T Nation

High School Powerlifter


Basically, I wanna get strong. I want to get good at powerlifting. I just started prepping for a powerlifting meet on April 27. This will be my first full competition. I did bench only once a few months ago (full comp was full) and basically got a sense of how meets run. A kinda longer term goal break as many of my higschool records as possible. The records are as follows:
Bench press, Max Chin-ups, Strict Curl, Leg press, Squat, Trap bar deadlift, Preacher curl. I’m currently working on the trap bar dealdlift record, which is currently 405lbsx4 reps. I did 395x3 for an easy triple yesterday, so I’ll break that record next opportunity (Tuesday). I’d also like to gain weight to help me get stronger, I’d also like to stay relatively lean. Shouldn’t really be a problem of getting too fat because it’s so hard for me to gain weight.

Some stats:
Age: 16
Bodyweight: 157.5lbs this morning
Squat (gym lift): 405lbs/185kg
Bench (gym lift): 225lbs/102.5kg
Deadlift (gym lift): 385lbs/175kg

I’m currently doing some sets of 8-10 mostly on all lifts for 3 weeks, then starting the Candito 6 week program to use as a peaking program.

Also maybe you guys are interested, maybe you’re not I won’t be offended if you’re not lol.


I started meet prep yesterday, and well didn’t go as planned lol. I only have 3 days to work out this week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), so I did my squat and bench workout on the same day. I decided to lower volume for both so I don’t get too beat up. I had 3x10@260lbs/117.5kg on squats planned, only did 2 sets my cardio was killing me tbh and I didn’t wanna go overboard. I had 4x3@250lbs/112.5kg speed deadlift planned, did 2 sets, same reason. I normally would do pause squats after this, but didn’t. Bench went better than that, and I got all my sets (3x10@145lbs/65kg), not too challenging, and I did all my accessories, just lighter than normal. Below a vid of my 2 sets of squats, and the second and third sets of bench


hell ya man, I’m in on this.

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Try to shorten your walkout, you just need to be far away enough that the bar and plates won’t touch the rack. You’re not way too far back, but on heavier lifts you want to save as much energy as possible for the squat itself. Small steps.

I see you have the opposite problem on bench…

I would be careful with the curl records, one reason why 1rm curls aren’t so popular is because there is a high chance of tearing a bicep. Preacher curls in particular, I know one guy who tore a bicep on those and it wasn’t a max attempt or anything, just going somewhat heavy and trying to get a full stretch at the bottom.

Nice squatting!

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I usually walk light sets out farther than heavy sets without noticing. I’ll work on it. I also need to work on getting my feet in the right position in minimal steps.

First time that’s ever happened to me. I’m not worried abt that

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I’m definitely in for this! Also blown away that I was put in the same category as @chris_ottawa and @flipcollar on something. Those two are some beastly dudes, and I’m just an old guy raging against the ravages of old age… I’m also going to send my 16 year old stepson a link to this, to try to get him motivated. I just gave him a bench and a squat rack, and most of my weights, and I can use you as some motivation for him to get stronger, if you don’t mind.


If I don’t mind!?? That’s awesome, I’d love to help! Best of luck to him


Secondary bench day:
Wide grip bench (all reps paused) 3x8@135lbs/60kg
First time trying this movement. Felt pretty weird. Not bad weird, just foreign (makes sense obvi, it’s my first time trying lol)
Weighted chin-up: 3x12@20lbs/10kg
Overhead press: 10,10,8@85lbs/37.5kg
Face pull: 3x20
Skull crusher/hammer curl superset:3x12
Triceps pushdown/dumbbell curl superset:3x15
Did an extra arms superset cuz why not, and to help build my work capacity a little.


Pretty upset with yesterday’s workout to be honest.
Here’s what I had planned:
415lbs/187.5x3 trap bar deadlift
3x8@250lbs/112.5kg conventional deadlift
3x8 260-275lbs/117.5-125kg squat
3x8 rdl
Here’s what I actually did:
415lbs/187.5kgx3 trap bar deadlift
Much harder than I hoped, looking back, it was pretty unrealistic for this to be so easy considering it is the heaviest lift I’ve ever done

3x8@250lbs/112.5kg conventional deadlift
First time deadlifting higher than sets of 5. First set felt fine, but after the second set, my low back felt well… unusual. It wasn’t painful, but I think it was the first time I ever had a real lower back pump. I was expecting to wake up with a super sore lower back, but it was just a little sore, nothing too bad. Still got the third set done, and called it there.
My lats and glues were pretty sore going into this workout. This probably caused my lower back to take over a bit more than I’d like. A few reasons I think I started the workout with sore glutes and lats:

  1. first week back after a deload
  2. didn’t do much direct back work before maxing out
  3. fourth workout in the past 3 days
  4. trap bar deadlifted pretty heavy after 3ish months of not trap bar deadlifting
    Well, I gotta say looking back, it makes sense I had a pretty bad workout yesterday. I think I still could have done a set or 2 of squats but oh well. I just didn’t know what a real low back pump felt like so it took me by surprise. I recorded the workout. Looking back, not sure how locked out my reps are. Oh well

Keep grinding and it takes time but all records will fall if you work hard

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I should have an opportunity to break the trap bar deadlift record in gym class Tuesday. Monday, I’ll do a bench workout, and probably not do anything for my back so I can keep it fresh. The way my school records work is a little weird. There is a first and second place spot (which for some reason can be held by the same person). Whoever has the highest number, regardless of reps, gets the higher record. Thursday, someone broke the current record. I think I’d like to get both records.
Here are the current records:
First place: 410x1
Second place: 405x4
I was thinking I’d do 410x2 as my last warmup. I know I can hit it because I did 415x3 on Thursday (not in the school gym). I’m not quite sure what to aim for as my heavier attempt. I was thinking maybe 440-460 range depending on how I’m feeling. If anyone has guesses for what I can hit, that would be helpful. The bodybuilding com calculator guessed 445 if 415x3 was maximal. The thing is, I possibly could’ve done another rep, maybe even 2, but I took pretty long rests between reps as shown in the vid. Whatever happens, I know I’ll break the record, and I’m super excited for that. Also I’ll probably throw on my knee sleeves for my maximal attempts, something I’ve never tried before. Very unlikely it will do anything tho lol


Set the school trap bar deadlift record today. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do squats after, but I’m still very happy. My plan going into the day was to do 410lbs/185kgx2, and then 455lbs/205kgx1. 410lbs/185kgx2 would break the school record (410lbs/185kgx1). I also wanted to do 455lbs/205kgx1 so I could have my name on the first and second place record spot.
sooo much easier than I expected. Felt super light.
I thought I was only going to do one rep until I finished the first rep and decided in the moment to go for a second. Same thing happened with the third rep. I’m super happy about this, because it means I’m way stronger than I think I am (@flipcollar has been saying this lol), and it means after my meet, before the end of the school year, I could probably trap bar deadlift 500lbs/227.5kg. That just seems astronomical to me lol. Anyways, heres a vid


awesome work dude, glad to see this came together for you so well.

500 is probably there already, assuming you can get your mind right for the attempt. Based on how this looks, I’d expect you to fail somewhere in the low 500’s. You’re definitely pushing closer to your actual capacity now, that’s really good to see.


I’m kind of tempted to try 500 next opportunity (this would be after March break, so on March 18). This would be on the first week of the Candito 6 week program, I’m starting it on March 20th


if you feel healthy and ready for it, go for it! No single rep will make or break a training program, whether or not you succeed on the rep.

Get a good lockout this time though. Almost every rep I watched you’re dropping it realllllllly quick. Most of those would have been no-reps in competition because of that. Stand up with that 500 and hold it there. Leave no doubt.

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I really appreciate it. Thank you


Felt super motivated going into this session after talk of 500lbs trap bar deadlift
Bench press: 3x10@150lbs/67.5kg
Felt pretty good, I think I held a good pause on all my first reps
Strict press: 3x10@85lbs/37.5kg
Not too difficult, but god I have a weak overhead press
Barbell row: 3x10@135lbs/60kg
Normally would’ve gone heavier, but I did the heavy trap bar deadlift yesterday, and I’m deadlifting again tomorrow. Weight moved super quickly
Chin-up: 3x12, Bodyweight, +10lbs, +20lbs
Curl: 2x8,7: 85lbs/37.5kg ,85lbs/37.5kg ,95lbs/42.5kg
Superset: Tricep rope pushdown, 3x10@40lbs Face pull 3x20@40lbs
Bench video:

Because I’ll be attempting a 500lbs/227.5kg trap bar deadlift in about a week and a half, I might do a heavy single on the trap bar on my 2 deadlift days before my 500lbs/227.5kg attempt. I’d probably do that before the rest of my workout. Maybe it would make sense to do it after, but then also that could make my lifts feel heavier and move more slowly which would be bad for my confidence. I was thinking maybe I’d do 470lbs/212.5kg and 480lbs/217.5kg which would build confidence, but also is a lot of very heavy work (94% and 96%). I feel like I’m overthinking this lol. Anyways, if anyone has advice for how i can prepare for my heavy trap bar deadlift attempt, let me know.
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If you’re attempting a new max in a week and a half then don’t overdo it, you look like you could manage 500 already and doing too much between now and then will just add a bunch of fatigue. Maybe pull 455 for a single in a couple days and nothing more.

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Some people get a lot of carryover to their comp. deadlift from the trap bar, if you use it regularly in the future (as in after the meet) then you could probably lift a hell of a lot more in a short time. If you are going to pull twice a week it wouldn’t hurt to use the trap bar on one day. At the very worst you will have a big trap bar pull.

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Alright training session today. Everything went well until I watched my squat videos. I’ve never seen my squats from the back before, and it seemed like I wasn’t hitting depth. I need to fix this ASAP, before weights start getting too heavy
Deadlift: 3x8@265lbs/120kg
Felt way better than last time I did 8 rep deadlifts, and it was 15lbs heavier, so thats really great.
Squat: 3x6@295lbs/135kg
I watched the first vid, and realized depth wasn’t there, so I made more of an effort on the next sets. My phone tipped over, so I don’t have footage of the second set. On my third set, I hit the safties a few times, but depth still didn’t look great. I think I might be pushing my knees too far forward, causing the bar to travel farther without my hip crease going below my knees. Maybe a bit of sitting back and the infamous Ed Coan “open your taint” cue could help
RDL: 3x5@185lbs/85kg
suuuuper easy. First time doing this movement, so I decided to not push too hard. I might use straps for these next time. I’d rather build up my grip strength, but my calluses on my hands were hurting pretty bad. Ill probably use 225lbs/102.5kg next time I do this movement