In this day and age, there is a magic pill, a super shortcut, a new unknown procedure to get you where you want to be sooner: instant gratification. Any way to get out of some work in this participation trophy era’s snake oil sales has me bellowing from the tops of the mountains promising ridiculous returns for your purchase and beliefs.

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Well, if you're like me (not a sucker), you know hard work pays off. Here are two FREE ways to increase your total quickly.

Bump Up to a More Substantial Weight Class

Powerlifting is a sport where you take nine attempts (hopefully) and add your best three lifts for a total. You can scroll through your socials and see people cutting. Not for an All-Time World Record; it’s just because they think having a total at a lower weight class is more impressive. If you total 2,100 at 240 or 2,150 at 255, what’s more impressive? The higher total. Fuck rankings and all that weird clown shit. At the end of the day, unless cutting weight is within reason and an ATWR is within striking distance, gain some weight tweed and add some pounds to your total. Also, I feel like cutting is an attention-seeking process these days.


Scroll through IG and you’ll see on someone’s meet week every gallon, every carb, and every calorie is accounted for publicly. I've been around guys and girls cutting for ATWR, and trust me, no part of them wants to post and show how it's going because they are miserable, so take that into consideration before your next meet. If cutting weight is fun, and you're going to fill the like and bank up, maybe skip the water load and fill into your weight class, and I'll bet you total higher. In the cynical world we live in, I'll mention if you've been in the game a decade and you are fighting for top-5 or an ATWR, etc. etc., do your damn thing.

Cutting weight is a dangerous thing; even when done right under watchful eyes, things can go south very quickly. Like I said this is a numbers game, higher the number, the badder the man. Remember "back in the day" (fuck, I said it), they had two-hour weigh-ins, so maybe next time one wants to get on their soapbox about depth and integrity, let that boil your noodle a bit. So, if you want an easy few extra pounds on your total, keep a few extra pounds on your body.

Make Better Attempt Selections

Meet after meet after meet after meet, I continue to see guys not only miss openers, but I see at least one or two every meet miss their last warmup. Now, I'm no fucking rocket scientist, but how in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks do you miss a fucking warm-up? Here’s how — terrible planning. This is one of the reasons I cannot stand the people who say, "I wanna wait until I can total such and such before I compete." Well, bucko, let me tell you something: the gym and the platform are two separate animals.


A general rule of thumb is to open with something you could triple. In the case something goes wrong, you should be able to complete the lift still. If you set up funny, rush it, or even if your wraps don't feel right, physically and mentally, you should have zero issues completing an opener. I speak for raw lifting because that's what I do, equipped lifting is much more technical, and I'm ignorant to it so I couldn't start to speak on it.

After taking a successful opener, I have found, and science may or may not agree (I'm an in the trenches kind of guy), that five to seven percent jumps have the most success. So, if you opened with 700, a seven percent jump would be 749, and moving on to a third having people to help gauge is always great — but take a five percent jump to 786 pounds would be a solid blueprint to use to decide your attempt selection. Missing an opener is the easiest way to fuck your total up. Leave the ego at the door on an opener and let your nuts swing on the thirds if you wanna go for the fences, get in the meet, and get a damn total.

READ MORE: Powerlifting Meet Manual (with Formula for Selecting Attempts)

So, there you have it: two easy ways to add some pounds to your total. Add sleep, eating right, some proper recovery modalities, and a heaping scoop of hard work, and you'll be well on your way to improving those four digits next to your last name.