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Mariah’s First Meet – A Recap for New Competitors

posted on October 4, 2019

If you’re someone who has casually lifted for a couple of years and might want to try a powerlifting meet – take a gander. First off, find a coach you trust and have full transparency in goals and expectations. They will be your guide to success and right-hand man/woman through your journey. I wouldn’t have done it without Ryan McCumber as mine, and the support of everyone at UF. I had decided last min (11 weeks out to be exact) to sign up for the Iron City Open, which would be my first ever meet!


Going through, I thought I could handle it: I’ve squatted, benched, and deadlifted before, what could be so different from what I usually do? But in reality, the training was more intense than I’d thought it would be. I had to prioritize even more on eating, more recovery, and still keep up with my full-time job (which at that time it had become overwhelming). Before, if you missed a scheduled gym day it was not a huge deal, but when competing, every session is necessary. I understand the pressure of juggling your life with training. But let me tell you, it’s POSSIBLE!


  1. Meal prep ahead of time or weekends whenever you’re free: it will save time and keep your energy high! And check out our food blogs for yummy suggestions or our new partnership with Fit Fresh Kitchen Co.! I love Jodie’s meals.
  2. Make sure if you have questions on your program or how to recover stay connected with your coach. I’m still learning and I’m sure everyone else is too. Nothing is too insignificant to ask.
  3. Watch videos to educate yourself as well. I love watching meets and researching other techniques or even vlogs to hear others speak about their struggles or successes training for a meet.
  4. Don’t be so hard on yourself – it’s your first meet! I told myself not to put so much pressure on myself and that I would have fun with this one. Guess what? You’re human, you’re going to have bad days and good ones.


One of the things I would have done differently is given myself more weeks to train With just 11 weeks, it felt rushed and overwhelming. Additionally, at that time I was training outside of UF, so I didn’t have a lot of face to face time with my coach. That would have been extra helpful for the days I wanted to check my form or needed help with a certain exercise. That’s why recording yourself and taking videos are so so important! So, if you are in my situation in a gym apart from your coach (or are out of your normal gym for travel or any other reason) you can refer back to video and review with him/her.


So, the day finally comes! I was nervous but excited and a little confused about what to do. I sat in the training area with all the lifters and friends. My coach was there for any questions and to guide me throughout the day. I went in with a mindset of potential PRs but wanted to make sure that didn’t affect the fun aspect of the day. We all are aiming for goals, but I think the best thing about the day was that everyone is there to support everyone, even if you don’t know them. I’ve never been in such a great community. I would recommend to any new lifters or first-time competitors, just do it! We are all here for you!


Stay focused and Stay hungry my friends!



Squat: 148.8lbs

Bench: 93.7lbs



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