Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
After a 6-year competition layoff, and having now stepped down from running Scottish Powerlifting competitions I decided to get back into competing as a focus for my training again. However, this hinged on how this competition went in terms of if the competition day experience was enjoyable, and if the juice would be worth the squeeze.
I don’t find powerlifting-specific training particularly enjoyable without the target of competition, and if left to my own devices, I will do a lot more varied training menu.
Prep for the comp went fine, I was trialling an extremely low volume, like minimum effective dose low, training strategy to potentially use with some clients. Block length was meant to be in line with my time to peak, which is 9 weeks, though due to poor planning, I actually ended up running over and doing 10 weeks. No big deal though, I knew I wouldn’t be destroying any PBs on 9 weeks of prep time.
My microcycle for the block was as follows:
Comp Squat- Work up to 3x3@ 7-8 RPE, stop early if overcooked.
Comp Bench- Work up to 3x3@ 8-9 RPE, stop early if overcooked.
Comp Deadlift - Work up to 3x3@ 7-8 RPE, stop early if overcooked.
1ct Pause Close Grip Bench - Work up to 3x3@ 8-9 RPE, stop early if overcooked.
Comp Squat- Work up to 3x4@ 7-8 RPE, stop early if overcooked.
Reverse Grip Bench- Work up to 3x3@ 8-9 RPE, stop early if overcooked.
That’s it. Pretty minimal. High intensities on bench moves, since lifting for 50% of my life this year, have still yet to manage to hurt my upper body in any way, I don’t mind going harder on bench. I have had a bunch of low-medium-grade injuries in the past around squats and deadlifts, so I take those more cautiously.
E1RM total at the start of the block 520kgs [175/135/210]
Peak E1RM total during the block 557.5kgs [185/140/237.5]
Total change: 37.5kgs.
A pretty good block considering the minimalistic approach.
At the competition itself, I put together a 525kg total [175/130/220]
Whilst a lot lower than my peak E1RMs I didn’t really go with the aim of trying to really ring out every kilo, it was mostly just to get back into the swing of things as a competitor, and to see if it was still enjoyable. Also, the lifts on the day were all fairly low RPE, I’m very much out of practice with loading myself and being able to gauge performance difficulty.
Obviously very easy. Had concerns about the rushing technique when back on the platform, but this went fine. Depth is obviously tryhard.
Almost easier than the first one. Rushed setup a little bit, and didn’t fully set both my feet how I like.
Actually starting to slow down a bit. Setup was better, the descent was good, just actually had to push a bit. E1RM had 185 for squat, based on the video i think that would have been there on the day.
Very comfortable. I tripled this with a few in the tank on one of my last sessions. Benching with commands was fine, I don't typically touch and go bench often in training.
Felt fine on the descent, flared too early and threw it at my hips like a moron.
Skipped 3rd bench as in the past I’ve had grindy 3rds that cramp my back up and make deadlifts miserable. Realistically I should’ve assessed that it was a technical issue, taken a smaller third jump, and built the total.
Very easy. I had concerns that due to my pre-comp block being very low volume, I’d struggle to go the distance without flagging. On the day everything felt fine.
Obviously, a bigger jump than most might take. I’m very much a proponent of taking bigger jumps and trying to be as efficient as possible to get to the correct third attempt on the day
Small loss of tension from rushing the setup.
Good finisher, actually revved the engine a bit with hype and hit the salts. Much better with position and tension, forgot to go around and thank the refs and spotter though. Shitebag.
A great competition overall, was really fun to get back into lifting. Looking forward to potential end of year competitions for another this year.
Following this comp, I’m heading into a 3-week pivot/washout block of training.
Microcycle for that looks like this:
Sumo Deadlift x10@ 5 x10@6 x10@7
Bent Over Row x10@ 5 x10@6 x10@7
Dumbbell Loaded Lateral Lunges x16@ 5 x16@ 6 x16@ 7.
Belt Squat 3 sets of 100kg, set 1@6 set 2@7 set 3@8 (Our non-fancy belt squat can only fit so much weight on it.)
Dips +5kgs Reps until 6/7/8 RPE
Pullups 3 sets of bodyweight reps till RPE 8
Assisted Nordic Hamstring Curls BW reps until 7/8/9 RPE
RFE Split Squats BW reps until 6/7/8 RPE
Dumbbell Incline Bench x12@ 6 x12@7 x12@8
Rest times for all sessions to be kept as low as possible to work on some cardio.
Will also be doing some aerobic intervals on off days for this as well.
Hope you found something there helpful. If you have any questions feel free to reach out @atsapproved on all socials!