T Nation

Peaking for a Meet


I’m in the process of setting out my first 531 run up to a meet. I’ve got the four four-week cycles set out, the book made it so easy and pruned all the crap out that’s been bugging me. Best 10 bucks I’ve spent in a long time.

Anyway, I have 18 training weeks. After the 16 weeks of 531 cycles, I have two weeks leading up to the meet. That’s where I’m hoping for a bit of guidance.

I was thinking in week 17 I could properly test my press, but for the comp lifts I’m not too sure. I definitely don’t want to hit anything heavy the week leading up to the meet. I was thinking of maybe just running the fourth 531 deload again for that week.

I was thinking of something along these lines:

Weeks 1 to 16
531 cycles as normal, four in total

Week 17
Monday: test military press max single
Tuesday: work up to a 5 lb deadlift PR single
Thursday: work up to a 5 lb bench press PR single
Friday: work up to a 5 lb squat PR single

Week 18
Repeat week 16 deload, maybe with an extra 5 lbs

My thinking is that a 5 lbs PR on the comp lifts should a) not be too taxing and b) give me a pretty good idea of how much more I could move. I’ll be looking to put 10-20 lbs on my previous meet PR for each lift.

To put this in context, I’m not weak but I’m not strong either. At 31, 6’ and 220 somewhere between 17-20% bodyfat I’m sitting on raw with wraps meet PRs of 440/286/561 but in the last few weeks I’ve gone 473x3 in wraps, 275x2 without a hand out and DL 495x5 so I’m guessing on a good day I’m not too far off 500/300/600. I’ve been powerlifting for around 18 months, with three full power and one push/pull in the books.


So you want to do a meet before the meet? I wouldn’t recommend it. In 20 years of being competitive in sports, no coach ever had us play a game before a game. Peaking is over rated and 99% of the time, people fuck it up. Train hard and the week before the meet do 5’s week with no extra reps. Train up to Wed.

Do recovery work as you usually do the days prior to keep loose and keep blood flowing. Then do the meet.


@Jim_Wendler thank you sir! That certainly makes sense.

To clarify, in week 17 I’d do the fives week as I would starting a fifth cycle, but as you say no plus sets.

Then in week 18 train to Wednesday, giving me Thursday onwards to recover. For week 18 I’m guessing either just do day one and two as normal or whichever lifts I decide (I’d probably rather press and squat or bench and squat). That would be the threes week, right, and no plus sets either?


17 - work up to TM or do 531 week.
18 - 3x5 week. Squat and bench and press.


@Jim_Wendler again, thank you!

I’ll probably do the 531 week for 17. I prefer that.

Really appreciate your advice.