16 Y/O Planning Meet Prep

Hey guys so I just signed up for a powerlifting meet on April 27th. Im starting week 5 of the Candito 6 week program in a few days. After the 6 week program finishes, I have no plans. If I get good results from the program, I can use it again to peak for my meet. This would leave me 4 weeks not on a program, one of which will be a deload. Some stats:
Age: 16
Bodyweight: 158lbs (trying to gain weight more on that later)
Squat: 365
Bench: 205
Deadlift: 335
I’d love a 1000lbs total, but being realistic, that’s maybe out of the question. I’d really like to squat at least 400 in the meet. I think that’s doable. I’d love a 225lbs bench in the meet, but that might be unrealistic, and around a 365 deadlift would be great, but maybe a stretch. I think setting these goals high might be beneficial, or maybe more realistic ones make more sense idk lol.
On another post, @flipcollar said he suspected that my deadlift is behind my squat because it’s all in my head. I’d really love to work on my mentality for this meet.
For my Bodyweight, I’m nearing the top of the 74kg weightclass (162.8lbs). If I’m getting heavy, I’ll ask the meet director if I can move to 83kg, and probably weigh in at under 76kg to be the smallest 83kg ever lol. If I’m 165lbs or smth a week out I might just eat a small dinner the night before, and not eat breakfast until weighing in. Weigh ins are at 9:00am btw. I’m normally terrible at eating breakfast lol even if I force myself so that shouldn’t be too hard. I know people say don’t cut for your first meet but does that really count as cutting? Anyways I need advice on that front lol. It probably makes sense to just go for gaining as much weight as possible to get as strong as possible because it’s not like I’m going to set any record in my weight class.
I’ve competed once before, in a bench only meet (because I signed up too late and full power was full) I really enjoyed the energy there. This meet I’m doing in April is about half that size I think. In the days leading up to that bench only meet, I had pretty bad nerves, and lost my appetite a bit. I’ve never been particularly good at sports, and certainly never cared about an athletic event before this. I really didn’t know how to deal with the nerves lol. Maybe I can work on nerves as part of working my on improving mentality for this meet.

Eat like a horse and weigh in at whatever unless you’re going for a record. I don’t know anything about the candito program. I myself I like something with three week cycles bc there isn’t much of a peak and drop off. 531 or conjugate style. They are in my experience almost always better especially long term than peaking style programs. Honestly I think some actual max effort work would do you a bunch of good judging by your last post. It would teach you to grind. Just something to think about. Nerves are a good thing. At least for me. I box and for me the fun in it is the nerves, the rush.

I just took a look at the Candito program to remind myself of what it’s all about, seeing as it starts off with high reps you could just spend 3 weeks doing sets of 8-10 before doing the program over again. However, wait and see what sort of results you get this time before you decide whether or not to use the same program again, as I already said. I’m a bit skeptical of the idea of going from high reps to a max in such a short time but I suppose it could work for some people.

As far as I know, in any meet that doesn’t require a qualifying total you will just get moved into the next weight class if you don’t make weight. What federation is this meet, CPU?

I’m sure you would be fine if you just ate after weighing in. This is with a 2 hour weigh in on the day of the meet I assume. “Cutting” in this context would normally refer to a water cut. Make sure to eat something after weighing in because you can end up feeling weak by the end of the meet if you are starved, some federations (like anything to do with the IPF) have fast paced meets and unless you are used to eating right before you lift you wouldn’t want anything more than a little snack between lifts. Make sure to eat food you are used to eating, don’t try anything new.

As far as gaining weight, try to do that when training volume is higher or you will just gain fat. The first 3 weeks of the Candito program would be an appropriate time to eat for weight gain, or any other time you are doing a bunch of high rep sets or just a ton of work overall.

I always find that I don’t have much appetite the week leading into the meet because I’m barely training that week. Make sure to eat so that you don’t lose weight but if it’s a bit less food than normal it shouldn’t be an issue.

Watch these two videos. I should watch them again myself because there is a lot of good advice in there…

Yeah I was wondering about that I guess all I can do is wait and see.


Makes sense
I’ll check out the vids you sent later

Oh also a very small goal I forgot to mention, I kind of want to max out my trap bar deadlift. There’s currently I rivalry at my school for the deadlift record (yes it can be set on a trap bar for some reason) between 2 guys over 240lbs. It would be pretty funny if I got it over them. The record is currently 405lbs for 4 reps. If this would mess up my prep, (probably would tbh) I’d be happy to do it after my meet.

The cube program is ten weeks long. For my first meet I ran that with good success. I went from around a 1050 lb gym total to 1102 meet total. I went 8 for 9 and missed a bench I should have had. If I was just comparing gym totals, I think 1120 lbs would be fair. So like 70 lbs gained.

You can check that program out on blackironbeast.com

I do think the deadlifting in cube is probably a bit to submaximal for you. I think based on you numbers you could use some heavy low rep work.

If you really want to break the school record then I won’t stop you, the best time for not interfering with meet prep would be shortly after you test maxes or after the meet. But still, I don’t think that pulling a few reps on a trap bar will totally throw you off course.

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You’re so worried about messing your prep up, lol. It’s cute. Strongman competitors really just have a different mentality than powerlifters. We’re constantly working on a dozen different lifts at any given time, so for me, this would never be a concern.

405 for 4 on a trap bar, is reallllly easy. Honestly, you might be strong enough to do this already. So for reference, I’ve gotten 800 on a trap bar with just a 600 conventional deadlift. Trap bar is a much easier lift. That sounds like a record worth taking.

All you really need to do is familiarize yourself with how to alter your leverages appropriately for the trap bar. It’s almost more like a squat. I shoot my knees much more forward, and I sit down more into the lift to initiate it. It’s not just a hip hinge, you can involve your quads quite a bit more, which is how you can put up bigger numbers.

Give it a shot, sounds fun!


Thanks! I’ll give it a go the week I max out (week after next). The way the record works, 410 for 1 beats 405 for 4 reps. I might go for 410, and if it’s easy move up from there so my record isn’t instantly beaten lol

Oh wow! Then yea, it would make zero sense to pull more than 1 rep at any weight. Save your energy for a heavier lift if that’s the case.

The way your numbers align with each other (squat being higher than deadlift), it’s a near certainty that the trap bar deadlift will be favorable for you. Can’t wait to see what you can move on it! Don’t be scared of the big weights my man, you’ll get it done!

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Means a lot I appreciate it

This is probably because strongman competitions require you to do reps, possibly max singles, and a bunch of cardio-ish stuff so you have no choice but to train multiple aspects of strength and fitness at the same time. I can understand where Noah is coming from, I would be thinking the same thing if I was him but first, there is probably nothing to worry about with this trap bar business and second, since this is his first meet he should approach it as more of a learning experience than anything. Open light and make sure to stay in the meet, make bigger jumps for 2nd and 3rd attempts if you feel good and confident. Then next time he will be more comfortable and have some experience and that would be the time to go for big PRs. Doing stupid things like opening with your max (which some clowns do) is a good way to bomb out and turn yourself off of PL for good.

How about this: test maxes, deload, and your first deadlift session after the deload you can set some records with the trap bar.

Me and you seem to have a different mentality when it comes to competing. I want to do the best I am capable of and be fully prepared, you seem to take a more laid back approach and aren’t concerned about setting PRs, just compete for fun. I wouldn’t say that either is right or wrong, it just depends on your mindset.
There is a guy from Ottawa name Erik Willis, he won gold in the 120kg class at IPF worlds last year. He had an article on the Inner Strength Products site talking about how he just competes whenever and doesn’t care about numbers too much if its not a big meet. He does meets in the middle of a hypertrophy phase sometimes with no actual prep. If he’s at a local meet he’s also pretty much guaranteed to win best lifter regardless, but the point is basically that it all depends on how you look at it. Is it better to do a meet that you aren’t peaked for and not set any PRs or to set a new 5rm in the gym?

This is a good conversation, you’re at least partially right on all of this.

I think that, because we do so much different stuff in strongman stuff, it’s not so much that we don’t want to do our best every time, it’s more that, at least for me, I already feel prepared to do my best at any time. I also find value in getting a bunch of competitions under your belt early in your competitive lifting career to help with the anxiety and nerves that can accompany competitive lifting. The more I compete, the more prepared I feel every time I do another competition.

so yes and no. I’m trying to set PR’s every time I compete, and I actually usually do. My 485x13 axle deadlift last weekend was a 3 rep PR. My clean and press, however, was not. Mostly because we were forced to make 20 lbs jumps, lol. But make no mistake, I’m not competing just for fun. Every comp I choose has a reason. The reasons just end up being a little different in strongman.

So this last weekend, for instance, I was doing a USS show as a middleweight. To qualify for nationals, I need to have a top 3 finish in the MW division of a local show. I took second. Mission accomplished. I also wanted to be competitive across all events, and I was. My next show is a local NAS show, with the same goal: qualify for those nationals. The following 3 events on my calendar are: log and deadlift world championship in australia, and both nationals events. And when I get to those bigger shows, PR’s are absolutely the goal.

If I was capable of setting PR’s all the time, I will admit that it would be higher on my priority list. It’s just a thing I can’t do. And strongman is so much more about competing against the guy next to you than powerlifting is. When I did powerlifting, the ONLY thing I cared about was setting an elite total, making the top 50 list, hitting PR’s, etc. I gave zero shits about who else showed up to the meet. So I definitely get that mentality, I was there for a long time.

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Damn thats a low number for a highschool. Last year a senior pulled 550 easy with no straps.

This is definitely true. I think part of it has to do with the fact that the same standards (at least in theory) apply across the board in PL whereas in strongman you are doing different events and possibly totally different equipment as well for many of them.

Well, the difference between the two sports is that PL is all about the 1rm and in strongman you have to be able to do various things so you can’t really peak in the same way. You still need to do rep work and practice the events, for PL you put all the focus into the maximal weights.

That sounds reasonable. My first meet didn’t go as planned, but at least I didn’t bomb out. I would have competed again sooner but there were no more meets in my area until a year later and I can honestly say that I was fully prepared mentally and physically for that 2nd meet. The only way it could have gone better is if I was stronger.

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right. I do have dedicated preps though. I usually like to start my prep about 2 to 2 1/2 months out of a show. Particularly if it has an event or two I’m not good at that need some specific work. And I’ll orient my training for those 2 months around what I have coming up. So in this case, I did a lot of higher rep sets, and very little super heavy work on the deadlift. None of my training went above 550 or so. But in a few months, I’ll have a show where I’ve gotta do a straight max deadlift, with a deadlift bar. So that training block will be constructed differently.

What ends up happening is that on the events that are really common, I’m kind of working on all the time, and just trying to get consistently better at them. But like for this last show, I had a max axle OHP. I fucking hate that lift. And it doesn’t come up particularly often. So this block of training, I would say a lot of peaking was involved just to relearn the movement in the first place since I hadn’t had it in a show in over a year, and the neural adaption was a big component, vs just muscular gains.

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This is something I’ve been thinking about for a few days. My workouts next week are as follows
Squat: 355x1-4
Bench: 200x1-4
Deadlift: 325x1-4
I’m kind of considering raising my squat and deadlift weights in case I can do 4 reps easily. These are my last workouts before maxing out, so maybe I shouldn’t push too hard. Heavy weights would build confidence for my max though

Since you are following a pre-made program you might as well just follow it as written. I wouldn’t be doing sets of 4 a week before a meet so perhaps this isn’t the best program for meet prep, but for now it should be OK. What you should do next week depends on what you did last week and this week.