T Nation

First Powerlifting Meet


I couldn't find any topics specifically related to the meet structure USAPL, so if anybody has a link that would be fantastic.

1-30-2010 at the Milwaukee Open will be my first powerlifting meet (competing RAW), and I am just trying to make sure I know exactly what I am doing. I read over the meet structure on the USAPL website and it seemed a little tricky. Is there anything specific about USAPL that I should take into consideration prior to the meet?

The main reason for this competition is to get a little practice before the Minnesota State meet on 2-13, so I am not intending on peaking for this event. My plan is to destroy the Minnesota Junior record on 2-13. Right now I weigh about 186 and considering not even making 181 for my first meet, just because I feel like there is too much else to worry about.

I am just a little nervous about getting ready for the meet, so if there are any tips or words of wisdom that would be greatly appreciated.


Read the rule book. Practice lifting with the commands for your remaining training sessions. Open really light. Your squat is never deep enough on your opener. And make sure you have singlet, dl socks, a Tshirt with no pockets, and tighty whities (no boxers, no underarmour shorts, no boxer briefs, they have to be old school junk huggers. Colors can vary).


Good call on the socks for deadlifting. I would have forgot about that.

Are you going to be at the meet on the 13th?


If I am there it will be as spectator and to help out some training partners. After I test my bench opener for a meet the week after.

This might be a silly question, but why do a meet in Milwaukee 2 weeks prior to the meet your really want to do? You might spare yourself some travel stress and money by finding someone local who can help you out on the last minute details and coaching. Assuming you actually live in the state.

Doing the meet two weeks out to the one you really want to do, I would defintely lower your openers considerably and go for your real opener or second attempt as your second and thirds in Milwaukee.


Open light.

Practice the commands.

Make sure you squat low enough. USAPL isn't as lenient as other feds.

Most likely there will be weigh-in and equipment check first thing in the morn, then a couple hours until lifting starts. depending on the amount of ppl there could be mulitple flights, but all squats go, then all benches, then all deads.

depending on how many ppl, it could last most of the day. bring food. stay hydrated. open light. practice the commands.

good luck!


A friend of mine is from Wisconsin and was going to head down to Milwaukee that weekend anyways to visit his sister who lives there, so all I am paying is the entry fee since we are staying at her house (and splitting gas money for his little Kia lol). Also, I figured it would get some jitters out since I have not done any type of legit competition since high school sports, minus a few road races.

My openers will be around 405-275-455, and get around 455-315-515 on my last few attempts.

On 2-13 I would like to hit 500-335-550 or so, barring any injuries.


Thanks for the advice. Squat depth is one thing that makes me worry a bit, since there are not many people in my university gym that squat let alone would be able to tell me if I am hitting depth or not. It shouldn't be too big of a problem though.


Film yourself. It makes a huge difference and gives you reassurance on your technique, and can also be a reality check if you have some weird compensation in your form you don't realize.


Sounds reasonable. Feel sorry for you doing that drive in a Kia though, the way back in going suck. Then again I am a wee bit older, more beat up, and a 275, so I might be projecting. See below you are training at a U center, guessing one of the smaller Us? Have a couple of partners who are at Mac and the U of M. PM me if you need any help. I post mostly on the the old farts part of this site. Good luck and hopefully I will at least catch you doing a crushing DL at the Open.


Everything everyone has said is right on. If you are worried about your squat depth, you aren't deep enough. Film it.

Make sure your t-shirt doesn't have any holes or logos (some logos are okay, but I don't know for sure which ones off the top of my head, so err on the side of caution).

Make sure your belt is legal - not too wide, no padding, no velcro.


Sweet. Thanks a lot for your advice, hopefully I will see you there.

I am a student at St. Cloud State right now.


This is my belt: http://www.inzernet.com/detail_econobelt.asp?PRODUCT_ID=ECON_POWER_BELT
I am pretty sure it is legal.

As far as squat depth goes, I am probably just paranoid. I consistently hit the bottom of my hamstrings on the top of my calves, and have very short femurs. Filming a couple attempts in the mid-400s would probably be a good idea.


Yeah, that belt is fine. I've had to deny belts that had padding in them before and it's no fun to show up to a meet and then be told you can't wear the equipment you're used to wearing.


Regarding depth, the rule is hip beneath knee. From the side view. I have a diagram of it saved in about a 100 places. But I would highly recommend going beneath that.

One last thought is try to make it to some place that has actual power bars, guessing St. Cloud State doesn't. Preferably a Qbar, just to feel how the weight feels different on your back for squatting and in your hands for benching. Might be a stretch for you, and hard to do, but the Press shouldn't be too long a drive and it is only like 5 or 10 bucks to go there for one session. The Qbar has very little whip, and I know from having trained at commercial gyms and using very bendy bars for benching and squatting that I almost adjust myself to let the weight pull me down, if that makes sense. You can't do that with a real bar. It is easier or better in the end, but the little things can fuck you.


I sent you a PM but I am with Pete. I would try to find some lifters in the area to look at what you are doing. I can help you with that.

This will accomplish three things. Give you confidence heading into the state meet that you are on the right track, allow you to meet some folks who live around you and will be at the meet, and lastly keep you from doing two events so close together....that's really not a recipe for excellence.

In regards to bars, at the weight you are handling sounds like pulls will probably be your biggest challenge on teh Q-bar in particular if you pull sumo because it changes your set up.


The bars at my gym are actually seem somewhat thick, I should measure the circumference sometime. There is a little bounce at the top of my squats, no bounce in the bench, and the bar doesn't bend all that much during deadlifts.

I got your PM apwsearch. Thanks.


One more question: during heavy squats and benching I wear some short elastic wrist wraps, and just tried squatting in some knee sleeves (not wraps) today. Both of those are still legal in raw competition, correct?

These are my knee sleeves: http://www.braceshop.com/productcart/pc/Mueller-Neoprene-Knee-Sleeve-202p392.htm

These are my wrist wraps: http://www.harbingerfitness.com/cgi-bin/6fyd-xxe5x.cgi?45600&&sku

Thanks again for all the help guys.


Here is the USAPL Lifter's handbook:



Neoprene sleeves no longer than 30 cm are allowed for raw lifting. Wrist wraps up to 1 meter in length and 8 cm wide are fine, but you can't wrap it more than 12 cm from top of the wrist wrap to bottom.


Sweet, thanks. I saw that they are allowed in the handbook, but was just making sure they were still allowed for use in raw competition. Looks like I am set now.