T Nation

Push/Pull Meet Advice


Hey all, I want to do a push/pull meet in November and have some questions if anyone has any experience.

My right knee has been wonky lately. Functionality is at 100%, no pain, however it sounds and feels like tiny bubblewrap getting popped when I bend it and a little bit of an ache when I go down stairs sometimes, probably some form of tendinitis. Most likely because I haven't been sitting back as much as I should be. Anyway, I'm thinking of letting it get some rest, while at the same time bringing my deadlift up for the meet.

Should I keep squatting (I mean I probably should), but how heavy should I go and what variations should I do that best help my deadlift and minimize stress on my knee?

Should I hammer posterior chain work or focus more on deadlifting?

Any general advice for a push/pull meet? Pros/Cons?


It probably depends on how you respond to changing squat/deadlift frequency and/or using different variations. One option is to focus on deadlifts and the muscles that build the deadlift (can include squat variations) without worrying about squat strength. A second option is to keep the comp squat if it has great carryover to your deadlift.

It depends on what works best for you. It also depends on whether you want to put up the biggest deadlift possible or just manage a deadlift PR while sticking to the main goal of getting your total up (even though it’s only a push/pull meet) - that can even be the same goal.

For your knee issue, it depends what range of motion or type of movement affects it. Are you able to do front squats, high bar squats, zercher squats, pin squats, leg presses, leg extensions etc. without stressing it too much. And if so, how heavy can you go?

Personally I would just focus on deadlifts to allow my knees to recover. If I were deadlifting 2-4 times a week I might not need much assistance work. If I were only deadlifting once a week I would make sure to stimulate the muscle groups that aren’t being trained enough when deadlifting, which can include anterior dominant or posterior dominant work depending on strengths (if muscle aren’t getting enough volume) or weaknesses (if muscles aren’t getting enough volume). IMO, all muscles need to be trained.

To maintain technique in any lift, I found that working up to a few reps at around 80% once each week is enough.


I’d probably ease off on the squats and focus on my DL. Just do supplementary work that’ll keep your squat drivers strong.

If I had to pick, I’d say box squats of some kind might be the go to drive both your DL and maintain your squat. I’ve generally found box squats are nicer on my knees than regular squats, plus they hammer all my deadlift muscles.

I’d also recommend setting up your deadlift work so you really do peak for the meet - even if you aren’t squatting as much high volume pulling could quite easily end up with you getting pretty beat up overall if you’re not careful how you go about it. For instance, in your situation I would probably pull heavy once a week, pull light-moderate for speed with opposite style once a week and maybe add in a deadliftalike (block pulls, snatch grip, etc) movement once a week and/or do box squats on that day too.

EDIT: with squatting and how heavy, I’d keep it light enough not to strain the knee but heavy enough that you have to work. For me that’d probably be triples around the 80% mark. Fine line again, but box squats should add a safety margin.


Thanks for the input guys.

Deadlifting a few times a week is definitely not an issue. I’ll probably end up programming a heavy day, a speed day and an accessory/technique day. Box squats are a great idea, they hit my adductors well. I guess was just paranoid of loosing squat strength if I back off or stopped completely, but yeah the general consensus has been triples at around 75-80% so I should be fine I guess.


I think you’re on the right track.

Throw in some banded TKE’s and make sure you’re rolling your IT bands and calves really well.