My TEAM and I ran the RPS Mass State Powerlifting Championships for charity last weekend and it gave me the urge to write this article on the Top 3 Beginner Powerlifting Mistakes. Before I get into he mistakes, I’d like to take a moment and thank all of my TEAM members and all of the volunteers who made this year’s meet outstanding. I got over 20 emails from competitors telling me it was the best one they’ve been to. I owe that to all of the people who came out to help. Thanks you!

Now, on to the Top 3 Beginner Powerlifting Mistakes  

Beginner Powerlifting Mistakes  #1

Cutting weight

This is and always will be MY number one mistake a beginner powerlifter will make. Cutting weight is dumb, unhealthy, can easily be screwed up and has no legitimate reason for a beginner. It also adds an entirely new level of totally unneeded stress.

Cutting weight for a meet where nothing is on the line (you are a beginner remember) has no value. Nothing is on the line. You’re doing a meet to get a total, have fun and get experience. Just don’t do it.

Most beginners get stressed enough just prepping for the meet. Don’t add to it.

So, when is cutting weight ok?

Great question.

Cutting weight is ok and possibly suggested if something IS on the line, but only if you have experience and you will be more competitive at the lower weight class.

Things that count as “on the line”:

  • A qualifying meet
  • A new All Time World Record (ATWR) or Federation World Record (WR)
  • A cash prize
  • Bragging rights in your crew (maybe)

Beginner Powerlifting Mistakes  #2

Not having a handler

I saw this a few times at this meet, and have seen it a million times before.

As a lifter, having a handler is usually a necessity, especially if you are equipped. Your handler should have at least, some experience or has read the rules. Lifters typically show up without one many times because they just didn’t know they needed one, or that it was even a thing.

As a lifter, your job is to lift.

That’s it.

Let your handler worry about everything. Sit back, enjoy the ride, lift when your name is called.   


Beginner Powerlifting Mistakes  #3

Being unprepared

Oh boy, I saw this from a few this weekend, and as I said, I’ve seen it many times before.

Lifters can be unprepared in many ways, but the biggest ones, in my opinion are:

  • Not having warmups planned out
  • Unrealistic second and third attempts planned OR not having any attempts planned
  • Being unfamiliar with flights and the order
  • Getting a lift disqualified for not knowing or listening to the commands

Sure, there are a million other things that can go on that last list, but these really are the big ones.

The easiest way to avoid making the Top 3 Beginner Powerlifting Mistakes, is to read through my old Coaching Logs because there is an article on all of this! Or, scroll through the site because many of the other authors have the same.

You can also ask a friend to help you and do some “research“  beforehand to make sure that you are looking good for meet day, or hire an experienced coach to handle you at the meet.

I hope my list of the Top 3 Beginner Powerlifting Mistakes helps you out at your next or first meet.

And, a Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there!

Did you see my episode of Table Talk?

Watch it here

CJ murphy table talk

Did you miss last week’s log?

Read it here.

The Best Podcast Ever, CJ Murphy; , powerlifting, table talk;



Vincere vel mori

C.J. Murphy

May 11, 2023 

Total Performance Sports