Aug 3, 2023 | Powerlifting Basics 101, Blog, Powerlifting Competitions

ONE: Progress will be slower than you think.

When you first start powerlifting, it’s all newbie gains. The first time you get on a program and prep for a comp, numbers go through the roof. 

This lasts for a year or two. You go from making 10-15kg PBs on a lift to 2.5-5kg. And when you’ve been in the game long enough, you might go a year or longer without hitting any overall PBs. 

You will spend a lot of time with similar working weights. 

It’s usually around this time that people will drop off and move onto something else. Once they are out of the training age of hitting regular PBs, the motivation to continue is gone. 

The reality is, everyone progresses at different rates. Often we don’t make the leaps and bounds in strength that we think we will. 

This is why it’s important to stay in touch with your WHY. Take time to reflect on what made you start powerlifting in the first place. 

TWO: People with overly ambitious short term goals burn out quickly. 

Over the years I’ve seen it happen time and time again. You’ll see a new lifter and they’ll come in, guns blazing. 

They are a year or two into their powerlifting journey and they are hungry for big numbers. They might even have the potential to go far in the sport. 

But they come in too hard and fast and eventually fizzle out. This might be due to physical or mental fatigue. That lifter who you thought was going to be the next big thing suddenly disappears. 

Moral of the story is don’t be afraid to set short term goals that will keep you striving to be better without beating yourself up for falling short. 

THREE: Everything is earned. 

If you want to be the best, you have to work for it. 

Everything needs to be on point: training, nutrition, sleep, stress management. 

If you aren’t willing or able to put effort into each of these categories, you can’t expect performance to be the best it can be. This becomes more true the longer that you are in the sport of powerlifting. 

All the time I will hear someone say how they want a 200kg deadlift at their next comp but will skip sessions, eat like shit, and generally not have it all together. 

Either adjust expectations to match the effort you are able to put in OR take the necessary steps to get the most out of training, nutrition, sleep, and stress management. 

A coach can help. 

FOUR: It’s you vs you. 

Powerlifting isn’t about beating someone else or always getting a podium. 

When it comes to local meets especially, you are not in control of who turns up to compete. Sometimes it will be someone who is the best in the country. Sometimes it’s no one at all. 

You might go 9/9 at a comp with PBs all around and still come last. On the other hand you might go 3/9 and come first. 

Make sure you go into every competition with personal goals. Always do the best that YOU can, regardless of what everyone else is doing around you. 

FIVE: It’s about where you are now. 

The longer you are in powerlifting, the easier it is to compare yourself to an earlier version of you. 

When comparing your present to your past self, be mindful of changes to circumstances. Your workload, relationship status, life stress, personal health, health of family members, living situation, etc might be different compared to a couple years ago. 

SIX: It’s ok to take time off. 

Going on holiday and not training for weeks at a time will not be as detrimental to your progress as you think. 

Take time to enjoy yourself. 

The barbell will be there when you get back.  


I wanted to include social media as it can have a big influence both positively and negatively. 

It’s a great way to feel inspired by your favorite lifters or support your lifting friends. 

But it can also trap us within a bubble. When you are neck deep in the lifting community on socials, you are bombarded with seeing the best of the best. The one percent. 

This can quickly turn from inspirational to feeling inadequate. 

So if you find yourself feeling like you’re falling behind or not where you want to be after scrolling on Insta, reflect on why. Keep in mind that elite lifters are an anomaly. 

Something I wish I had done earlier in my journey was curating my Instagram feed so that it always made me feel inspired. Rather than hating on my own progress. 

As you’ve just read, there are many traps new lifters can easily fall into, here at Nemesis we are no strangers to this fact. This is why we pride ourselves on our high level communication and close contact coaching service. We handle lifters of all strength and skill levels ensuring they get the most out of themselves.

Get started and book a call today.


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