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How Much Should I Be Lifting Before I Go to My First Meet?

How much should I be lifting before I go to my first meet to make sure I have a competitive score?

You don’t really need particularly impressive lifts to do a meet. Just showing up will win you most meets since with age, weight and equipment divisions there’s a good chance you’ll be the only one in your class at a local meet.

As a general guideline, “good” numbers are about a 2x bw squat, 1.5x bw bench, and 2.5x bw deadlift.

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As long as you can lift the bar, you’re good.

Powerlifting has gotten pretty weird with the advent of the internet. Unless you’re competing at the top level, it’s rare that you’ll have a “competitive score”, because you most likely won’t have anyone to actually compete against. There are a million federations and within those federations a million divisions, and often at small shows you can be the only person in your weight class and division. A lot of folks are just chasing records at this point.

Get into a meet ASAP and find out if you even like the sport first before you spend a lot of time in the gym “getting ready” for it. You may go and get bit by the bug, or you might find out it’s just not for you.


Great point indeed. Took this advise last December; I, as it happens, have been bitten. That was my first meet. As he said, I was THE ONLY lifter in my weight/age group. I lifted with 13 other guys (?) over 40; everyone was older and/or heavier, and mostly stronger, than I was.

My advise is, don’t forget to have fun!


I squated 315, benched 260, and pulled 460 my first meet. Not proud of those numbers but I figured I wanted something to beat and why wait to do a meet just to be competitive. I want to compete against myself, sure it’s great to win but I wanted to lay down some numbers so I have something to beat. Do a meet and get hooked, it will only make you train harder for the next one.


Compete not necessarily for the putting up numbers, but for the experience. I remember my first meet, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and that was with a coach. Understanding the difference between training lifts and competition lifts was the biggest takeaway I first learned about Powerlifting.

I’m a week out from my first meet, what was the difference? I’m trying to figure out my lifts for the meet and figured they will be lower than in training.