T Nation

1200 Total?


I've been lifting 6-7 months, not too strength focused just trying to start building a base, from being very week as a result of bad dieting choices to lose about 70lbs (think 400cal a day - i know.)

i now lift roughly
squat: 282
dead: 330
bench: 225

I have also found out my uni has a powerlifting team, and that to get onto it, i would have to be lifting upwards of a 1200 total. i have this year and 3 more here to get there. how realistic is this? and if i decide to go for it, what advice would you give?

my stats are:

210lbs @ 13% or so.




a 1200lb total is a 400lb squat a 300lb bench, and a 500lb deadlift. Everyone can obtain these naturally, it is very realistic. You could even do it within one year if you fully commit yourself.

You need to start training with some accomplished powelifters as soon as possible. It would take way too much time to begin to start a list of things to do hear. Find some serious Plr's and pick their brain. Find some partners to lift with. You can do it.


Those lifts are easily achievable, especially if using equipment. If you don't know how to use a shirt etc, get one of the guys on the team to show you.

If those are raw numbers, start working hard! You can make still that in a year at your weight!


To add what the other posters said, start eating a lot!!!!!!!


It's achievable. My lifts were slightly less than yours a year ago and i'm at around 1200 combined now.
Coincidentally i started at around 12% body fat and now i fluctuate between 18-22% range.
In short, food is your best friend.
Also, find someone dedicated and experienced in PL and train with them. I'm sure had i started out with better training advice i would be closing in on 1300 by now, so it's completely possible for you.


Is it basically the case that if i want to do this, there i no way i can keep my bf in check? (like around where i am now, maybe a little lower)...


You can do this in 2 years, work on your squat and deadlift, the bench is the icing on the cake.


You should be able to get your numbers up that high by the end of this summer if you train and eat hard enough. Here was my progress.

squat- 315
bench- 250
deadlift- 335
BW- 155

box squat- 405
bench- 275
deadlit- 500
BW- 175

So as you can see i'm only 20lbs off of a 1200 total, all raw. If they use supportive equipment you should be able to get way over a 1200 total.

This was all done with the aid of only food and hard training. See if some of the guys from the powerlifting team will let you train with them, training with someone stronger than you does wonders for you strength.


cant you train with the team without actually being on the team


That may be an idea. Talk to the coach and tell him you really want to be on the team, but you haven't been training long enough to have that total. Ask if he'll let you workout with the team so you can work your way up to that total with people that share your same goal. Or at least maybe he'll let you watch what they're doing and then you can apply it to your own gym time.


i can definatly train with them... it's only twice a week and open to all. I will be going down on wed to see what it's like. It's quite a small sport here, but you can get the same awards from the uni as near olympic level athletes get for other sports.

Thanks for all the advice btw,


In my first competition I totalled 1080 last summer. In the fall I totalled 1218. This weekend I'm hoping to go over 1300.

Print out the Westside barbell articles. What's worked for me are for the bench: Lots of 2-3-4 board presses, volume volume...work up to 3's, 2's and singles. Plus a lot of chain work. Lots of tricep and lat work.

Squat and deadlift are basically the same, the bars in a different position. For me: Glute ham raises. Build up the hamstring/glute/lower back strength. Good mornings, Dimels (a speed exercise for the deadlift,pretty much straight leg deadlifts but only go down just past your knees, and fast), BOX SQUATS, then BOX SQUATS, then when done do some BOX SQUATS.


You can totally keep your body fat in check. It's just a matter of choosing clean foods to cram down your throat rather than the "pizza-ice cream- cake" buffet. Meat, veggies and fruits, baby, that's where it's at. Not to say you can't cheat once in a while....


That is a very realistic goal. I'd suggest moving to a Westside based beginner program as outlined in the 8 keys articles and your lifts will go up.


One thing I will say about Westside, and Jim Wendler would agree with me on this one, don't use goodmornings as a max effort exercise. At anything below a 5RM, it's very easy to fuck up the form and very easy to hurt your back.

This is one of the main reasons people turn away from Westside is that they think goodmornings are integral to it. They find themselves getting better at doing goodmornings but not squatting or deadlifting any more weight. If you're gonna use 'em, keep them as a supplemental exercise.

There may be some people who can keep the form at these low reps, and more power to them. I'm not one of them.

It's a great system though, I think those numbers are achievable within a year.


I vote going with a westside type of method aswell. Just make sure you partner up with someone who can help push your maxes as high as they will go. Good luck!


You should definitely find some real powerlifters that can help you along in the beginning. This will make a HUGE difference in how quickly you progress. Next, the faster you want to get there, the more you need to commit yourself. I was a collegiate powerlifter for two years, worked hard but only really half pushed myself, so I never achieved a lot of the goals in the sport that I had set for myself in that time period. However, I've seen guys commit themselves to it 100% and make ridiculous gains in short periods of time. Just my advice.


just had the first session with the PL coach on bench.. was seriously humbling. Aparently i was pressing the bar way too high on my chest, so my elbows where going out wrong, not using my back correctly...
how long do most find it takes to get used to the powerlifting style of benching?


It takes a few weeks to get used to tucking your elbows and about the same to get used to the arch in your back. At first you will feel very unstable using an arch, but eventually you will feel better this way than before, especially when you get in a shirt.