As we all know goals are a huge part of what will keep you successful while keeping your eye on the prize. The same ideology can be said about exercise and training and for the last few months I have been TRAINING for my first powerlifting meet. Training implies that you are focused on a single event/day and have to meet a certain level of standards for that day.
Powerlifting is ALL ABOUT STANDARDS
As soon as I walked into the hosting facility there were repsentatives from USPL directing traffic. They were all dressed in matching blazers, introduced themselves, and pointing you in the direction you needed to go.
First, it was time to check in and get your gear checked. You place everything on the table from your weightlifting belt all the way to the socks you’ll be wearing (in some cases your briefs too!))
After You get the all clear it’s time to weigh in
Some competitors (like myself) were casually waiting while others were frantically chewing gum, spitting in a trash can, or engaging in other methods of cutting as much weight as possible before stepping on the scale.
Now for those who are unfamiliar with this world here are a few quick guidelines:
- There are 3 lifts: Squat, Bench, and Deadlift
- There are several federations that you can participate in
- You must listen to the judges lift cues
- Each one has its own series of rules and regulations
- Competitions are also broken down into RAW or GEARED
- RAW – Is only using equipment like a singlet, chucks, wrist wraps, and a belt
- GEARED – Is wearing a compression suit or sleeves that allows you to lift more weight
- There are weight classes for Juniors, Open, and Masters all with their own age brackets as well
So here’s how it works
During each lift you have 3 judges who are keeping a VERY watchful eye on your technique and each judge has a switch tied to two different colored lights, one white and one red. The goal is to obtain 3 white lights, if you get 2 white the lift will still count, but one judge saw something that wasn’t to the standard. If the judges decide to give you 2 or more red lights it’s a “No lift,” and the weight doesn’t go towards your total.
So you have 3 lifts and 3 attempts at each lift
So you are essentially training for 2-3 months for 9 lifts…
Now I have always considered myself a strong guy and had a good understanding of weightlifting/training in general. I also knew that being 5’8 would grant me huge advantages in lifting due to the decrease of levers within the body.
…7 Hours later…
I went 6/9 Lifts, I didn’t make any mistakes; that would imply I did something wrong
However, my standards were not THEIR STANDARDS and that’s when Humility set in
That’s when I learned that life really is all about holding yourself to a certain STANDARD
Here are my 4 Old/New Standards to be more successful
- STAY HUMBLE
There is most likely someone out there who is stronger or smarter than you, but they are not YOU. “Today you are you, that is truer than true, There is no one alive as youer as you.” – Dr. Seuess.
Dr. Seuss had it right and yes there will be times in life that you need to compete for a better job or get into the college of your dreams, but take into account there is only one of you. Always be willing to learn everyday from every situation in your life to make yourself the best possible version of you.
2. STAY HUNGRY
The moment the competition was over I immediately looked at my coach and said “Well at least I know what to do the next time.” I went home and later that week found another one that I registered for in December.
One of my biggest takeaways was I enjoyed how focused I was leading up to that day.
I never kept myself that accountable and as the days drew closer I only became more focused on the task at hand. It kept my mind sharp and my attitude sharper.
3. BE PATIENT
There is nothing that teaches you patience like having to hold 280lbs over your chest and waiting for someone to say “down,” holding it again only on your chest this time and waiting until the same person says “Press.” If you’re not patient it’ll be held against you.
Some things in life are worth the wait, for instance, my 16 month old. I always knew I wanted to be a father and have a family, there were times early in my marriage I rushed the concept, but I listened to my wife and waited patiently… (she was right..again)
We live in a day and age where we can text to get a ride in a matter of minutes
We can pay more money for a “Prime” membership so we can get products faster
And we can also “call ahead” to order food to avoid waiting in lines
Yes, some of these make life a little more convenient, but these are not standards to live by and some things are absolutely WORTH THE WAIT.
The judge’s tell you different commands like “down,” “Press,” and “rack” because often in life you HAVE TO follow directions.
In their case you have to follow their STANDARDS.
Do you know why most people don’t get hired? They rush the application process and skip over vital instructions or don’t take the time to read things through.
Think about when you have a conversation with a loved one, are you actually listening to them? or are you being passive because you are more concerned with your phone and how many “likes” your newest cat photo got on social media.
You have to make sure that you stay HUMBLE with new/old experiences, in order to feed your HUNGRY brain you have to BE PATIENT and LISTEN to everything around you. Do those 4 things and you will find yourself with higher expectations and a new level of STANDARDS to take with you through life.