These are the do’s and don’ts of what to do and not do on meet day that I have either watched or experienced myself over the years.
1. Do make weight. Be prepared for this and buy a good scale or get there early enough to check the one they are using. Be polite and don’t cut in front of people who are actually weighing in. Just ask whoever is manning the room for a “courtesy weigh”.
2. Do make your opener. If you’re best ever snatch is 100k opening with 99k is a risky endeavor. Personally I like 5k under my current best but your coach should know best.
3. Do not take, eat or drink something you don’t normally ingest. If you have been eating carb free or very clean to make weight this is not the time to have a slice or 2 of pizza after you make weight to celebrate. If you have never had an energy drink this is also not the time to try it. Everything you take in before you lift is something you know works for you and you have used it with success.
4. Do lift with your singlet on at least one time before your meet. Lifting in a singlet is an odd feeling for some. Practice lifting with it on a couple of times before your meet. Most programs have you pull openers or close to a week or so out, wear it then and get used to it.
5. Do thank the meet director, loaders, coach, friends and family that showed up. You ever load a barbell for 8 hours? You ever count attempts for somebody and have to run back and forth from the platform to a card table 15 times? You ever sit around for 6 hours waiting to watch one person lift? Get my point?
6. Do not spike the barbell after you finish. You aren’t the first person to lift in a meet. Follow it down and act like you have been there before. Glaring at the judges is also pretty lame.
7. Do have a plan. What I mean by this is have a plan for after your 1st attempt. Also remember that everyone has a plan before they get punched in the face. Please see #2 about this.
8. Do have a Snickers for in between the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. I can’t tell you why it works but I swear to everything it does.
9. Do not start your warm up 2 hours out. You are wasting energy. I see this all the time with guys literally warming up for 90 minutes and they are in their 20’s. Trust me guys you are burning a ton of energy that would be better used on the platform. Same guys that show up with headphones on with their “I am going to run through a wall music” blaring. Save it. Use it when you really need it. For the love of everything RELAX until you don’t have to relax.
10. Do bring a bag of chalk. It happens by the time I get around to lift chalk is sometimes scarce. I always bring a fresh block in a Ziploc bag and sometimes end up using it.
11. Do bring a back up MP3 player if music is important to you. I love to listen to music while I relax before lifting and while I am warming up. There is nothing worse than pulling out your iPod and seeing it dead. Warming up with an Iphone sticking out of your singlet is just awful.
12. Do not hoard plates in the warm up room. It’s not cool. Sure if they have your name on them and you hauled them then that’s one thing but if they are provided by the meet then guess what everyone gets to use them.
13. Do bring the following items:
Foam roller: If you use one bring your own. I don’t want your sweaty ass on mine.
Water: 2x what you think you will need.
Food: Try and stick to the same stuff you have been eating the week before.
Caffeine: If that’s your thing bring it and if it’s not then odds are I don’t like you as a person.
Bandages: Nobody plans on ripping their shins open.
Shoelaces: It has never happened to me but it would suck if it did.
Camera or something to capture video: Just be cool when you ask them to tape you.
Sombra or Biofreeze: Why not? Make sure you wash your hands after and neither works as a deoderant.
Attitude: Competitive and ready to win.
This is important and you have to be of legal drinking age but 2 Tecate’s in a can are the best beers you will ever drink after you have finished a meet. Once again no scientific evidence, just take my word for it.
14. Do watch videos of great lifters the week prior. It works.
15. Do not be this guy “this is crap my openers went up way easier last night!!” or “I lifted more on Thursday than I did today!!” (meet being on Saturday). You might want to look back at your program because I am sure that it wasn’t planned that way.
16. Do know the total you are chasing if it’s a qualifying meet. If you need a certain total please be sure you are looking at the right total and not the total from last year etc… They change and sometimes by quite a bit.
17. Do thank anyone that has the displeasure of living with you or working with you after it’s over. Odds are you weren’t that fun of a person to be around and felt that unloading the dishwasher may be taxing to your system. (Em, folding clothes is bad for my knees though) Also thank your training partner even if he got deathly ill the last week and couldn’t compete. Once again Brad that really sucks.
18. Do not neglect your hands the last week. Take care of them and they will take care of you on game day.
19. Do be the guy that helps out after you lift. Especially if you have teammates etc going after you. Those bars don’t load themselves.
20. Do remember what you are there for. To lift big weights on meet day. Getting trashed the night before, showing up late, and not taking it seriously are just a sign that you don’t take it seriously enough to give it your very best.
These are just a handful of things that I could come up with that like I said earlier I have either learned or watched over the years. I want to say congrats to Morgan Murphy for a great meet even though he ignored rule #2 but came back and killed the rest of it and to Jim Malone who came out and had an incredible showing for his first meet.