T Nation

Powerlifting Meet Each Week?


#1

Tl;dr - what are the positives/negatives/results of doing a powerlifting meet each week, 7 days apart, for about five weeks?

It's my first year of powerlifting in high school, and I'm a senior so this season is pretty much it for me as of now. My season starts up in about three weeks with the first meet and then for four consecutive Saturdays after that, there are also meets.

Since this is my first year competing I'd like to attend as many of them as possible (for experience and the fact that I'm probably going to do well in my weight class), however, I realize that it usually takes a couple weeks of preparation/peaking before each meet which makes me wonder why meets are placed so close together for high schoolers. Is it possible to attend all of these meets? What would my weekly workouts look like if so? Essentially recovery weeks? Would I be able to get any stronger by doing this, because my lifts numbers aren't quite where I'd like them to be.

As you can probably tell, I'm a little confused at the reasoning for meets being placed so close together. Is it feasible or not? I'd really appreciate some insight.


#2

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Five straight weeks of meets? Whats the point? Will your performance in meet 5 be that much better than in meet 1?


#3

What did your coach tell you when you asked him about this?


#4

Thats the same reaction I had. It seems kind of pointless if the numbers are going to stay roughly the same throughout the whole season. Each meet is against different schools however, so I guess they figure it’s to see how everybody stacks against the other schools. I think that before regionals and state begin there is more time to train and grow


#5

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
What did your coach tell you when you asked him about this?[/quote]

Well I haven’t talked to my coach about it yet. I got the schedule from online, but I haven’t been able to talk to him about it yet because we’ve been on winter break.


#6

[quote]FarmerJoe wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
What did your coach tell you when you asked him about this?[/quote]

Well I haven’t talked to my coach about it yet. I got the schedule from online, but I haven’t been able to talk to him about it yet because we’ve been on winter break. [/quote]

Ah. I would talk with him first before you get the opinion of internet strangers. He might have a method to his madness. He might just want to get you some meet experience, with you not really going heavy the first few meets, or maybe he just has some super secret soviet experimental program that will make use of this.


#7

Joe Ladnier did literally that exact thing when he was younger and getting into powerlifting. That was just his training for a stretch was doing meets. He’s stronger than an ox, so it can’t be the worst thing in the world.


#8

[quote]FarmerJoe wrote:
Tl;dr - what are the positives/negatives/results of doing a powerlifting meet each week, 7 days apart, for about five weeks?

It’s my first year of powerlifting in high school, and I’m a senior so this season is pretty much it for me as of now. My season starts up in about three weeks with the first meet and then for four consecutive Saturdays after that, there are also meets.

Since this is my first year competing I’d like to attend as many of them as possible (for experience and the fact that I’m probably going to do well in my weight class), however, I realize that it usually takes a couple weeks of preparation/peaking before each meet which makes me wonder why meets are placed so close together for high schoolers. Is it possible to attend all of these meets? What would my weekly workouts look like if so? Essentially recovery weeks? Would I be able to get any stronger by doing this, because my lifts numbers aren’t quite where I’d like them to be.

As you can probably tell, I’m a little confused at the reasoning for meets being placed so close together. Is it feasible or not? I’d really appreciate some insight. [/quote]

As T3hPwnisher said, there’s probably a rationale behind this and you should talk with him to find out why.

Perhaps he’s using them simply as test days where you hit heavy singles and drill in form with near max loads on the competition lifts. Or he wants you to get practice for meet conditions and attempt selection strategies. Maxing weekly isn’t bad if you’re smart about it. Just don’t go nuts psyching up or trying to PR every time and you will be fine.

Some old school lifters like Ernie Frantz liked to do a “max day” every saturday. Many olympic weightlifters still train this way.


#9

no progress
no benefit
possible interference with recovery from week to week


#10

Awesome thanks for the replies everybody. I’ll definitely talk to my coach and see what his rationale was before I do anything. BCpowder, you said that it could be possible as long as I’m smart about maxing out weekly, how do you think would be best to go about that? Just getting proper sleep, mobility stretching, and food?


#11

[quote]FarmerJoe wrote:
Awesome thanks for the replies everybody. I’ll definitely talk to my coach and see what his rationale was before I do anything. BCpowder, you said that it could be possible as long as I’m smart about maxing out weekly, how do you think would be best to go about that? Just getting proper sleep, mobility stretching, and food? [/quote]
More important than all of that is getting the mindset out of your head that maxing out is some kind of mythical horror that’s gonna kill you. Your body can take it.


#12

You would probably get weaker and more snapped up each week.


#13

[quote]FarmerJoe wrote:
Awesome thanks for the replies everybody. I’ll definitely talk to my coach and see what his rationale was before I do anything. BCpowder, you said that it could be possible as long as I’m smart about maxing out weekly, how do you think would be best to go about that? Just getting proper sleep, mobility stretching, and food? [/quote]

When all factors are favorably aligned, you will lift your absolute maximum. Zatsiorsky calls this your Cmax (contest maximum). When things are working against you (sleep, recovery, diet, fatigue, etc.) you won’t lift as much, but you still have a theoretical maximum for the day or the moment. Zatsiorsky refers to this as Tmax (training maximum).

Being smart about maxing weekly (or daily) is really a mindset thing. While you can (and should) do everything you can to recovery week to week, realize that you won’t be at your all time max (Cmax). When you do a meet or max every week, fatigue accumulates so you will be working with Tmax loads.

Tmax will fluctuate day to day or week to week – don’t worry about it. Just think of Tmax as the most you can hit on any given day, even when things are working against you. Treat these weekly meets as training. Remove all emotional involvement; and don’t worry about the number on the bar. Don’t go crazy with psyching up or relying on a lot of stimulants to chase a certain weight.

If you learn to max regularly you will quickly establish your Tmax and can then work on improving it. If Tmax improves, Cmax does also.

When you get to a meet that actually matters (like Worlds), then you can focus on adjusting other variables to hit the highest possible Cmax.

This mentality may be a little atypical for powerlifting but it’s pretty common in weightlifting - many lifters train to Tmax daily or weekly but some only truly approach Cmax once every 4 years or so at some big international event…


#14

So another question: let’s say I only attend three of the five meets, we’ll call them A,B, and C. If I attend A and attempt to hit a PR on my lifts, and then two weeks later, could I go to B for extra practice and drilling, then one week later go to meet C to attempt a PR? In other words:
Week 1: Meet A (PR)
Week 2: No meet
Week 3: Meet B (practice/drilling)
Week 4: Meet C (PR)
Week 5 no meet

The reason I’m trying to attempt a PR twice is to try and qualify for regionals, in which I have to be in the top 10 of the district in my weight class. So meet A would be to see what I’m capable of, and meet C would be to try and push the envelope if need be.

Is this a smarter schedule than attending a meet each week? Would y’all think the extra week off would be worth it?


#15

Have you had a chance to talk with your coach yet?


#16

Not today but I should by either tomorrow or Friday. I’m not in the class period for powerlifting so I don’t see him daily, but thankfully they’re still allowing me to compete. I only see him after school sometimes when I’m using the school’s weight room, but yesterday I heard him speaking to another one of the powerlifters asking about which meets he was going to go to. From the sounds of it, it seems like he isn’t expecting (or even wanting) us to attend every meet.


#17

Sure, you could do it. Wouldn’t be at peak performance but you’d probably be able to hit ~95% consistently. Main thing would be managing the mental fatigue of the heavier weight, which means no lifting on nerve/pysch up for the most part.

I think it would be really cool to treat powerlifting the same as other highschool sports and have meets quite frequently vrs other schools.

Not to mention how quick recovery is when youre a teen due to all those raging hormones.


#18

If you’re just going to the meet to drill I’d say even do that every week, try to PR on meets 1 and 5 and just think of the middle weeks sort of like a scrimmage. Just go and make your last single about 90%. You shouldn’t have much trouble recovering from a weekly single at that weight and you’ll get invaluable platform experience.


#19

[quote]BCpowder wrote:
When all factors are favorably aligned, you will lift your absolute maximum. Zatsiorsky calls this your Cmax (contest maximum)…[/quote]

Very informative post, thank you.


#20

I’ll be interested to hear what your coach has to say; what the rationale is.

I don’t think there is an issue with heavy singles week after week particularly when you’re young. However, in my experience meets aren’t just heavy singles. Despite the fact that sometimes meet lifts are lighter than gym lifts meets are taxing. In my experience when I’m competing I generate a lot of adrenaline at a contest, like fight or flight. That’s what kills me for the next week or so, not what I lifted. I’m not in high school though so the physical affect may be less on someone in their teens.