How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet

How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet

The first thing you need to do when planning your training schedule is decide what meets are going to be most beneficial for your goals. You want to make sure that you have enough time between each meet so that you don’t get burned out during the week or even worse, injured!

If it’s not possible then just choose one meet per month and stick with it.

If you’re like me, you probably aren’t too familiar with the exact details of how many lifts and sets you’ll be doing at a given meet. I’ve seen some lifters go all out and try to hit every single rep they possibly can in order to improve their performance.

While this may work for them, it doesn’t necessarily benefit your overall strength levels.

Another option is to follow the guidelines provided here:

Weekly Maxes – For those who are new to powerlifting, weekly maxes (WMs) are a great way to gauge your progress. A WM is simply a number that represents the maximum amount of weight you could lift for 1 repetition on any given day.

For example, if you were lifting 500 pounds for 3 reps, your WMM would be 500/3 = 225 lbs. In other words, your one repetition maximum (1RM) is higher than your 3 repetition maximum (3RM). This is simply due to the fact that you’re lifting less as the number of reps increase.

How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet - | Gym Fit Workout

One common and effective way to determine your WMM is by using the following equation:

WMM = (Weight x Reps x 0.0333) + Weight

For example, say you just squatted 295 pounds for 9 reps. Using the formula above, we can figure out that your current WMM is approximately 387 pounds (395.5 to be exact).

This means that your 9 repetition maximum (9RM) is lower than your one repetition maximum (1RM).

Now, if you’re using the same equation (WMM = (Weight x Reps x 0.0333) + Weight), but replace the number of reps with the appropriate number of sets (for example, 4 sets of 3), you’ll get a slightly different answer.

In this case, your answer will be slightly higher. This is due to the fact that more rest is being taken between the sets.

This is a useful formula for those who are fairly new to powerlifting and don’t have established WMs. The goal is to make these WMM numbers as close to each other as possible.

So, if your 1RM on the squat is 405 pounds, your 15RM should be around 300 pounds, your 35RM around 240 – 270 pounds, your 55RM around 190 – 210 pounds, and your 85RM around 150 – 160 pounds. If you’re able to achieve this, then your training maxes (not counting the gear you’re using) should put you in the 575 – 600 pound range.

This is just a suggestion, however. Feel free to experiment!

If you’ve decided on which meet to go to, then it’s time to start training for it!

How to Plan Your Training Meet

Week One

How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet - gym fit workout

Rest entirely or do active recovery. Go nuts on the vitamins and carbs.

Do this for the entire week. Eat a lot and get some rest.

Week Two

Exercise your legs more often, but keep the weights low. Go nuts on the carbs and protein (drink as much milk as you can).

Exercise your other muscles as normal.

For the next week, keep doing what you’ve been doing. Eat more than usual and get a good night’s sleep.

Week Three

By now, you should have done all the leg exercises that you need to do (Squats, Deadlifts, etc). This week is going to be squatting heavy.

How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet - gym fit workout

Take every second or third day off completely if you need to.

Go nuts on the carbs.

Workout your other muscles as usual.

Get a massage if you can. Eat a lot and get a good night’s sleep.

Week Four

Take the entire week off from working your legs; they should be fully recovered by now.

It’s time to taper! This week is all about getting your blood pumping and your mind focused on the meet to come.

Go for a light jog, do some jumping jacks, go swimming, run up the stairs, etc. Do anything to get your muscles working but don’t work them too hard.

Do some light stretching and foam rolling. Eat a light meal 3 or 4 hours before the meet.

Get 8-10 hours of sleep the night before.

How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet - Image

The Day of the Meet

Don’t eat anything at all for breakfast (some people do, but you should fast if you can). Get to the meet around 2-3 hours early to get warmed up and mentally prepared.

Stick with someone who has experience for the first meet.

Use the toilet whenever you need to but DON’T eat anything (even if the ref tells you to).

Warm up by yourself; don’t follow someone else’s routine.

Don’t wear too much sweat so you can shed heat quickly and easily during the meet. Wear tight clothing if you need to.

Go to the bathroom one last time before you begin.

Stay warm before you begin.

Keep your eyes on the prize; this is why you’ve been working out for the past several months.

If someone has a good form, try to emulate it exactly.

Do NOT psyche yourself out.

How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet - GymFitWorkout

Don’t wait for the bar to hit the floor before pushing; keep constant tension on it at all times.

Push with your legs; this helps you maintain your position and keeps your balance.

Keep perfect form; don’t scoot your butt back or anything like that to shuffle the weight.

Drink plenty of water and keep your sodium up. NEVER tie off your knees (wrap them when you need to, but don’t tie them off).

REST! After every set you should rest at least 1 minute before doing the next one.

This is VERY important for raw lifters, so don’t rush yourself.

Know your limits; if you reach a weight and feel like you can’t do it then don’t force it. There will be other meets.

Learn from your mistakes and find out what went wrong. Since this is the first time you’ve ever done this, make sure to give yourself time to heal.

Go out and celebrate with your friends.

Now that you’ve won your first competition you’ve gotten a taste for it. You want more.

So now it’s time to train harder than ever and diet like a madman in order to reach your goal: winning Mr. Olympia!

Good luck, and keep working hard. You can reach your goals with the right amount of dedication.

How to Pick Your Attempts for Your First Powerlifting Meet - GYM FIT WORKOUT

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Until next time, this is Ben with MuscleJungle, signing off!

Sources & references used in this article:

content by BA Athlete, PM Training, P Powerlifting, UB Strength… –

5/3/1 for powerlifting: Simple and effective training for maximal strength by J Wendler – Jim Wendler LLC, Ohio, 2011 –

Shifting gear: a historical analysis of the use of supportive apparel in powerlifting by J Todd, DG Morais, B Pollack… – Iron Game History, 2015 –

Technical Skills of the Scrum Master by D McKenna – The Art of Scrum, 2016 – Springer

Coping with injury in powerlifting: Stress-injury model perspective by M Pavelic – 2017 –

Home Explore 02ed2018 View in Fullscreen by S Colescott –