T Nation

Getting Ready for My First Powerlifting Meet

Hey Jim, and anyone else who’s reading this. I’m 22, and on my way to the 230 pound weightclass. I have a meet in about 16 weeks. I’ve been following the 531 program for about 34 months now, and i absolutly love it! After buying several of you books (531 seconds eddition, 531 for powerlifting and 531 Beyond) I’ve been trying almost everything you’ve put out!
After buying the beyond book, i really liked the FSL + jokers, and have been using it ever since. I saw, on the tnation forum, that you seemed to allow using the opposite exercise on FSL, and since that i’ve been testing it out, trying the get the technique down for the meet. Now that i am getting ready for my first meet, i really wanted to make sure that i am on the right path, and that i’m not doing anything stupid that could be hindering my way for better strength. Therfor i hoped that you would critique my program!
My best lifts are:
Squat: 400lbs
Bench Press: 325lbs
Deadlift: 508lbs
Press: 210lbs

Day 1:
Mobility work
Medicin ball throws/slams x15
Press - 3/5/1 + Jokers on great days
Bench Press - FSL 3-5x5-8
Chin Ups 5-8x10
Kroc Row 2WU, 1xAll Out
Weighted Dips 3x10-20
Fat Bar Curl 3x10
Face Pulls 3x25

Day 2:
Mobility Work
Box Jump 3x5
Deadlift - 3/5/1 + Jokers on great days
Squat - FSL 3-5x5-8
Farmers Walks x3 (want big traps. Any reason needed?)
Hanging Leg Raise 3x10
Side Bends 2x15 ea.

Day 3:
Mobility Work
Medicin ball slam/throw x15
Bench Press 3/5/1 + Jokers on great days
Press - FSL 3-5x5-8
Chin Ups 5-8x10
Kroc Row 2xWU 1xAll Out
Weighted Dips 3x10-20
Fat Bar Curl 3x10
Face Pulls 3x25

Day 4
Mobility Work
Box Jump 3x5
Squat 3/5/1 + Jokers on great days
Deadlift - FSL 3-5x5
Farmers Walks x3 (want big traps. Any reason needed?)
Hanging Leg Raise 3x10
Side Bends 2x15 ea.

Conditioning is done on non-lifting days or after lower body days, with a minimum of 1 day a week, but normally 2x/week

I thank you a lot for you time, and for the great content that you’ve been putting out over the years! It has really made a difference for me!

you know that there is an ENTIRE program for you to do in the book, right? for a PL meet?

Honestly no I dont?
Is it the Pre-Meet program in the powerlifting book, containing two singles of 85% and 92.5-95%?
If so, would you still use the FSL as supplemental, since i’m 16 weeks out and not 4 weeks?
Thanks a lot for your reply!

I just read the 531 for Powerlifting once again, and i guess i see what you mean (Off-season with either mass, condition or strength in focus and the pre meet part). Now i guess my question is, if it still holds true, that this is what you believe? I guess i got confused because of you statement in the beyond book, where you state: "In fact, I believe in the Jokers sets and the First set last so much that i beileve it should be a standard part of the 531 program. And later you state: “I truely believe that with the 531 program and its principles, the PR set, the jokser set and the down sets, you cannot get weaker”. I guess that this is where my confusion came from. I hope you can help me figure this out. I am more concerned about keep making progress in the long future, rather than just progressing for this meet. I try to stay as true to the program as I can but at the same time using at templet i can use in the future too.

If you are talking about the powerlifting program for strength, would it be like this?
Day 1:
Press 351 + 1xTM on week 1+3 (supersettet with chin ups)
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3x10
Weighted Dips 3x10
Face Pulls 3x20

Day 2:
Deadlift 351 + 1xTM on week 1+3
Goodmorning 3x10
Bent Over Row 3x10
Leg Curl 3x12
Ab Wheel 3x12

Day 3:
Bench Press 351 + 1xTM on week 1+3 (Supersettet with chins)
Dumbbell Bench Press 3x10
Blast Strap Push Ups 3xfailure
Ches Supported Row 3x12
Rear Laterals 3x20

Day 4
Squat 351 + 1xTM on week 1+3
Leg Press 3x10
Glute Ham Raise 3x10-15
Hanging Leg Raise 3x10

I guess I am asking which you believe is better?
Is it the powerlifting program you wrote above or 351 and its principles (FSL, Jokers).

Just do the one in the powerlifting book without messing with it

There’s 3 off season templates to choose from depending on your goal

I see what you’re saying Westie, but I’d really like to hear if Jim have gotten any experience over the years, that could lead to greater success, since he writes other things in the beyond book. For example, in the beyond book, he has the 5/3/1 Strength Phase for powerlifting, which also says, that you shouldn’t be afraid to hit the TM for a PR and then drop down and do some back off sets (FSL). But thank you for the reply anyway westie1986, I appriciate it!

Don’t ever do JOKERS. That’s my advice. Never. Ever. Never. Fucking never. Ever.

Do the program.

Here’s a serious questions: how many decades have your trained without missing a single workout, meal, recovery session or conditioning session?

If it’s less than two, no Jokers. Earn the right to do them via experience.

Jim have experience in powerlifting over the years ? No way ?!

Yes there is lots of different templates saying different methods , there’s lots of ways to skin a cat

There isn’t just 1 program in jims books that is used, there is many, he gives you the tools to take charge of your own programming. For example- main lifts-pr set/5 pro/jokers and supplemental work-bbb/ssl/fsl/sst/5 pro etc they all work and all based on the same principles but are to be used at different stages/cycles in your training. Plenty of examples in his books and on this forum on how to set this up. Personally i like to use jokers for 6 weeks on ‘3/1’ weeks at the most sometimes just on ‘1’ week before resetting back to an appropriate training max. Good luck at your first meet.

It’s less than two year. Well mostly because I haven’t train for longer.
I really appreciat this answer Jim. I’ll continue forward during you basic powerlifting templet for strength, without jokers, and therby gain the necessary experience.

Well… That wasn’t what i meant. I just wanted to know if he had GAINED any further experience, in coaching others for powerlifting. I am well aware of his history and experience. That’s why i respect his knowlegde.

Thanks for the response Shaun87! I know about all of his templets and principles, but I guess i needed a point of direction to know what was best.
Thanks for the personally experience about jokers, I may try this out in the future, when I’ve gained the experience!