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First Powerlifting Competition Help

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Hi every one


Iam novice lifter on Powerlifting to WIn novice program(PNP) , lifting about 2 months .



There is a small competition in my City and i need to participate in it.


Just for experience and fun


The main point that i never tested my 1 rep max for 3 lifts


And i can not test them these days as there is about 10 days for the competition .


But in PNP i am recording my lifts to according to RPE .


Here are my questions , 


1- can i estimate my 1 RM from RPE chart ??  i will be effective


According to rpe chart my 1RM are Squat:130kg(286lbs) / Bench: 102 kg (225lbs)/ Deadlift: 175 kg ( 385lbs)



2- i read articles that i can do my attempts as follows , is this correct ??

First attempt : 90 ~ 95% 1RM / Second attempt : (98% 1RM)      / Third attempt : 100~103% 1RM


3- What do i eat in this day ??


4- How many days should i rest before the meet ??


Thanks in advance



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What are your current best rep maxes for each lift? We can probably help you estimate attempts from there. If you have vids then that's good as well.

Some follow the template of: opener should be smooth and something you know you can hit, second attempt close to max, third attempt PR. But it sounds like you have not tested so attempts 2 and 3 might be PR's which is fine.

Are you cutting weight? Not that I recommend you should for your first meet. I would just eat things that you are used to and comfortable eating around your workout, since you don't want to do anything out of the norm. Pack food to eat throughout the meet.

If I were competing on Saturday, I would do my squat and bench opener Tuesday and the last deadlift warm up I plan on taking before heading out for first attempt. Then Thursday I would do my last planned warm ups for squat and bench and a light pull for deadlift and totally rest Friday.

But tell us your general numbers so we can help more.

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Hi Mike


1- am cutting weight slowly from few weeks ago
but no problem for me to eat too much these days and day of meet


2- Here are my theoretical numbers for 1 rep max according to RPE chart

 Squat:130kg(286lbs) / Bench: 102 kg (225lbs)/ Deadlift: 175 kg ( 385lbs)


3- it is a small competition not a big meet

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My advice would be to practice lifting with commands.  If you don't follow directions, the lift doesn't count!


Squat: you take the bar out of the rack.  Knees must be locked.  Do not squat until you are given the command.  Squat.  Stand up with knees locked.  Rack the bar only when given the command.


Bench: get a good lift-off.  Begin the decent when told.  You'll probably have to pause at the bottom, so if you've never trained paused bench press this might be a new and shocking experience.  Be prepared to knock 10-15% off of your bench weight if you're new to pausing.  Start the ascent of the bar with given the press command.  Do not rack the bar before you are told to!


Deadlift: you have be fully locked out at the top of the lift.  Don't lower the weight until told.  Lower the weight under control-usually, this means keeping your hands on the bar and actively lowering it, not just dropping it from the top.

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thanks Janelle

am following Powerlifting to Win Program and i do only Paused Bench

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@adnan, do check the rules and regulations for your competition.  There's enough variance in the rules to really check them out.  Some examples of where the rules between powerlifting federations differ:

  • Raw: does that include knee wraps or not?
  • Bench: does the head have to be in contact with the bench, and do the feet have to be flat on the floor?
  • What are the commands and when are they called?

For example, IPF rules on bench require separate commands to lower the bar, press, and rerack.  In the federation I compete in, they don't have the command to lower the bar.  If you are waiting for a command that will never come, you'll burn a lot of energy you need for the lift before you realize what's going on.


Joelle's advice is spot on.  Especially on your first meet, you'll get nervous.  You might even miss something you could do easily in training because of nerves.  Practicing the commands either in your head, or preferably with a lifting buddy goes a long way.

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thanks so much 

but it seems i have strain in groin (hip flexor) and i will not be able to participate

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