T Nation

First Comp Questions


I got my first competition coming up in 2 weeks (Sat. Feb. 4).

I train the competition lifts Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (days I can get into a gym with bumpers). Snatch bar work and squats on the off days (sometimes...I haven't been good with this lately).

I was thinking to squat M,W,F this week, then take the last week for just competition lifts. Maxes, low volume on Tuesday; Light on Thursday, just working up to openers.

Current PBs:
Snatch: 155 lbs (70.45 kg)
C & J: 185 (84.09 kg) (Press out)
Clean: 215 (97.73 kg)
Jerk from blocks: 185
FS: 242 (110 kg)

@ ~76 kg BW


I'd still squat in to the last week. I'd go to a comfy single, say 15kg below what you regularly do.

It's your first comp so you may find the lack of squats will hurt you badly or not. It's too harg to gauage, but I'd say 2-3 days before goign to a comfy single that is 15kg less than what you can 'usually' do is better then resting completely. Don't do 15kg less than a PB you haven't hit in ages though!

I'd go up to your start weights on both your 2 last sessions. Don't max otu a week out from the comp. That would be reserved for the 10-12 days out imo.



Thanks Koing,

In those last two sessions, should I just lift my starting weight once and move on? Or do any additional volume?

Not sure how to pick weights. I was thinking 1st attempts should be something I know I can hit every time (4 or 5 kg below PR for me), 2nd should be around PR, and 3rd will depend on the 2nd. Any feedback on this?

Also, regarding warming up at the comp, I'm guessing just work up to around 5 kg below my opener?


Hit starters mate. No additional volume. You want to be your MOST FRESH at the comp.

1st, something you can hit 9 out of 10x
2nd, 1kg above PB or PB
3rd, new PB

Warm ups I'd go to 5kg below openers.

TeamKoing's Coaching comp tips:
Don't warm up too early.
Look at the start list.
8 lifters, 4 are starting before you = 4 lifts, each lift is a minute, see how far they are from you, if they are 15kg it's a safe bet they'll have at least 2 lifts before you. If they are 20kg they will probably have 3 lifts so that is 3 mins!

BE PREPARED TO CHANGE YOUR PLAN. If your warm up GOES OUT OF THE WINDOW DO NOT BE SCARED to lower your start by 2-3-5kg.


Missing your first 2 lifts is NOT COOL man.

Enjoy and if you see someone kicking about ask them to help you out and just tell them it's your first comp. Weightlifting is a small community and they'll help you out.

Good luck and enjoy!



Seems like solid advice. As far as finding a helper, I've met a couple lifters from over there, they seem like decent guys, I'd figure you should be able to find someone to lend you a hand if you don't have your own coach or anything.

Side note on squatting during the taper, before my last competition I hit a front squat PR double 3 days out and a back squat PR double 5 days out, if memory serves. Not sure I'd recommend that though haha.


I think for me I should squat heavier in to a comp. The times I've backed off too soon I've found it hard in comps due to strength levels...but everyone is different, so OP find out what works for you.



Thanks guys, I'm planning on squatting pretty much everyday up to my last training session (Thursday). I think I'll go relatively heavy (but no grinding). Should I do any back-off sets, or is that too much?


As i've only started competing within the last 5 months or so, before I started going up to Woking,I didnt have a clue as to training before comp days. I asked a few PL's who like to rest the week before...after talking to Koing I lifted on the Wednesday (comp Sat) up to my Openers (missed my Sn) Squatting 10kg below my 1RM for a double. This worked well as on the day I felt good. BW Sn and 100kg CJ. Worth a try!


I would not squat too heavy, and NO back off sets the week of the meet. I would taper the intensity throughout the week. If you go too much, you'll have no legs for the clean & jerk.


Like Koing says. Not fun to miss the two first lifts. Better pick a lower weight, and raise it if the warm-up feels super easy than the other way around, since it can already be too late to lower the weight, but you can always raise it even if you have been called out (please hit me if this is not the same rule in Sweden as in the US).

Looking at your numbers, I suggest you have a look at your jerk technique after the meet, since it's clearly holding you back. :slight_smile:


Thanks for all the advice guys. Just to update:

I hit a Training PR in the C&J a bit over a week before the comp (195 lbs / ~88 kg). So my last week I went up to 145/185 (~66/84) for singles, and a 225 (~102) FS single (felt easy) on Tuesday and Thursday, just squats up to 100 kg on Monday, Wednesday, and took Friday off.

At the competition I fucked up the timing on my snatch warm-ups, ended up doing my last one (60 kg) as they called my name. Then had to get rid of my T-shirt and sweatpants, pull up my straps on my singlet and run to the platform and missed my easy 65 kg opener. There were 2 other lifters at 65, so I went and took another warm-up at 62, got it, and took my second at 67, which was easy (just went fast, ended up being a power snatch). Looking back, I should have checked the board, and called for 66 to give myself time. Third attempt was 75, got red-lighted (Felt pretty good, I got down fast, felt comfortable in the bottom, which is usually my biggest problem, just didn't lock my elbows, and had to press-out), pretty disappointed, would have been a 5kg PR and my first BW snatch, but looking at how I started, I'm glad I didn't bomb out.

C & J went much more smoothly. I found a guy that was starting 5 kg below me, and warmed up with him. Hit all 3 attempts including 92, which was a ~4 kg PR.

Definitely going to start lifting with a club, probably in the fall to get ready for the same competition next year. If I decide to compete again on my own before then, going to train someone to be my handler :), or try to convince a friend to lift with me. But all in all, it was a good experience, got to talk to a few people, just running around like an idiot at the beginning...


Sounds like you had fun and learnt a lot from it.

I'd plan to do a comp in about 2-3months time mate. Why wait a year? :smiley:

Congrats on the CJ PB.



Thanks Koing. Ya, I did have fun.

I play other sports, which is the reason for the potential wait. San Shou competitions in the spring/summer, baseball in the summer are going to make it hard to make significant gains in my weightlifting. So fall will be the ideal time for me to start training hard again for WL.

Until then I'm still going to FS heavy, and something to work on getting down lower and faster in the snatch (probably snatch drops).

Hopefully take an honest run at provincials next year. 37 kg to go!


Main thing is to keep FS heavy and do some lifts if and when you can. Hammer the FS up. It doesn't take long to get in to do a max set of FS. Job done.

Snatch drops will help and do a few minutes of bar work at the start of the session. This will help you IMMENSELY.