How Do I Know If I’m Ready To Compete in Strength Sports?

Have you been thinking about competing in strength sports but don’t quite know if you’re ready or if it’s for you?

Here’s a guide to what you should know before deciding if you want to compete for the first time in Powerlifting or Weightlifting.

First things first…

What’s the difference between Powerlifting and Weightlifting?

Powerlifting tests your strength by lifting 3 main compound lifts: the squat, bench press and deadlift at maximal weights.

Weightlifting (also known as Olympic Weightlifting) consists of 2 main lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. This is the type of lifting you see in the Olympics, hence its name.


Before you decide to compete, you should:

  1. Be able to safely perform the lifts you are competing in.

This means getting to depth in your squats, completing full lifts from the starting position on the ground, etc. If you are working with modified versions, keep practicing and wait until your lifts are of the competition standard.

  1. Train consistently for at least one year, with a focus on your strength sport of choice for around 6 months.

This means following a program to prepare you to lift your best on competition day, when it counts! Meet day will be testing your 1-rep max for each lift, so you want to work up to something you’re proud of.

  1. Be excited about competing and testing yourself!

Competition day (especially your first) is just for fun. Make sure that you are at a place where you feel mentally prepared to step on a platform and test your lifting maxes in front of people. If you have been looking for a new goal to motivate you and you are the competitive type, this might be just what you need!

  1. Understand the rules.

Before you decide to compete, you should look into the general rules of a meet. How many attempts you are given, what you have to wear, the weigh-in process, etc. Ask someone who you know has competed before or look it up online. This will give you more of an idea of what a competition entails.

  1. Go watch a local meet!

If you are unsure about whether you see yourself competing, go see what the environment is like. If you find yourself motivated by watching all the lifters and can picture yourself on the platform, it might be the next step in your lifting journey!


In the end, you can’t worry about if you’re strong enough, or feel ready enough. You likely won’t ever feel 100% ready. Jump in and try out a competition if you’ve been considering it for a while and have done all of these things listed above!

Vanessa Kiriakou

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