Happy September! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Summer is coming to an end (this summer has been very underwhelming) but that signals the start of Worlds and the big championship meets in the powerlifting industry. Although powerlifting isn’t a seasonal sport, everyone has their own carved out seasons for off-season and on-season. After a long and unexpected off-season, I’m getting ready to compete in my first mock powerlifting meet. And believe me, the fire has been lit and I’m excited to push my strength to the limits again in a few months. There are many reasons why I have chosen to do a mock powerlifting meet and one of them is because I don’t know when I’ll be able to compete in a sanctioned meet next since things are still a little crazy outside. So if you are thinking about dipping your toes into the powerlifting space or just want an idea of what a mock powerlifting meet looks like, this blog post is for you. Make sure you bookmark it and save it for some powerlifting inspiration. By the way, these pictures are essentials that you would need at both a mock meet and a sanctioned meet. I’ll be doing a new series on here for those of you who are beginners or interested in powerlifting. I will share everything from getting started to what I pack for a meet in both a blog post and video on Instagram and Pinterest as I get closer to the date as well as what to do post-meet. Here are some things that I am doing to make sure that I am prepared for my mock powerlifting meet in January.
The Purpose of A Mock Meet
A mock meet is used to resemble a powerlifting competition day. Its purpose is to recreate a competition day as closely as possible without actually competiting. It is also a great method to see whether you have made progress or not since your last training cycle (usually from the end of your last meet). It can also be used as an approach to introduce someone who strength trains into the sport of powerlifting. It is pretty common for powerlifters to do a mock meet regardless if they are a new lifter or seasoned lifter. Some people do a mock meet before signing up for a sanctioned meet to see if they are interested in doing it in a competitive atmosphere whereas, others do a mock meet to test out their progress.
The Best Time To Do A Mock Meet
On social media, it is very common to see some people lifting their heaviest weights as often as possible. However, they are a few powerlifters that show you their journey from offseason to the platform (like I do). Everyone started with just the barbell in their hands before they were able to lift these heavy weights. It all starts by following a structured and periodised programme. The best time to do a mock meet is when you are coming to the end of a training cycle. A training cycle usually has a goal whether that is a strength phase or a hypertrophy and volume phase. This cycle usually lasts 8 to 16 weeks followed by a deload week (reducing the volume and/or intensity to manage fatigue) and a peak week.
As I do powerbuilding (a hybrid training style between powerlifting and bodybuilding), my training programme is very different to a traditional powerlifting programme. I focus on the three big lifts (squats, bench and deadlifts) but it is accessories heavy to ensure that I am building both strength and aesthetics. It is common information that most powerlifters do not like accessories and tend to cut it out of their training cycles as they prep for a powerlifting meet. My coach and I keep accessories in my training cycle until I’m roughly six weeks out from the meet and will reduce it from 4-5 accessories to 2-3 accessories per session. Accessories have a place in building overall strength as it transfers to your big lifts and helps you lift heavier weights with a stronger foundation.
If you are working with a coach, your coach will most likely schedule a mock powerlifting meet when your programme ends. If you don’t have a coach, most if not all, free powerlifting programmes will have an endpoint. You’ll want to spend the last six weeks of that programme building up to higher intensities (roughly 90% range of your 1 rep max) with a deload or a peak week before doing a mock meet. These higher intensities will give you a rough idea of where you are in terms of strength. A few things that I like to look at during this cycle are:
- How is my fatigue management while lifting these weights?
- Is my technique and form breaking down at a certain percentage or weight?
- How is my speed under heavier weights?
By keeping an eye on these three things, I am able to plan out my attempts for my mock powerlifting meet.
6 Tips To Have A Great Mock Powerlifting meet
- Be prepared – Make sure that you have the right equipment and know the rules for your federation. Pack any supplements you might need such a pre-workout and bring food you usually eat. The worst thing you can do is introduce new foods close to your meet date. Find two or three people that can spot you and know the rules of the sport.
- Have a game plan – You get three attempts for each lift at a powerlifting meet and you will need the same for a mock meet. I have three plans just in case I’m not feeling too good or overly confident. I recommend having a plan A if things don’t feel so good, plan B for if things feels as they are expected and a plan C if things feel really good.
- No weight classes – For a mock powerlifting meet, you want to disregard weight classes and compete at your current weight. The purpose of the mock meet is to check whether or not your training cycle has been working and to increase your 1 rep max.
- Warm Up – You need to prepare yourself physically and mentally as you will be lifting at maximum strength. It should be roughly the same as you warm up for a regular training session but you need to warm up your mind too. I like to listen to motivational speeches during my warm ups to get my mind in the game.
- Treat It Like A Meet – Find someone to give you commands and hold you to the standards of your federation. Have a rest period of 5-10 minutes as you would in a meet. If you miss an attempt, count it as an attempt.
- Reflect & Evaluate – As for all meets and competitions, it is important to have fun and enjoy yourself. It is also great to reflect on the day, watch your lifts and see where you need to improve for the future.
Not all meets are going to be great, some are going to be bad. Try not to be disheartened (easier said than done), I know I felt defeated after my first meet but I did not let it defeat me. Remember that you are a work in progress and one mock powerlifting meet doesn’t define you and your worth. Shake it off when you can and push yourself to do better.
Until next time,