T Nation

Chasing Numbers or Trophies?


For you guys with meet experience, are you trying to win that day, or are you trying to hit a number?

I've done 2 bench only meets, and 2 full power. In all cases I'm the only one in my category, unless I cross over to the open, and then there might only be 3-4. For instance , I just saw the amateur roster for the SPF pro/am...there is one guy in the raw 198's any age, 4 in single ply. I would consider this a fairly big meet, maybe I'm wrong.

So, are you guys happy with a "win". or do you chase records, getting on pl watches rankings, or just hitting numbers you haven't hit before?

I watch lifter rankings, and try to gauge how I compare, and then go out and hit a number I haven't hit before.


Numbers I haven't hit before. The only time it makes sense to care about placing is at a true national event or perhaps if you win best lifter at a large state meet.


x2. I chase personal bests and try to beat and re-beat state records.


Numbers, since more often than not since I tend to only compete local there's really nobody in my weight class with comparable strength. My last meet I won the 181's, would have won the 198's and 220's as well had I been in either of those classifications (all open raw). Hoping to get money together to make it to a more competitive meet. So for now it's always about the numbers.




Absolutely it should all be about personal bests (IE numbers) other than if you are trying to set national or world records or you are competing at a national or international level competition (or at least a major regional competition). No one cares if you win a meet where there are 2 people in your class....


i care....but seriosuly.

i compete once a year currently.

im the only SHW in my gym.

so i try beat my total and lifts, year after year.




I aim for PR's, but then once at the meet I want to place well also. The two meets that I have done there have been at least 4 or 5 220 lifters and often outside of 1 standout there was a tight pack that I wanted to come out on top of. It gives me a little extra drive to compete with the people at the meet also and it keeps my mind occupied. I've always been a better head to head competitor in other athletic pursuits though also.


Always got for the number for two reasons beyond those already mentioned:

  1. Always run the meet you planned. When you try to beat someone, you are running a meet they planned, and that rarely works out well. At a recent meet, a competitor quite clearly took my attempts and added 5kg...and bombed.

  2. Powerlifting really is a sport where you compete against yourself. I've competed for more than a decade now, and it has been rare for anyone to be close enough to my weights to make me feel competitive, even if they were in the same weight class. They were either vastly ahead or well behind. If I needed to feel competitive to stay in the sport I'd have left long ago.


I'm always trying to get my numbers up. If I'm competing in a fed with a record I think is attainable I go for it.


I definitely compete for PR's. I've done more meets than i can remember and i'm always suprised at the award presentaion as where i placed. In my last meet i actually got best bench and was caught completely off guard becuase i'm so self absorbed during the meet. I go into a meet with a plan and stick to it regardless of what others are doing. If i continue to make progress that's all i that matters. I have enough dust collectors everywhere in my house and office most of which i couldn't tell you were i got them.


This is so well said.


At first I always thought I would say I train purely for the numbers. And during the meet prep, that is the only thing I am focused on. I get a picture in my head of the numbers I want to hit and that is my entire focus for the meet prep.....

Then the meet day comes, and I see there are 7 guys in the 220 weight class at my state USAPL meet. Only one other guy is raw besides me, the rest are in gear. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a little added motivation in trying to beat as many of those geared guys as I possibly can. But I guess I love competing against others just as much as myself.


Hahahahaha, this is so true


Which ever is harder. If I hit a PR at a meet, but lose, I would think "shit, I should have worked harder."
If I win, but fall short of what I know I can do I would think "shit, I only won because I got lucky."

I'm not satisfied unless I both nail all the weights I set out to lift AND win while doing it.