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Meet in Less than 2 Months


Hello , im an 19 years old powerlifter 5’8 , 90kg.
I have a meet on 7th of April , of Bench squat and deadlift.
My maxes are :
120kg Bench.
220kg Squat.
210kg Deadlift.
So as you can see my bench is weak and im stuck, the problem is that i have about 50 days till the competition and i have to lose about 8kg , 18lbs so…
Im looking for a program that will suit my calorie defict diet, and to focus on the Bench press more than the Squat and Deadlift because my Dead and Squat is fine.
Im just ending my 3rd cycle of Wendler 531 + BBB assistance and it was great but i want a program that progress more rapidly, especially in Bench.
Im on 2300 calorie diet without cardio , do you recommend to do cardio or not?
Thanks in advance.

do you recommend that i cut down to the 182lbs class or to stay in the 198lbs class?
Im afraid to lose strength while cutting 18lbs in 7 weeks.
so what do you think ? find a powerlifting program that focuses mainly on the bench press and stay in the 198lb class or find a program that suits my calorie defict and try to get my bench to 140kg atleast ( 315lbs )

Powerlifting Specific for a Raw Teen Lifter

Is the weigh in the day of or the day before? Most people will say for your first few meets don’t cut. I’m about 2 weeks out from my meet and weighing only about 5 lbs over I’m actually gonna cut slightly more than I have to just to improve my wilks score a bit. I’ve cut 13 lbs in 18 hours before and gained about 10 of it back before the next day. It’s just a matter of when you weigh in and if you think you’ll be able to keep your strength


I have no idea man , so do you recommend that i dont cut?


what program do you think is the best to atleast maintain my bench and squat and increase bench?


First: Find out what kind of a weigh-in it is. If it’s a 24-hour weigh-in, you can easily drop a lot of weight during the last week with some salt, water and glycogen depletion. I dropped 5kg in 3 days before my last meet with those.

Program-wise, if you want to focus on maintaining your squat and deadlift and increase your bench, you still have time to run either the Russian bench program or Dave Tate’s 6 week bench press cure and just doing maintenance work for squats and deadlifts.


Thank man , i looked into Smolov program and jesus christ its 6 days a week with 4 days bench press! are you sure this program is okay for someone who is dropping weight? as i just asked and the weigh ins are day before.
So as i knew the weigh ins are day before do you recommend that i cut down to the 182lbs?


Smolov is not the one I was speaking of though Smolov Junior is one extremely effective bench program as well. I benched 4 times a week with the two latter days being back to back with no rest when I was dieting with no problems.

But you could also try Dave Tate’s program. It’s not as high in frequency so you should be fine with dieting while doing it.

You could try cutting down to 182 if you want. It’s up to you and depends on how much fat you have to lose. If you are already relatively low in body fat, you might not achieve the results you want by cutting too much weight.


I don’t know if I’d recommend it, I’m cutting about 10 lbs for 181 class. But I’m doing that to put up about a 700 kg total. I’ve got a goal, if you have no reason to cut then there’s no need to cut. I plan to go high 1600s December for world’s at 181 again. Also 8 weeks out you can still increase your lifts, I wouldn’t be trying to maintain. In a month and a half my bench is up 25 lbs granted I was coming off being sick and a shoulder injury and was at that weight on bench about 3 months ago. Still it’s up from 6 weeks ago


To sum up the key points here:-

1.) Do not try to lose a significant amount of fat at this point - it will not help your bench at all. Minor dietary changes could be ok, but it sounds like you’re already under eating so perhaps upping your training a bit and adding a couple of hundred calories /day would be best

2.) If you are seriously competitive (i.e. you are aiming to win your class and / or claim a record, or qualify for a major meet), you can consider a water cut before the weigh-in, which should get you down by at least 5-10lbs, likely a lot more if you need it to, and avoid the disadvantage of losing “real” weight. Otherwise, you don’t really need to bother; you might as well aim for a better total in the weight class above.

3.) To improve your bench, feel free to try a specialization phase as mentioned, but there’s no need to write off any squat / deadlift gains, as they’re still possible if you train well. Greater bodyweight = greater bench in most cases, so don’t try to lose too much weight during a bench cycle.



You’re getting ahead of yourself.

Why the sudden need to increase your bench?

Bench grows slower than the other lifts. Be patient. Stick with 531 and don’t cut. What would be the point? Get stronger. That way your weight doesn’t matter.


Bench grows slowly when you don’t know how to train it :wink:

Seriously though, bench often progresses quickly if it’s given extra focus. I went from 130kg -> 160kg in 6 weeks when I couldn’t squat for a while. Specialization works.

EDIT: I hear it also grows slowly on 5/3/1


@halcj1 you’re right in that bench can grow quote quickly. I’ve found that myself, if you do about double the volume of bench to squat or DL. But, my experience is that approach isn’t sustainable in the long term.

But increasing bench appreciably in 50 days while preparing for a meet? I’d say that’s risky at best. You’d have to reduce squat and DL training quite a lot, and I don’t see that helping your total.


@MarkKO Squatting and benching 4 days a week each is pretty easy, and I can’t see that that would be insufficient to drive his bench up over a month or two, given sufficient volume and frequency. Or bench and deadlift. I would, however, avoid pushing both squat and deadlift very hard with high frequency at the same time as the bench specialization, as that would likely be too much.


Listen man , the problem now is that the website of powerlifting in israel is shit , I just realized after busting my ass in Squatting , that this competition is Only Deadlift and Bench press.
I dont know why, im thinking of switching program for one that progresses more quickly and only focuses on Deadlift and Bench press any recommendation?


As i sadly knew that in April’s competition there will be only Deadlifts and Benchpress, im really looking to increase my bench press, and im looking for a program that focuses on Bench and deadlift only because i think its useless to spend my time squatting right now…


I like to hit one exercise for chest or triceps everyday. Never going to failure. And trying to move the weight fast. My best tng bench was 380 at about 185. Try that and your bench will go up. Just can’t kill yourself with it. I warm up hit what I want them move to what ever else I’m lifting that day


That’s far easier then. Personally, I’d go for a routine such as:-

DAY 1:

Squat: triples to around 85% (high-bar is often good for DL gains)

Push Press: 5/4/3/2/1

Bench: ramp up in sets of 5

DAY 2:

Deadlift: ramp up to a top set (you could follow a simple wave progression with this: 3s one session, 2s the next, then singles, then lighter; repeat)

Bench: 4 x 3 at an easy weight

Deadlift: 6 x 2 around 80%

DAY 3:

Squat: to triple around 85% (front squat if you like)

Push Press: 5/4/3/2/1

Bench: ramp up in sets of 3

Snatch-grip DL: ramp to around 80% for sets of 3-5 reps

DAY 4:

As Day 2.

…REPEAT (rest when needed, preferably 1-2 days per week)

Then about 4 weeks out move the push press to after bench for a few light triples, and change the bench to 5/4/3/2/1. Drop push presses altogether a week or two out. 5/4/3/2/1 should be heavy but adjusted to your performance that day, aiming to beat the session before if feeling good, or adjust down and get some good work sets in if not.

That’s the type of thing I’d do, but it’s obviously just one approach…


@halcj1 definitely if its a push/pull then benching four times a week for the remainder of the run up isn’t a bad idea. I still wouldn’t recommend that as a long term approach.

For deadlifts I’d be wary of doing them often in a week, but again you’re right that if you reduce squat volume and intensity it can be done and with good results.

OP, it’s up to you. Figure out a realistically achievable goal for bench and work on it.