Powerlifting meets can appear intimidating, especially if your body is not in the perfect condition to perform those heavy, maxed-out lifts.
Often, lifters work hard and train excessively to increase their 1-Rep Max. However, consistent weight-based training might not always yield the results necessary to perform well during powerlifting meets.
Your body might have the strength to work with heavy weights, but what if it’s left with no energy for the day of the competition? That happens when your body is in the “overreaching stage”, where the metabolic stress is high due to intense training levels.
Overreaching is necessary to increase performance gains. However, if the response to the negative effects of overreaching is continuing to work out as usual, it could lead to overtraining and exhaustion. Over time, your body will not be able to adapt to the increased workload.
In such a case, an RPE program can help tremendously. Especially in the case of powerlifting, the RPE scale is the best tool to measure and adjust the intensity of your workout sessions. Such a scale measures intensity level on a scale from 1 to 10.
For example, if a lifter is working with 80 lbs, and finishes the set with relative ease, they can label their performance as an RPE4 or RPE5, which is a good intensity level for warm-ups and cool-downs.
On the other hand, an RPE level between 6 and 7 is for moderate lifting, while beyond 8 is a level best suited for lifters trying out their max capabilities.
To prepare your body and mind for the powerlifting meet event, Reddit user /u/Kroamatik developed an effective 10-week RPE powerlifting program that you can use to max out your performance on the big day.
Kroamatik developed this RPE powerlifting program to help lifters perform to the best of their abilities during a competition.
The program uses carefully moderated RPE-based workout sessions to improve the lifter’s 1RM. At the same time, the workout focuses on granting enough rest days to the lifters so that their body can rest and regenerate while effectively retaining strength.
According to the creator, this meet prep program must be started exactly ten weeks prior to a competition or a powerlifting meet event so that the event takes place on the tenth week of the program.
Here are the principles and methods that the program uses to help lifters max out their 1RM.
- Focuses on the standard benching, squatting, and deadlifting movements to improve push-pull strength and utilize most of the musculature.
- Primarily uses competition lifts with some close variations for effective powerlifting meet preparation. Some accessory exercises are included to enhance performance.
- Uses the RPE scale to gauge intensity levels instead of scheduling workouts based on pre-determined weights. This helps in super-compensation, effective recovery, and maximum strength retention for the meet event.
10 Week RPE Powerlifting Program
The 10-week meet prep program is an effective training module to perform as per the highest potential of the lifter.
In this training schedule, a lifter will have to train four times a week. Three days are given for rest so that the body can recover and relax.
In this RPE powerlifting program, a standard of 3x benching, 2x squatting, and 1x deadlifting is followed to achieve maximum strength capability within ten weeks.
The program allows the lifter to enter the powerlifting meet event in their best condition, both physically and mentally. This happens because the workout is designed in such a manner as to decrease the training volume over time while keeping the intensity levels consistent.
In any type of weightlifting, including powerlifting, the RPE scale can give us a good idea of our workouts’ intensity level. A powerlifting program that uses the RPE method of evaluation, for instance, can help lifters accommodate the variations in their strength, fatigue, and capabilities by deciding weights based on how the lifter feels instead of any predetermined targets.
Because of this, the lifter is able to perform to the best of their abilities on the day of the powerlifting meet event.
10 Week RPE Powerlifting Program Spreadsheet
If you have a competition lined up, you should start preparing for it right away. Make sure that you start following this meet prep program exactly ten weeks before the day of the event.
You can download the complete 10-week RPE powerlifting program from here.
The spreadsheet also contains information and a guide on how to use the RPE scale and other recommendations.
You must be smart while preparing for your powerlifting meets. Simply working hard is not enough. With the right powerlifting program, you can prepare your body to enter the competition in the best shape, physiologically and psychologically.