T Nation

First PL Meet in 6 Weeks

hello everyone, i’m going to do my first meet in 6.5 weeks time.

it’s a raw meet in florida and i had some questions someone more experienced can maybe help me with…

-opening and expected lifts- all the articles i’ve read on elitefts and here say to open with a weight i can triple on a shitty day - i have some idea what that will be. question is, how realistic is it to imagine that i can hit my gym 1RMs for the three lifts all on the same day?

-training and taper- i’ve been training 2 on/1 off/2 on/2 off, doing squats, upper body, deadlifts, upper body with a hypertrophy goal in mind for a couple of months. now that i have 6 weeks left, i have no idea how to taper, other than not to bust 90% two weeks before and to reduce volume the last week. any other wisdom to share?

-ammonia caps- i’ve never tried them, do they really help? i’ve heard both ways.

first off CONGRATS on taking a step into the greatest sport in the world. If it is your first meet I say your first lifts should be even lower than guidelined because you dont know how ridiculously strict judges can be in watching lifts. (i speak from experience, i bombed out my first meet) I see you got base of strength, maybe try that 5 week prep sheko template on elitefts. Bout amonia caps never tried them. When i was little i sniffed household ammonia and i hope ammonia caps dont do the same :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck with your meet.

For your attempts, I would work backwards. Pick a weight you hope to lift but you think you can, don’t be too aggressive. That is your third attempt. Then work backwards. I find that doing 95% on your second attempt and then 87.5% on your first attempt works well, especially since it is your first meet. It is imperative that you know the form required, particularly the depth on squats and the pause on bench. Youtube search some videos of the Fed you are lifting in so you can get an idea of what is expected.

For example in the above paragraph, if you think you can bench 315 1 time as a best, then open with 275x1 (which should be very easy), then try 300 or so and if that feels good for 315. I like being conservative with the first and second attempts until you know where your numbers are more accurately. In addition being successful on your first and second attempts builds confidence and saves energy for the later part of the day (deads).

You should have a reasonable shot at doing 3 PR’s if all goes well. Usually the adrenaline of lifting in front of a bunch of people at a meet helps you out, especially if you have reasonable work capacity and don’t get tired, and if you choose your numbers wisely. The first meet someone does the unexpected adrenaline is a real factor, as you get more experienced it helps less and less (usually).

Amnonia caps don’t do much (for me), and I would not try something new at a meet. Do this meet the way you train and then try them in training later if you want to.

Regarding tapering, everybody has their own ideas but an easy to follow suggestion that usually works is this (I am assuming the meet is on Saturday and it is a full meet).
Train normally the next 5 weeks. This is for the week of the competition.
Monday: Work up to your opener on squats, do it for 1 rep. Do some other light leg stuff
Tuesday: Work up to your opener on bench, do some other light upper body stuff.
Wednesday: Cardio (walk for 30 min or something to stay loose and promote recovery)
Thurs: Cardio or rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Competition, go and destroy.

Regarding warm-ups, if you are not sure how to warm-up properly you might try this outline. Make sure you realize that for a powerlifting meet the 100% number is actually your opener, so you will usually do 5 warm-up sets and then your opener, second attempt, and third attempt

Good luck, I hope you enjoy it. If you have any other questions let us know.

I just did my first meet last week-end. I was talking to a few other first time lifters at the met and based on a collection of our mistakes (and successes) here’s what I can tell you:

  1. Open light - I opened with about ~80% of my previous max and it started me off on a good note. A couple other lifters mentioned that it’s always good to give the judges an easy first call to set the tone.

  2. Listen to the commands - One guy got turned down on all 3 opens because he re-racked the weight too soon. So practice these leading up to the meet if you can.

  3. Read the rule book - One guy had to go out and buy underwear because the judges wouldn’t allow boxers. It will also let you know the guidelines about when you need to submit your lifts, make changes, etc…

Those are just a few things that pop into my head. Good luck and enjoy yourself.

I had my first meet a couple months ago so I know exactly how you’re feeling. First thing to do is get an idea of what is expected as far as the rules are concerned. I lifted in a USAPL meet which is very strict on squat so while training I made sure to always hit depth. Also make sure you have all of your equipment well before the meet, most stuff you have to order online and sometimes it can take a while.

I hit close to my maxes on all three lifts so it is certainly possible. Start light and work your way up depending on how you feel. You’ll feel better if you hit all three lifts and have some left then if you miss because it was too heavy.

Don’t do anything at the meet that you wouldn’t do in the gym. I wouldn’t bother with ammonia caps if you don’t know how they are going to affect you.

I second the Sheiko training, works great for me.

Hey mate,

I did my first meet a few months back.

I agree with the opener - keep it conservative. Especially because you have to listen to commands there will often be a lot more running through your head the first time.

I attempted to go:
1st lift - easy triple weight
2nd lift - equal PR
3rd lift - new PR

I tried to be a bit too gung ho and made pretty big jumps in the weight (I jumped from a 2nd lift squat of 160 kg to a 3rd attempt of 170). So personally I’d say shoot for PRs of course but listen to how your body is feeling on the day to gauge that.

Enjoy yourself!

[quote]bearshark wrote:
hello everyone, i’m going to do my first meet in 6.5 weeks time.

it’s a raw meet in florida and i had some questions someone more experienced can maybe help me with…

-opening and expected lifts- all the articles i’ve read on elitefts and here say to open with a weight i can triple on a shitty day - i have some idea what that will be. question is, how realistic is it to imagine that i can hit my gym 1RMs for the three lifts all on the same day?

-training and taper- i’ve been training 2 on/1 off/2 on/2 off, doing squats, upper body, deadlifts, upper body with a hypertrophy goal in mind for a couple of months. now that i have 6 weeks left, i have no idea how to taper, other than not to bust 90% two weeks before and to reduce volume the last week. any other wisdom to share?

-ammonia caps- i’ve never tried them, do they really help? i’ve heard both ways.[/quote]

Good luck! Read this:
http://www.sugdenbarbell.co.uk/articles/Competing-In-Powerlifting

[quote]Boffin wrote:
Good luck! Read this:
http://www.sugdenbarbell.co.uk/articles/Competing-In-Powerlifting
[/quote]

Good article.

Thanks everyone for replying and sharing your experience- i’ll be working some of it all into the coming weeks, using the Sheiko 5 week comp prep as a template.

i’m using the following numbers for 1RM right now: SQ365, BP 250, DL 410. planned openers: SQ 315 BP 225 DL 365

I also found my chalk-less grip strength is an issue during DLs- it’s weak and does change my form a little- i feel more like “pulling” the bar up than pushing my feet down into the platform. nonetheless, it’s something good to work on for the coming weeks. i’ll also sneak some chalk into my commercial gym.

I intend to add an accessory/prehab day into my training week- doing light facepulls, grip workouts, ab work and some cardio.

just bought a singlet from APT- just wanted to tell everyone that they have really good products and give a great discount -go to powerliftingwatch.com and find out that coupon code- 15% off and free wrist wraps!

my lovely wife will be helping me in the coming weeks and we’re trying to get some videos of the “skills evaluation” next week where i’ll perform the lifts at 95%.

thanks again for the advice and i welcome more comments and thoughts.

Bearshark,

I read through the advice you’ve already got and it is right on the money. I am a master’s powerlifter in the USPF. I’ve been clever enough to make every possible mistake. Reread the advice on how to pick your opener (a weight you can triple) and how to taper. Go over commands again and again.

My .02 is this; you’re going to compete, not be a spectator. One of my past mistakes was getting caught up in the lifting before I competed. No, you’re not a spectator until AFTER you’ve lifted. Find a quiet corner. Eat stuff, drink stuff. Have someone with you to figure out the where and when things happen. Be prepared to lift when your flight is up and practice making larger than usual jumps in warmups. Best of luck!

Hopefully the training goes well man. Here is my experience:

I’ve done 3 meets only but have had great success with them all. “Great success!!”~Borat lol…ANYways…

I usually just take the week off before, maybe I’ll go in a few days before and do some work that will tighten up the core and maybe some antagonistic muscles.

Your first lift is the most important. This is because the judges look most carefully at this one and if you show any signs of inability to perform the lift; they will look CLOSER and be harsher on your following 2 lifts.

When your training at the gym, have someone give you teh “life”, “rack”, “down” or whatever commands to get you used to them. Also, try not lifting and looking into the mirror b/c you won’t have that there.

Ammonia caps are great for allowing you to get massive breaths of air; or at least for me and my massively allergy-stricken sinuses.

Good luck dude! PM me if you have any other questions!

[quote]Ruggerlife wrote:

  1. Read the rule book - One guy had to go out and buy underwear because the judges wouldn’t allow boxers. It will also let you know the guidelines about when you need to submit your lifts, make changes, etc…

Those are just a few things that pop into my head. Good luck and enjoy yourself.[/quote]

I remember that guy. He was in front of me in the equipment check line. I asked if they’d let him go commando. Nope. What a drag and additional stress.

I’ll second the easy opener as well.

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:
Ruggerlife wrote:

  1. Read the rule book - One guy had to go out and buy underwear because the judges wouldn’t allow boxers. It will also let you know the guidelines about when you need to submit your lifts, make changes, etc…

Those are just a few things that pop into my head. Good luck and enjoy yourself.

I remember that guy. He was in front of me in the equipment check line. I asked if they’d let him go commando. Nope. What a drag and additional stress.

I’ll second the easy opener as well.[/quote]

I went commando at my second meet b/c I didn’t have briefs. It was a USPL meet. It was good that they let me do that; but it didn’t do much for my confidence. I forgot that when your adrenaline is pumping your ‘man parts’ run and hide.

Hello again,

B Rock- i nominate matthias steiner winning the SHW gold at the olympics for “person wearing a singlet with the most in your face package”

Just an update on the training- this shieko pre-comp cycle actually has me feeling a little smaller than usual, body weight going down and i feel smaller, with no change to diet. i’m not sure what that means for me, but the strength feels good, so i’m sticking with it.

next wednesday is my skills evaluation, so i’ve decided to wear the singlet to the gym so i won’t be wearing it for the first time at the meet.

added an extra training day- doing grip training, face pulls, some chin ups. session about 25 min long.

eat and sleep.

[quote]B rocK wrote:
ouroboro_s wrote:
Ruggerlife wrote:

  1. Read the rule book - One guy had to go out and buy underwear because the judges wouldn’t allow boxers. It will also let you know the guidelines about when you need to submit your lifts, make changes, etc…

Those are just a few things that pop into my head. Good luck and enjoy yourself.

I remember that guy. He was in front of me in the equipment check line. I asked if they’d let him go commando. Nope. What a drag and additional stress.

I’ll second the easy opener as well.

I went commando at my second meet b/c I didn’t have briefs. It was a USPL meet. It was good that they let me do that; but it didn’t do much for my confidence. I forgot that when your adrenaline is pumping your ‘man parts’ run and hide.[/quote]

I saw another guy post something about underwear on here.

Kind of a dumb question, but when you say, “briefs”, you mean boxer briefs, or briefs ive seen people use for squats and such.

Under IPF rules and USAPL rules you are not allowed to wear boxer briefs in any form.
It is to avoid a situation where things become difficult to judge:
Are compression shorts ok, how about really tight cotton briefs?

To avoid this they make sure you can only wear underwear that can’t give any carryover to your lifts.

Read the rules, they are not that difficult and it will set your mind at ease knowing you haven’t missed anything.
If you lift with a crew, consider bringing extra gear that is loose, just in case something should be rejected in the gear inspection or if your gear should blow out.

here is a good meet prep cheklist: http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/meetsheet.htm
I used as a reference for my first meet.
Remember, everything you are to use on the platform needs to bechecked at the equipment inspection before the meet. So get this done and bring extras of everything.

Tight and white; that’s the standard from what I’ve been privy to at weigh ins.

There isn’t anything in the rules about skidmarks!! Yes!

I gotta go pick a pair of underwear-briefs up this weekend for my meet next week, maybe a nice pink pair.

I did my first meet Saturday. It was Squat & Bench only. I followed the sheiko taper program and was happy w/ it.
I will agree to go lighter than you tink you should on your first lift. I went for 90% of 1rm on bench. I got it up, but only got 2/3 of the judges to give me a good lift, so as others noted, on my 2nd lift, they were all over my form and got me for my ass coming off the bench.

This leads me to this-if you can, check out the bench you’ll be using before hand. I have been to watch meets that had a soft padding on the bench, and that is similiar to what I train on. The meet i just did, the bench had almost no padding, so if your ass comes up a 1/4-1/2", no lift, whereas on my training bench, it’s still technically on the bench thanks to the padding that gives a little.

I’ve never used ammonia caps, so I can’t help you there.

On briefs, the meet I just did allowed compression briefs as long as they were no longer than standard briefs. As always, pour over the rule book.

Good luck.

hello everyone

today i did the skills eval, which was supposed to take me up to 95% of the projected 1RM. i ended up “cheating” and pushing my squat to 355, which was 15 pounds more than i was supposed to squat, but then i did 95% for the rest like the program said.

also, wearing a singlet in a commercial gym makes people look funny at you.

the three lifts went well, and i think we’ve resolved the grip issue with my DLs. chalk is magic. i’m attaching a squat video with a buddy of mine giving the commands. then i realised that the angle doesn’t really show the hip joint. but i think it’s pretty clear that i went significantly below parallel.

345 squat