T Nation

Goal Setting


Hey guys...I am a novice powerlifter but wanted to ask your advice/suggestions.....

How do you set your lifting goals? By meet, year, or by training cycle?

How do you determine long term goals? (i.e total x amount of lbs after training for 2 years)

I wanted to put my goals on paper, I have goals for my next meet, but I wanted ask seasoned lifters how you set your goals for the long term and what realistic goals would look like.

For a little background my first meet (USPA) totals (I'm 35, mother of two, former D1 athlete)

Weight: 86kg (competed in the 90kg group)
Squat: 252lbs
Bench: 148lbs
Deadlift: 352lbs

Thanks in advance!!


I set mine by the Russian standard chart, so you shoot for progression in all the levels, most importantly CMS then MS then MSIC

Thats the larger picture since as a PLer it is your total that matters, now to hit those numbers you nit pick individual goals, as a male over 181 lbs I think a 600 squat 400 bench 600 DL is always achievable and should be the minimum goals for those weight classes


You're class 1 for 90kg females, which isn't bad at all. http://www.usapowerlifting.com/lifterscorner/ipfclass.shtml

If you want to stay in 82.5/90, you have quite a bit of strength to gain to make Elite, just continue with steady progress, use 531, Cube method, Sheiko, etc. Alternatively, you can try maintaining strength while slowly cutting weight to make it to Elite in a lower weight class.


Last year when my gym was having our end of the year drinking party my "rival" and I wrote down what we are going to hit by the end of 2013 on a napkin.

I was drunk and didn't notice our gym owner take the napkin. The next week the napkin was posted up on the wall in the gym for us to own up to lol


Personally, I have tried to set goals for the entire year. So think realistically about where you want to be a year from now, what you think is achievable (given the ups and downs of training), etc. It's an exercise in compromise - take your ideal, and then find a common ground between that and your realistic expectations.

So I'll give you an example: a year ago, in february, my squat was 275, bench 205, deadlift 335, strict press 150.

I set goals for a little over a year (may of 2013) of a 405 squat, 255 bench, 455 deadlift, and 195 strict press.

So those were my OVERALL goals. Then, I set little goals along the way. So for example, in May 2012 I Maxed, hit 315, 210, 355. Then, at the end of the summer (august) I hit 335, 210, 405. Finally, december of 2012 I maxed on all my lifts and hit 365, 235, and 435. Then, Finally I reached may and hit 390, 235, 455, and 195. SO, reached 2 of my goals, missed 2, but made progress on every lift.

I personally love setting goals this way. Setting them a year out gives you context for all the little goals you set. Every time I maxed, even if I didn't get what I wanted, I could look at the numbers in the context of my overall goals, and assess how I was progressing towards them. One thing I would definitely change, is I would test more. This past cycle, I only tested my maxes 3 times over a period of like 14 months. I put TOO much stock in the "end goals" This year, I am going to try and do a mock meet more like once every 12 weeks.But anyways, that is how I set my goals.


Thank you so much for the advice......
I hired a powerlifting coach and let him know my goals and we seems to be on the same page.....

Thanks again!! :slight_smile:


i set my goals by looking at what the national/world records are in my weight class. short term I don't really set goals.