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How Long To Rest After A PL Comp?

Hey this is for any powerlifters or anyone with background experience on the topic. But how long does one rest after a powerlifting competition?

I rested 4 days only at my last one and burnt out real quick a few weeks later and had to take a whole week off lifting before i got motivation back and my strength back. I’m guessing 7 days of complete rest and lots of food would be sufficient. What you all think? Thanks.

There is no set answer. Take as long as you feel you need to. Remember to listen to your body along the way, when your beat up take a break. When you’re feeling gung ho get after it!

lol seems fair enough. After I burnt out I took the 7 days off and feel great now and have broken a PR in the bench press already, I guess 7 days fully rest and lots of food (with good sleep) will be sufficient. Thanks!

I think it depends on a lot of factors, mainly the numbers made in the meet and pre-meet deloading.

For example, I had a meet yesterday but didn’t get any numbers that were that high for me (just not an on day). Also, I took a week off (with the exception of 8 singles for DE deadlift) PRIOR to the competition, so I was well rested before hand. I was back in the gym today, though not full force.

However, the opposite can be true, and in this case I think it is. I’m pretty sure you answered your own question.

haha yeah I guess so too, it was a highschool regional comp. I actually have another competition this Saturday for the highschool provincials. I hope it goes well!

I took about 5 days off from my last comp (april 1st), having gone 8 for 9 for PR’s across the board.

I took it relaively easy for a week after, pause squats, some medium intensity board work and no deadlifting.

Then jumped straight back into another peaking cycle for a comp on May6th. Right now my strength is higher than ever, I’ve already pulled my 2nd attempt deadlift from the comp for 2 (barely missing the 3rd rep), I’ve tripled my 3rd bench attempt in the gym last week, and my squat’s up 20+kg.

I didn’t go TOTALLY balls out at the April 1st meet, I kept a little bit in reserve.

I feel fantastic and am looking forward to breaking more PR’s at the next comp. So like 4-5 days off, and a week of easy training worked great for me.

Hanley, congrats on those numbers, looks like your training is going well.


I only took a couple of days off after my last meet, but went very easy on my first two workouts. I hit a PR for reps on bench about 5 days after the meet. So I think it’s pretty individual, depending on how much of a grind the meet was.

i also had a meet just the other day (same one actaully), I hit two new Pr’s, and a struggle to lock out in my DL thrid attempt, and i felt FINE and trained hard on monday right after, but again, i also took a week totally off three weeks out and deloaded the week before. Like everyone is saying, jsut got to figure it out for yourself, what works for you, etc.

[quote]dl- wrote:
Hey this is for any powerlifters or anyone with background experience on the topic. But how long does one rest after a powerlifting competition?

Hey dl-

For me, this varies. If I have a good meet, I’m usually itching to get right back in to the gym. In that case, I go very light for a week or so and ramp up gradually.

If I get beat up in a meet, I’m more likely to take a few days off. I’ll follow that with a light week or two and then ramp up.

Either way, my first few workouts will be light followed by a ramp up. Working up to a meet takes a lot out of you. You have to allow yourself some time to heal.

But then, I’m old.


2 weeks minimum for me

awesome replies. Is there a reason why you take 2 weeks min. robo?

[quote]dl- wrote:
awesome replies. Is there a reason why you take 2 weeks min. robo?[/quote]

I’ve not looked at Robo’s profile but age can be a big factor too. Most of the older guys in my gym take 2 weeks off too.

I should also mention I did an oly comp 7 days before the powerlifting one… So maybe I just deal with volume well.

yeah for sure. I only rested 4 days after my comp. and went balls to the wall training so I think that’s why I crashed early. Since I have provincials this saturday I kinda screwed myself over haha cause I only had a month to train for it and pretty much trained a little crashed, took a week off, and just trained bench twice and squat once. I’m just resting now, 4 days till comp. Livin and learnin.

REST: None, REGENERATION/ REHABILITATION depending on current level of general training state. IE recovery ability. that is why bulgarian approach of training and competitve max is so important. The mental stress is more to bare than physical at times.

I often feel “depressed” the day after meet because the HIGH is over. In training my approach is focused but calm and collected. At meet it is very emotional and am in tears the night before and after.

[quote]dl- wrote:
awesome replies. Is there a reason why you take 2 weeks min. robo?[/quote]

I’m 34, have had 2 shoulder surgeries and a slipped disk over the years. Any chance I have to rest I take it. training nonstop year round was something I could get away with when I was 20 but it catches up to you.

Age and injury aside I think it’s a good idea to give your body some downtime. Even when I do start back up its pretty light weight low intensity type of training for a couple weeks. Think about the stress you go through to peak for a meet and then you go out an do 100%+ max outs on the 3 big lifts.

Your muscles are depleted, your nervous system is fried, your tendons are inflamed. Let your body recharge, and let your brain rewire itself.

There is a good article written for usa gymnastics back in the late 90s about the need for gymnasts to take time off after their competitions.

A lot of the advice is more about trying to maintain max strength with minimal size but it translates well for what powerlifters do too. I’ll try to dig it up as it explains the theories behind taking longer rest and recuperation periods.

I think it really comes down to how you define rest.

Our team has lifters from teen to M3 and all are typically back in the gym the Monday after the meet (typical training days) for a light squat session and will even pull light that Friday.

I think it helps with recovery.

Obviously this assumes no injuries or other problems.

The additional advantage we have noted from doing this is we don’t experience as significant of a strength drop off after the meet and are able to ramp back up over about a three week period to solid training volume.

Both recovery and maintaining your base level of strength (read not peak) are very important considerations.

My thoughts on a lot of topics is that the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

This is an approach we have found to be effective in facilitating both recovery and maintenance of base strength level and allows a lifter to start a new training cycle within a week or two after the meet.