I am currently preparing for my first ever powerlifting competition. It will be the USAPL 2nd Annual Nova Open at the end of June. Last week, I finished the program that I was doing and did a practice meet at my gym. As I was still dieting off some body fat to reach my intended weight class, my strength levels were a bit low. Other than that, it is a pretty good representation of my lifting.
Here’s a link to the video: - YouTube
I was wondering if people had suggestions or pointers about my technique with each of the lifts, as well as any tips for first time competitors. For the record, I am 5’11’’ 180 pounds and about 8-9% body fat.
Squat: Looks pretty good overall, I will say having competed in USAPL myself that your depth may be a little questionable. Not the best viewing angle but they were always very strict for my attempts. Make sure you are getting tight from the moment you get under the bar until you unrack it, it just looks like you were braced hard against your belt and your back was a little loose.
Bench: Kind of the same token as the squat, you need to create full body tension with this lift. Starting with the feet to get sufficient leg drive, have your shoulders and traps dug into the bench and keep them there.
DL: This looks like your best lift so far so I wouldn’t change a whole lot with it at this point.
Since its your first competition just learn what you can and enjoy the process, try your best to go 9/9 and get feedback from other lifters. I remember my first competition I stayed in a hotel the night before and driving to the meet in the morning I was so nervous I threw up after I weighed in, just don’t let nerves or anything get the better of you and ruin the experience.
Squat: Looks decent, however you could use some more tension, especially in your back. You may also want to go a bit deeper.
Bench: You don’t have much of an arch and you don’t seem very stable. Work on the arch, I’d say.
Deadlift: You’re hitching slightly on your 2nd attempt, the USAPL is relatively strict and I suspect they may not give you white lights if you pull like that.
Yep. Third squat looked high for USAPL and second DL had some supporting the bar on the thighs.
Next time, film your DL from the side or a 45 degree angle since that’s the position the refs judge from.
Good luck and have fun!
Like others have said, the third squat may have been a little high for USAPL (CPU up here in Canada). But also, I think you could have totalled more with a little more mental intensity. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying lift with pure rage and throw technique out the window. I trained like that for ages and it got me absolutely nowhere. Definitely think of your mental cues and focus and getting tight and lift the weight the way it’s meant to be lifted for optimal leverages, but attack the bar as well. Now I’m not psychic and don’t know what was going through your mind when you did these lifts, but you definitely looked pretty mentally relaxed. Get angry at the bar. It will show you no mercy.
Good luck at your meet. Have a blast.
Thanks for all the replies! Lots of great information and observations.
Squat - looks ok, but watch depth as others have said and get as tight as you can. If the bar travels up and down in a dead strain line you’re cheering. If you need to have a bit more lean to do that its ok as long as the angle doesn’t change during the lift.
Bench - fine, again, but I’d watch to make sure you pause between locking it out and unracking.
Deadlift - angle isn’t great but didn’t see anything to get red lighted. Your hips look like they shoot up as you pull though, so maybe you could work on starting with higher hips after the meet (close to a meet technical changes aren’t a great idea).