October 16, 2017 Steve Cascioli in Programming

Following powerlifting competitions athletes can feel lost and not know how to transition into the next block of training.

Athletes jump back into training heavy weight too fast, feel beat up or injured, or feel unmotivated post-competition. I like to refer to this as "post-competition blues." We put all our effort into training as hard as we can for months leading into a competition and then it feels like it's over within the blink of an eye. This can be both mentally and physically exhausting and most of the time we don’t give ourselves the rest and recovery our bodies need.

Post-competition training should be a time to:

• Recover and rebuild

• Increase secondary movements, and variations generally that complement the main lifts

• Return intensities to a moderate level

• Set new goals to keep motivation high

A common misconception is that an athlete won't make any progression by not specifically training the main lifts or reducing the intensity of training. However, returning to the same methods, volumes, or intensities you used pre-competition right after competing can quickly lead to injury or strength plateaus.

Powerlifting training should include periods of re-building, which is a natural process in setting up your training cycles. Rebuilding includes giving your body a chance to unload and recover from the high intensities of the pre-competition block, work on weak points within your movement patterns, and drive strength across a variety of rep ranges.

A post-competition training program should be the bridge that allows you to recover before building new levels of strength leading into your next meet.

Steve Cascioli’s Post-Competition Blues Training Cycle


I teamed up with MyStrengthBook and designed a training cycle that is specifically designed for post-competition. The training cycle is two 4-week programs that offer athletes a new training stimulus through a variety of rep ranges, undulating volumes and intensities, and various non-specific powerlifting movements. Don’t worry, this training cycles still ensures growth in your main competition lifts too. The goal here is to keep you motivated as you gear up for your next heavy training cycle

Week 1-4:

Each training day starts with a powerlifting variation using a higher rep range. Following the first exercise, you’ll be challenged through a series of supersets that target specific muscle groups. Exercises are loaded through both percentages of your 1 rep max or using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) principles.

Week 5-8:

While still building strength through several secondary and accessory exercises, you will now begin to reintroduce specific competition barbell movements. By the end of the 8th week of training, you’ll be in prime shape to begin competition prep again. Just like the first four weeks, loading will be achieved through a combination of percentages and RPE protocols.

Training Metrics