T Nation

First Comp - Openers?


#1

Hi, after people's thoughts on this:

Considering entering first comp in 4 weeks (late decision, didn't realise I would be eligible to compete). Squatted 235kg (shoes, wraps and belt) in the gym the other day, deadlifted 230kg in chucks (just chalk) and have been benching 125kg for sets of 3.

I am planning on opening with 210kg squat (then 235, 240), 127.5kg bench (then 135, 140) and 220kg deadlift (then 230, 240).

Am I right in 'guaranteeing' myself my first attempt, aiming for training max on number 2 and then budging up on no3?

Also, I am having to make a last minute change to my program (on Smolov Jr Bench at present!) to fit, considering 5/3/1 for 2.5 weeks (just missing deadlift 5/5/5+), 1 week resting (practice with 60kg for form) and then compete.

Any help greatly received - not wanting to go in an win, just want the experience, but would like to come away with a ratified total to my name.

Cheers


#2

[quote]Airborne88 wrote:
Hi, after people’s thoughts on this:

Considering entering first comp in 4 weeks (late decision, didn’t realise I would be eligible to compete). Squatted 235kg (shoes, wraps and belt) in the gym the other day, deadlifted 230kg in chucks (just chalk) and have been benching 125kg for sets of 3.

I am planning on opening with 210kg squat (then 235, 240), 127.5kg bench (then 135, 140) and 220kg deadlift (then 230, 240).

Am I right in ‘guaranteeing’ myself my first attempt, aiming for training max on number 2 and then budging up on no3?

Also, I am having to make a last minute change to my program (on Smolov Jr Bench at present!) to fit, considering 5/3/1 for 2.5 weeks (just missing deadlift 5/5/5+), 1 week resting (practice with 60kg for form) and then compete.

Any help greatly received - not wanting to go in an win, just want the experience, but would like to come away with a ratified total to my name.

Cheers[/quote]

Dave Tate has recommended doing a guaranteed opener even if hurt, 2nd attempt being a tie or 5-10lb pr, then pushing the shit on 3rd depending on how 2 went.

I like that plan and it has worked when I follow that advice.


#3

Those attempts seem fine and tends to be the general approach. The openers just have to be numbers you know for sure you can hit without a struggle (I’ve seen recommendations for 88-92%). I’ve always been pretty bad at selecting attempts and in the future will take Ed Coan and Chris Duffin’s advice of making that decision at the meet based on previous attempts instead of being fixed on numbers I want to hit.

The first few meets will always be a learning experience. Meet conditions are different than training so you may be stronger or weaker and you just want to show your best for that day on the platform. Try your best to go 9/9.


#4

Are you competing in wraps? Also, are you used to pausing your benches? Things like that can make a big difference, so practice as much as you can and work out what you can hit on a bad day. That should give you an idea of what your openers should be. That said, I think hitting your training max as a second attempt is too conservative (especially if that’s a 90%-type training max) - I’d go for something around your current PR if it’s recent, or 5-10kg more if it’s less recent.

I wouldn’t recommend starting 5/3/1 so close to a meet, either train by feel or use a more “meet-prep oriented” program. You probably need to hit some singles to feel prepared, and 5/3/1 just isn’t really right for short-term peaking anyway; maybe stick with some basic ramping (to a heavy 1, 2, or 3 rep set) and technique work (with competition calls)?

Good luck anyway! Where are you competing?


#5

First meet opener should be something you can easily triple.


#6

Thanks for the guidance so far. Any suggestions on a ramping program?

I hope to compete at Army Full Power in July. Planning on wearing wraps, yes.

Cheers


#7

Four weeks is tight, but that’s okay.

Here’s one approach that could work with your time frame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRIU_Mz8gG8

I followed something similar my last two meets, but I dialed down the volume. Also, my last deadlift workout tends to be 2 weeks out .
If you did one rep maxes in squat and deadlift a few days ago I would suggest keeping the next two workout in the 2-3 rep range and make a point of leaving a rep in the tank.

And, no more hard accessory work or cardio


#8

[quote]Airborne88 wrote:
Hi, after people’s thoughts on this:

Considering entering first comp in 4 weeks (late decision, didn’t realise I would be eligible to compete). Squatted 235kg (shoes, wraps and belt) in the gym the other day, deadlifted 230kg in chucks (just chalk) and have been benching 125kg for sets of 3.

I am planning on opening with 210kg squat (then 235, 240), 127.5kg bench (then 135, 140) and 220kg deadlift (then 230, 240).

Am I right in ‘guaranteeing’ myself my first attempt, aiming for training max on number 2 and then budging up on no3?

Also, I am having to make a last minute change to my program (on Smolov Jr Bench at present!) to fit, considering 5/3/1 for 2.5 weeks (just missing deadlift 5/5/5+), 1 week resting (practice with 60kg for form) and then compete.

Any help greatly received - not wanting to go in an win, just want the experience, but would like to come away with a ratified total to my name.

Cheers[/quote]

That’s almost exactly the approach I used for my first meet and it worked out really well for me.

For the last week, the two meets I’ve done I last lifted three days prior and what I did was ramp up to each of my openers for a double or triple.