T Nation

Novice Powerlifter's First Two Meets

I only recently got into power lifting; been training for and competing in kettlebell sport since early 2012 but I’m enjoying power lifting much more. I think it suits me better.

I’ve got my first two meets coming up: a novice competition on March 1 and qualifiers for the GPC Australia Nationals on 29 March (don’t get me wrong, I’m damn near certain I won’t qualify, but a meet’s a meet and I need the experience).

I’m going to be competing raw (belt and wraps for squat, wrist wraps and maybe belt for bench, belt for dead lift) in both meets. The first meet will be my first time using a monolift and competition bench as well.

I’m pretty happy with my programming, and I’m pretty happy with my max lifts for how long I’ve been training for PL (about six months) although I want them to get much bigger over time (obviously). My main question is about my attempts at the two meets.

I’m setting my first attempts as something I know I can hit easily (I can’t remmember the exact numbers off hand but I’ve got them written down) sitting around 90% of my max. I hit those weights every two to three weeks in training for singles and doubles, so that isn’t my concern. My seconds attempts are all set to be 10 or so lb PRs (or 5 kg, since I’m in Australia) and my third attempts I’ll decide on the day depending how I felt about my second attempts (provided I get them white lighted, of course).

What I’m wondering about is whether I might be better off dropping my weights for the first meet just to get it under my belt (pardon the pun) and then trying for some PRs in the second meet. The gap between meets isn’t huge, and I’ll be deloading/resting for a week or so after the first meet as it comes at the end of nine week cycle. That gives me about two or so actual training weeks to prep for the second meet, and I don’t see how I can realistically expect to hit PRs on 1 March and then hit some new PRs on 29 March.

To put it into perspective this is the idea I’m toying with:

current maxes (in the 198 lb class):

Squat 396 lb
Bench press 220 lb
Dead lift 473 lb

First meet:
Squat: (1) 352 lb (2) 374 lb (3) 396 lb
Bench press: (1) 198 lb (2) 209 lb (3) 220 lb
Dead lift: (1) 425 lb (2) 450 lb (3) 473 lb

Second meet:
Squat: (1) 356 lb (2) 407 lb (3) TBA
Bench press: (1) 198 lb (2) 231 lb (3) TBA
Dead lift: (1) 425 lb (2) 484 lb (3) TBA

Any advice is greatly applreciated.

Seems like a solid plan to me, only thing is be careful of your first attempt in the squat. At my first meet my max was about 405 and I failed a 345 because I let the nerves get to me. Not saying you should necessarily drop it lower just don’t take a meet environment for granted because it’s much different than taking a max in the gym. Best of luck and have fun!

Good advice, thanks! I should be ok in terms of nerves I think. I usually get most nervous the day before I compete, but on the day I tend to be relatively relaxed. It’ll also be the first time for me competing where I live, so I don’t have to factor in travel and stuff.

your atempts are rather reserved.

What i usualy take as a rule of thumb.
1st attempt is something easy (i have done atleast a tripple with)
2nd atempt working on my total (usualy around 10lbs under my PR)
3rd atempt try to set PR (usualy depending on how i feel that day i set my 3rd)

on meets im always so much more hyped that during training so for me i always try that little bit more during meet. I gotta say that has worked for me good for now

I think I might have figured out a nice balance. It would go:

first meet keep my first attempts as I set out; second attempts my current PRs; third attempt for for a five to 10 lb PR

second meet use the approach of first attempts between 87 and 93% or my PR; second attempts my PRs from the previous meet; third attempts go by how I feel.

The main thing I’m wary of it letting my ego get in the way, especially for my first meet. That’s why the first meets attempts are kind of reserved. I’d like to go nine for nine and get a 500 kg total; second meet I’d like a 525 kg total but I’ll settle for a higher total than the first meet since there’s only four weeks between the two. Given I’m testing out my new knee wraps this week, I’ll have a better idea of how much they will add to my squat and that’ll give me an idea of what I can aim for.

I know I already offered input here but I just thought I’d add in that Jim Wendler likes to go about meets like this:
1st attempt- 85% of goal
2nd attempt- 92.5% of goal
3rd attempt- Goal

Might make things a little easier if you’re getting too fickle about your attempts

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:
I know I already offered input here but I just thought I’d add in that Jim Wendler likes to go about meets like this:
1st attempt- 85% of goal
2nd attempt- 92.5% of goal
3rd attempt- Goal

Might make things a little easier if you’re getting too fickle about your attempts[/quote]

Good advice (again). The thing for me is I haven’t got a ‘goal’ beyond lifting as much as I can at the meet. I’ve got long term goals for the end of the year and beyond (especially for dead lift) which I’m working towards. I kind of like the idea of using the second and third attempts as two chances to hit a PR (so let’s say I miss my second, I can reattempt it).

Does that make any sense? I guess I haven’t been training for PL long enough or competing often enough (well, ever at the moment) to be able to estimate what I should shoot for at a meet beyond a 5 to 10 lb PR and if I get that seeing how I go.