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Thread: First meet in 1 month, having some issues with prep

  1. #1
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    First meet in 1 month, having some issues with prep

    So I plan to compete raw in my first meet at the start of march. I have used very little of my lifting belt the past few years, and planned to get used to it again before the meet, well I have been trying but I guess not hard enough, my last heavy squat session was reverse band box squats and I seemed to be getting used to it. Although I couldn't get used to a belt for deadlifts and was thinking I would compete without.

    Well last night I throw the belt on and it's getting too small almost, getting close to the final couple settings on it. I was struggling with 365 lbs to even hit depth and thought I was going to fall over. I worked up to 425 with wraps, and it just felt so odd to me. Keep in mind I have done 445x5 without belt on squats with ease recently a couple times.

    I can make excuses about my sinus infection and not training for 2 weeks, then training anyways while still sick etc that put me behind when I was going to focus more on preparing for the meet, but it doesn't do any good. the meet is coming up and I'm not prepared.

    I feel like in my mind I have two options. So if you guys have others or input on the ideas I have please feel free to offer it.

    Option 1: Compete without a belt or wraps or anything, shoot for maybe 500 lb S/DL

    Option 2: Start lifting in equipment every session, do a fast paced periodization or progression system, low weight start and solid frequency as I move it up and focus on getting used to the movement with equipment.

    Also part of this time is obviously going to be a deload needed before the meet, so I really don't have much time left. I'm weighing about 243 right now, don't plan to cut at all before, so probably will weigh in close to 250 at the meet. I was 217 mid november when I started eating in prep for this, I went with a training protocol that has worked for me in the past that relies heavily on 5 reps, but also incorporates ME days although more spread out than westside, there's a name for this type of progression system but I forgot it. Cycling periodization or something else. My entire training log is online if anyone wants to view it to help with advice I will send them a link. I know I have a lot to learn but this set up has given me the most lasting gains in a well rounded fashion.

    Ideally my goals would be to hit a 600/400/600 raw in competition. My bench is another issue, I haven't done any pause bench practice, my best single without any bands or boards or any other type of work is 385 done back when I weighed about 220. recently I did 365x5 with ease. So I need to include some way of practicing a pause bench. Also I don't have any training partners in this small town, I lift in my garage.

    I really don't have much time, I want this meet to be an enjoyable experience. But I also want to feel like I lifted my best at the meet, and would like to actually get white lights on my lifts as well. I know a lot can go wrong your first meet. But what would you guys suggest I do? Do I need to try and get a new belt? could that be part of the awkwardness since it's on like the third to last setting? I plan to drop back down to 200-220 later in the year to lose bf.

  2. #2
    Dr. Subtotal
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    It's your first meet. Relax, open with your best triples, and focus on making smart attempts. THERE are always more PL meets to do in the future. Again, take your ego out and open light. You're being smart by not cutting weight.

    The remaining time you have should be focused on replicating meet technique. Pause bench, good depth, not hitching...etc. I'd recommend reading the rulebook for your fed and replicating all the commands at least by yourself. If you have a start command on the bench, practice holding the bar for a few seconds before starting your bench rep. Same with squat. Be very honest about your pause on bench. Judging is subjective so you never know if you'll have strict judges or ones that give fast commands.

    I really suggest videotaping your squats because if you "hit" 445 x 5 and had problems hitting depth 425 with wraps, something is off. I would personally just enter the meet the same way you've been training. Your first meet experience should be fun and shouldn't stress you out. Then start working in the desired equipment afterwards.

    When you go to the meet, chat up everyone and offer to work in with a group. Learn some things and perhaps find a training crew that is near you that you could go lift with once a week. This is the best part about meets.
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  3. #3
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    Sounds like some solid advice. I should clarify though on the squats, I was struggling with 365 and just the belt on to get down all the way, not used to the pressure or who knows what, I can hit depth with wraps on and belt without the bar, it was just hurting and feeling weird which made me struggle and yes it feels harder with a belt on to complete a rep than without. Same on deadlift mid 300s feels like it's harder than 400 plus without belt.

    I sometimes bench with some guys, maybe twice a year or more, but they are 4 hours away.

    I'll definitely read the rule book right away and try to get as prepared as possible, need to order a singlet right away too.

    edit: I should add when I first bought this belt, it was like an extra 20 lbs at first instantly, and then another 40 soon after, it made squating way easier, I don't get why I don't feel that now, get a new belt that's bigger? Kind of late to get one in time to train with I would think anyways.
    Last edited by SEOINAGE; 01-30-2013 at 09:23 AM.

  4. #4
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Make sure to check if you need knee-high socks to pull in too and double check any other fringe things (like knee sleeves, pockets on tshirts, logos on shirts, footwear, etc.) and if you have any questions, email or contact the meet director and/or the federation asap.

    You're either not using the belt correctly or it's too overtly tight. Try making the belt looser and ensuring to actively push out into it. I've never seen or heard of a lifter stuggle to get to depth in a squat because of a belt, although it is possible for bigger framed guys with big bellies to have trouble getting into a proper position to pull in.

    You should always be confident on meet day and that takes training to do so.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    I just had my first meet on Sunday and I got red lighted on the bench because I jumped the "Press" command, so start practicing now. I started real low on the squats just to get on the board and to get my confidence and it worked. With my bench and Deadlift, I went with 85% on my 1st attempt, 95% on my 2nd attempt, and for my 3rd attempt, I went with a 5# PR.

    The belt should have no effect on your lifts. There has to be something wrong.

  6. #6
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    Thanks I'm sure there are lots of things I have no clue to think about. Even the entry form is confusing to me. Still need to get a singlet too, I better go over the rules right away. Would it be bad for me to use my existing belt if I have to put it on second to last or last setting? I would get less over lap and that could be part of the issue? It's only a size large, and I think I'm a bit big for it.

    Edit: like i'm talking the setting it's on part of the metal extends past the end of the belt, it doesn't hit anything on me but that's how off it is.
    Last edited by SEOINAGE; 01-30-2013 at 12:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Did you make the belt too tight?


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    Did you make the belt too tight?
    I didn't think so I went one notch bigger even and it seemed to go ok, but it still wasn't feeling like a benefit, could go one larger from there, but it wasn't so tight I couldn't move it it around a little while it was on me.

  9. #9
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    Well I called and they said I should be fine on any of the hole settings, well I measured around my belly button and granted I just ate lunch and I was standing relaxed it measured 45" which would be a 2xl. So my belt is two sizes too small according to their recommendations.

    So buy a belt and give it a shot, and use this any time I'm bulking and larger? I dunno. This seems like the only thing that makes sense as the culprit.

    Should I be able to span the gap of the XL with a Large and a 2XL?

    If I get it and still doesn't solve the problem I can take blood and thunders advice on lifting without it since that's how I have been lifting anyways. But I don't want a belt that will sit.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    I would think if you can get the belt on and its not on the very last notch then it should be fine. I'm on the last 3 notches of my belt and its still feels fine. Why not get a video of yourself squatting with the belt, maybe something is off?

    You say your goal is 600 S/DL in the meet with the belt but 500 without it? Where are your 1RM without the belt? Have you tried heavy singles with the belt yet? You might just need to adjust.
    Best Gym Lifts:
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontTakeEmOff31 View Post
    I would think if you can get the belt on and its not on the very last notch then it should be fine. I'm on the last 3 notches of my belt and its still feels fine. Why not get a video of yourself squatting with the belt, maybe something is off?

    You say your goal is 600 S/DL in the meet with the belt but 500 without it? Where are your 1RM without the belt? Have you tried heavy singles with the belt yet? You might just need to adjust.
    No I planned on doing heavy triples last night with belt and wraps. I feel like I am close to a 500 lb squat without belt wraps because I can 5 rep mid 400s with ease. Last heavy singles I did was reverse band box squat, worked up to 545 and it felt pretty good. So 600 is probably far fetched for this comp, but attainable at some point in the not too distant future. I'll hit a 600 squat before I DL it, almost positive.

    I'll try to video my next squat session.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    You still have a month before your meet, you need to really focus on using your belt correctly and you might surprise yourself with the numbers you can hit.

    How high are you wearing your belt? This makes a big difference for some people. Tightness also makes a difference. If it's too loose, there's no point in wearing it, because you're not getting anything out of it. If it's too tight, it can throw you off as well.

    If it were me, next time I pull and squat, I'd do a bunch of practice sets with a moderate weight, and figure out where the belt feels the best. Make sure you're really pulling in a deep breath and use that pressure against the belt.
    Last edited by Invain; 01-30-2013 at 06:49 PM.
    Best lifts: 615/475/660, Raw w/ Wraps
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Invain View Post
    You still have a month before your meet, you need to really focus on using your belt correctly and you might surprise yourself with the numbers you can hit.

    How high are you wearing your belt? This makes a big difference for some people. Tightness also makes a difference. If it's too loose, there's no point in wearing it, because you're not getting anything out of it. If it's too tight, it can throw you off as well.

    If it were me, next time I pull and squat, I'd do a bunch of practice sets with a moderate weight, and figure out where the belt feels the best. Make sure you're really pulling in a deep breath and use that pressure against the belt.
    Thanks I think it's worth a shot, will try it out.

  14. #14
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Listen to Ivain. He's been where you want to be.


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  15. #15
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    Your first meet is all about learning. Go in the meet with out any pressure on yourself. I bombed my first three meets by trying to hit my best gym numbers. Dont do that. Open very light and try to go 3 for 3 and 9 for 9.

    "Ideally my goals would be to hit a 600/400/600 raw in competition"

    These would be great numbers but keep your goals and expectations low. Many factors occur on the platform that never occur in the gym. Im not saying you cant do these weights but dont let your total be the only way you measure how succesful your first meet is.

    Dont sweat the belt thing. wear it loose or not at all. Thats a detail thats not worth worrying about.

    1 more thing!

    Take some toilet paper. If you have another 10 guys at the meet and its also their first meet, Tolet paper will be gone before the meet starts. Dudes shit their brains out when they are nervous and you dont want to be caught with out shit paper in between your 2nd and 3rd squat.

    Good luck.
    Best raw meet lifts
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  16. #16
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    Haha I'll bring some baby wipes.

    Last night I benched and my wife issued the commands for me and I practiced pausing all the way up. Worked up to my 5 rep max of 365 but did singles. Almost didn't get the third set trying to do it perfect. So like people are saying I really should do it light. Could bench 365 385 then 405, but would rather go higher, guess it depends how comfortable i am with pause bench and commands as it gets closer. Just aren't a lot of competitions going on around here so will be a while till my next one.

  17. #17
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEOINAGE View Post
    Haha I'll bring some baby wipes.

    Last night I benched and my wife issued the commands for me and I practiced pausing all the way up. Worked up to my 5 rep max of 365 but did singles. Almost didn't get the third set trying to do it perfect. So like people are saying I really should do it light. Could bench 365 385 then 405, but would rather go higher, guess it depends how comfortable i am with pause bench and commands as it gets closer. Just aren't a lot of competitions going on around here so will be a while till my next one.
    Just so you know, 365, 385, and 405 are some great numbers for your first meet.
    Best Gym Lifts:
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    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  18. #18
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Those are really good numbers for a first meet. haha my first meet I beat the press command TWICE. Just a little irritating.

    You need to just relax though. Spend this time focusing on your technique. When you get to the meet, just listen for the commands and you'll be fine.

    Make sure you open light. You can always make larger jumps as the meet goes on.


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  19. #19
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    Thanks, I'm thinking I would be happy with squatting and pulling 500 and benching 385 although I want more i'm going to start light, I think numbers around there will be my second attempts depending how first attempts go, and depending how training goes, will start heavier if I know I can easily hit something well above what's planned. Been practicing with belt and such. Was able to do light deadlifts with it, well Last weekend did up to 385 which wasn't too taxing just uncomfortable, just trying to ease into it, then last night did 225 focused on form and kind of did speed deads without bands or anything, I ordered a new one though last night, it's just too small.

  20. #20
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    So pause bench tonight. First rep failed partway up dropped and bounced it and pressed it up. This is with 385. Second set hit rack before command but didn't lower it till after. Third set seemed clean and proper. It really didn't feel hard or heavy as much as being foreign. But last week 365 seemed worse so I think the practice should pay off

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    I did my last heavy session for bench. Pause benched 405 two sets missed third. Should I do this for second attempt? And 365 or 385 for first. 385 yesterday was pretty clean and felt good. That was my last heavy bench session.

    I had a night of rough sleep with dreams of being late and not knowing where to go or what I was doing at the comp.

    Also squat and deadlifted lost on numbers. Haven't hit anything big on dl since using new belt so dunno where to start. I've done 465 belt less, start there? Squat last session managed 465 in wraps and belt with ease, next session was going to at least do 485. Maybe 505, then decide. 465 just seemed way way too easy to start with but I want to know I can hit it when I get there.

    Don't think I can handle heavy squat and heavy dead so was going to focus on the squat. Tomorrow planning to have it be my last heavy session, kind of pushing close to comp I know I need the deload and to be at my best.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for all the advice. Had a really good experience and fun first meet. Hopefully get vids up sometime.
    Went 3 for 3 squat. 450 ish 501 ish and 567.5
    1 for 3 bench 364 ish. Then missed 402 twice
    Deadlifted 450 ish then missed 479 with a hitch. Then got it third attempt. Could barely stand up after. Had a nice scrape across right near where it caught and I dragged it up it.
    I'm surprised really I assumed a full meet would be hard but that was unreal. Still the people were great and that and support of my family made it a great experience. Especially hearing my 2 year old yell do it daddy, and then the good job comments from her after a lift.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    Congrats. What weight class?

  24. #24
    Wanna Be BIG Joe B's Avatar
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    Nice job, Seoinage! Sounds like you had a good time.
    Meet PRs: Squat 455 / Bench 270 / Deadlift 525

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  25. #25
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    Thanks! I gained a ton of water weight for the meet. Weighed 254 so 275 class. I could have cut a few pounds of water instead for 242 but I just wanted to do my best without an extra thing that could throw me off. Really happy with my squat, and realize why the others are lower and just happy.

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