T Nation

Looking for 'Mock Meet' Critique


Hi guys,

Soon will be my first ever meet so it's safe to say that I don't know what I'm doing quite yet :slightly_smiling: I was hoping for a critique of my last "mock meet".

Thanks alot.


Here is my opinion:

Squats - were all high by about 2 inches

Bench - Opening attempt was too heavy, it looked as if your butt may have been off the bench.

Deads - Again I think opening to heavy and it looks like your lockouts were soft which you can get called for.

I do believe in openers is doing a weight in which you can hit an easy triple, it gives you leeway on your other attempts and gets the butterflies out. Opening in squats at around 380, bench 315 and Deads 450 IMO opinion would be a better choice.


Matty's definitely right about the openers. A pretty common rule of thumb is something you can triple. I would say 310 or maybe 315 on bench for your opener. Also, get right down to the level of the bench with the camera and film from the side. If you see any light coming through between your ass and the bench, they'll red light you. You might not even notice or feel your butt coming up, but film it every time to be certain there is absolutely no evidence that it's coming off.

On deadlift, your third attempt would have been good if you'd fully locked it out, which I'm positive you could have done. The last thing you want is to pull a big weight and get called for not fully locking it out, which should be the easiest part of all. Make sure you have your knees locked and lean back some at the very top to show that your hips are completely locked out. Try to thrust your hips through the bar so that the judges have no doubt about the lockout. Also practice holding it there at the top for a second or two; some judges give pretty slow down commands on the deadlift.

That's another thing, if you haven't practiced or at least mentally gone through the lift commands as you're doing the lifts, go ahead and familiarize yourself with all of the ones your fed will use.

And btw strong lifting!


i agree on the squats already mentioned. a bit high.

on the bench, i have the sound down so i couldnt hear it, but did you get a press command from someone? and here is some nitpicking to try and help you squeeze out the most and these are not in order of importance.
1)the casting on your wrists looks like you are just wrapping them for compression. wrap up higher, actually on the hand so it is literally like casting so your hand cannot move back.
2)move your feet either further behind you or out on front of you. whichever feels better and allows your knees to be lower then the hips. this will help prevent your but from coming up and shifting around like it appeared to be doing.
3)stay tight. some of those attempts you seem to flop around. i know when i stay tight enough my whole body hurts, especially my back.

the deadlift, your back is a bit rounded. at the top, not so bad, at the bottom, bad. it could be worse. but just trying to help you stay strong without injury. also, when you start you pull you seem to jerk the weight a bit and bring your hips up before the bar moves. tighten up, pull the slack, keep the hips down, and pull. or as some may recommend, push your feet through the floor. at the top, pretend you are ramming your penis balls deep into your girlfriend. that should help you push the hips through.


Lol at the last post's "ramming your penis balls deep into your girlfriend"

Very strong lifting. I'm going to echo a lot of comments - squats were a little high, but look like they could easily get to depth, it looks like a mental thing, not a mobility issues. I think all your openers were too heavy, as others said - not a big deal for a mock meet, but I agree you should take 15-20 lbs off of all of them for the real meet.

As for deadlift, you are using a TON of back and not much legs, which is why you are having so much trouble locking out that 520 (also, I believe you're right, that second 520 might have passed in competition... but it definitely wasn't fully locked out compared to the 495). But anyways, I think a slight change to your setup might help your deadlift a lot. If I were you, I would start maybe another inch away from the bar. Then, instead of setting up the way you do now, where you are in the bottom for quite a few second before initiating the pull, I would setup in a way so that you are keeping maximum tension on your hamstrings as you grip the bar - hips high, pump the legs if that helps you, but DON"T stay in the bottom. Then, when it is time to pull, bring your shins to the bar and the second they touch, fire upwards with everything you've got. Maybe you won't like the way that feels, and it's shitty advice haha, but I think tweaking your setup in that way would a) get your hips a little lower at the start of the pull, b) help you to use a better mixture of back and legs, instead of so much back, and c) maybe even increase speed off the floor, which would definitely make getting to lockout easier.

Check out the way eric lillibridge and pete rubish pull. They do a really good job of pushing their shins to the bar, and pumping the legs so they are getting a nice stretch reflex out of the bottom when they finally touch their shins to the bar and explode.


These are excellent feedbacks, guys, thank you very much. A few comments about what I was feeling as I was doing them.

First, I agree about the openers. I honestly am still trying to figure out what is best and I'm nervous about starting too low and then choosing a weight for my second lift that barely makes it or doesn't at all. Then I have a third where I can't go back down. But I agree with your comments and will open lower.

Bench: I honestly never ever thought I had butt lift problems but I saw the same thing you did. I will have to pay closer attention. Good tip on how to wrap my wrists - I honestly have no clue how to do it right :slight_smile:

Squats: Yeah they do look low but I wonder (wishful thinking) on how much is the angle of the camera. It is definitely mental for me. I have alot of anxiety about going so low with my heavier weights. I typically do go as low as possible and often pause in the hole. But when the weights get high, I do start to freak out lol.

Deads: I agree that I didn't put enough leg into it. This is something I will continue to work on. I felt like my hips were lower than they were. I noticed that the first time I watched the video.

Again, I really appreciate the advice. I don't really have anyone at my gym who I trust to work with on this stuff so the internet is all I got :slight_smile:


First off congrats on planning your first meet, something a lot of "Plers" never end up doing.

What federation are you competing in? I compete in USPA and RAW UNITED, none of your squats would have passed in those, The biggest problem I see with your squats, other than the depth, is how slow you bring them down. If you bring it down slow its going to be a grinder out of the hole unless you have an invisible squat suit. Also It looked like your hands were touching the plates, be careful some feds only allow you to be in contact with the collars, wide grip is usually seen in bigger guys with less shoulder mobility so food for though.

Your flat footed stance does not allow you to stay tight, as seen when your spotter deloads the weight into your hands on the hand off and during the press your buttocks comes up a little, maybe spreading your feet a little more will help, or going into a balls of feet stance. Same thing with descent, no you do not want to slam it on your chest, but you waist energy/risk a slow press when you bring the weight down so tentatively

I only watched the last, which would have been a good lift but you didnt lock it out all the way, it looked like you would have been able to though.

Meet in general:
Open light man, that cannot be said enough. Lots of people say 88-90%, Your opener should be done with such flawless technique that the refs are confident in you and will not automatically scrutinize your next attempts. It should also be a huge moral booster for you, blow your openers out of the water.


Great job man, everyone made good points.

Squats were slightly high even taking the camera angle into account. Always go lower and stay on the safe side.
Bench was good, different judges would make you pause for different time, so whatever. Some form change could potentially allow you to lift more, but everyone's body is different, so the best form for someone else might not be best for you.
Everyone's deadlift form turns to shit on max effort attempts, just make sure you lock out completely.

As for openers, I like to go really low, like a 5RM for it, since you do not want to bomb out of a meet and it's actually better to make that easy so that you can save more energy for next 2 lifts. For squat, I like to make sure to always get all 3 attempts. Unless you're gunning for a record or something, don't be afraid to even leave 10lbs on the bar so that you feel confident and save some energy for your bench/deadlift attempts.


OK so I am 44 and will be competing in the Masters Class. I weigh 202 lbs. I will be competing in a USAPL meet.

20 years ago I tore my left labrum and have had 3 surgeries since. This is why I hold the plates. I simply lack the mobility but I'm working on it. The rules do state that I can't touch the weights so I better work on it more and fast :frowning:

Here are my notes just so you know I am taking this feedback to heart:

All lifts:
Drop faster
Start with lighter opening weights

Get lower
Pull hands in a little to keep off the plates

Keep the butt down.
Wear wraps higher on the hands

Get lower and use the legs more ("pumping" set up noted)
Thrust hips forward at the top

Thanks again. I am definitely listening :slightly_smiling:


Hi Egg,

Strong lifting.
In regards to squat depth, A full squat that leaves no doubt in anyone's mind can be judged from any angle. If you train with "pause squats" you'll see what I mean. Always squat well below parallel. It took bombing out for me to learn and accept this. If you're squatting within an inch or two of getting red lighted it's your fault for putting it in the judges hands to see the inch or not.

Your opener should be your last WARM-UP.

I just finished competing in the Masters division of a USAPL meet. USAPL is very strict on depth and a stapled butt.

One surprise for me at the USAPL meet was the "head contact with bench rule" your head must stay on the bench during your press. Other feds don't have this rule but I saw guys red lighted for it. Keep your head down...it's popping up now.

Good luck with your training.


The couple of points I noticed was that the bar when benching needs to be stationary before the command to begin is given, and the pause on the second press was pretty much non existent.

As has been said with the deadlifts, a lot of back and bugger all legs. I couldn't help but think that even when you lower the bar, you need to sit back down into it, rather than just hip hinge and lower it. Being a bit 'older' I'd be careful about beating your back up like that.


I know you're looking for critiques but I hope you don't mind if I ask for advice instead.

How long have you been seriously lifting weights and what have you done to take care of your joints and movement quality?



these are how i learned how to cast my wrists. the biggest thing i learned is that i am trying to cast the wrist or immobilize the wrist. there are times it feels like im cutting off the circulation to my hand when i cast it real good.


Truth be told, I've only been lifting for 5 years and only the past 6 mo for powerlifting. That said, I've always been a big believer in heavy weights. Ironically, I find fewer, heavy sets are alot better on my joints than a ton of volume. So even when I was lifting for "bodybuilding" I used the DC Training method which I loved. Now, I'm using the Cube method for powerlifting which I also love.

I've only been doing squats for a couple years and deadlifts for 6 months. I blew out a disk a year and a half ago which is pretty damn debilitating and I never want to go thru that again.

I focus alot on form and I actually blame that for why I lower the weights so slowly (habit). Supplements I take are fish oil (1 tab twice a day) and Glucosamine with Chondroitin.

So powerlifting is a new beast for me but it's alot of fun and I'm trying to get better at it. I really appreciate the advice above. Don't know why I haven't signed up for this forum a long time ago even though I have been reading the articles forever.


I really only pay attention to a handful of the authors. The forums are where it's really at.


You've gotten a lot of good responses.

I would recommend that you get get the rules for the fed you want to lift in, and get someone to watch your depth.
There are certain commands the head ref gives at a meet, and you can practice them as you do the lifts.

I have seen many bomb outs due to not following commands, and it is really not necessary, and frustrating at a 1st meet.

Go out and have fun.