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mike95763
03-13-2009, 12:39 PM
I am competing at 181 lbs (unless by some miracle I can cut to 165) in the raw portion of the AAPF nationals in the beginning of April. It will be my first real powerlifting meet and I wanted advice on what I should do for my openers.

For squat I was origionally thinking 505, but then I got really sick and tried squatting and I got 475 but missed 505. I can't triple 505, but when healthy I don't think I would ever miss it (I did 505 pretty easily last night after a pretty hard deadlift workout and some pretty hard squats). I have read that you should pick a weight that you could hit no matter what, even if you were up all night puking the night before, etc. So for me that would be 475 but I hate being that conservative and would rather go for 505 to open then to 525 for my second (which I am about 90% sure I would get) then on to a heavier weight that would take a really great day for me to get (like 545ish)
I am concerned that if I open with 475 I will have to be more conservative on my next lift to make sure I get a good lift above 500 and then I will end up having to settle for a third attempt at ~525 instead of having the chance to go for a big PR.

Bench I am pretty sure about. I am going to be conservative there because I really don't feel at all confident as to what I can do so I will open at ~315 or 325, then probably try 335 or 345 for my second then a little higher for my third which I will probably miss.

Deads I want to open at 525 which is my current PR. I lifted 525 about a month ago for the first time and then I got pretty sick and my deadlift was probably affected more than any other lift. I tried 545 last night but got stuck halfway up. 505 is rediculously easy so I could start with that depending on how the meet goes, but again I am afraid that if I don't start out higher I will not end up totalling as much as I am could if I did start out at 525.

So I guess the question is how conservative should I be? I think I have a chance to do resonably well at the meet, but I am pretty sure I will have to have a great day and finish with PRs in every lift to have a shot at winning.
My goal is to total 1400 so I need to hit the 525 squat and I feel reasonably confident as to the 545 deadlift which I will need to get close to because I am pretty sure I wont bench more than 350 (345 will probably be a stretch). Anyhow sorry I am so long winded. Any advice would be appreciated

Lones Green
03-13-2009, 12:41 PM
Its your first meet, open conservative. This meet should probably be a learning experience more than anything. I'd say open 475-315-500 or something like that. Don't worry about winning.

Travis Bell
03-13-2009, 12:42 PM
You should NEVER miss your openers.

An opener should be pretty much your last warmup set. The only time I tried to open with a PR, I bombed.

mike95763
03-13-2009, 12:48 PM
Okay, so start out lighter. Then what do you guys think I should try for my second attempt i.e. for squat I know I can do 505 pretty easily, and am pretty sure that I could do 525 but have never done it. Should I go for the PR on the second attempt or play conservative there to and go for something like 505. Assuming I go for 525 and get it I would then go for 545 for my third, but if I go for 505 on my second should I go for a weight like 525 that I am pretty sure I should get or should I go higher?

Travis Bell
03-13-2009, 12:51 PM
Okay, so never start out lighter.

Re-read my post, I said the exact opposite

mike95763
03-13-2009, 12:54 PM
Sorry Travis, that is what I ment. Just a typo

Lones Green
03-13-2009, 01:02 PM
Okay, so start out lighter. Then what do you guys think I should try for my second attempt i.e. for squat I know I can do 505 pretty easily, and am pretty sure that I could do 525 but have never done it. Should I go for the PR on the second attempt or play conservative there to and go for something like 505. Assuming I go for 525 and get it I would then go for 545 for my third, but if I go for 505 on my second should I go for a weight like 525 that I am pretty sure I should get or should I go higher?

LOL you're putting a bit too much thought into it man. For your first meet stick with smaller jumps.

Sean Hatley
03-13-2009, 01:29 PM
Your opener should be something that you can hit any day of the week sick or dead.

Reko
03-13-2009, 01:29 PM
if you can hit 505 easy most of the time, open with that.
if you are up puking all night, then go with 475.

if it is good, go up a fair amount, if it is now, then do go up as much. just go by feel and take input form training partners/handlers as they can see how fast the weight was or wasn't moving.

personally i like to hit small PRs on the second attempt and then go for broke on the third if everything is going well.

Sean S
03-13-2009, 04:19 PM
I'm with everyone else here. Open light and base your second and third attempts on how things feel/look that day. I usually have a general idea of what I would like to hit on my 2nd and 3rd for each lift, but I will adjust if necessary based on how things are going that day.

BigTallOx
03-13-2009, 04:41 PM
Deads I want to open at 525 which is my current PR.


Personally, I'd never consider opening at a meet with my PR. Even though, I can lift quite a bit more at meets than in the gym, but still, YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO MISS YOUR OPENER, especially in your first meet, IMHO.

Not that I'm an expert about meets by any means, but the meets I've competed in have all been really positive experiences for me, and I've gotten PRs at all of them, and I think part of that is because I have been conservative with my openers. IMHO, be conservative with your opener than then go for it.




So I guess the question is how conservative should I be? I think I have a chance to do resonably well at the meet, but I am pretty sure I will have to have a great day and finish with PRs in every lift to have a shot at winning.


Personally, I think you probably do have a good chance at doing really well at the meet, but IMHO I think you shouldn't focus on "winning", I think that's going to do nothing but mess with your head and you could end up bombing out.

Open conservative, and then go for PR's on your second attempt. I'm sure if you ask everybody else on saturday, they'll say the same thing. Russ said he's opening his squat at around 500, and I know he can easily squats over 600.

My only other comment is make sure your squatting to parallel with the 500+ attempts. From your box squat video, personally I think you're higher than you think you are. But, that said, with all the energy and excitement at the meet, I found it pretty easy to get depth at the meet.

waynedang
03-13-2009, 05:23 PM
You should NEVER miss your openers.

An opener should be pretty much your last warmup set. The only time I tried to open with a PR, I bombed.

yep my opener is my last warm up.

Eric Downey
03-13-2009, 06:08 PM
if you can triple it. thats your opener

mikesbench
03-14-2009, 02:43 PM
Definitely look at your first meet as a place to "build" from, don't worry too much about winning; in this sport winning is most often determined by who shows up, so try to focus just on PR's.
What I generally do is open at something that I know I can hit any day in the gym, as an example leading up to my last meet I had squatted 765 in training and typically hit 735 or 740 when training in my gear in weeks leading up to the meet; but I opened at 705.
You just really want to be certain that you'll make your opener; at a meet there are so many outside factors that are different than in training, so it's important to build your confidence with your opener in each lift. At a meet you'll face different equipment, difficulty timing your warm-ups, long waits between attempts, and just general anxiety of the "big day"; don't add to this pressure by opening with anything that you'd consider difficult at all.
Good luck on your first meet, and just make sure it's a postive learning experience that you can build from. Too often people view meets as kind of a "last chance" to prove what they've accomplished in training; it's important to view it as a "jumping off point" with many meets to follow as you build towards your full potential. Accomplishment in powerlifting is more of a long term thing; where you can look back on your lifting career and view the high points that have happened along the way. I don't want to say "don't try to win" but success is more about hitting the biggest numbers you can over time rather than winning at specific meets; at least in my opinion. Hope all goes well for you.

mike95763
03-14-2009, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone, and for the encouragement. This is advice that is hard for me to take since I think it goes against my personality a bit to open light. But that is why I asked. I honestly hate the thought of it, but I will be opening with 455 or 475 in squat. Bench I will open with 325 (depending on how my shoulders and elbows feel at the meet) since I can do a paused double and deads I am still not sure, probably 505. Thanks again everyone.