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Hey everyone,

 

A week from Thursday I am entering a bench press competition. I have already posted on here a few times about it and I'm so thankful for all the help I have gotten. I just have a few more questions about it.

 

How should I prepare for the event on the days leading up to it? Should I rest for a few days before or do some light lifting to keep my body engaged?

 

What should I eat on the day of the competition? It is not until 7:00 at night so I want to make sure I have plenty of energy still by then.

 

Finally, the competition rules say that I get four lifts and can only go up in weight. If I am going for 205lbs, where should I start the first press? Lower, or closer to my goal of 205?

 

Thanks everyone!!

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Glad to hear that you've entered, and while I haven't done too many competitions, I can probably help out a bit -

 

1. Leading up to the event, I would say that light to moderate training the week beforehand is about all you'll want to do. If you do any chest work, I'd make it on the lower side of your training weight (perhaps some fast doubles with only about 65% of your 1 rep max), but I wouldn't do an all-out chest day within about a week of the contest. Day before, just rest up so you're in top shape on contest day. For me, I tried to base my sleep the night before to make it so that the contest was as late in the day as it could be for me post-wakeup, as I lift my best at night after my regular daily activities. If the time of day doesn't impact you much, then it's no concern, but for me, I always went to bed early if it was a morning contest so I wasn't only up for 2 hours before it began, and if it was at night, I usually would stay up fairly late as that's my normal schedule anyway.

 

2. What you eat has more impact if you're struggling to make a weight class. If there's no weight class you have to make, then I'd say, eat a fairly high protein/moderate fat/moderate carb diet on contest day, smaller meals during the day, last "meal" about 2-3 hours pre-contest with the last meal being light and with good carbs like fruit and oatmeal for sustained energy. I usually kept some Primal Strips or something similar handy to snack on in case the contest would drag out and I'd have a few hours more than expected in between the start and when I would lift, so keep a few small things handy in case it takes longer than anticipated.

 

For your schedule of lifts, here's the common way things go -

 

1st lift - something you can do fairly easy for a double or triple to ensure that if anything goes wrong afterward, you still get a total on the board and don't bomb out. Go with something that you don't have to worry about, but is still fairly close to your max. My guess is, something like 180-185 would probably be a fair place to start based on an estimated max of 205.

 

2nd lift - get closer to your curret max, perhaps 95% or so (arount 195 based on a 205 max), to where it shouldn't be a problem even if you're not 100% spot-on that day.

 

3rd lift - max out with something you've done for your best lift before. If you've maxed at 205, then make this your 205 attempt.

 

4th lift - not always common in meets, but they happen. This is where you'll want to try and set a PR if you're up to it. If you made that 205, then go for 210 or 215 and see if you can set yourself a new record. Sometimes, the energy from the competiton will be enough to burst through your old sticking points, so if you find that you hit your 3rd lift easily enough, then it's on for trying to reach a new benchmark.

 

If this were the standard 3-attempt format, you'd pretty much just want to remove my suggestion for #2 from the list and keep the others. But, this is a pretty safe way to ensure you get a number on the board without making too great of jumps between attempts.

 

Even if nobody is following you, there's usually 2-5 minutes between attempts for someone to rest who must go again immediately, so even if you find that you have to lift twice in a row, you should still have a few minutes in between to catch your breath and get back in action.

 

Hope this helps a bit, and best of luck!

 

Hey everyone,

 

A week from Thursday I am entering a bench press competition. I have already posted on here a few times about it and I'm so thankful for all the help I have gotten. I just have a few more questions about it.

 

How should I prepare for the event on the days leading up to it? Should I rest for a few days before or do some light lifting to keep my body engaged?

 

What should I eat on the day of the competition? It is not until 7:00 at night so I want to make sure I have plenty of energy still by then.

 

Finally, the competition rules say that I get four lifts and can only go up in weight. If I am going for 205lbs, where should I start the first press? Lower, or closer to my goal of 205?

 

Thanks everyone!!

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thanks! This is really helpful.

 

I actually am worried about making the right weight class though. There is one that is 133lbs and below and one that is 134lbs to 140something. I would obviously like to be in the 133lbs and under weight class. Only thing is my weight is right on that break. Some days I weight under 133lbs. Other days I weight over. Any suggestions?

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For myself, my water weight can fluctuate by 5 lbs or more depending on sodium and carb intake. If I needed to make a lower weight class then I would lower my carbs significantly for about 3-5 days (that's a random number) and stay away from processed foods with added salt. I also tend to hold onto water if I don't get enough sleep.

 

If you wake up and are lower than your weight class then it's fairly basic math. Don't drink or eat much more than the amount you would need to go over your weight target - unless you know you're going to void it one way or another. If I were carb and sodium depleted on the day of the comp then I would assume that any fluid I drank and any food I ate (by weight) would stay with me for the day - minus a bit of urine.

 

Keep in mind that I am no power lifter but I'm fairly in tune with how my water weight fluctuates.

 

Good luck!

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DV is definitely correct, sodium and carb intake can greatly alter your water retention so keep an eye on those things as you get close in the last few days. To ask, do you have any idea when the weigh-in will be? Some contests weigh-in the night before, some the morning of, some just a few hours before the contest begins. Not that it's healthy by any means, but I've heard tales of powerlifters who have manipulated over 20 lbs. of water weight in the course of a day (usually through diuretics and other things you'll want to steer clear of), so only having to be cautious of a few lbs. is usually not a huge task.

 

I'd suggest that as of Monday, around the time you're expected to start the contest, get yourself an accurate weigh-in so you can see where you stand 4 days out. If you're coming in where you want, you shouldn't have much trouble keeping there by having smaller meals, avoiding excessive salt, sugar and processed carbs, etc., and I'd suggest weighing in once per day at the same time as you lead up to it. That way, if you see a large fluctuation upward in weight, you can try and decipher what you may have been eating that caused the excess water retention in an effort not to have the same thing again before contest day. If you come in a bit high, work on lowering carbs and only going with low glycemic sources for a few days leading up with lots of veggies (no salt or salty toppings, though) and other things that won't increase water retention, drink as much water as you can handle (aim for a gallon per day, up to around 1.5 gallons on the higher side), maybe a coffe or unsweetened green tea here and there, as that will help you drain out a bit. Keep protein relatively high, unsaturated fats can be moderate, but watch those carbs and sodium as they'll be the fastest way to get yourself out of a weight class in a heartbeat. I know that I can vary by 6 lbs. over the course of the day easily based on my diet, so I'm sure that you can manipulate 2-3 lbs. of water weight with little problem. If you need a bit of extra kick, some natural diuretics like dandelion root or goldenseal might help to a small degree, but focus on diet first and foremost as everything to make weight will hinge on that.

 

Hope this helps a bit more!

 

thanks! This is really helpful.

 

I actually am worried about making the right weight class though. There is one that is 133lbs and below and one that is 134lbs to 140something. I would obviously like to be in the 133lbs and under weight class. Only thing is my weight is right on that break. Some days I weight under 133lbs. Other days I weight over. Any suggestions?

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