T Nation

How Do You Get Started in Powerlifting?

So I have been training for the past 8 months with the Wendler 5/3/1 program and am interested in competing (within the next year) in a raw powerlifting competition. What do I do? Just Google powerlifting comps in my region? This is a sport I’d like to eventually total Elite in. I’m just wondering how to get my feet wet. I weigh 225 atm. I could cut down to 200 if I dropped the beer and nachos out of my diet. What would be respectable numbers for a novice raw lifter at 200? Thanks for any info.

-TheRizza

Check www.powerliftingwatch.com and the results of the Raw Unity Meet to find events and compare totals. You can always compete raw, although In a federation without a raw division it’s unlikely you’ll beat equipped lifters.

I was lucky enough to meet an IPF world champ through work, which is how I got started.

The best way to get started is to man up and get on the platform.

PMPM is right.

May 29th will be my first meet and the what really helped me get into the sport (understand the training methods, technique ect.) Was working with actual powerlifters.

I’d really recommend joining a gym that has a few who train there. From my experiance when lifters see a newb who is giving it their all into the lifts they will embrace them.

Heck the guys I have trained with are picking my attempts for me. FIND LIFTERS! They will know when meets are too.

www.powerliftingwatch.com

It really is just as easy as picking a meet in your area and going. You, most likely, aren’t going to win, so just go and have fun. I wouldn’t even compare to others who are lifting. Every meet I have gone to has raw guys mixed in with geared guys.

Dont even bothering cutting weight for your first one, it’s not worth it. The first one you should still have training wheels on to get an idea of what you are doing.

Agreed, Find a meet in the area and go check it out. I would recommend going to observe a meet first though. It will give you the opportunity to see the standards of judging, and possibly meet lifters in your region and establish contacts in the sport. Maybe even find a lifter in your area you could train with and learn from.

first find a meet and do it. then worry about what is ‘respectable’

even if you go, bomb out on 9/9 lifts you’ll be fine. it’ll be your first meet and every meet is always an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere.

good luck and have fun!!

[quote]B rocK wrote:
first find a meet and do it. then worry about what is ‘respectable’

even if you go, bomb out on 9/9 lifts you’ll be fine. it’ll be your first meet and every meet is always an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere.

good luck and have fun!![/quote]

I was told when you go to your first meet, aim to hit every lift, 9/9. You can try and crush number next time as you gain experience.

Make sure you bring some sammiches…

[quote]coolnatedawg wrote:

[quote]B rocK wrote:
first find a meet and do it. then worry about what is ‘respectable’

even if you go, bomb out on 9/9 lifts you’ll be fine. it’ll be your first meet and every meet is always an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere.

good luck and have fun!![/quote]

I was told when you go to your first meet, aim to hit every lift, 9/9. You can try and crush number next time as you gain experience.

Make sure you bring some sammiches…[/quote]
Most feds have raw divisions, and this is how I found my first meet. I learned so much from that first exposure. It’s like many other things, you can never truly comprehend until you do it. Meets always have such a supportive and fun atmosphere. Just jump in, you will enjoy it.

Alright so I took a look at the meets in my region. I found a couple in the summer, possibly an IPA or USAPL competition. All I need to do is get a singlet and show up with my belt and chalk after sending in the signup sheet and fee, right? Thanks for all the responses.

Rizza out

Learn about the sport- how meets run, what your lifts are supposed to look like, what you can get away with in the federation of your choosing. Most fed rulebooks can be read cover to cover in 30 minutes. The IPA is a very “lifter-friendly” federation. That said, don’t count on sympathy judging. The USAPL is a much stricter federation and I would recommend you have very good understanding of their rules before you compete there. In addtion to the regular ways to lose lifts there, they will ding you on a host of other things like raising your heels when benching, knee wraps that are an inch too long (seen it happen), and the faintest bit of hitch on a pull.

Then pick out a meet a few months away and put together a training plan.

If you are at all uncertain about whether your lifts will look right (squat depth, DL hitching, etc.), then pick joke-weight openers- that way if you have to retake them it’s not a big deal.

Talk to folks at the meet. You’ll find this a is a very fraternal sport andlifters are incredibly supportive of each other. Watch what other people are doing and ask them questions.

[quote]Pinto wrote:
…knee wraps that are an inch too long (seen it happen)…[/quote]

Yeah, I had some brand-new, never been even used in competition or training THPs that were about an inch too long out of the package. The IPF (International fed for USAPL) ref wasn’t going to let me use them, but I had a friend who scoffed at him and he let them pass.

OP - If you do USAPL, sink your squats.

USAPL raw requirements - singlet; clean t-shirt with no holes, logos, or breast pockets; tighty whities (not boxers); wrist wraps are okay; neoprene knee sleeves are okay; knee high socks are mandatory; and chucks, tennis shoes, wrestling shoes, but not Vibrams.

Squat commands - SQUAT! and RACK!

Bench commands - START!, PRESS!, and RACK!

Deadlift commands - DOWN!

You will have to pay the meet fee as well as the fee to join USAPL ($45 for Open people, I think).

Just find a meet, it doesnt have to be a particular fed, since its your fist meet.

Open really light, like something you can do for 4 or 5 reps, especially on the deadlift, since its the last lift and your gonna be tired by then. Make sure its a weight you can smoke with no trouble, the opener is just to get on the board.

try to find a powerlifting gym if your not already in one, and try to find training partners who have at least some experience, my training partner and I have only done one meet, but we still know what were doing, it helps to have a training partner. Like Pinto said, get a 12 or 13 week cycle planned out, and do your openers the week before the meet, and take the week of your meet completely off.

Lift strong, and train smart.

Well I have picked the meet I’ll be doing. The IPA Virginia championships. No knee wraps allowed on squats. I’m shooting to total 1000 and then take it from there.

[quote]Therizza wrote:
Well I have picked the meet I’ll be doing. The IPA Virginia championships. No knee wraps allowed on squats. I’m shooting to total 1000 and then take it from there.[/quote]

That’s a good meet. I have done that one 2 years running, but I won’t be competing this year. I may be there though helping a friend lift. There are a bunch of good guys that go there, you can meet some great groups.

Seriously, don’t worry about anything. Just pick good, solid numbers for you and you will do fine. I have seen guys squatting 135lbs and some squatting close to 900 at Gene’s meets.

[quote]Therizza wrote:
Well I have picked the meet I’ll be doing. The IPA Virginia championships. No knee wraps allowed on squats. I’m shooting to total 1000 and then take it from there.[/quote]

Good luck and have fun.

[quote]coolnatedawg wrote:

[quote]Therizza wrote:
Well I have picked the meet I’ll be doing. The IPA Virginia championships. No knee wraps allowed on squats. I’m shooting to total 1000 and then take it from there.[/quote]

That’s a good meet. I have done that one 2 years running, but I won’t be competing this year. I may be there though helping a friend lift. There are a bunch of good guys that go there, you can meet some great groups.

Seriously, don’t worry about anything. Just pick good, solid numbers for you and you will do fine. I have seen guys squatting 135lbs and some squatting close to 900 at Gene’s meets.[/quote]

Good stuff. Maraudermeat and some of his guys are gonna be there too.

[quote]Therizza wrote:
Well I have picked the meet I’ll be doing. The IPA Virginia championships. No knee wraps allowed on squats. I’m shooting to total 1000 and then take it from there.[/quote]

Are you talking about the one in Fredericksburg in May. If so, I did that meet last year. Rychlak runs an alright meet. My gym will have a few guys there this year.

[quote]brucie wrote:

[quote]Therizza wrote:
Well I have picked the meet I’ll be doing. The IPA Virginia championships. No knee wraps allowed on squats. I’m shooting to total 1000 and then take it from there.[/quote]

Are you talking about the one in Fredericksburg in May. If so, I did that meet last year. Rychlak runs an alright meet. My gym will have a few guys there this year. [/quote]

Yep that’s the one.

Cool. The gym its held at is all of 3 miles from my house, so i’ll more than likely be there to support my guys. I think they’re gonna be in the 275 class.

i started with push and pulls a bit easier if u dont have a crew to train with, help u with wraps suit etc. That said dont be shy most people are more than happy to help you with shirt, lift offs etc.