T Nation

Peaking for a Meet?


So I'm doing my first meet Nov. 20 (7 weeks away). In another thread it was suggested I start a peaking cycle so that way I can give it my best go. Does anyone have any suggestions/links/information as to what a proper peaking cycle would look like.

Any and all help would be appreciated.


since this is your first meet i would stick to whatever program you are doing now. the only difference would be that i would start incorporating in the commands that are used in your federation for bench, squat and deadlift. newbies typically get redlighted in their first meet by missing commands.

start pausing your benches as well. get really comfortable with that and start working in some singles to figure out your openers. newbie openers should be, IMO, something you could hit for 3-5 reps in the gym on any given day.

with all that figured out, i would then train like normal up to two weeks out. at two weeks out i would work up to my openers, maybe hitting them for two sets a piece or one...up to you. do some accessory work on each of your training days. then take the last week off completely.

don't make it complicated. it isn't. go have fun for your first meet and don't bomb because you went too heavy on your openers or you made stupid mistakes by missing commands or did something illegal in your fed.

get in, have fun and set a baseline total that you can then build upon in your next meet.


Alright sounds good. I'm on a modified version of 5/3/1 right now and was just thinking that I should start to ramp the weight up a bit. Even on my week 3 I'm still hitting 4-6 reps.


Meat's advice is spot on. I'd try to work it so that you're hitting your 5/3/1 week two weeks out from the meet. Do you regular 5/3/1 session, don't max reps on the 1 set and then, if that set is lighter than your planned opener, work up to your planned opener with all commands. I'd do the 5/3/1 deload week the following week and then take the week before the meet off in its entirety.


to be honest with you, you aren't going to get significantly stronger from now until then. but you can put more pounds into your lift on the platform if you perfect your competition lifts. there's nothing more frustrating than to hit a lift in competition but then to have it redlighted because you broke a rule. get those lifts down to the point that you don't even need to think about them and you will have more confidence that will convey to bigger lifts on the platform. that's why competitors always say gym lifts are worth zero. it's all about what you can do in front of the judges.

i'm doing 5/3/1 as well and am preparing for a competition october 23rd. i'm doing just the prescribed reps on all the working sets and then throwing in a couple sets of singles after that really concentrating on the competition lift aspect. the working sets are more like a prolonged warmup leading up to the singles. the singles are definitely not max attempts though. these are heavy singles leaving a couple reps in the tank.


Alright then. Thanks for the input. I'll definitely work on the commands and what not. I'm trying to recruit somebody to come train with me to actually call the commands since as of now I'm training by myself.


There are a lot of ways to do it, but here is a program that I wrote for basically that goal.



Interesting. Lots of valuable advice in there and coming from all those in the thread. As a side note is there anything special about having an "elite" status other then it's just bad ass that you can lift that much at a given weight? Any perks, say invites to other meets or stuff like that?


You get free ice cream at Ben & Jerrys whenever you want it....

just kidding....it is pretty bad ass to total elite, but I think you qualify for national meets at totals less than elite...not really sure there though...

Are you expecting an elite total in your first meet? THAT is badass


Here's one of my favorite articles on the topic, puts it into pretty understandable terms: dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/111


I'm not expecting an Elite total at my first meet. Now that I feel a bit more healed up and can squat regularly I'll be back up to where I was pre-injury in no time. So depending on how this first meet goes, and how much time I take before I do my next I think my second try will be for elite. My goal for the first meet is 1300+ (raw) at 181. 1396 is elite for that weight class (raw). I'm definitely not near my full potential yet and I think once I get back up to where I was pre-injury for my squat I'll be right around at where elite is or maybe just over. My 2 year goal is a 1500 total at 181. We'll see how it goes.


Oct 23rd you say? I'm guessing it's the SPF meet at Brute Strength you're attending?


that is correct. me and my other two training partners will be doing full meets.


Very cool. Ill be there with I believe 5 other guys.


where in va. are you??

are you all doing full meets?? equipped or raw??

we all compete raw. i'll be competing in the 259 or 275 open class depending on what i weigh that day. so will one of my other guys. my other training partner will probably be in the 242 class.


We're all out of Fredericksburg with one guy out or Arlington.

I'll try to get this right: we'll have two doing raw 220's, a raw 135, a raw 168, an equipped 220 and an equipped 242. All full meets in the open class except the equipped 220. I think he's in the masters.


will you be competing as a team as well or all just individual?? have you done a SPF meet before??


All individual. The one competing masters has done SPF. The rest of us have mainly competed in IPA and USAPL. We'll also have a couple of
gym buds not competing, but coming down to help out who've done SPF meets.

Where at in va are you?


we all live up in Northern Va. in the Manassas area.

if you've been doing USAPL the SPF will be a treat:) always a good time and lifters can lift, yell, slap...all the things that are powerlifting.


I remember way back in January when we were on our way down to Richmond for the Outlawz Bench Meet, you told me that "SPF really lets the lifters lift"...I wasn't sure at the time exactly what that meant, but after being to a few meets outside of SPF, I finally realize just what you were talking about!

Hey Brucie, where in Arlington is your guy at? Not a lot of PL'ers inside the beltway and I wouldn't mind getting with somebody close by for training every now and then....