T Nation

Decided to Go Powerlifting


After a lil over 3 years of training I believe I decided that bodybuilding isn't for me. I think it is a great sport??? but after looking through the "who here competes thread" and viewing many youtube vids I decided that this is where I want to be.

Stats are 5'7 172. (My profile pic is 175 but I added another 5 pounds of muscle since then while dropping 3 pounds).
Lifts are Bench 270 (bodybuilder style so I got to work on technique)
Squat 450 ( wide stance, feet slightly spread, parallel or an inch below)
Deadlift 370 (sumo style only did it twice so far so dont hate lol my grip sucks)

Started Wendler 5 3 1 two weeks ago and so I want to get some respectable numbers before I compete. My deadlift will go up real fast over the next 3 months and I believe bench will somewhat because im using a better technique and better set up. Squat is slowly moving up lol.

I have no idea where to compete or even how to go about it honestly. Kinda lost right now. Any help? My goal is around 500 on the squat 450 dead and 300 to 350 bench before i go at it.


Lol if you're actually using Wendler properly your deadlift won't go up real fast. It'll go up with the slow prescribed increments.

Your numbers are good (Except Deadlift) and even then its satisfactory for your weight. Wish I had a 270 bench lol.


Lol thanks i just figured i would have better numbers for my bench by now since i have such short arms lol. What i was thinking about doing is using wendler for bench press and squat but just do linear progression for deadlift. My low back and hamstrings are plenty strong. I just need to increase my grip strength!!! lol. Right now I am doing the pulse feast as far as diet and i am seeing a 1 pound drop per week with continued strength gains so right now i am in my happy place lol

Any suggestions on where to compete or what federation? I want to compete raw (is using a belt still raw??? bc thats all im using) ive been doing a lil research and it seems i need to pay like a 50 to 60 dollar entrance fee to to compete. God I feel stupid lol.


LOL PowerTower, u wrong


x2, I was going to correct that earlier but didn't think it was worth my time.


Bk, I'd use 5/3/1 for deadlift. Since your grip is a limiting factor, the higher reps are likely to help out with this than say westside where you're using a bit heavier loads but may just be limited by your grip strength. You'll find your grip coming up soon enough using 5/3/1. For assistance stick with 1 armed rows, heavy as your grip can handle for 20+ reps. Solved all my grip problems and I've got no problem holding onto 600+ now.


About what? The Wendler thing?


Awesome! I forgot to add in the opening post that the bench was machine. I do 230 for 8 or 9 on it. I tried free weight today and lost a ton of strength due to the bar being wobbly. Any suggestions to fix this ordeal? I was thinking just sticking with it and add dumbbell work as well to fix the problem until my numbers go back to normal. The squat numbers and deadlift numbers are free weight by the way. I just used machine for bench as I felt it in my pecs better when i did more of a bodybuilder routine.

And liquid mercury ill take ur advice. Any opinions on grippers?


Bench with freeweights on a barbell. If you plan on competing you have to train that way. Given your SQ and DL numbers, you probably need to make sure your SQ is to legal depth. About 99% of the time when someone new to powerlifting has a SQ way higher that their DL it's due to squatting high.

I don't know if this is the case with you, but you should make sure. I would also recommend 5/3/1 for training since it is simple and has you doing the main lifts regularly. I would also recommend you learn to conventional DL. I think most beginers should learn this style first, then experiment with sumo later. In my experience the majority of lifters pull more conventional than sumo when pulling raw.

As for the grip, first make sure you are using an over-under grip and chalk. If you are having trouble holding on to 370, then almost any type of grip work will probably help. The most specific exercise is probably static holds in a power rack. Simply set the pins at a height that is a couple inches short of your DL lockout.

Using a double overhand grip pick up the bar and hold it for max time. When you can hold a weight for ~15-20 seconds or more then increase the weight.


There's definitely a huge difference in smith pressing versus actual pressing with free weights. Stop using the Smith, have your assistance work be dumbbell pressing so as to increase your stabilization muscle strength as you thought to do. It's unlikely that you're bench numbers are going to "be back to normal" because the strain on the body is immensely more. You're going to have to actually build more strength.

As far as grippers go, I have a Captains of Crush level 1 that I can do for plenty of reps though I rarely use it. I've found that heavy holds, heavy farmer walks, fat grips, and rev band deadlifts have helped my grip more than anything.


Ok thanks both of you guys. As far as squat depth im good. I got a mirror in front of me so I can see exactly how far down I go. Im just really built to squat. I got pins at the gym I can use for the static holds so I believe i will just do a lot a high rep dumbbell work and the static holds with an over over grip.

As far as the bench that is what I was afraid of hearing (free weight is harder than smith). Ill keep getting stronger at it. I want to at least bench 300 and dead 450 before starting. I also want to compete at 165 for the first time and go up in body weight later if I decide to.


Feel free to check out my log. My first meet will be in April. I will be competing 181/raw and always like to have some extra motivation when others are doing similar things. Also the 500/500 thread is some good motivation.


Don't worry about the weights and what you think you should hit before you start (this is a recipe for never competing). Just pick a meet maybe six months or more from now and then write up some goals for it (for example: going 9 for 9, hitting a certain total [within reason, but challenging], etc...) and then write a training plan to accomplish those and be as specific as you can (for example: what to do about weak grip, what to do about bench press [upper back work for the wobbliness]). Then go to freaking town on the weights and eat big. I wouldn't try to cut on your first go around though, but that's just me.

-my two cents

Failing to plan is planning to fail...

You can find meets on powerlifting watch (google it)


Thanks guys! im getting really motivated to compete now. A good time for me to compete personally is in the summer time so ill go check powerlifting watch for some summer events. Liquid Mercury your dead lift is sick!!!


When it gets closer to competition time how does the russian extended version sound for peaking? Oh and by the way I love the powerlifting forum people are much more friendly over here.


is this a proper deep squat or what? :wink: given your other numbers and the fact your bench is machine bench etc my eye-brow has gone sky-ward at your comparitive squat - no offence :stuck_out_tongue:

Just wanna make sure you're doin' it right :smiley: get you on the right track for all 3, eh?




We will see if I still got it man lol. Last friday I did 300 for 15 parallel. Ill slowly start ramping up. Either way, if I dont get the numbers I want ill still do the competition anyway. It will give me more drive to train harder if I suck :wink:


Ok i looked up powerlifting watch and what would be a good federation to compete in? I want to compete in all 3 lifts and raw (is belt only still raw?)


Most people pick a federation based on proximity. That said, USAPL is the biggest and is drug tested.

You'll almost certainly want someone with experience to watch your lifts either way. You don't want anything that will disqualify your lifts to become a habit.


When you say your squat is slightly below parallel, what's parallel to what? I've heard people say this and their about 4-6 in high b/c they think parallel means the bottom of the thigh (which is wrong). Parallel means the crease in your hip made by squatting dips below your knees for many feds. BTW, are you using chalk for your deadlift? If not, adding that will help your grip immensely.