T Nation

HS Powerlifter


hey my friend told me about this place and i wanted to know if you could help me out some. I am 17 and I like to do power lifting im my high school. I am 5'9" and 200lb. I bench 295 and squat 460, dead lift 505. I know that I can do better. I was close to making it to stat but my bench needs to come up to get me there. What should I do befor jan to get my bench up.

help me out I want to go to state its my last chance.


If it's a short term issue (6 months), then improving form alone can probably up you 30-40 pounds in the bench in a short period of time.

I trained a HS powerlifter with similar numbers (335 bench, 450 dead, 495 squat), Although he was 6-4, 270 with long arms. He was an "elbows out" bench presser and had never worked on taking his grip out to the max. I'm 5-8 and I bench at the absolute limit width (index on the rings). You should too. With form improvement, he hit 370 just by practicing with 225 for perfect (tight) singles for a week. Then with a bench shirt he hit 435 all in a matter of about 3 weeks.

Find Dave Tate's bench press form article (I think it's "12 steps....). This guy I mentioned didn't even have time to incorporate speed bench training, bands, or lockout work or I'm sure he would have had 485, probably could have moved up to a tighter shirt and hit 500+ in a year. I'll give him a call and see how its going.



First of all, you should probably see about moving this over to Strength Sports.

I need some answers from you first. As follows:

  1. What state are you in? (I know most of the HS PL team coaches in the bigger states and can maybe hook you up.)

  2. What federation are you competing in? Is it a state HS fed or a larger one?

  3. Is the bench you stated raw or equipped? If equipped, what shirt are you using?

  4. Are the lifts you stated (sq, bp, dl) competition lifts or gym lifts?

  5. What is the qualifying total for your state meet? What weight class are you targeting a qualifier in?

Let me know these things and I can probably start to help.


huh...a tight shirt can improve your bench?or is this a special kind of shirt

and i wanted to know if your coach makes you arc your back like mine does...i hate it


I am from TX. dont know what fed I am in. the bench is equipped and a 54 shirt but it hurts bad. competition maxes. I dont remember what they were i was 25lbs out of going to state.


Two things.

  1. If you don't know the organization you are lifting in, or your weight class, it is hard to give advice on that front.

At 200#'s, if they are using traditional weight classes, (which not all highschool federations do), you need to assess the difference b/t qualifying totals among the two weight classes. (198/220)

A loss of 2#'s or a gain of 20 could make a big difference in terms of reduction of qualifying total, or increase in strength.

  1. In terms of your qualifying total, 25#'s at your age should be easily made up among the three lifts. It's basically 10#'s per lift. Why are you so focusesd on the bench? Just keep training. It will come together for you.

Find a good lifter or two to help you out. In Texas, they can't be too far off as they have one of the best/strongest HS federations in the country. (www.thspa.org) If your school is not a member, check out the membership list. You will probably find one close by. I am sure you could get some help.

Good luck.


hye man thanks for all the help. I hadnt maxed out completly cence march and i went in sunday and i was blown away by how much i could do with out raps or a shirt. I found which wight class i was in 220 and i think that i am going to try to stay in it. I can dead lift 545 now and i benched with out a shirt 320 my squat with out raps was 480 but i think i can do more and i will work hard to win stat this year. thanks for all the help.


First off APWSEARCH is bang on: try to make up the weight across the board, it is much easier that way.

To the Bench: What kind of shirt? (brand and model) If you're using an ehphd...switching to an F6/RageX might give you a good boost. You'll need to train your lockout hard to use it though.