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4 Weeks Out - First Deadlifting Meet



I just decided to enter a push-pull meet for December 3rd. One of my shoulders is jacked, so I'm just going to pull.

I just came out of about a month of light cleans and snatches, rehabbing my low back from a sprain. For the past month or so, I've been just pulling once a week, one heavy set of five (after warmups.) I've been jumping 10 to 20 pounds per week, and the last set was 385 for 5. I had a deload week on most of my lifts and pulled some singles this past Friday... got up to 425, a PR of 20 pounds, with some left in the tank... maybe 20 or 30 more pounds.

The owner of the gym where I train watched me pull singles and feels confident that I can get 500 in the meet.

So, I've never prepped for a meet/a peak with deadlifts. Here's what I'm thinking for the next 3 weeks:
Tuesday: 12 singles, all light and for speed, in my belt. Probably just a bit over 50% of my max.
Thursday 3, 3, 2, 2, 3

Thursday weight targets will be:
Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Does anyone here, who has experience prepping for a peak, have any thoughts on this plan/criticism?



looks fine. I usually like to hit a single fairly close to my expected 3rd, say 475 if you want to get 500, but everyone's different. I know it's not that uncommon to do reps coming into a meet and never get near the weight you are going to hit in the meet.

I've never done a single lift meet but I would definitely not be doing any heavy squatting or benching at this point in your cycle. Not sure what your week of training looks like but if you have a squat and or bench day I would keep it fairly light and focus on accessory work that will improve your pull i.e. back and posterior chain work.



I'm trying not to let the deadlift meet become the sole focus of my training... I also leaned out a lot before the start if this training cycle, so I need to put on weight all around.

The only squatting that I'm doing is on Fridays; 2 sets of five SS Bar box squats and four long sets of hack squats. I do GHD raises and romanian deadlifts on Friday as well.


If 425 is your PR, even with a little in the tank, then trying to pull 445 for a double just barely over a week out from the meet is a terrible idea in my opinion. If indeed you did have 20 lbs. in the tank with 425, then that means you will be trying to pull your current max for a double in 3 weeks and then recover enough for a meet in 8-9 days and perform well. Unless you just utterly destroyed 425, this is a bad idea. Figure out what you want your opener to be and work up to that 2-3 weeks out. From there taper until the meet. If doing a top set of 5 and building up over a period weeks got you to a 20 lb. PR, keep doing something similar to that and just taper and deload for a week or two before the meet.


I'd drop the down sets, what are they for? will they take away from recovery ability? will they make you stronger?
Answer tese questions honestly.


I think 500 is a bit aggressive considering the weights you mention. Even with 30 pounds in the hole (and I think that is overestimated as heavy pulls sneak up on you) that put's your max at 455. A 45 pound gain in a few weeks is far out. I wouldn't pull anything that is heavier than my PR leading up to a meet like that. That'll beat your CNS up bad. Set a meet goal and go for that rather than pushing into new territory every week this close to a meet.

I typically hit a double with my opener 7-10 days out to start my deload. I would suggest that you aim for around 450 at the meet. On your last heavy training day, hit 400 for a double and then rest up. At the meet, open at 400 and then go to 450. If it comes up easy, go heavier on your third. Maybe 475.

500 will come, but you gotta get it in steps. Good luck at your meet! I hope you tell us how it goes.


This is all good advice, and i will definitely come back and post my results.

I know the difference between 425 and 500 seems pretty wide, but I should clarify: my pr at 425 was after a number of heavy singles and really not pre-designed... if that makes any sense. I didn't go into the gym thinking I would pull singles that day.

That said, I had been thinking more along the lines of 450 for my opener and 475 for my second attempt. The reason I started looking at 500 is because the guy who watched me pull the other day has been in the game for 30+ years. I try not to bend his ear too much on programming, etc... because I just like to be left alone in the gym. I get antisocial when I lace up my lifting shoes. That, and his expertise is in training bodybuilders not powerlifters.

One thing he did mention is that the shear adrenaline of the meet would add some weight to my max. I kind of buy into this.

Lastly, I did crush 425... I think I could have gotten a double or triple out of it. I had the same feeling when I pr'd at 405. I've always just trained my deadlifts with one heavy set of 5 a week, maybe with some cleans a few days prior. I hardly ever pull singles, and I only use a belt when I do.

And, I'm really only willing to compete at it now, because I've reached a bodyweight/strength level where some old back injuries are not causing me any consternation.

Good stuff, here... thanks.