Why do we lose strength after a meet? I know there's probably explanations about this but it's an age old question. No matter what you do or what you use it's inevitable right?  Is there a way to avoid this?


The decrease in strength which many lifters experience following a powerlifting contest is usually the direct result of a drop in volume (taper) that took place in the weeks leading up to the competition. The week OF the meet, many lifters will opt for very little to no training followed by completely taking the week off AFTER the contest. Doing so should be ill advised since detraining can occur in as little as 10 days. With that being said, if you add the meet week “absence of training” with a week of complete rest following the contest, you’re only looking at 1 true training session (warm-up sets and meet attempts) over a 14-day period. Psychological stress from competition may also be factored into the equation in terms of strength loss following a contest. This effect may however be temporary along with new stimulus provided (setting PR’s) which may take a toll on both the central and peripheral nervous systems.

To keep this loss of strength/detraining to a minimum I would suggest paying attention to how far out you're planning your taper. Another suggestion I would make would be to limit the amount of days of complete rest following the contest unless you're injured. Since strength is skill I would advise sport form to be practiced with lightned loads shortly after a contest.