T Nation

Preparing for First Meet


Alright guys, im taking the plunge and doing my first powerlifting meet in 8 weeks. Im currently 89kg/196lbs (in the evening). Best lifts in the gym of 165/140/230 (360/308/505).

Ive been doing 5/3/1 for the past few months and hit some decent rep maxes:

300lb x 7 squat
440lb x 7 deadlift

Ive got a couple of questions basically:

1). How do I structure training for the next 8 weeks?

next week is a deload. I am still using fairly light weights on 5/3/1 (440lbs was the perscribed '1' on 531 day). So I was thinking I ll bounce the %'s up to my true 1RM's for a month (I take a month to do the 3 weeks lifting), take a week/two to hit openers then a week off.

2). Shall I cut to 82.5kg?

Im probably 15% BF right now, so ive got the fat to lose. I ll probably be 87 in the morning, so I have to lose 5kg in 8 weeks.

The benefits of this are: if I lift at 82.5 and hit 490kg, then I would have won the raw division last year. If i lift in the 90kg's there is zero chance of that happening!

The cons: If i lift at 90, the U23 GBPF bench record is 149kg, might have a swing at it. Also I have to worry about dieting for 8 weeks.

Any input greatly appreciated.


As far as cutting the weight goes, forget about it. It's your first meet, have fun.


Your gay Dave amd will bomb :wink:

Do not cut! Unless you take the time to get you bf very low you shouldn't be lifting in 82's ever. Take the medicine and lift at 90's


Lol my only aim is to out bench you :wink: seeing as your squat and deadlift openers will be higher than anything I manage! Are you lifting raw or equiped?


Hey, we practically have the same raw numbers. And I have a comp coming up in about the same timeframe. Awesome. What fed do you compete in, and will you be wearing gear? I'd recommend grabbing a set of knee wraps if they're allowed, they add HEAPS to my squat and took me no effort to learn...

If it influences you in any way, i won't be dieting. If you decide to, 8 weeks should give you enough time and you can probably lose a couple of kilos the day of the meet in a sauna. But I wouldn't want to deal with having to make weight and then not know how your lifts will be affected by that kind of weight loss etc. In my first comp i was certain i'd get at least 2/3 for each lift (3rd was a pb), and i ended up missing my second bench anyway with no dieting so you'll probably enjoy yourself more if you don't have to worry about something else that can go wrong unless you think you'll get a record or something. Is this your last year as a junior? If you can go for the bench record, do it!

Also, i know the conventional wisdom is to take a week off before a comp, but after taking a week off benching my benchpress was the worst it had been for about 3 months. From then on I generally hit openers a week out and do another light day (60-70%) 3 or 4 days out for bench. I only do that because if i take more than a week off i suck at benching, you'll have to see how you respond and do what suits you best.


I ll be totally raw, aside from knee sleeves. I dont have a belt which is something I might look into for squatting. Ive never used one before though. I dont think there is any point cutting. As Iain said im more of a 90kg anyway, I may as well stick at this weight and try and hit some decent numbers. Fed is the GBPF, presumably related to the IPF?

Interesting about the bench, I ll see how I feel in that last week, I might go and and do some very light stuff depending on how I feel.


Equipped pal so you won't be out benching me... although currently you have the edge raw lol


Congratulations, man. Competing seperates muppets from men.

I think your basic plan on taking openers two weeks out and taking an off-week the week before the meet is solid. Personally, I still bench heavy the week before a meet as I find my bench recovery is pretty quick. I also recommend taking somethign a bit heavier than your opener.

Since you have a couple months, you should have ample opportunity to get in at least a couple heavy workouts where you take heavy singles. They need not be true maxs, but they have to be comparable to what you will do on a platform. Let's say a conservative estimated max is 475, then I would go 400, 425, 450 for three singles. Often with rep sets, the first rep is ugly and the form improves with later reps. In a meet, of course, you do not have this luxury. So you have to train singles at some point and the singles have to be heavy enough to challenge your technique. Use whatever gear you will use in the meet in these workouts. A couple workouts like that will give you a good simulation of what your meet lifts will feel like. I would do this within the next few weeks and again a couple weeks out when you are taking you openers.

This is probably not news to you but I'll say it anyway- on all workouts going forward, practice pefect set-up and lift execution. For example, when you squat, take your time setting up, wait for an imaginary "squat" command, get depth; when you bench, hold your lockout at the top and weight for an imaginary "rack" command, etc. This is easy with lighter rep sets. If you practice it there, you'll be likely to do it on the platform with heavier weights.

As far as cutting weight goes, that's a matter of preference. What do you want? To be the big fish in a small pond by winning your class at this one meet? Or do you want a big total?


Thanks for the replies guys.

Pinto, thanks for the advice. I definitely agree that I need to take some heavier singles before the meet, since ive been on 5/3/1 for a bit and I dont really have a good feel for where Im at for a single. This is especially true of my squat. I was out of squatting for about 4 months due to an injury so ive been keeping the reps higher recently.

I really like the 5/3/1 system and I get on with it well so I think I ll keep to it roughly for the next couple of months, I ll just skip forward 3-4 cycles to get some heavier weights in. Depending on how the sessions are going I ll take some heavier singles after the 5/3/1 reps. Im also going to make the MP day effectively a bench assistance day.

Im not going to worry about cutting, its just an extra thing to worry about and I have no interest in staying near 82kg in the future, the opposite if anything.

I think I ll aim to open at 150/125/210 (485) so I ll definitely get a total. Cant see how id miss any of those for a tripple. Id like the squat to be higher, but I ll see where its at with some heavier weights next month. 550 would be a perfect meet (probably 170/140/240).


Good luck, don't forget to post your results!
GBPF used to be the BWLA (BAWLA) lot didn't it?


Yes it did mate.

Ive sketched myself out a new plan, 11 weeks until the meet so im thinking:

Training x 4 a week-

ME Squat - squat, GM, etc
ME Bench - bench, rev band press, upper back
RE Squat/ME Dead - pause squat, deadlift
Assistance bench - close grip, MP, upper back


Squat - 5/5/1/deload/3/3/1/deload/5/opener/off

Bench - 5/3/1/deload/5/3/1/deload/5/3/opener

Deadlift - 5/3/1/deload/5/3/1/deload/5/opener/off

Deload weeks wont be full deloads, I ll probably do a DE/lighter session.

Any thoughts would be great.