Gym Weights vs. Meet Weights - Advice Requested Gym Weights vs. Meet Weights - Advice Requested

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Thread: Gym Weights vs. Meet Weights - Advice Requested

  1. #1
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    Default Gym Weights vs. Meet Weights - Advice Requested

    In about 4 weeks I'll be competing in my first powerlifting meet (Feb 20 / USAPL WA State Championships - 105kg). I'm hoping to get some feedback from those of you who have competed about your experience with the difference between globo-gym weights and calibrated meet weights. Is there any consensus on how variable the weight of a globo-gym 45 lb plate is? How much, if at all, did you lower your meet attempt weights compared to your gym PRs? Really, anything you'd want to share about selecting meet attempts when you've only ever lifted with globo-gym plates would be appreciated. Thanks all!

  2. #2
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    Invest in a decent scale and bring it to the gym. I've personally encountered cheapo 45s that weigh between 37 and 48 pounds. I don't really notice the weight difference with squats or deadlifts, but I very much notice with bench and press.

    Edit: weigh the bar(s) while you're at it.
    Last edited by murphyreedus; 01-20-2016 at 10:07 AM. Reason: hurr

  3. #3
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    Do you know what kind of plates and bars your gym has?

    I'm not an experienced competitor, but for your first meet the advice I've seen is to try and go 9 for 9. PRs are a bonus, but there is so much new stuff to worry about at your first meet, plus nervousness, etc. that it might not happen. Make sure you pick conservative openers that you can nail any time (maybe your gym 5RM). Choose your second attempts based on how well the openers move. Use feedback from second attempts to pick third attempts. If you have a handler or someone there to watch/record your lifts, that might help.

    Prepping for Your First Powerlifting Meet
    Last edited by manveer; 01-20-2016 at 10:20 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by manveer View Post
    Do you know what kind of plates and bars your gym has?

    I'm not an experienced competitor, but for your first meet the advice I've seen is to try and go 9 for 9. PRs are a bonus, but there is so much new stuff to worry about at your first meet, plus nervousness, etc. that it might not happen. Make sure you pick conservative openers that you can nail any time (maybe your gym 5RM). Choose your second attempts based on how well the openers move. Use feedback from second attempts to pick third attempts. If you have a handler or someone there to watch/record your lifts, that might help.

    Prepping for Your First Powerlifting Meet
    Not sure on the kind of plate/bar actually. I'll have to check again when I'm there tomorrow. It's a Gold's gym with some type of commercial rubber-coated plates, not that this info is enough to nail down the brand. Thanks for the tips and link - I'd read that article before and will definitely read it again!

  5. #5
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    You could weigh them, as murphyreedus suggested. I'd guess that they would be close enough to just assume they are the stated weight. I never noticed a difference going from LA Fitness rubber coated plates to Rogue iron plates (uncalibrated) to Troy calibrated plates.

  6. #6
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    Weighing them is solid advice that I probably won't be able to take advantage of unfortunately. Since I walk most places in the city and head to the gym straight from work, carrying a scale with me would present a challenge. That and with the number of plates floating around the place, unless they all happened to be approximately equal, any given 6-10 plates would still be a mystery any day I couldn't weigh them. That's okay though - I'm content to glean from others' experiences, anecdotal or measured. At this point I've successfully hit all of my (currently) planned 3rd attempts in the gym with a month left to prepare. I figure that if I keep on training to exceed those goals, but stick with them at the meet that it'll overcome any difference in actual plate weight.

  7. #7
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    I can't recall if Andy's article on meet prep includes a training weights & measures section but it's really useful overall info if you haven't seen it.

    Starting Strength: Article

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_M View Post
    Weighing them is solid advice that I probably won't be able to take advantage of unfortunately. Since I walk most places in the city and head to the gym straight from work, carrying a scale with me would present a challenge.
    Does your gym have a scale? You could weigh something like five 45s and see how consistent they are at least. IMO it probably isn't a big deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nermin View Post
    I can't recall if Andy's article on meet prep includes a training weights & measures section but it's really useful overall info if you haven't seen it.

    Starting Strength: Article
    Quote Originally Posted by manveer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_M View Post
    I'd read that article before and will definitely read it again!

  9. #9
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    There should not be enough of a difference to matter, unless you're a very seasoned advanced level lifter fighting for a few pounds of progress per year. Most people get a little extra juice from competing, and what's heavy in the gym moves fast in the competition setting. I typically have my lifters open at a weight that they could handle as a triple in the gym. We have two or sometimes three attempt plans laid out ahead of time, and we adjust based on how the warmups and first couple attempts go.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Bill, that's great feedback. I'm definitely hoping for that excitement / adrenaline rush boost. At present, my current planned attempts are along these lines:

    105 kg (231.5 lb) Class
    Squat: Gym PR 450 lbs, Attempt 1: 185kg (407.9 lbs), Attempt 2: 195kg (429.9 lbs), Attempt 3: 205kg (451.9 lbs)
    Bench: Gym PR 325 lbs, Attempt 1: 130kg (286.6 lbs), Attempt 2: 140kg (308.6 lbs), Attempt 3: 147.5kg (325.2 lbs)
    Deadlift: Gym PR 555 lbs, Attempt 1: 225kg (496 lbs), Attempt 2: 240kg (529.1 lbs), Attempt 3: 250kg (551.2 lbs)

    This lineup puts all of my first attempts in the comfortable 3-5 rep weight range, the second attempts in the guaranteed 1-3 rep range and attempt 3 in the challenging, but in theory achievable range.

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