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Body Work and Recovery for Powerlifting Meets: a Timeline for Success



So you signed up for a powerlifting meet? Congrats! Whether this is your first meet or you're a seasoned competitor, you've put in a lot of work to get to this point and you want to feel your best on meet day. At Fuerza, we've come alongside powerlifters throughout their prep and have figured out a reciepe for success.

As you know, some degree of tightness and stiffness in necessary to put up big numbers. It's also normal to be achy or sore throughout your prep. So let's start by figuring out how you know if you need help:
  • Pain Limiting Lifts. If you've had any pain limiting your ability to complete training or complete lifts through full range, you need to be seen by a physical therapist as soon as possible.

  • Tightness Limiting Range of Motion. Tightness is a normal part of the sport, and we can rely on that muscle tightness to produce strength. However, if tightness is suddenly limiting your ability to get into position, this will be a problem for your meet. This often presents as hip tightness limiting squat depth and shoulder tightness affecting your ability to hold a straight bar on your back.

  • Soreness/ Tightness That Does Not Go Away Before The Next Training Session. It's common to be sore during meet prep. You're pushing your body's limits to build as much strength as possible, but if you're not able to recover between sessions, you are increasing your risk for injury. Muscle fibers break down every training session to build back bigger and stronger. If they can't recover and that muscle continues to break down, resulting in an injury.


If you have any pain or tightness limiting your ability to perform lifts to competition standards, it is highly recommended to come in for a visit as soon as possible to ensure your ability to train to competition standards. Some people have concerns about getting treatment before a meet due to fears of being told they should not lift or drop out of the meet. This is where going to the right clinic early comes in. At Fuerza we will do everything possible to help you through your meet, and the earlier you come in, the faster we can fix the issues. It is never "too late" in prep to get help from a physical therapist.


Do not assume "it will be there on meet day." Get help early and go in with confidence.

No Limiting Injuries, Just Sore?


Hopefully you aren't limited by any pain or tightness, but maybe just need a little help recovering. Below is our recommended timeline for chiropractic and recovery leading up to your meet:
  • 2-4 Months Out from Meet: 1x/ month

  • 1-2 Months Out from Meet: every other week

  • One Month Out from Meet: 1x/ week

  • Week of Meet: last treatment 3-5 days before meet

We have found that this schedule keeps you feeling good as training intensifies before the meet. We avoid doing any treatment less than 3 days out, as you will be too loose and relaxed going into the meet. For that reason we also recommend coming in on off days and warming up with a little extra core stability work the next day.

Ready to add a provider who specializes in powerlifting to your meet prep team? Click this link to book your visit with us.
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