T Nation

Wanting to Compete in Arnold Classic Powerlifting


#1

16-17 age group 165-181 weight class.

So I really want to enter the meet, but I'm only going to if I can meet my goal of a 1,200 pound total.
I've switched from a bodybuilding to a cutting phase, and now going into a fully focused powerlifting mindset.
I've always really just worked max effort style, but now I'm adding in motor unit recruitment work from dynamic effort.

Here is where I need help.

Bench Press is where I need the most for help.

How do you personally keep your shoulder blades pulled together? Is it possible a wider grip would help me do so?
How do you keep your wrist straight so your triceps don't take most of the force? Would keeping the bar closer to my thumb help?

Deadlift is good, but I have shit for grip
How do you work on grip? I already go as far as I can with no straps, but throw'em on when needed, so I don't get held back from grip.

Squat

How do you personally feel for parallel? I know a lot of guys train with boxes, but I workout at home so I don't have that privilege.

Here is where Iâ??m at

Bench- about 240
Squat- about 320, just switched up my form back to a wide stance, so it should go up fast, used to have it at 400
Deadlift- about 420
Approximate current total- 980

I'm determined to break their previous record total, and some of the single lift records.
Here is where Iâ??ll want to be late January-early February.

Bench-315
Squat-450
Deadlift-500
The total I want to reach-1,265


#2

First, what is your bodyweight right now? If you are asking about hitting depth on squats that means you probably aren't (especially because of age) so your one rep max or 320 may be off. Are the numbers you listed as one rep maxes with or without gear? Are your projections with or without gear? Either way, going from your total to what you want in 6 months is a hefty goal. You are young and probably can get much stronger faster than I can but that is going up a lot in your lifts.

On bench I would say to read articles by tate or wendler on benching. Retracting your shoulder blades is something you can do whether you have a narrow or wide grip, it is not dictated by the width of your hands. You have got to get used to doing it every set, every rep and it will take over like anything else.

On deadlift hopefully you are using a mixed grip instead of a double overhand grip. If you are going double overhand then take one hand and flip it around. That will help a lot if you are like me.

On squats train them to parallel every rep, every movement. This has always been what helped me. I always hit depth no matter the weight. A box helps some people, some people prefer to be called up at the meet. I don't like to have to "feel" for the depth so I always train to depth and have no problem doing the same at the meet. Most good lifters know when they are sacrificing depth for weight, I'm not sure if you are in that category. You have to take a reality check and maybe take your weight down to start training proper depth.

Sorry if I come off negatively but you have a ways to go if your lifts are raw and your projected lifts are raw. A change of gear can always help along with tweaking your form. Get someone to coach you and learn your commands early. Start implementing them in training early so you don't have to worry about them the day of the meet.


#3

My body weight is about 160 right after the cut.
Both are all without gear, I'm a raw lifter.
I believe I should be able to make it because of the gains from training my motor units, and I'm very confident in my programs.
Okay, I'll practice a lot without a bar so I can get used to the retracted shoulder blades.
On the squat depth my honest problem is going too low. For the past 5-ish months I've been training only full squat, but now I'm switching to training parallel so my motor units will be trained for that for competing .
For the deadlift I train double overhand just so my body doesn't get unbalanced. I plan to only use mixed for max attempts and meets.

Don't worry about the negativity man, I needed opinions and help, and you gave me both.
Thanks dude!


#4

My body weight is about 160 right after the cut.
Both are all without gear, I'm a raw lifter.
I believe I should be able to make it because of the gains from training my motor units, and I'm very confident in my programs.
Okay, I'll practice a lot without a bar so I can get used to the retracted shoulder blades.
On the squat depth my honest problem is going too low. For the past 5-ish months I've been training only full squat, but now I'm switching to training parallel so my motor units will be trained for that for competing .
For the deadlift I train double overhand just so my body doesn't get unbalanced. I plan to only use mixed for max attempts and meets.

Don't worry about the negativity man, I needed opinions and help, and you gave me both.
Thanks dude![/quote]

I would say if you are kicking the bodybuilding crap then you need to train your deads with a mixed grip all the time if grip is a limiting factor for you. I almost never even change my mixed grip to counter "imbalances" and I can post a picture of my back to show you if you are fearful that you will have one freakishly huge trap. If your numbers are raw and your projected numbers are raw you are going to need something a lot better than "motor unit" recruitment to reach your goals. I think it is possible in your high school career maybe but not by january. Let me be the guy you prove wrong, I don't mind it. I just don't think it is possible for you to go up that much that quickly.


#5

It will be extremely difficult to impossible to hit those numbers in the 165 lb class if you are just under 1000 now.
You don't put on 280 lbs on a total with minimal bodyweight gains .


#6

Thanks dude, everyone else I know believes in me too much. haha


#7

I'm not sure you've thought this all the way through. 2012 would be near impossible. Deadline for entering the Arnold is Nov 30. You have to qualify to lift there. Qualifying meet is Raw Nationals which I assume you are not entered in/haven't qualified for.

If you really want to do it, do a USAPL meet, qualify for Raw Nationals next August, hit the required total to enter the Arnold at Nationals. I also wouldn't get too fixated on the 165 weight class. Right now is a good time for you to pack on muscle, so you may get better as you get heavier.


#8

Yeah, I didn't think that whole part through. I guess I could still just go to a qualifying meet, qualify. At that meet I won't be breaking any records, but it'll get me in. Then I'll be good to do the Arnold.
Is that cool or am I missing something?
Thanks by the way.


#9

Sorry if I wasn't clear, but the only way to get to the Arnold is through Raw Nationals or by invite. So:

1) Enter a raw meet.
2) Put up a raw total (do not DNF)
3) Enter Raw Nationals
4) Put up a qualifying total
5) Submit application for Arnold


#10

Alright man, thanks. I'll see what I can do. If things go to shit and I can't do the stuff in time there is always next year, but then I'll need a higher goal total because I'll be in a different age group.
Thanks again.


#11

I am pretty sure the word "parallel" does not appear once in the IPF rule book. The rule is "crease of the hip below the top of the knee." So that could be a few inches higher or lower depending on your leg length, levers, and muscle size.


#12

Deadline for entry to Raw Nationals has passed, so it sure as heck won't be Arnold 2012.


#13

Yeah, that is true, I noticed that the other day because I wanted to look everything up for the competition rules. Either way, thanks for pointing it out.


#14

Eh, okay, then I'll just have to meet the goal I set anyways, and then I'll have a year to add another 200 pounds onto my total. Thanks for all the help.