T Nation

First PL Meet


I'am going to my first pl meet on the 19th of sep., at least if I can talk to the promoter first. Just wondering what I should do(Other than the lifting) to prepare.


I'am 16 148lbs and lift completely raw except for a belt(I think the federation is APf)


Just a couple of things off the top of my head.

-Get someone that you trust to come along to handle you. Even though you are lifting raw and don't need help with gear it is nice to have someone else help you with your warm-ups so you don't have to load, put in your attempts, and handoff on the bench. They are also there to talk with you and help keep you focused. This is probably the most important thing you should take care of.

-Pack plenty of food and Gatorade is you are doing a big multiply meet it could take a LONG time. I have been in a few that started at 11AM and ended at 7PM.

-Have a plan for your first and second attempts, then take your third based on how the second attempt feels. Remember this is your first meet so you are going to set 4 PRs (bench, squat, dead, total) no matter what!

-Hit your openers 1.5 to 2 weeks out then just deload and stay loose. You won't get any stronger that close to the meet, but you could get weaker by not resting properly.

-Open light! This is your first meet so there will be nerves and other factors at play (monolift?) I would make sure your squat opener is something you could hit for an EASY triple in the gym. There is nothing worse for your momentum than to miss your opener. Often after I crush my opener I relax and the rest of the day falls in place.

That is all I can think of off the top of my head. Just remember to have fun more than anything else. You are young and will have loads of meets ahead of you if you decide to stay with the sport.

Good luck and I hope this helps a bit!


Thanks that helped alot


I second the food advice. My first meet went for a ridiculously long time, and I got kinda hungry near the end. Also, when you are warming up for your attempts, stay far away from your openers. Say you are opening with 225 on the squat - I wouldnt go past 185 in the warm-up area. If you go to heavy during warm-ups, you'll tire yourself out.

And the week before, if you do anything at all, make sure it is just light form work (50% of max at most) and/or light cardio. Like Apostate said, you dont want to jeopardize your results by wasting your energy.


It's already been stated but it bears repeating: open light! especially in the deadlift, you may be surprised how much 6 attempts and a long day will take out of you and nothing would suck more than to get all the way to the end and bomb. In fact in my first meet I saw a masters lifter with multiple meets under his belt bomb this way so if you're not familiar with the toll a meet will take on you I suggest openning lighter than you think you need to


everyone else coverd all of it. have fun using the mono for apf. good luck man!


Not only that, but he had just set a bench record, which he lost since the bench doesn't count without a total. Now that sucks!


Hey Wendell,
Don't know much about the APF rules, but read them first. I also had a thread about 1st meet prep a few months ago-


A number of experienced lifters were kind enough to share their advice/resources. It takes a while to read, but well worth it.

And have fun!


One more point to add, sorry if it was already mentioned and I missed it. Learn the commands. I've seen people bomb on not getting the commands.


Go Out there and Kick Ass!, unless its girl's ass then you lick it! :slight_smile:


You know you need to wear a singlet, correct?


I'll add to this, practice the commands, repeatedly, then practice some more. Its amazing how dumb people can get when they get the adrenaline flowing on the platform in front of a lot of people.

Its also another reason to have light openers... that way you can focus on following the commands rather than on the effort you have to put into the lift.


Make sure you are squatting to proper depth. Try to watch videos online or have an experienced powerlifter judge you, not just your friends who most likely will tell you good job even if it isn't proper depth (mainly because most gym lifters don't know what proper depth is). Also practice a paused bench, it is significantly harder, and make sure you know you can't wear wrist straps on the deadlift although it doesn't sound like you use them.

Of course I am biased b/c I wrote this but I would suggest you warm up something like is presented in this article (note that for power lifters I suggest plugging in your 1st attempt - which should be quite easy for you even on a bad day - as the 1RM, and then go from there) Good luck and have fun, I did my first meet at 17 and haven't looked back since, it is addicting:


Feel free to ask/PM me if you have any other questions


Actually I was just wondering about that, like what kind of singlet do I need to get?

Where can I buy one etc.


Some guys just use a black wrestling singlet. There are also some singlets made just for powerlifting. Here are some links to check out if you need to order one.




I have the one from Inzer and the Metal Singlet from EliteFTS. I wear the metal one right now, but for the most part all singlets are the same. Hope that helps.