Being Competition Day Ready by Crystal McCullough

This weekend, we traveled to Spokane, Washington for the Junior National Championships. This is the first time we flew to a meet for Morgan. I am always so impressed with how mature he is as a competitor in the weeks leading up to competition, as well as day-of. His preparation allows him to be laser focused when it’s time to go to work. You spend countless hours in the gym preparing for competition, so let’s make sure you are competition day ready. There are several factors to consider prior to meet day so you are as prepared as possible for success.

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Know the Rules

First, go to the website of the organization or federation in which you are competing and download their rulebook. Check to see if you need to purchase a membership to compete. For weightlifting, you only have to worry about one federation and their website is very user friendly. Here is a link that gives you the 411 on all things related to competing in AND hosting a USA Weightlifting event. Recently, USA Weightlifting came out with a new singlet rule, you can find that here.

For powerlifting, there are several different federations. Be sure to look at the federation in which you are competing. Two of the most popular are USAPL and USPA. Each has their own rulebook including approved equipment and movement standards for meet day. Be sure to read through these rulebooks in their entirety so you aren’t surprised on meet day.

If you are competing in a CrossFit style competition, most event coordinators release the workouts and movement standards prior to competition day. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with event expectations.

Making Weight

Not everyone is going to walk around at competition day weight and will most likely be doing a small weight cut. We have found water and sodium manipulation to be most successful and the least detrimental to strength. In a nutshell, one would water load starting five days out from their weigh in, which could depend on if they are a 24-hour or 2-hour weigh in. This may start before you travel, so be sure you are prepared if you are cutting while traveling. A guideline for a typical water load in conjunction with lower sodium and a very clean diet would look something like this:

• Day 1 – 2 gallons of water of distilled water. Lower sodium.
• Day 2 – 1½ gallons of distilled water. Lower sodium.
• Day 3 – 1 gallon of distilled water. Cut out sodium.
• Day 4– One glass of water total to sip on. No sodium. At this point, it is all based on the individual’s weight. One might have to limit food intake to protein and veggies only depending on if they are more than a kilo over weight still.
• Day 5 – Weigh in day (24 hours before competition or day-of depending on federation). REFEED immediately after weigh in.

Example: If you are a weightlifter or powerlifter with a 2-hour weigh in, lifting on Saturday, day 1 would be Tuesday of that week. If you are a powerlifter with a 24-hour weigh in, lifting on Saturday, day 1 would be Monday.

Traveling Tips

For a local meet, all likelihood is you are competing within just a couple of hours from your home, so you will be driving. If you are flying to a National or International competition, I highly recommend packing all the equipment needed for competition day in your carry on bag in case luggage gets delayed or lost. That is one less thing you have to stress over.

Meet Day

On the day of the meet, arrive early to your weigh in! Don’t be that guy who makes everyone wait if they are going by lot number. Have your ID and equipment ready. Bring everything you need to the venue and don’t rely on the snack area inside to have the food and drink you need. If you have been cutting weight, it is very important for you to get rehydrated and fueled appropriately in order to reconstitute all that you lost during the weight cut. My go to rehydration drink is (using a gallon jug), pour in a container of Pedialyte, add a scoop of powdered Gatorade, and then fill the rest of the way with water. SIP, and I mean SIP on it from the moment you weigh in and continue doing so until it is gone. I DO NOT recommend you chugging it as it will have some associated unpleasant consequences.

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Make sure you have a full meal ready to eat post- weigh in. Personally, I can’t eat a lot of protein before I squat, and I’ve found success in eating a couple (or more) of donuts for fast calories and carbs before I squat and then I eat a full meal between my squats and deadlifts. For others, you could eat chicken and rice, or a sweet potato and that would be a great post- weigh in meal. I also like to keep peanut butter and jelly sandwiches handy because they are easy to eat and easily digestible.

Lastly, have some kind of candy like skittles or sour patch kids handy to put in your mouth between attempts for quick glucose spikes. If you are competing in weightlifting, it is a much shorter meet than powerlifting or a CrossFit competition. You could get away with packing less food overall. For a powerlifter or CrossFitter, take into consideration a very long day and needing to refuel after every event!

When you aren’t warming up or competing, be sure to stay off of your feet and relax as much as possible. Let your coach and/or handler deal with counting attempts and telling you how to warm up. This takes away your stress and worry and allows you to focus on the task at hand.

So proud of Morgan! This kid is a work horse in the gym and a competitor on the platform. At the age of 14, he shared the platform with amazing Junior athletes like 20 year old @mikey_cohen98 today. He was by far the youngest in his weight class! He went 4/6 with very close third attempt misses. Top lifts were 115k/253# snatch and 156k/343# clean and jerk. Total of 271k/596# making him the #1 ranked Youth in America at only age 14 and solidifying him a spot on the Youth Pan American team! And he’s just getting started!! 2018 looks to be an amazing year for @mad_lifts_15 !! Big thanks to @kevinsimonscf for all the help today!! @wayne_mccullough @masheliteperformance @coachtravismash @chrisoxmason @leanfitnesssystems @hookgrip @hookgripusa @morningchalkup @crossfitgames @crossfitkids @athleteps @2poodperformance @intekstrength @biprousa @haknutrition @harbingerfitness @mg12power @usa_weightlifting @wodfitters @wodbodysportsmassage @wodbodyallison #juniornationals2018 #youthweightlifting #weightlifting #crossfit

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We at Mash Elite want to see each and every one of you to succeed in your chosen sport! I hope that this article gives you some insight into how to be successful on meet day.

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