I'm just curious how other powerlifters get ready for a meet. Like the change in their training, diet, etc. How many weeks out do they start to focus on the preperation for the meet. How often are they training in their gear, etc.
Here are some replies from experienced powerlifters who I know...
I eat as big as possible and never stop. I take about 2 weeks off before a meet.
Example; If meet is on Nov. 1
Squat- Opener Oct. 18,
Bench- Opener Oct. 20
Deadlift- Opener Oct. 15
Some very light lifting two weeks out. Nothing for 10 days before the meet. I don't worry about cutting weight or dieting.
At about 12-14 weeks the intensity of workouts gets picked up a bit, food intake gets turned up, supplement intake is changed and increased, and sleep becomes more important.This is also where I limit the use of alcohol as well. At this point, workouts are NOT missed and no shortcuts, volume is high. Sleep must be at a minimum of 7 hours(doesn't have to be continuous, but I need atleast 7hrs). Also very important to stay hydrated at this point.
At about 8 weeks, the supplements are changed again and increased. Food and water intake is kept high, sleep is vital(8 hrs or more). Weights are starting to peak, this is where the p.r.'s on my basic, heavy movements start to happen. My speed generally starts to get better here as well. No change to reps or volume yet.
At 4 weeks, I add more protein. If any cardio was being done, I start to taper it down at this point and change to less intensive and low impact cardio(no running, no sprints, no hit). At this point, I usually drop one exercise per session from my routine, the heavy stuff stays and the lighter rep work goes unless it is recovery work, that stays.
At 2 weeks out, my heaviest squat before the meet. Work up to a max in gear. After that I go to deadifting, last deadlift session before the meet. Usually I work up and figure out what a good opener. After the pulling, I'll do some abs and go home.
At 10-11 days out, I see what the absolute lightest weight I can get to touch in my competition shirt is and decide on my opener for the bench. This is the last max effort day for the bench. Heavy tricep work follows and some light lat work.
At 7-8 days out, last heavy bench day. It's not full range, usually a high board press with the shirt on to get as much weight as possible in my hands to "prime" the CNS for the heavy weights the following week.
Monday before the meet is light blood work. Reverse hypers, ab work, that;s about it. The week before the meet I try and keep my work schedule as close to normal as possible, this is what my body is used to, no sense it changing it now. Make sure I get the sleep and food I need, stay hydrated but don't over do it. If I have to cut a couple of pounds, I plan appropriately. Keep my sups the same.
Meet day, eat a good breakfeast, but not too much. Make sure I have some form of food with me to keep my energy levels up at the meet. About 30 minutes before warm ups, I'll take a stimulant. About 10 minutes before my first squat, I pop some methyltest, just for good measure! If the meet is running long, and we're deadlifting late I'll take another stimulant at the beginning of warm ups.
I make sure my heaviest bench day is the last workout before the meet. My heaviest squat is 2 weeks out, but even the last week isn't light, I usually stop around 80%. The only one I'd say that I don't try and "stay under heavy weight" for is the deadlift.
I know most powerlifters are teetering on the verge of overtraining when going into a meet, that last week off just makes sure that your body is ready to go. If your body is fresh, your cns is much more likely to comply with the demands you're placing on it. It's a balancing act really. Believe it or not, knowing how to get your body ready for a meet without overtraining it is the key to a successfull powerlifting career. It's not as easy as it would seem for guys that have alot of experience with the iron. It's very common for guys to get crushed by weights they smashed only weeks before because they pushed to hard going into the meet. I can't tell you how many times I've heard guys make comments like " I smashed that weight 3 weeks ago", "the most unprepared I've ever been for a meet and it was my best meet", " I've hit 900 in the gym, but their best meet lift is 805". Some of that is guys not judging themselves honestly in training, but a large majority of that is guys just being overtrained by the time they got to the meet.
I train in my bench shirt almost all the time and squat briefs all the time. I get back in the squat suit at lesat 6-8 weeks out. I only deadlift off the floor once a month and that's usually suited now. By 10 weeks out I'm very consistant with my protein intake and adjust my carb intake and quality accordingly to stay right around the 275 limit and not get much if any over. That lesson learned the hard way. My reps I bring down by 'feel' as the meet get close and increase the weight as I can. I don't really reccommend doing this by 'feel' until you've been doing this a while and know your body very well. Until then I'd say find a program you like and use it to guide you in or get with a very experienced powerlifter to bring you in.
Last edited by mastermonster; 01-03-2009 at 02:57 PM.
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Thanks guys for the input!!!!!!!!!