T Nation

Full Power Meet Questions


So I have my first full powerlifting meet coming up on february 5th. I was wondering if anybody had pointers. How tough is it doin all three lifts in one meet? Do lifters usually lose steam by the time deadlifts come around? Any tips or info is appreciated. And idk if it matters but its a raw meet. Thanks


Pack a cooler. More food than you think you and 3 friends could eat(slight exaggeration). Be prepared for it to go on for quite some time also.


Most local meets have a more relaxed time frame (maybe 90 minutes between lifts). Make sure to eat something during the meet, and, especially, stay hydrated. Good luck.

  1. The meet will last longer than you think it will, so bring extra food.

  2. You will be tired, but if you keep your blood sugar stable, the fatigue diminishes. Snacking frequently and drinking gatorade, surge, or something similar helps me keep my calories up.

  3. It's a little late now, but next time, if burnout is a problem toward the end of the meet, add a little more conditioning to your meet training. Sprints, sled work, or other GPP work will up your work capacity and help alot with recovery during the meet.

  4. Don't get in a hurry. Try to relax and go with it. When it's time to lift, then get intense.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.


I just did my first meet back at the beginning of December so this is still relatively fresh in my mind. First, whatever you do to shake off the nerves do it. Second, make sure you smoke your first squat (everything will go smooth after that). Third, open light on all your lifts (you don't want to bomb out of your first meet). Fourth, everyone that said eat and drink a lot above me,

I'll just reiterate that, eat a lot of easily digestible food (I brought boiled eggs, cheese, a sandwich, protein bars, a candy bar, and fruit) and drink a lot of water (but also consider having some caffeine on hand, but don't use it too early or at all if you don't need it) and I also liked having something else to drink like gatorade, but don't overdo the gatorade as you can go into glycemic shock and shut things down.

Fifth thing, I think I did see some guys lose steam come deadlift time (another important reason to open light!), but this was not the case for me. I think this really depends on your level of conditioning also for me the deadlift is my favorite, so the whole day I was looking forward to kicking ass in that lift.

The meet could be long depending on the number of lifters, I think the one I attended was an all day affair (lifting started at 9 AM and didn't end until around 5:30 pm or so) with around 50 lifters. Good luck! Also, it would be good to have a plan of what you are going to do between now and then.


If it's your first meet, bring food as others have pointed out. I would not cut weight unless you are only a pound or two off.

Also I'd add open with something you can triple on a bad day, pay attention to the commands and make sure to squat very deep. You can raise the weight on your second and third attempts.

Have fun at your meet and good luck


Almost everything has already been said...... but after 15 meets or so I've got this thing dialed in to where I like it now.

Make sure you have a handler for the meet. Someone who knows what they are talking about and can help you keep it together. This is way more important for geared lifting, but it holds true for raw as well. You are going to be out there all day, at the very least you'll get a good lift off in the bench and a buddy to talk to between lifts.

Make sure that all of your 1st attempts are cleaner than they need to be. Make a good 1st impression on the judges, but still put yourself within range of some numbers that you want. Something you are confident you can double or triple is good. And make sure you plan your warm-ups out so that you are ready to go in time. Check where you are in the flight and plan for that. Don't get warmed up too early and tire out or get cold, but don't make a 200 lb jump to your opener because you tried to rush your warm ups.

Bring food for 3 or 4 people..... and a ton of water, gatorade, and monster or red bull or whatever you drink to make it so you can hear your own heartbeat. You should eat, drink, and relax between lifts. Not so much between attempts, but between squat and bench...... and make sure to stay hydrated. Having a good team or handler helps here as well, buy them lunch, but have them pick it up. You can lay down in a corner and rest for the next flight. That.... and..... there are always lifters there who don't bring their own food etc... having a granola bar handy is a great way to do something really nice for another lifter.....

Most importantly....... relax.

I've lifted in meets that go from 9am to 9pm and heard stories about longer than that. You can't stay amped up that whole time, so when you aren't lifting relax. Go talk to other lifters, eat, lay down, whatever.


Plan on the meet to take quite a while between lift attempts (this will depend on the number of lifters in the meet). Packing a cooler is an excellent idea, be sure to stay hydrated, and well fed through out the meet. Also as far as warm-ups, im assuming you have a pretty consistent training regiment leading up to the meet.

I would recommend going through the same warm ups you would for a regular day in the gym up to what would be your first working set (with the exception of possibly cutting rep counts a touch). ie. if your first attempt is at 480lbs then your warm up for your squat attempts could be

1st attempt. Ideally you would time out your warm ups to give less than 5 minutes between your last warm up and your first attempt.
heres just a few things to consider
good luck popping your meet cherry


just re-read my las t post and realized i left out the 410x1 warm up before 1st attempt. 320 to 480 might be a bit drastic...woopsie


eat a few bananas during the course of the day and stay hydrated, cramping at a meet sucks. doing a meet raw is a lot less taxing (i.e. getting equipment on etc.) have fun and stay focused. afterwards, i would agree on raising your conditioning, 9 max lifts throughout the course of a long day is draining, but once you get your first squat in, i bet you will feel a lot better.


After doing so so in my first ever meet, I was talking with a friend who used to be a competitive powerlifter, but had also done a bunch of raw meets back in his day. He told me he used to bring all the food etc. but that he also brought a coffee maker, plug it in over in the corner and would take a couple sips periodically throughout the day to try and keep his CNS activated. Not sure if its good advice, but I'm going to give it a shot in June when I do my next meet.


thanks for all the input and advice everyone. im excited to get into this meet. i have done a bench only meet once before and it was a good time but i wished the whole time i had done at least push/pull. i will definately be bringing enough food.


just keep everything as you would normally do, ive seen guys switch dietary, technique etc the week or even day of the meet and totally mess themselves up the day of the meet and bomb out


so i did the meet. here is the results http://www.nasa-sports.com/Results/Results%20AZ2.htm

it was a great time. i will possibly be doin another meet in may