For The Powerlifters

Current Raw Maxes:
Weight= 165, height=66 inches. Age 23
Squat=315 (ass to the ground, the bar almost hit the rack it was so low)
Bench 255.

I am thinking of getting into powerlifting when I get home in a few weeks from this deployment. I am sure that I have a long ways to go! I was just wondering how you think my numbers would do at a tournament. I would look them up myself but our internet time is VERY limited here!!! I know my bench is my weak point. I have only been lifting for just over a year now, all natural bust ass muscle, and with the crappy food we get at the chow hall, thank god for Grow!, and with a piss poor schedule and little sleep, good ole grunts.

Also any advice to someone wanting to get into the powerlifting world? I have tried to research it but like I said we only get internet for about 15 min a day. I have fell in love with training like a powerlifting and my body seems to respond very well to this type of training.
I read the Education of a Powerlifter articles weekly dreaming maybe that I could be that guy. Who doesn’t though right!

Thank you Dave Tate.

Any advice from my T-Nation brothers would be greatly appreciated.

Those numbers at your weight indicate to me that you have a decent foundation. I would bet that technique is the “low-hanging fruit” at this point in your training. My lifts came a long way in a short time when I started training with a group of elite lifters. If you can find a group of trainign partners like this around you, get with them. The technique issue is even more improtant if you paln on using shirts and suits, etc.- especially with shirts.

With modest single-ply gear and a little time honing your technique in the gear, I think a 1200 total is very do-able for you in the near future. That may not sound like a lot if you read a lot of Dave Tate and Westside-related stuff- but in a state meet for a single-ply fed in the 165s, you would be off to a fine start.

I have two pieces of advice:

  1. Find some other powerlifters to work out with when you get back.

  2. Compete soon, compete often. Take the first meet just to get yourself used to the differences. Lifting on someone else’s schedule, under pressure, on different equipment is more challenging.

I see too many people who want to wait until they can win a meet or a record before they compete, and I see a lot of them struggling to know when to warm up, when to wrap up, what to eat, when to eat, etc…Trust me: find a meet and enter it.

There is no way to tell where you would place in a meet, because there are so many different federations and levels of meets. You might walk in and take 1st place because you’re the only one there, or you might wind up in the same class as a couple of world-class lifters. So for the first couple of years in powerlifting, you can’t let where you’re going to place determine whether or not you enter a meet. Once you get used to the sport and start being able to put up numbers competitive on a national level (which you may be closer to or farther from than you think), then where you place starts to matter a lot more.

I think the best thing you could do once you get back is go attend a powerlifting meet (or two or three) in your area. Going to a meet will teach you a LOT about how they are run and what you can expect. Talk to people at the meet to try to clear up any questions you have, and, more importantly, try to find powerlifters there that lift near you. Getting with a group of powerlifters is the absolute best thing you can do for getting better at powerlifting. How you train, how you eat, how you rest, how you supplement all don’t mean jack shit compared to lifting with older, more experienced lifters.

Once you have been to a meet or two, and hopefully once you have lifted with some like-minded individuals, then you can find a meet to do. Your only goal in your first meet should be to perform the lifts properly and finish the meet. Some people have misconceptions as to how the powerlifts are properly performed, and going to meets, reading the rules, and talking to other lifters will clear up any questions you have about this.

You will probably be surprised with how you perform under meet conditions. Once you learn what to expect, it will be easier to plan and make progress.

Don’t worry about how you’ll do, just do it. Find some powerlifters to train with when you get back and then go for it. Take it as a fun learning experience and don’t worry about getting a trophy. I did it for 7 years and I got a bunch of dust-collectors sitting in my garage. The experiences from that time is what I treasure, not the pieces of plastic and metal taking up space next to my power tools. Worrying about winning or placing well will interfere with the fun you can have. Do it, have fun and savor the time.