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mcbeast
03-09-12, 2:11 am
Alright fellas, I have my first meet coming up May 12th. That leaves me with roughly 8 weeks of training. I have put some serious work in thus far, and right now I am following the westside method. I have been rotating my main lifts for upper & lower, and have added a bit of RE twist to my speed days.

My Lifts as of right now:
Squat-505x3 W/Rehbands & Belt,(5 Weeks ago) 550 w/wraps & belt (3 months ago)
Bench-365x3, 385x1 (2 weeks ago) Wraps Only
Sumo Deadlift-545x2 W/Rehbands & Belt

Squat: I havent done a whole lot of free squatting these past 4-5 weeks. The 505x3 was with a pretty conventional shoulder width stance. Since then I have opened it up a little bit, and it feels good. Just have to test it heavy. I will also be competing with knee wraps, so its about time to throw those back on too.

Bench: Just today I hit the 365x3. It felt really good. Only issue was on rep 3 I tweaked my lower left erector/lat. Just gotta foam roll a bit more. Im pretty confident with benching, and would like to take a run at 405.

Deadlift: I have pulled 600 in the past, conventional. Since then my L5-S1 has gotten a bit worse, and sumo feels much more comfortable. I havent pulled over 500 since October, so when I nailed 545x2 I was really happy about it.

Im weighing about 252-255 right now, havent decided if Im going to drop for the 242. Im not too concerned.

So theres the need to know stuff. Now, how should I approach these weeks leading up to the meet? Thats really my big concern. Should I go for some heavier pr gym lifts, before attempting pr's for a meet? When should I take my openers? What should I be doing the week up to the meet?

Thanks everyone.

- mcbeast

BryanSmash!
03-09-12, 6:45 am
Id recommend that you test out your current accurate 1rm for contested lifts while adhering to the parameters of your federation, then youll be able to base your training off of that.

Polk17
03-09-12, 9:41 am
Hey man. What I'd do is is roll with your regular template until 5 weeks out... Five weeks out I'd take maxes, they don't have to be perfect but you need a realistic idea of what you can do now... That week I'd just train 3 times (Bench, Squat, & Pull)... I'd deload the next week... Then three weeks out I'd work up to your opener & 2nd attempt, my advice would be to open @ 85% of the max you just took, take your 2nd at 95% of that max... The next week (2 out) I'd work up to my opener only... Then deload the next week, the meet week just do some light stuff to stay loose, sane, and keep blood moving... Only do minimal assistance, remember, the last 4 weeks leading to a meet you can't get stronger, only weaker, you want to be really fresh and peak at the meet...

When I did my first meet my pre-maxes were 455/265/575, so I made my squat attempts 385, 425, 475... Bench attempts 235, 255, 275... & pull attempts 485, 550, 600... This way you open low, take a solid 2nd, then go for broke on your 3rd... I hit all nine at mine, with PRs on each, in my experience you are stronger on the platform, so you should PR on each...

Also, make sure you take you pre-maxes for bench w/ a pause, if you haven't paused before it makes a huge difference...

Last, this quote bears repeating, "you won't get stronger the lastonth before a meet, but you can get A LOT weaker..."

Aggression
03-09-12, 9:50 am
Polk gave some great insight.

When I'm prepping, the week of the meet, I may do some light shit with a bands or light dumbbells, just to get a pump. No actual compound lifts. This is usually done Monday and MAYBE Wednesday.

Two weeks out, I'm taking very light weight for 1-2 reps. For example, if I benched 325 at my meet for a new PR, two weeks prior I was benching a few sets of 1-2 w/ 225. Same applied to SQ/DL.

Three-to-four weeks out were my last heavy sessions; I'd do warmups to heavy singles, doing 80%, 85%, 95% maybe even 100-105% of my 1RM, depending on how I felt.

Prior to that, it was business day usual.

HIGA MONSTER
03-09-12, 10:51 am
1. Your last deadlift should be 15 days before your meet. Ed Coan did this all the time. I never believed it till I tried it years ago.
2. My last squat is about 9 days from the meet.
3. I can't give you too much advise on Bench because thats a lift I need to improve. I was winging it and pressed a 440 lbs Raw.
4. DONT OPEN HEAVY. That opener should be a weight you can double.
5. This is the most important...you win by a TOTAL. Not an individual lift. If you have the biggest squat, that don't mean shit if you bench or deadlift shitty.

Good luck bro!
HIGA MONSTER

alphagrrrrl
03-09-12, 11:59 am
1. Your last deadlift should be 15 days before your meet. Ed Coan did this all the time. I never believed it till I tried it years ago.
2. My last squat is about 9 days from the meet.
3. I can't give you too much advise on Bench because thats a lift I need to improve. I was winging it and pressed a 440 lbs Raw.
4. DONT OPEN HEAVY. That opener should be a weight you can double.
5. This is the most important...you win by a TOTAL. Not an individual lift. If you have the biggest squat, that don't mean shit if you bench or deadlift shitty.

Good luck bro!
HIGA MONSTER

I follow the same rules. The deadlift one really does work somehow. I know your CNS can only handle so much deadlifting, so going into the meet with a clear CNS is a really good thing.

My opener is always something that I can EASILY double or triple...even when I'm sick, tired, or whatever. If you don't get at least one lift in each event, you bomb out and that sucks. It's a huge waste of time, training, and money.

Also, if it's your first meet, DO NOT CUT WEIGHT, unless you are within a pound or 2 (that's weight you can pee and poop out and not mess with your hydration). You never know how a weight cut will affect you on meet day, so just come in strong and ready to go!

HIGA MONSTER
03-09-12, 12:29 pm
My opener is always something that I can EASILY double or triple...even when I'm sick, tired, or whatever. If you don't get at least one lift in each event, you bomb out and that sucks. It's a huge waste of time, training, and money.

True story.

I bombed out once at 1998 USAPL Nationals in Aurora, Colorado.

That was the worst feeling in the world. You travel all that way, wasting time, money and hard work.

I swore that would never happen again.

LegendKillerJosh
03-09-12, 2:15 pm
Most of the people at my gym pretty much start training about 8 weeks out, very light, lots of support work. Lift completely raw at first and hit weights you can easily hit doubles with. Each week they add a little more gear (first just a belt, then some knee wraps, then maybe just briefs, then the suit, then the suit and briefs, etc) and go a little heavier each week. Work up the final week to what your opener is going to be which should be a very easy single, then take off the entire week before the contest to rest. I was surprised to see a lot of the guys out there setting the records (a.j., carrol, thompson, yarymbash) train very, very light leading up to a contest. These guys literally don't work up to 1,000 pounds during training but go into contests and hit 1,100, 1,200 +. It's your first meet though brother so you shouldn't worry a ton. The experience alone is more important than whether you break all your PR's or not. Just remember powerlifting meets should be for fun, it's what you work for. No pressure, just go out there and do what you can do.

Justin Randal
03-09-12, 2:31 pm
Higa's got it nailed as far as taking Squat and Deadlift openers. As far as the bench is concerned, 7 days out from the meet I will take my planned opener to my chest my second attempt to a 1 board and third to a 2 board. This will allow you to get the weight in your hands without killing your cns.

Now lets talk lead up. I would try to establish 1 rep maxes in all 3 lifts early on. The trick here is establishing these maxes without actually touching the weight. For instance, You just benched 365 for 3 reps. This should give you a 1rm of 395-400. With a solid lead up we can likely get you to 405-410 @ the meet. We will base your bench lead up on this. This allows us to build strength with out having to take a break to let your cns catch up after testing your 1rm.

I typically push my squat pretty hard in my lead up and just focus on explosive work for my deadlift as I tend to build deadlift strength through heavy squats and accesssory work. Not to mentiom pulling heavy fries your CNS longer than any other lift.

For me strength comes in curves, it ebbs and grows over time. The only time I have had peaks in strength are when I've tested maxes in training. So the trick here is not to peak til the meet. This is the place to test your maxes. Tell you what.. Lets put together a plan for your meet lead up next time you are up to train and follow your progress in your journey. Sound like a plan??

Ed Eliason
03-09-12, 8:41 pm
Between Higa and Randal it sounds like they've got this covered. I'd reiterate don't cut weight and don't open too heavy. I bombed out of a meet earlier this year and it sucks balls.

BigChrisF
03-10-12, 1:32 am
Most of the good advice seems to be covered. Know yourself and be real with yourself when picking your attempts. Meets aren't won with openers. Your first attempts should be with a weight that is challenging but something you have never missed or thought you might miss. Second attempts are for putting your total goal in good position if you miss your third. Third attempts are for PRs and making up ground on other missed lifts. Around 4 weeks out you should have a really good idea of what these numbers will be.

The whole goal of the first meet is to just get through it. Figure out how things are done and get your timing down. You won't have a lot of time between attempts in some meets. Others will border on too much time. Have a good idea of how long it will take you to warm up for each lift and plan accordingly. Is there enough equipment in the warm up room or will you be constantly jockeying for space in the rack/mono/bench? That will take longer. If it is a small meet (around 15-18) I won't even warm up for deadlift. After squat and arching for bench I don't need to. If you are wearing gear or wrapping your knees, this will become a lot more complicated to get a handle on. Bringing someone with you to help is invaluable. Imagine this: you are up for squat, you have your suit on the straps are up and your knees are wrapped. Then you drop your wrist wraps. They are just on the floor in front of you but you might have well just dropped them out of an airplane. Unfortunately I have been to meets where it would have been difficult to get someone to pick them up for you. I've also been to meets where one of the judges would have gotten out of their chair to help you. There is a whole spectrum of meets and even the veterens will get thrown. Don't get discouraged if things aren't going right. I'm ramblin a bit, but if you wonder about something specific, I'm sure a number of people will offer some more insight.

mcbeast
03-10-12, 9:18 pm
Everyone thanks for your input! I know alot of you are from different training background, so getting all this insight is phenomenal. Some of these things Im already doing, some I will give a shot, if not now then in the future.

The biggest piece of advice Im going to take out of this is not drop weight! Im hanging mid 250's right now and will be staying there. After the meet I will start up some type of dieting..

mcbeast
03-10-12, 9:20 pm
1. Your last deadlift should be 15 days before your meet. Ed Coan did this all the time. I never believed it till I tried it years ago.
2. My last squat is about 9 days from the meet.
3. I can't give you too much advise on Bench because thats a lift I need to improve. I was winging it and pressed a 440 lbs Raw.
4. DONT OPEN HEAVY. That opener should be a weight you can double.
5. This is the most important...you win by a TOTAL. Not an individual lift. If you have the biggest squat, that don't mean shit if you bench or deadlift shitty.

Good luck bro!
HIGA MONSTER
Higa, thanks alot. I am going to stick to the deadlift protocol. With the disk issues I have, it is probably best anyway!


Higa's got it nailed as far as taking Squat and Deadlift openers. As far as the bench is concerned, 7 days out from the meet I will take my planned opener to my chest my second attempt to a 1 board and third to a 2 board. This will allow you to get the weight in your hands without killing your cns.

Now lets talk lead up. I would try to establish 1 rep maxes in all 3 lifts early on. The trick here is establishing these maxes without actually touching the weight. For instance, You just benched 365 for 3 reps. This should give you a 1rm of 395-400. With a solid lead up we can likely get you to 405-410 @ the meet. We will base your bench lead up on this. This allows us to build strength with out having to take a break to let your cns catch up after testing your 1rm.

I typically push my squat pretty hard in my lead up and just focus on explosive work for my deadlift as I tend to build deadlift strength through heavy squats and accesssory work. Not to mentiom pulling heavy fries your CNS longer than any other lift.

For me strength comes in curves, it ebbs and grows over time. The only time I have had peaks in strength are when I've tested maxes in training. So the trick here is not to peak til the meet. This is the place to test your maxes. Tell you what.. Lets put together a plan for your meet lead up next time you are up to train and follow your progress in your journey. Sound like a plan??

Justin, sounds like a plan! Thanks for getting me up for that 565x3 Squat today! Look forward to working with you a bit more!

Big Byrd
03-23-12, 11:58 am
good advice in here. i will add DO NOT MISS LIFTS. do not train to failure. Powerlifting is just as much about confidence with a weight as it is strength.

i dont see any need to lift over 80-85% of your max except to test your confidence once, maybe twice, and no closer than 2-3 weeks out. I prefer rep maxes w 85% then do a rep calculator at joeskopec.com. its always accurate for me.

Mr. Dead
03-26-12, 11:42 am
Get it done...!!!

mcbeast
05-13-12, 4:30 pm
SPF NORTHWEST SALVAGE WARS 2012
LOCALS GYM, LYNNWOOD WA

SQUATS:

1st Attempt:601 No lift. Squatted the weight and fell back at the top
2nd Attempt: 601 Stupid Easy, Form Dialed in
3rd Attempt: Got fucked, was supposed to be 648 they loaded 700. Sunk it and fell back
4th Attempt:After some hassle got to go again 648 EASY

Final Lift- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md2_7grJBNw

BENCH:

1st Attempt: 356. Just testing the waters.
2nd Attempt: 378. Stupid Easy! Paused PR.
3rd Attempt: 408. MASSIVE PR.

Final Lift- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH_bxPEgCqs

DEADLIFT:
1st Attempt: 568 Building confidence.
2nd Attempt: 604 +4 pd pr, easy
3rd Attempt: 640,super fast +40 pd pr
4th Attempt to set a new State Record: 665, just wasn't in the cards..

Final Lift- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHCgkzs8DR8

1696 ELITE TOTAL @ 259

Very happy with the results of my first meet. The meet did not run very smoothly, but there was still work to be put in. I am glad I was able to rebound from squat misloading, and even happier I did not hurt myself there. This was definitely a gratifying experience. Competing along with Seath308 made this meet much easier. Pretty much followed him around and took his advice the whole time. Definitely did not steer me wrong. Thanks Ben!

There is much thanks to be given for everyone who has helped me up to this point. Shoutout to all the guys who follow me here on the forvm, and friends I have made outside of here. I believe a special thank you is in order for two very close friends of mine. Chris Gumm (Mr. Dead) & Justin Randall. Chris has been there since I got up here to Washington, and has been nothing but good to me. He has dealt with alot of my shit and has always been the first one to offer a helping hand no matter what! It is always good to hit up ABC's with him & learn the bodybuilder side of things. Thanks for making out to the meet Chris! Last but not least, shoutout to my coach Justin Randall. I definitely would not be where I am right now without him. Not only did he take me under his wing to train, but completely wrote up my entire meet plan for me. Updating me daily with what needed to be done & taking alot of his own time to meet up with me at his gym. Aside from being a powerlifting planning & percentages guru, Justin definitely has his mind right when it comes to training. I believe the biggest thing I learned was keeping "everything else" in my peripheral. There is a goal, and you cannot look to the sides to see all the little shit that is going on. LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE! Thanks Justin, look forward to working with you more in the future!

Now my goal of hitting elite has been set, it is time to up the bar.

Next Step. 1750+ @ 242

Stay tuned..

Ed Eliason
05-15-12, 9:35 pm
Great job my man! Lifts looked solid!

mcbeast
05-15-12, 11:51 pm
Thanks Ed! On the road to 1800!