Time Between Powerlifting Competitions?

superman's picture

I plan on competing on February 27th at the NASA East Texas State as well as July 17th at the NASA Grand Nationals, but wanted to find a meet somewhere in between. The only one that I found that I may be able to fit in is June 12th. I don't want to go five months without a meet, but is five weeks too little time between meets?

Too little for what? I've

Too little for what?

I've done one meet per month for 3 months in a row. I've known guys who did one meet every weekend for like a month.

You can do what ever you want. But its hard. The more competitions you do the harder it will be. It gets tiring. The one good thing about competing more often is that you learn real quick what competitions are like.

5 weeks is close together.

5 weeks is close together. I like to have 14-16 weeks between meets.


wlewisj's picture

The shortest I have gone is

The shortest I have gone is 6 weeks. But, it depends on whether you are equipped or raw and doing a full meet or bench only.

The bench doesn't take much and you shouldn't have a problem doing a bench meet every 4-5 weeks. But, you will need more time if you are going full meet.

Or, used the first meet as a training meet.

Willis Lewis, Jr.
"The man that dreams success is already successful"

superman's picture

I lift raw and do full

I lift raw and do full meets. My main question I guess is what is the best way to re-peak in five weeks? I follow a variation of Doc's powerlifting peaking cyle.

Vaughn Numrych's picture

Do you have to try to Win?

Sorry, not that knowledgeable about the competition side but any reason why you can't enter the June event for the experience and as a check on how your training is going in preparation for the July event? Five weeks seems a little short to me if it's a major event that you really want to win or place highly in but June could certainly be a tune-up for that one, right?

Good Lifting!


This isn't happening, it only thinks it's happening.

superman's picture

I was considering using the

I was considering using the June meet as a tune-up meet because the one in July is my primary focus. I just wanted to get an additional meet in for the experience.

DrSquat's picture

There is no such thing as a

There is no such thing as a "tune-up" meet, especially just before an important meet!

Exactly what "dials" are you turning to tune yourself up? What the dickens does that mean, anyway!

Do it right, for Pete's sake!

superman's picture

Doc, How long did you allow


How long did you allow for between competitions? Due to my schedule as a high school teacher, I do not have the luxury of competing when I would like to. I have to fit meets in when I can. I considered using the early June meet as an indicator of how I should prepare for the July meet. After July I may not be able to attend a meet for several months.

How can one explain the success that many lifters have "maxing out" on a weekly basis and frequently attending competitions?

wlewisj's picture

The guys that have success

The guys that have success maxing out on a weekly basis are doing it in gear, using a lift similar to the main lift, and may be chemically assisted. It rarely works for raw lifters.

Like Doc said, you cannot use a meet to dial in. You can use a meet to test where you are. However, you only go up to 90 percent and you use the meet as a training day. It still has limited benefits. I tried this when I was in grad school because there was a meet in the area. It never worked for me. I would go to heavy at the first meet and had nothing at the second meet. I could do okay if I did push/pull at one meet.

You can maintain your peak for about 2-3 weeks but 5 weeks is too long.

I bet you are in your 20's. I was the same way. Trust me, you will have plenty of time to do meets in the future.

Willis Lewis, Jr.
"The man that dreams success is already successful"

superman's picture

Thanks for all of the

Thanks for all of the replies and yes I am in my 20's. Based on your input I will probably hold off until July to compete, unless I find a manageable meet somewhere around the half-way point.

Is 12-16 weeks between meets an optimal time one should allow between full meets when competing raw?

superman's picture



wlewisj's picture

I could go every 8 weeks

I could go every 8 weeks when I competed raw. I took a week off after the meet then 6 weeks of training and I was ready to go. I stayed at 80-85 percent at all time so it was easy to peak.

Willis Lewis, Jr.
"The man that dreams success is already successful"

Not sure I get it...

So, you train hard before the meet, then take about 2 weeks off to supercompensate (depending on how hard you over-reached / overtrained), then you peak on the day of your meet.

My understanding is, on the day of the meet, you're essentially seeing how much you can lift one time, right?

Sooooooo...... why on earth... do you even need... to rest 6 weeks... if you lifted something once...

Wouldn't maintenance workouts and tapering work just fine between meets? Either you guys are high or I'm -=SERIOUSLY=- missing something here.

Kid, You're missing the


You're missing the demand that doing 9 competition lift and maxing on 3 different exercises has on your body. You need time to recover from that. Also, you can't maintain a peak forever. It only lasts a short time before you have to start over working towards a new one.


wlewisj's picture

Kid You should taper your


You should taper your workouts the week before to allow for supercompensation during the meet. That's why Doc recommends taking it easy the week of the meet. It allows allows the fast twitch fibers to recover.

You do not take off 6 weeks after a meet. A week or two off after the meet is for recovery so that you can get ready to go all out for 6-12 more weeks.

Willis Lewis, Jr.
"The man that dreams success is already successful"

There is a juggling act we

There is a juggling act we all need to do to ensure maximum rest (to achieve maximum supercompensation) and maximum stimulation (to achieve maximum results). So many factors involved. At my age (going 47 this year)and the fact that i just started strength training 6 months ago after a 12 year layoff (got into endurance sport) i generally tend to be more conservative with this juggling act.

Yea thats another thing...

Yea thats another thing... tapering can be kind of confusing.

The way I've been telling people is to go by feel and performance. If you start feeling better after time off, and you do a few lifts just to test yourself and you seem to get getting stronger, thats about where you're going to peak.

I remember reading all kinds of calculations on this. Like... the harder you train, the longer it will take to supercompensate. Charles Staley said something like (and I might have the details wrong) if you overtrain for 2 weeks, it takes 4 weeks to peak. If you overtrain for 4 weeks, it takes 8 weeks to peak. (Is this right???)

I dont know... I think, train real hard, then wait till you feel better. Maintain in the meantime.