T Nation

Thinking of Competing


Like the subject says, I'm thinking of competing in a powerlifting meet in April in Indiana. I've never competed before. I currently weigh in at 160 so I'll be competing in the 165 class. Right now my bench is at 270, my squat is 400 and my dead is 405. These are all raw lifts.

I haven't really worked squats or deads in a while and never with a pure strength focus so I'm pretty confident that I can add a decent amount to both of those lifts. So my questions then are these: 1) For you guys who have competed before, do you think I stand a chance of doing pretty decent and 2) got any advice? I appreciate any help anyone can offer.


well , I've competed only twice , and neither time did I stand a snowball's chance in hell to win.....but I did it anyway. I plan on competing again in April , again with about zero chance of placing 1st overall.

you could do decently with those numbers though , at that weight .

many others will chime in here shortly , so the only advice I'll throw out is to attend a couple meets as a spectator before you compete , preferably with someone who can explain the ins and outs and answer questions .

if you can do your first meet with a seasoned vet as a handler so much the better .


don't go into it worrying about how you are going to do. just go and do your best. you have plenty of time to worry about being competitive. I think that's why most people go through their lives never accomplishing anything. They are waiting for that magical day when they will be ready. That day will never come thinking that way.

read the rules of the federation. practice the lifts with the appropriate commands. Pick openers that you could easily rep in the gym. Be sure to show up early to get your spot to put your crap. those that have competed know what i'm talking about. take a cooler with you with plenty to eat and drink.

buy your singlet. if possible, have someone go with you to video and keep track of where you fall in your flight as well as remembering to give your next attempt. most newbies forget to give their next attempt. definitely be sure to be there for the rules meeting.

i'm sure there are other things but that's what i can think of off the top of my head.

just go and do it. i have a new member of my lifting team and after lifting with us for one month, i entered him in his first meet. He didn't break any records but he did post a total that he can now work to break the next time around. How many poeple that post on the interwebz can say they even have a total??.. not many.


Thanks for the advice so far. I'm not looking to go out there and cause any jaws to drop, I just wanna see what it's like and start getting some experience. Another question I have, do you have lift geared or do they have raw meets?


most feds have both divisions in the same meet. your best bet is to go to www.powerliftingwatch.com and pull up the different feds in your area.


I'll second maraudermeat on this one. I'm doing my third meet in a few weeks. My first was in September. I did the first with wraps and a belt against single ply lifters. My only goal was to get a qualifier for provincials/nationals which I got.

If I had spent too much time thinking about what other lifters were doing, I would never have done it. As it is, in the next one, one of the women in my weight is a multiple time World's competitor. I'm pretty sure she's got things sewn up.

I just focus on my total and what I want to hit. Besides, everyone has been incredibly supportive and really wants you to succeed besides being a great source of experience and information.

If you can get an experienced lifter to go, that is the best. I had a teenage boy from my club go with me and he was great. He did all the leg work for me submitting attempts and telling me when to warm up, when to wrap, where I was in the flight etc.


I'll third everything Meat said. And, having someone there with you is important. I only had my wife with me, but she did help me a TON with food, drink, knee socks, and other little things. But, the other lifters knew that I was new and were incredibly helpful and friendly.

I think the most important piece of advice that I got was to set my own goals and stick with them. I was really impressed with what everyone else was lifting, but i had my weights set a week before the meet and I stuck with all of the openers that I set and I hit the total that I set. I am still a LONG way from shooting for the monster trophies, but I is a deep desire to have one in my house(I just have to hit a small enough meet).

Try to get someone to call the commands for you, so that you can get somewhat used to doing it. That is also a biggie.


What meet is it? I'm from Indiana and planning on starting this spring. I'm hoping for about a 1050 total at 198 or 220, so you've already got one person beat.


I'm thinking about attending a meet in either evansville at the end of March or in winchester in the middle of April. Not sure which one I want to do yet.


I've done four, came in first twice, but there were not a lot of 242lb masters I can't give better advice than what's been given already.

Just do it, it will be a fun and enlightening experience. In my experience almost all competitors are great people and are more than willing to share their experience. I usually go by myself, my wife went to my last one and I was so thankful. It was outdoors, hot and I didn't bring enough water. She came to my rescue.


Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all of the great advice. I'm gonna go for it and throw my hat in the ring come April.


and make sure you understand the kilo conversion chart if applicable :wink:

actually saw this happen......150 pounder opening at two hundred ninety.....KILOS !


You know, I was not going to enter mainly because I didn't see a point if I wasn't going to win (or at least place in the top 3). But what you said makes perfect sense, by getting a total, at least I would have something to work from instead of in-gym lifts that weren't judged.

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Like the others said, it doesn't matter where you place.

I give props to anybody who gets on the platform. Go get it dude!


The great powerlifters are really only competing against themselves. They are only trying to beat their last competition numbers. I think that's why the atmosphere at a powerlifting competition is so positive. The really well prepared competitors already have their game plan before they arrive. Once the competition starts, everyone is more than willing to help others. If you leave setting PR's, then it was a win, regardless if you leave with a dust collector.


Yeah dude dont ever fret about how your gonna place, thats why every year there are doznes of world champion powerlifters in EVERY weightclass and etc. My first meet was i think an 840 total, so as you know i got smoked. I will suggest watching a powerlifting meet. Not in person but google them. There you can get a better feel of how judges make their calls, proper depth and form, and what you can fail for.


my first 2 meets I entered as a Novice/Over 40 .

needless to say I took 1st place both times for my division , as their aint many people foolish enough to take up powerlifting in thier 40's . almost soiled myself during awards when my name got called for a trophy .....with a 920 total (equipped) . only missed 1 lift though , so I was pleased .

next meet I'm aiming to break that 920 un-equipped.



my first 2 meets I entered as a Novice/Over 40 .

needless to say I took 1st place both times for my division , as their aint many people foolish enough to take up powerlifting in thier 40's . almost soiled myself during awards when my name got called for a trophy .....with a 920 total (equipped) . only missed 1 lift though , so I was pleased .

next meet I'm aiming to break that 920 un-equipped.


That's pretty impressive man. I don't know if I'll walk away with any trophies or anything, but it sure would be nice.


My first I placed third. They kept paging me and I didn't know what the heck the problem was. I was only interested in getting my qualifier. I thought I was in trouble for something or they decided one of my lifts wasn't good afterall.

I must have had a completely stunned moronic look on my face when the gave me my plaque. My boffo total was 495 (wraps and belt at 56 kg - also over 40).

Too bad I haven't gotten any brighter.


thats bad ass. I wish i could be surrounded by more old-timers (no offense) who dont do the cardio classes and colored weights! Its so sweet getting your name called, first time mine was called i stood up and just hit a hyyyooogggeeee double bi on the platform. placed 3rd HA