Some Thoughts on Meets and Goals Some Thoughts on Meets and Goals

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Thread: Some Thoughts on Meets and Goals

  1. #1
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    Default Some Thoughts on Meets and Goals

    As a general strength trainee, you should probably not do meets. Especially as an older trainee who doesn't need the doesn't need the wear and tear and who just wants to be strong enough to keep the walker in the closet. However, if you want to keep progression going or take it further, it can be a very useful motivational tool. You have a meet on a set date and you have to show up and put up. It gives you a clear goal and a clear set of numbers. This can help with compliance and let you know exactly what numbers you have to hit and when. For such a trainee a meet should be basically working up to a 1RM in the three lifts. It is a good opportunity to see exactly how fast you have progressed. Meets done in this manner should be done sparingly, once, perhaps twice a year with good programming.

    For the competitive powerlifter however, a meet is a different affair with different goals. You might do a meet to qualify for another meet. You might do a meet to get experience doing meets. But mostly, you go to a meet to win or place. With this goal in mind we can see that the approach is somewhat different. Namely, if you can achieve your goals without having to lift a 1RM, or even anything significantly heavy, you should do so. A younger or newer powerlifter might indeed have to be hitting a 1RM to win a meet more often than a more experienced and stronger competitor. However, such an effort may not represent an overly taxing effort or require a long recovery time, due to the lighter weights lifted. Further more, perhaps newer lifters should focus on gaining more experience with meets and how they react to such an environment. If this is the goal then winning takes a back seat. A heavy single should be lifted yes, but probably no more than 90 - 95%. Heavy enough to require effort, but not a true 1RM that would require significant recovery time and impact training.

    A more advanced lifter who might be strong enough to win a meet without hitting a 1RM or has competitive goals of the kind that require qualifying meets should probably avoid hitting a 1RM as much has possible. A 1RM represents a significant amount of effort and recovery time at this level. If you need to put up a qualifying total, it should be as low as possible, just barely scraping in, so as to require the least amount of effort and the least amount of disruption to your training to get stronger. At this level of strength, a smaller regional meet might well be won without putting in 100% by a good lifter. If you can do so, there is no reason not to. Larger meets such as national meets might require 1RM attempts to even place, and given their importance they probably warrant such effort. Overall, a consideration of the goal of the meet and how it factors into a larger competitive career is important, and should not be lost sight of.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I've been in 4 meets so far, having started at age 62 in 2013. I did 3 that year, got sick in April of 2014 which sidelined me from weight loss and weakness until I recovered enough to prep for a meet in March of this year.

    I'm not entirely sure I understand how you differentiate "competitive" powerlifters from other people who go to meets and compete as well. Unless perhaps you mean going to a meet having paid your fees for the purpose of motivation or recreation.

    I consider myself a competitive powerlifter. I make all the calculations you talk about and am planning out the next 2 years. I lift in the USPA/IPL Federation which has Raw, Classic Raw, Single Ply, and Multi Ply divisions. Raw was my choice, because in my life, simplicity rules. As a Master's lifter and soon turning 65, I just recently reviewed the requirements for qualifying for both the UPSA Nationals and the IPL Worlds. I managed to qualify for the Worlds in 2013 because at the time they required a Class I total. They revised that upward to a Master's total in 2014. The Class I total is still good enough to qualify for the Nationals. I figgered I was not likely to get back to the Worlds again because the total was more than I was likely to get. But in September, when I turn 65, I need to get a 1003 total to qualify.

    My best total in competition to date has been 970 lbs. which oddly enough was in my first meet in 2013. I haven't managed to achieve that since. My 2nd meet was in some horrendous heat which sapped me after 10 hours of it in an unairconditioned venue when I was deadlifting. The total meet ran 12 hours which ended an hour after my normal bedtime. Afterward, after looking at the qualifications, I realized I could go to the Worlds in Vegas baybee! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, having never done better than an all-conference honorable mention in my high school (American) football venture and getting eliminated in the 2nd round of the NCAA regionals in judo as a senior in college. What complicated this was that it was barely 6 weeks from the debilitating meet in October. I was still recovering from the effects, but I was determined to take my shot. I couldn't eat well from the impending performance anxiety and there were devils in my head. So I went and was running on fumes the whole meet. But I went.

    My plan going forward is to total 1003 for the 2016 Worlds. The meet in March was also warm and I didn't do well because I neglected my hydration and first spasmed and cramped up bench pressing when my hamstring betrayed me by picking my right foot off the platform for 3 red lights from a foot fault. I recovered by making my Nationals poundage goal on my 3rd attempt which I had also done in my 2nd attempt in the squat. But I ran out of gas in the deadlift and missed my total. But I am a shoe in for Nationals next year at age 65. I can make an 880 total in my sleep. I have to make my total for the 2016 Worlds in November of that year some time after November of 2015. I had already planned for an October meet after the March meet, but have revised that since I discovered I can possibly make a 1003 total.

    So far, I'm on track, having just made a PR in the gym of 325 in the squat. My best in competition has been 315 so far. So yeah, the meets provide a focus for my training I wouldn't have otherwise. Goals mean something if you take them seriously, and I take all of mine seriously.

    I dunno about meets not being the most fun to watch. Dearly Beloved and I are headed to the Nationals in Vegas later to cheer on Eric K and grisent who post here, as well as meet up with that charming Brazilian Carlos Daniel who also posts here now and again. He lifts in the IPL too. Good times are in store for later this year.

  3. #3
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    I get the "competitive" definition. I've done a couple of meets, but I do them for fun, and to focus my training on something. I am no hope of placing, and through I qualified for nationals I'm not going because I'm not interested. In fact if someone asks my if I compete, I tell them that I participate, which is a more accurate description of what I do

  4. #4
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    The distinction I make is, a competitive powerlifter is someone who is approaching powerlifting as a sport. They go to meets to win.

    Rugby, GPC?

  5. #5
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    Well under that definition i am not a competitive powerlifter. I'd like to be, but I'm a long way off placing. I qualified for nationals with GPC and am going to compete, for myself. When am i going to be able to say i went to nationals for any sport?
    I compete without wraps even though they are allowed in 'raw'. I'm generally using meet as a way to focus my training throughout the year and to "test" where I'm at with my strength.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCG View Post
    The distinction I make is, a competitive powerlifter is someone who is approaching powerlifting as a sport. They go to meets to win.

    Rugby, GPC?
    Yeah, GPC. I see it as a sport, but the same way as paying social sport is. Like golden oldies rugby

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    Quote Originally Posted by King of the Jews View Post
    2 mny ossies n dis tread
    Aren't you supposed to be at work Jesus?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCG View Post
    The distinction I make is, a competitive powerlifter is someone who is approaching powerlifting as a sport. They go to meets to win.
    Trust me, I don't put my frequently tired old ass through 8-12 hour marathons in high temperatures just for shits and grins. If I didn't intend to try to win, I'd just get a knowledgeable observer to judge my top test singles in the nicely air conditioned gym I lift in and get in and out in a around 1-2 hours.

    Even so, the people and the atmosphere at meets is intoxicating.

  9. #9
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    Agree mostly. General strength person just wanting PRs: don't go to meets unless they are small local ones. Just a waste of time and money otherwise.

    Now we have the luxury of cameras and shit so you don't need a judge to tell you your depth was ok or whatever, so if you're gonna go to a meet it should be for the actual competition, IMO. Or like I said, if it's just a small local meet that will move quickly and be fun, sure.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of the Jews View Post
    ive been answering prayers, but your heathen-ass has none. burn in hell queer. praise be to me, da-g-bus
    I only pray to Ozomatli, the incan god of dance

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