usually start cutting calories a month out. Then two weeks out I start reducing my salt and increasing my water. This starts to get rid of the fluid your body holds. By the last week I'm on fish, chicken breast, broccoli and cauliflower. I am hating life!!!
About 4 days out I increase my water by about 3 litres to flush out more salt and fluid. I am hating life and everyone around me!!!
Day before comp I weigh myself and start drying out. I only have about 200 ml water and the amount of food I have depends on how quickly I get down to 52 kg.
For my last comp, my weight wasn't budging so I ate two egg whites in the morning then nothing till 8 pm when I had one rice cake. Yes I was hating life, everyone, myself, the world, lifting etc etc :) I had to do it though, if I didn't make weight I was out!
The good news is I woke up under!! Weeeeeee!
I weighed in at 51.4 kg
The comp I went in was the His/Hers Power Challenge in Penrith.
Again all my hard work paid off and I had a great day!
For Squat I got 107.5kg which was a 5kg PB
Deadlift 135 kg - 7.5 kg PB
Not every competition will go this well but I know if I just stay consistent, stay motivated and don't injure myself, my total will keep going up. The same applies to most aspects of life.