Competition. Everyone has their own view on it. Some people train solely to compete, and are driven by success. Some people compete just to have a day out. Most people fall somewhere in between the two.
No matter your chosen method of lifting in the gym, you have no doubt considered the possibility of competing. Whether that be weightlifting or powerlifting, strongman or crossfit, you just want to wear a leotard, right?
I get asked a lot how ‘good’ you should be in order to compete, or at what standard you should be lifting. My answer is simply that you should be able to perform the required movements within the parameters of the rules.
Most people seem surprised at my answer. I suspect that is because what they are really asking is ‘how good do I have to be to win?’. The fact of the matter is that if you want to compete for the first time solely in order to win you probably aren’t going to enjoy yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be successful, and in order to keep pushing your training forward you should have goals. However, by not competing until you are good enough to win you are doing yourself, and your sport, a disservice. To put it another way, that makes you a bellend.
My advice to anyone is to compete as soon as you can. In any level of competition you can find. After all, that is WHY there are different levels to compete at!
Enter novice contests. Do ‘in house’ competitions with your mates. Turn up to regional qualifiers. Come last. Come first. Win plastic medals. Have fun. Go and watch your friends compete. Get stronger. It is all part of the process.
As the saying goes, “Don’t be afraid to be a beginner”.
I can’t bring myself to end a post with a motivational quote, so here is international weightlifter Mattie Rogers, proving that even the best don’t win all the time!