T Nation

Prep for First Meet

The title’s pretty self explanatory, but I have a few specific questions, most of which are pretty basic.

I’m preparing for the Powerlifting meet (ISA/ISAA) at the Dallas Europa convention May 10th. I’ve never competed, or even been to a meet, so any advice is welcome here.

Background: 30 years old, lifting on and off for 10 years.
My training log has some info on current/past lifts, but here’s where I believe I am right now:

280 bench press
390 squat
490 deadlift

Not sure if those are perfectly accurate, but they should be close enough for this this thread.

Questions:

Where do I get a singlet? This is probably the question that makes me feel the dumbest, but I have to ask it. I’m clueless. And how do I size it?

My morning weight right now is low 170’s. Probably about 172. I’m 5’10. I feel like the weight class I should shoot for is 165. Weigh in is the day before, so a 5-8 lb water cut seems totally reasonable, even for someone who’s never done it before. But I’d like to hear opinions on this.

How do I determine my first attempts? I was thinking something along the lines of: 260 bench press, 470 deadlift, 370 squat. I still have a month to train, so I feel like all these numbers should be sure things. Where do I go from there?

What should I do in terms of training in the week leading up to the meet? Should I change anything? Lower volume, lighter weights, take the week off? I’ve heard all of the above suggested before.

I’m competing in the drug tested division. The entry form doesn’t indicate what is tested for, but I’m assuming it’s just steroids. I can’t find any information about their testing on the internet. I’m lifetime natural, so I’m assuming I won’t have an issue here, but is there anything I should avoid that could signal a false positive? I know this question is reaching/difficult to answer, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

I plan to post at least 1 video of each of my lifts. That way you guys can let me know if any of my lifts would get flagged. I’ve started squatting without a mirror, so I don’t really know how I’m doing on depth.

Also, if anyone has a good link to a previous thread or article on this topic, that would be useful as well.

Thanks in advance!

Hey man thanks for the post I also look forward to the reply as im in the same boat as you.
Good lifts dude so close some nice mile stones, 400 squat 500 DL.
Good luck at the comp.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

Questions:

Where do I get a singlet? This is probably the question that makes me feel the dumbest, but I have to ask it. I’m clueless. And how do I size it?


Call EFS or Inzer and ask them for your size. Powerlifting watch also used to have a link on where to get singlets. Also, Find out of you can have words on it; some feds don’t allow any words on the singlet, i.e., logos.

**

My morning weight right now is low 170’s. Probably about 172. I’m 5’10. I feel like the weight class I should shoot for is 165. Weigh in is the day before, so a 5-8 lb water cut seems totally reasonable, even for someone who’s never done it before. But I’d like to hear opinions on this.


Most are going to tell you not to worry about cutting, but this isn’t much water to lose. Google “making weight maryland” and click on the maryland powerlifting link for a great article.


How do I determine my first attempts? I was thinking something along the lines of: 260 bench press, 470 deadlift, 370 squat. I still have a month to train, so I feel like all these numbers should be sure things. Where do I go from there?


I’d go way lighter than you think. You want to make sure you hit your opener for sure, and the lifting environment throws unexpected things at you. Its not like the gym.

Nice to see you getting ready for a meet! I’m doing one tomorrow in Dallas with NASA. Reply above me is good. I’d think you’d need a large singlet but calling to be on the safe side is a good suggestion. For reference I wear a medium and I’m 5’4 156.

Some may think this too light, but I think opening with 85% of your goal is a good way to go. Better to open too light than heavy. Then maybe go 92.5% and 100% of goal. If your opener happens to not feel so good, you have room to adjust the numbers. If it feels great then you can be confident you’ll smoke your goal!

[quote]MightyMouse17 wrote:
Nice to see you getting ready for a meet! I’m doing one tomorrow in Dallas with NASA. Reply above me is good. I’d think you’d need a large singlet but calling to be on the safe side is a good suggestion. For reference I wear a medium and I’m 5’4 156.

Some may think this too light, but I think opening with 85% of your goal is a good way to go. Better to open too light than heavy. Then maybe go 92.5% and 100% of goal. If your opener happens to not feel so good, you have room to adjust the numbers. If it feels great then you can be confident you’ll smoke your goal! [/quote]

Man, I just saw this meet today. Wish I had seen it sooner. I live in Dallas, that meet is about 20 minutes from my house! If I had known about this a week ago I would have signed up for sure. Regardless, I’m considering stopping by to watch a little bit. Never been to a meet before, so it wouldn’t hurt to check one out.

If I go, I’ll be the guy who looks like my avatar picture, but wearing a red T Nation shirt and jeans, lol.

Good luck tomorrow!

[quote]MightyMouse17 wrote:
Some may think this too light, but I think opening with 85% of your goal is a good way to go. Better to open too light than heavy. [/quote]

People disagree on opener percentages; everyone agrees bombing out sucks!

OP, it is especially important to open light on squat and bench because if you bomb out of either, you don’t even get to try deadlifting at most meets. You are going to be super pissed if you don’t even get a total, which happens more often than you would think.

Shouldn’t be too hard to find a TNation shirt! I’ll be wearing my green stars shirt under my singlet. And there will be another meet at the same place in November.

[quote]MightyMouse17 wrote:
Shouldn’t be too hard to find a Tnation shirt! I’ll be wearing my green stars shirt under my singlet. And there will be another meet at the same place in November.[/quote]

Cool man, I’ll look for you.

So right after I created this thread, I started filling out the entry form for the meet in May. I got to the end of it, and noticed that I hadn’t checked a box for raw or equipped. And I thought that was weird, so I went to the webpage for the meet… No raw division. :confused:

Fortunately, the gym I used to lift at (Metroflex in Plano) has a meet on June 14th, and they definitely have a raw division. I’m a bit bummed that I have to change plans, but this may be a blessing in disguise. I’m familiar with the environment at Metroflex, so that should be good for my first meet.

I appreciate the opener advice, I didn’t know that bombing squat/bench meant you couldn’t deadlift. I feel comfortable hitting the opener numbers I posted any day of the week, but I could certainly lower them a bit.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]MightyMouse17 wrote:
Shouldn’t be too hard to find a Tnation shirt! I’ll be wearing my green stars shirt under my singlet. And there will be another meet at the same place in November.[/quote]

Cool man, I’ll look for you.
[/quote]

I’m coaching a lifter in the 308’s tomorrow; I’ll keep a look out for you guys!

Call Rich Peters at 405-527-8513 regarding tomorrow’s meet in Dallas. You can buy your NASA card at the contest.

There is a late fee ($5), but see if you can’t just drop in and give it a go tomorrow. There are weigh-ins tonight and tomorrow morning.

Ask if there will be any venders selling singlets there. Else, find a yellow pages and start calling DIck’s or whatever.

Make it a fire drill, show up, relish that there is not enough time for you to ponder or worry, lift for the shits and giggles of it all, purge your first meet demons, learn a bunch, get a cool meet T shirt, blah, blah, blah.

Open stupid low because you will be using a bar you never touched, listening to a head judge you never heard, standing on a platform you never tread upon before, etc. Your openers should be your last warm-ups at this point in your career.

Other than $110 + the cost of a singlet, what have you got to lose???

lol emskee always has solid advice we need a q and a for him. I’m doing my first meet sometime within a year so I’m just taking pointers good luck dudes.

[quote]emskee wrote:
Call Rich Peters at 405-527-8513 regarding tomorrow’s meet in Dallas. You can buy your NASA card at the contest.

There is a late fee ($5), but see if you can’t just drop in and give it a go tomorrow. There are weigh-ins tonight and tomorrow morning.

Ask if there will be any venders selling singlets there. Else, find a yellow pages and start calling DIck’s or whatever.

Make it a fire drill, show up, relish that there is not enough time for you to ponder or worry, lift for the shits and giggles of it all, purge your first meet demons, learn a bunch, get a cool meet T shirt, blah, blah, blah.

Open stupid low because you will be using a bar you never touched, listening to a head judge you never heard, standing on a platform you never tread upon before, etc. Your openers should be your last warm-ups at this point in your career.

Other than $110 + the cost of a singlet, what have you got to lose???[/quote]

This is awesome advise.

A lot of great advice so far. I’d say, for your first meet, you don’t to worry about most of these things. You can still compete in your current meet even if there isn’t a raw division, you’ll simply be lifting raw in an equipped meet, which isn’t illegal in any sense, and can be great meet experience.

For drug testing, unless you set a national/world record, I wouldn’t really sweat a false positive. You most likely won’t even be hit for testing.

I wouldn’t cut weight unless you are planning on setting national/world records, especially for a first meet. It’s just one more variable to have to deal with, and if you don’t have weight cutting experience from other sports already, it can really alter your performance. You’re going to have enough other variables to contend with on your first meet (having to warm-up on someone elses’ schedule rather than your own, different equipment, different environment, verbal commands, etc) that the fewer changes, the better.

Week of the meet (assuming you are competing on the weekend), I tend to avoid all heavy work, at most warming up to my openers and then just doing some light assistance work for blood flow.

For openers, lighter is always better. After that, I tend to have a range of second/third attempts selected rather than solid ones, and choose based on how I am feeling that day.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

For drug testing, unless you set a national/world record, I wouldn’t really sweat a false positive.[/quote]
Hmm. In some feds, a positive result leads to a suspension and your name is published. Not sure I’d be hip to that.

Great idea to watch a meet before competing. Also, know the rules for the federation you’re competing in.

Emskee and pwnisher, thanks for chiming in. I appreciate both perspectives.

Emskee, I had just assumed I was too late for the meet tomorrow.

I guess I have another question then (for anyone), is a meet a full day commitment? I saw that lifting is supposed to start at 10:00am. This meet wasn’t exactly in the plans, and I have a pretty full load of work this weekend. If I can expect to be done by 3 or 4, I think I can swing it, otherwise probably not.

pwnisher, what you’re saying about weight class makes sense. I’m a competitive person, but in this case, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to be concerned about weight class.

I’ll try to find a singlet locally after work today, hopefully that won’t be an issue.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
Emskee and pwnisher, thanks for chiming in. I appreciate both perspectives.

Emskee, I had just assumed I was too late for the meet tomorrow.

I guess I have another question then (for anyone), is a meet a full day commitment? I saw that lifting is supposed to start at 10:00am. This meet wasn’t exactly in the plans, and I have a pretty full load of work this weekend. If I can expect to be done by 3 or 4, I think I can swing it, otherwise probably not.

pwnisher, what you’re saying about weight class makes sense. I’m a competitive person, but in this case, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to be concerned about weight class.

I’ll try to find a singlet locally after work today, hopefully that won’t be an issue.[/quote]

I “think” I remember getting a singlet at Play It Again Sports once…

Lifters show up on the day of the event all the time.

How long? Depends on when your flight lifts and other stuff.

They may already have that worked out based on people who already registered. Sometimes they do it last minute and all of a sudden there is an “Ok, 10 minutes until…”

A big meet, poorly run, single platform can go on 'til after dark. Sometimes well oiled events end in 5 hours. Maybe the meet director has an idea.

But, if you have the time this weekend, be a maniac and do it. Then tell us all about it and yours will be the coolest story this month (so far).

[quote]kpsnap wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

For drug testing, unless you set a national/world record, I wouldn’t really sweat a false positive.[/quote]
Hmm. In some feds, a positive result leads to a suspension and your name is published. Not sure I’d be hip to that.

Great idea to watch a meet before competing. Also, know the rules for the federation you’re competing in. [/quote]

I am sure it is a negative thing, but I was speaking more to the chances of him even being drug tested in the first place, not that I felt that the consequences of a false positive were not worth worrying about. I realize that my statement was ambiguously worded in retrospect.

I haven’t seen a whole lot of first time, non-record setting competitors hit with drug testing at NASA events, but have no experience with the ISA/ISAA. Do they tend to drug test a lot more competitors?

Well, I’ve called Dick’s, Sports Authority, Academy, and Play it Again… No luck so far. The meet is close enough that I may just go by there early and see if they’re selling them. I called the guy running the meet, nobody answered, and it didn’t go to voicemail. I’ll let you guys know if I can make it work, thanks for all the help thus far!!

Not that it’ll help you much for tomorrow, but try calling your local high school’s athletic dept. (if they have a wrestling team) and asking if they know of a local source. There might be a small mom-and-pop joint that has them.

[quote]RozS wrote:
Not that it’ll help you much for tomorrow, but try calling your local high school’s athletic dept. (if they have a wrestling team) and asking if they know of a local source. There might be a small mom-and-pop joint that has them. [/quote]

Brilliant!