T Nation

What Numbers to Hit at First Meet?

Hi fellas:

If I were to take an interest in PL, at age 48 at 6’1.5" and a bw of 249, how much should I expect to need to lift on the big three to not look like a fool?

I’ve no idea if PL is something I’d ever even compete at, and am just curious.

I’ve never DL over 400 in my life. 15 years ago my 1RM on bench was 315(25?), and squat was 605.

Currently I’m nowhere near those numbers and can’t even do a back squat - use the safety bar. Can likely bench 185, DL at most maybe 265… so IF I did decide to try it out I’m guessing I’d have a long row to hoe to avoid shaming myself completely.

Figure this is the forum to ask anyway, so thx for any info :).

Viva Les Barbells!

The bar. Seriously, no-one cares as long as you give it your all and you’re a decent person.


I like that attitude & if everyone in PL comps see it that way - cool

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Anyone who matters does.


Minimum I’d say is 135 total.

I’ll add a couple things here based on doing my first meet back in June. First, if you’re lifting raw in a usapl/ipf or other drug tested local meet most lifters totals aren’t going to be super high so you don’t have to worry about any comparisons. Second, my meet had 89 other lifters and I knew precisely one (we are buds that train in the same gym) but that didn’t stop a bunch of people I’d never met from shouting encouragement and high fiving me after my lifts.

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They do bloods or urine? Reason I ask is cause I wonder if my TRT stuff would flag the test.

Are straps allowed on DL? Have a bad hand and the grip sucks.

People being encouraging is a good thing. I’ll remember this if I ever decide to try it out.
Of course my training would have to change a lot though. Dunno, it’s something I’ve tossed around on and off for years.
Thx for the input guys!

Deadlift with straps is only allowed in the SPF deadlift with straps division.

TRT will flag the test generally, there is a form for the IPFor USAPL ( i might be wrong here ) that requires Dr sign off and then approval by the federation.

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One of the best things about powerlifting is the support from the other lifters, nobody will mock you for lifting light, quite the opposite you’ll get cheered and rooted for. Remember, no matter how light your lifts you’re still ahead of everyone who didn’t sign up. . .

If you’re worried about the TRT just compete in a pro (untested) division. Again nobody cares, just go have fun and get some experience.


USAPL/IPF doesn’t allow straps but if you’ve never pulled using an Eleiko or similar bar you’ll be surprised how much stronger your grip is. Competition bars have way more aggressive knurling and are typically smaller diameter than most generic gym bars. As for the TRT and drug tests, I’m not sure. You’d have to look it up on the website. There is a ton of info on banned substances, etc.

As long as you’re busting your ass, your form is clean and you don’t act like an ass, people will respect you. You will find that the great majority of lifters will be very supportive. There aren’t many sports where competitors cheer on rivals but it happens in powerlifting.

The bottom line is to lift as much as possible on meet day. That’s all there is to it.

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I thought that was a bad joke, they really have that?

It’s called a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and TRT is not permitted one way or another in anything affiliated with IPF or any fed that follows WADA rules.

So while on TRT I couldn’t compete in a sanctioned match? Just want to be sure I understand correctly.

Not in USAPL or any other IPF affiliated federation. I’m not sure about other feds that have tested divisions, they might make exceptions for TRT but you can simply compete in an untested fed/division.

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I wish it was a joke, lol. Slingshot division bench only!

Ahh thanks for the extra info, I compete in untested feds so I didn’t really know, i’ll have to look into the TUE and see what it does cover.

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I heard about the slingshot division but I thought dl w/straps was a joke until now. Not that I morally opposed to straps or anything. But why not divisions with block pulls of varying heights to suit everyone’s preference? Or equipped bench board press? Box squat? Reverse bands? Various specialty bar squats?

For me it’s not about preference, but about a legit hand disability that will forever limit my grip. I’ll DL with straps rather than not at all, at least when I start doing DL’s. Right now I’m only doing RDL at 135 and require straps for just that. The hand is just a weak link in an otherwise sturdy chain.
And I’m not going for any of the inclusivity type "they should make accommodations " shit, or sympathy or anything like it. Just trying to determine if PL is a sport I personally could do.

Have you tried hook grip? If you can’t sort your grip out then your only option will be SPF.

Sorry but unless u mean the gloves with hooks inside the wrist part, I don’t know what a hook grip is.

I also don’t know what SPF stands for, aside from UV ratings my wife occasional babbles about in her moisturizer :wink:

To be clear, about all I know about PL is the lists and combined total thing. That’s literally it.

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