It doesn’t matter if you are a lifter or a coach; meet week can be a stressful week. You have weight cuts, travel, normal life to deal with, and on top of all that, you're making sure you have everything packed, only to open up your bag at the meet site and realize you forgot deadlift socks or your singlet.

Having the basics is just half the battle. Meet sites can be cold, uncomfortable, and might be far from easy access to good food. All variables need to be taken into consideration while packing for meet day.

Absolute Must-Haves

When packing, there are three things you must have, and everything else can be forgotten. As long as you have a singlet, shoes, and maybe long socks, you can compete. This may push you out of our comfort zone, but these are must-haves that you can’t compete without.

1. Singlet

2. Shoes (squat, bench, deadlift)

3. Long Socks (for deadlifting)


Secondary Equipment

There are many divisions and ways to compete. Everyone will have a different amount of gear they choose to use. Though some of these may not be for you, this will include everything you might possibly need on the platform. These will fill in the “uniform” for those who use any type of gear.

4. Squat suit

5. Briefs

6. Deadlift suit

7. Knee sleeves

8. Knee wraps (2 pair minimum)

9. Wrist wraps (2 pair)

10. Squat/deadlift belt

11. Bench belt

12. Bench shirt 

Assistance Equipment

Wearing gear will often require effort to put on before using. This list has the things that either you or your helper will need. Getting suits and shirt properly seated is very important to get the most carryover possible. A good handler is very important, but that is for another article.

13. Suit slippers: For the few geared lifters still doing their thing, you know why you need these. 

14. Shirt slippers: If your suit is not on all the way, you will leave pounds on the platform.

15. Plastic grocery bags: Some lifters will use this in place of shirt slippers. I recommend suit slippers.

16. Rubber coated gloves: You can easily tear up your hands helping a geared lifter.


Handler’s Pockets

Your handler can help make or break your meet. They will be there for whatever you need. The things in this category will be those carried around by your handler at some point during the meet.

17. Stickum spray: Great for the bottom of shoes when deadlifting and benching. That might not be legal but I have never had an issue.

18. Ammonia caps/smelling salts:  Smelling salts are a great way to clear your head and bring you into focus at a meet. I rarely use them in training, so I get even better results out of them come meet day.

19. Extra chalk: I have seen meets use climbing chalk and baby powder spilled in the chalk bucket. Having your own chalk ensures good quality.

20. Headphones: Some people need slaps and headbutts. I prefer to use music and my inner voice to keep me calm and turn it up when needed.

21. Kilo chart: These are usually provided but may need to be brought.

22. Video camera or phone: Reviewing your performance and technical mistakes post-meet are a great way to get better.

Warm-Up Items

Everyone warms up differently. The key at a meet is to warm up enough to perform at your best but it is far from a workout. Minimal dosing is very important. I will include a number of items, but you should not need everything on the list. Things happen. Even though you might go in feeling 100 percent, a miss could leave you feeling beat up and needing attention.

23. Liniment: This is my go-to and works great before and in-between lifts. I like it hot! Just make sure to wash your hands after application.

24. Pants/sweatshirts: It could be the middle of summer, but many schools or convention centers can be extremely cold and are not conducive to warming up. Bring yours to keep warm while resting between lifts. It will also help you break a sweat while warming up. These will be hard to find during the summer.

25. Flossing band: Pulls and tweaks can happen at any time. Being prepared is important to cover anything that will come your way.  

26. Lacrosse ball: Sleeping on a hotel bed that is softer or harder than normal may leave you stiff. It will fit easily in a bag and can fix many muscular problems.  

27. 2-board: This is for geared lifters.

28. Wrap roller: Tightly rolled wraps go on great.

29. A Micro or Mini Band: Use only as needed for stretching or for rehab.



Every venue has different locations for lifters to rest and relax. Gymnasiums, ballrooms, convention centers, and even parking lots for the rare outdoor meet can have their own difficulties. Too hot, too cold, port-o-toilets, and not enough chairs. These items are there to make sure you are comfortable and will help you through the meet with as little frustration as possible.

30. Chair: These can be in high demand and having your own might not be a bad idea.

31. Pillow/blanket: Not only can resting your eyes refresh you at a meet but if you are staying in a hotel having your pillow will help you get a better night sleep.

32. Toilet paper: Guarantee there will be some for you when you need it.

33. Baby wipes: It is like a shower in your pocket. This is one of the best things you can bring.

34. Tape measurer: Eric Maroscher uses this to make sure the monolift height and his squat stance is the right width.

35. Food: You want to eat as normal as possible on meet day. Don’t eat fast food if you never eat it. Pack accordingly. I do well with peanut butter and jelly, fruit, granola bars, and a few other snacks. Pack accordingly. You don’t want to starve or be stuck with something you are not used to eating.

36. Air freshener spray: Meets are very stinky places. This is not necessary but a good idea if you are going to be in the thick of things.


Emergency Supplies

Anything can happen at a meet, and being prepared will keep your stress levels low. Ever break a shoelace at a meet? Imagine doing that after your warm-ups in the squat. Don’t stress, because you will be prepared.

37. Extra underwear: Don’t let poorly placed bathrooms or an extra hard squat ruin your day. Keep an extra pair or two in your bag.

38. Band-Aids: Anything can happen.

39. Ript 3 Phase Skin Kit: If you start to tear a callus, you can start the recovery immediately.

40. Fingernail clippers: No need to scratch up your legs deadlifting or tear off a nail pulling on a bench shirt.

42. Knife: You might need to cut yourself out of a squat suit.

43. Shoestrings: You don’t want to be without.

44. Multi-purpose tool (pliers/screwdriver): Changing the size of a lever belt or opening your beer at the end of the day.

Traveling to a meet is stressful enough, even if you have everything you need. Don’t put yourself in a position to take that stress to a new level. Pack wisely and be ready for when things go wrong.

If I missed anything you feel is necessary for meets, add it in the comments below.