T Nation

First Powerlifting Meet Advice


I'm new to the forum but have been visiting the site and reading articles for a while now. I have been training for my first powerlifting meet on February 7, I will be competing raw for this meet and my next couple. My question has to do with cutting weight. I currently weigh 224-226 lbs, my weight fluctuates, with out any sort of planned diet other than just a lot of protein and steering clear of fast foods, bad fats and sugars.

I plan to compete in the 220lb class and am trying to figure out the best way to go about making the weight. The weigh in will be the day before the meet so I have the option of sweatin out the water weight the night before and rehydrating/refueling after weighing in.

My other option, which I am leaning more towards, is really cleaning up my diet. Regulating my carb and fat intake, and adding two days of cardio along with my 4 days of lifting(Westside style, max effort upper/lower, dynamic upper/lower) and trying to cut my weight down to the 218 range, and if doing that would negatively effect my strength at all? If anyone has any advice as to the pros/cons of doing either it would be greatly appreciated!


If your only gonna drop 4 lbs you will have zero strngeth loss. Best bet, overload your water consumption for the 3 days prior to weigh ins, late afternoon night before weigh ins, cut off all water until weigh ins. Water weight will suck out and if you need, bag it up for a lil while to lose that last lb.

All that worked wonders for me when i was co0mpetin 148. On a side note, youll literally the fourth person to start almost the same thread in a seven day span. Im not complaining i think its awesome, but i find it entertaining the PLers blowin up on this site lol


Pretty much what Pipes said. With that small amount of weight to drop, it should really be no problem. Load up on water like he said (I'm talkin at least 2 gallons a day) and cut it out the day before. You might consider skipping your last meal the night before the weigh-ins if you're really concerned.
Make sure you're reahydrated before the meet, though.


So are you saying I will be fine with just eating the way I am now, steering away from fast foods and high sugar stuff, and just dropping water weight? Becuase I really dont want to have to regulate my carbs and all that stuff. Or maybe just try adding a little cardio to hopefully drop a pound or two with my diet the way it is?


yes, precisely. You can just add cardio for the sake of doing cardio. But like masonator said, skip that last meal also and youll be good to go.


No need to really change your diet. 4-6 lbs can easily be lost through cutting water as mentioned. I've lost 12 doing that before with no diet/training changes.


I don't think you'll need to do the whole cardio/carb restriction deal. You're only 4-6lbs over. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. You'll lose a little less than that. We can get guys weighing 25-30lbs over well under the 220 cutoff with diuretics. It's easier with a heavier lifter and you fall in that range.

If your meet is on Saturday do this:

Tuesday/Wednesday: Eat normally. Start chugging water. You should be taking a piss at least once an hour and it must be "clear" in color. If not, drink more until it is. You should be living in the bathroom by the end of the day.

Thursday: Water restriction. Only sip water to wet your mouth. Have a normal breakfast but taper the volume of your meals up to bedtime. NO BIG MEALS. Take a couple of 20-30 min. walks if you're way over.

Friday weigh-in: Sip water until weigh-in. Nibble on a protein bar. Weigh-in as early as possible. Begin rehydrating and eating immediately. Drink 20oz. carb drinks (Cytomax, Gatorade, Powerade...) every hour until bedtime. Some guys have started taking Airborne or Emergen-C with the fluids to help with water retention. I've had the most luck eating bland food (turkey sandwiches, pasta w/butter, plain chicken...) since I can eat more of it without tasting it hours later.

Saturday: Eat moderate breakfast and continue rehydrating w/water carb drink. Set PR's.

You should have access to an accurate scale to double check your progress. You only want to water restrict for 24-30 hours so adjust to your weigh in time.

Good luck!


What ever you do don't drink magnesium citrate like Mark and Chris Bell did on "Bigger, Stronger, Faster". You will have the runs for 12 hours straight.


Or just do it and glue yourself to a toilet... This gives you the bonus of being ready for a colonoscopy as a post-meet celebration.


Three tablespoons of olive oil does that to me.


Thanks for all the help. The early weigh-in is the day before(Friday) starting at 7PM. Would eating a decent sized breakfast and a small snack early in the afternoon be ok? If so I would plan to do that while limiting water intake and hitting up a sauna or hot bath a couple hours before the weigh in to try and drop the water weight. Then after the weigh in just load up on the fluids and carb up with a lot of pasta and chicken.


You have a 12+ hour weigh-in and need to drop 4 lbs so you shouldn't do anything drastic. While you know your body better than any of us, I find that I can lower my carb intake a week out and easily drop more than 4lbs. This is your first meet, so you shouldn't be worrying so much about weigh-ins... If you make it under 220, awesome. If not, kick some ass as a 242. (Note: I dropped ~10lbs for my first meet and promptly bombed out...)


You'll be better off grazing small meals throughout Friday. You want to keep the bulk of food down to a minimum. If it's not practical to graze, then get up early (5:00am), have your solid food meal, down some caffeine (No Doze, Vivarin), and take a 20-30 min walk.

This gets digestion going and hopefully a decent dump follows. NO WATER until after weigh in.


I wouldn't fuck with food intake at all until Friday. Eat normally before 12-1 and then stop drinking or eating until 7. A lot of bigger guys can easily float 2 lbs in that time. The remaining 2-4 can come off in a few ways. You can sweat it out, shit/piss it out, or spit it out.

I like the third option best, because sweatlodging it sucks and diuretics/laxatives aren't easy to turn off. Buy a few boxes of Lemonheads, suck on them and spit the juice into an empty Gatorade bottle. 2 x 20 oz bottles should be around 4 lbs. That will probably take 2-3 hours to do.


The candy idea is pretty good, used to do that for wrestling.


I'm sorry but I wouldn't second the advice here.
This is your FIRST competition, you dont need to cut weight!You'll have enough on your mind coping with the nerves / adrenalin / confusion that will be bound to hit you on meet day.

I'd advise you eat normally and don't bother 'making weight' you are a beginner lifter so your not goin to set records or tie for forst place on bodyweight are you?
Make the experience a good one and don't add anything unecessary. Oh and be conservative in your choice of opening lifts; its what you finish with that counts, NOT your opener.

Last of all, and lots of people could benefit from this, READ THIS:


Hope you do well!


Sorry to hijack but I'm in a similar position but with a 2 hour weigh in.

I'm looking to compete at 181lb (82.5kg in the uk) and at the moment I'm about 1lb over. This is carb depleted on a Saturday morning same day and time as the competition in 5 1/2 weeks time.

Any advice? I was thinking of trying to drop 2-3 Lbs of Fat over the next couple of weeks. Water load and stop about 12-18 hours before, but maybe get some carbs in me to maximise performance on the day?

Is there anyone on a low carb diet who's competed after a 2 hour weigh in?

My PB's have all been set on the day after my carb up, my thinking is that I can re-hydrate quicker than I can carb up.