First, bring a large workout bag for your gear only because when it’s time for gear check you don’t want to have to sort through other clothing, food, cameras and stuff.

In your bag you should have for the following lifts:

SQUAT(squat suit, knee wraps, erector shirt, weight belt, wrist wraps, chalk, shoes and ammonia).

BENCH PRESS(bench shirt, wrist wraps, singlet, belt, chalk, ammonia, shoes).

DEADLIFT(deadlift suit, erector shirt, wrist wraps, chalk, shoes, belt, baby powder, ammonia, hand towel).

Include a lbs-to-Kg chart, paper to write out your warmups and planned lifts in advance. I bring an extra bag with a cooler for food, Gatorade, Power Bars, fruit, a glass to mix Gatorade and Creatine, protein powder and milk, etc.

Make sure to bring clean clothes, including socks and underwear so you don’t have to wear your singlet home, which I’ve seen guys do before.

Here’s a list of some ‘do’s:

1. Weigh in early.
2. Give opening lifts and bar height early. Beat the crowd.
3. Get gear check done early.
4. Plan to make your opener with all 3 lifts one that can be done fairly easily with good form.
5. Get a helper EARLY who will agree to help you get you in and out of your bench shirt, straps up and belt fastened for SQ and help remind you to give your next attempt to the judges whithin one minute of your lift. Better yet, fill out the cards before you lift.
6. Drink and snack frequently during the meet.
7. Start wrapping your knees when the lifter ahead of you walks on the platform – DON’T drop your wraps and have them unroll to avoid the drymouth and near heart attack.
8. Don’t consider who you have to beat at this point. Make the meet like a heavy workout and you’re just going for new PR’s in the big 3.
9. When one event is over, IMMEDIATELY start warming up for the next which may start in 10 minutes or less.
10. Get someone in advance to take pictures or run your video camera. Also, getting there early allows you to stake out a good seat in the front row to sit your gear and for pictures.
11. Encourage and applaud ALL lifers, even the teens and handicapped. They may even clap for you when you lift.
12. Clean up the garbage around your chair when the meet is over.