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Old 04-24-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
Dana Rice
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Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

I have been kicking around the idea of signing up for a USAPL meet in NC, but have never been to or competed before. I'm 33, and my weight hovers around 190-193. Because of my age, I assume I will have to compete in the men's open division, and I think 10 pounds would be alot to cut, so would probably compete in the 198 class.

I did have a couple questions about things I should be aware of -
- I know bench has to be a paused rep - about how long to you have to pause at the bottom? 1 second? more?
- Are you allowed to used mixed grip for deadlift?
- Is there like a Novice division or anything for people who have never competed?
- It would be Raw and Drug Free - currently the only equipment I use are a belt and wrist wraps - I assume these are both allowed? I havent used knee wraps in years, are they allowed? would it be smart to get a pair?

Currently I sqaut too low, so I know I will have to work on cutting my depth to increase my weight. Here are my current 1RM's - would this be competitive (meaning I wont embarass myself) in this weight class?

Bench - 380 (not paused - no idea what it currently is paused)
DL - 520 (last time I tested, but I know I can do more - probably closer to 550, assuming I can use chalk and a mixed grip)
SQ - 430 (Low, but like I said, I generally squat high bar and go ATG, cutting depth would help me - I think)

Thanks,
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

I've competed in one (USPA) and coached my girlfriend when she competed in one (USAPL) and I'd advise you to not worry about embarrassing yourself....one, because your numbers are very good and two, because 99% of the people I encountered at both meets were very friendly and encouraging to each other. You'd routinely see guys squatting in the 600s helping the newbie who was struggling to squat 200lbs...helping him chalk up, get fired up before a lift, etc. Depending on the size of the meet you may or may not medal, but you're definitely not going to embarrass yourself.

To your specific questions:
-Pause on bench varies from judge to judge. The rules typically say it's only long enough for the bar to be motionless, but you may get a judge who wants you to hang out there for a second or two. As long as you train some heavy reps with an exaggerated pause you'll be fine. Expect the pause to take somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10% off your unpaused 1RM.
-Mixed grip is fine.
-Some meets have novice divisions but I wouldn't expect them to unless they explicitly say so.
-Every federation I'm aware of allows belt and wrist wraps for raw meets, though they usually require the thumb loops to be off your thumbs. Knee sleeves (i.e. blue Rehband ones) are typically fine, but knee wraps would put you into the equipped category. Check out USAPL's rulebook for clarification though.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
Eric Shuty
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

I agree with a lot of what the other eric said. In the raw division there will likely be plenty of noobs and not every one will be a brick poophouse. There has always been lots of camraderie in every meet I've done. I've competed In USAPL in WA state so I feel I can offer even more insight. Number one, keep your squats as they are...as far as squat judging goes USAPL is one of the most legit. They stick by the crease of hips below tips of knees unlike some federations (SPF...cough..cough) so your squats will prob still need to be very low. The raw USAPL allows belts, wrist wraps, and neoprene/ace type knee sleeves but NOT actual knee wraps. Last but not least, make sure your first lift on each event is easily doable for you...don't bomb out of your first meet like did!! I got 1 out of 9 lifts that day...but I lived to tell about it. Good luck!

Last edited by Eric Shuty : 04-24-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
Donald Lee
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

Here's an article about competing in your first meet:

http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.c...or-your-opener (WFS)

And the USAPL is very anal about approved equipment, so you have to make sure that your wrist wraps, belt, etc. are all approved.

Last edited by Donald Lee : 04-24-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

My wife just had her second USAPL meet and we had many of the same questions. I would reiterate what everyone said above (everything). Your numbers will be very respectable and maybe medal worthy depending on the place, level of meet, how many people are there etc.

They informed us that her Tommy Kono knee sleeves were no longer USAPL approved and they had to be a specific manufacturer now, either Inzer, Rehband, or one other I think. I find the knee sleeves help to keep the joint warm and give a little confidence.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
Mike Piper
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Shuty View Post
I agree with a lot of what the other eric said. In the raw division there will likely be plenty of noobs and not every one will be a brick poophouse. There has always been lots of camraderie in every meet I've done. I've competed In USAPL in WA state so I feel I can offer even more insight. Number one, keep your squats as they are...as far as squat judging goes USAPL is one of the most legit. They stick by the crease of hips below tips of knees unlike some federations (SPF...cough..cough) so your squats will prob still need to be very low. The raw USAPL allows belts, wrist wraps, and neoprene/ace type knee sleeves but NOT actual knee wraps. Last but not least, make sure your first lift on each event is easily doable for you...don't bomb out of your first meet like did!! I got 1 out of 9 lifts that day...but I lived to tell about it. Good luck!

Reread the above, its spot on. It will be a great experience that you'll look back on and be glad you did it. Also, 10 lbs. isn't that much to cut if you know what you are doing. Good luck
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:00 AM   #7
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

My members have done a couple of Pl or mixed PL/CrossFit meets. The PL folks were great at both events. Because I bought several women they were super friendly because they always need more female competitors. Tried to recruit my ladies for a strong man event.

Practice the pause in the bench press. One of my ladies got no repped on a successful lift because she jumped the gun. Just nervous. Practice helps with that.

It was a great experience for us. The biggest thing we came away with was how fast those power lifters move the bar.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:31 AM   #8
Dana Rice
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

Thanks for the help everyone - I really appreciate it.

Solid advice from everyone. I've heard most people are super friendly at these - It's definetly something I want to try at least once, just to test myself.

A couple other questions popped into my head - if you guys don't mind.

- I have heard competing is pretty much an all day affair - did you bring food into these, can you buy food there (usually)? what kind of stuff did you pack? Meals, snacks?

- Do you have to wear a singlet? I don't own one, can you wear whatever is comfortable? Will I look like a tool if I show up with/without one?

- What did your training look like leading into the event? Did you lift the week before, deload? The timing sucks because the meet I'm looking at is June 2nd, and I have a vacation already planned May 19th-26th - so if I sign up this year, I am thinking maybe train heavy singles the week before my vacation - take a week off during my vacation, and comeback and train heavy singles Mon, Tues, Wed - then take Thurs, Friday light going into the meet that Saturday. Not optimal, but does this sound like the best plan of action?

Thanks again to the two Erics, Max, Mike, Donald, and Brendan, and everyone else for your input.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:53 AM   #9
Michael Loucas
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
Because I bought several women they were super friendly.
Is this even legal?
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:12 AM   #10
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Question: Anyone Who Has Attended or Participated in a PL Meet

Whether it's an all-day thing depends on how many flights there are, which depends on how many lifters signed up. It'll also depend somewhat on how fast they load the bars, how quickly each lifter does his/her attempt vs. milking the entire minute, etc. At mine they had raw flights for men and women and equipped flights for men and women, plus some doing just bench or just push/pull, so things took awhile.

They'll generally go in an order like: Flight A squat, Flight B squat, Flight C squat, then Flight A bench, Flight B bench, Flight C bench, then A/B/C in order for deadlift, which means you basically have to do your general warmup three separate times in addition to warming up for each specific lift. If I remember right I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 hours of complete downtime after my squats before I needed to start warming up for bench. I'd highly recommend bringing food unless you know there is food within walking distance of the event...unless it's a huge meet it's unlikely they'll have anything substantial for sale at the meet itself.

Yes, you'll need a singlet for any sanctioned PL meet. They can be found pretty cheap on any lifting equipment site, or a wrestling one will also do. You'll probably also be required to have a 100% cotton t-shirt on under it and 100% cotton whitey-tighties on as well.

Since you're not planning to win the meet you don't need to worry too much about tapering for it, but you'll definitely want to do some lifting the week before it. 70s Big has done a few posts about the weeks leading up to a meet but I can't find them at the moment. I'd say you'll be good lifting as normal 2 weeks prior to the meet, but make sure you do some heavy singles with commands so you're used to listening to them. For the week leading up to the meet you'll do something like working up to your final warmup rep on squat and bench on Tuesday, then maybe 2 sets of 5 at 50% of your bench and squat openers on Thursday. You'll want your last heavy deadlift day to be 10-12 days prior to the meet...on that day you could work up to your opening weight or somewhere near it for a few singles.

As the other Eric said, the main thing is that you don't want to bomb out of a first meet, so pick opening weights that you're confident you could get for a 3RM if you wanted to. Then you'll make jumps for subsequent attempts based on how you feel that day, not necessarily based on what you've done in the past. And make sure you're used to lifting by the commands so you don't get no-repped for an avoidable mistake.
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