Hi there! I’m a 24 year old, 138ish lb female and I started my gym journey about 8 or 9 months ago. In the last few months I’ve fallen in love with power lifting and the Olympic lifts. I’m hoping to get into competing shape for a September powerlifting meet and am feeling overwhelmed about training enough/ in the right way. I’d love to hear general advice for a first timer as well as recommendations for training programs etc. I’ve been using the smolov app but not sure if that’s the right thing for someone in my position.
Welcome to the community. It’s an understandably overwhelming hobby as it centers so much around optimal training and exercise science.
My advice that I think I would have benefitted from a few years back is to just enjoy it and trust the process. Do the routines you’re interested in (there’s plenty on Lift Vault), keep at it and stay consistent. Feed the interest and desire to train by allowing yourself to do what you want to do and not stifling that. Ultimately when you’re new to your PL career you’ll be making good gains regardless just by training frequently. Of course that could be optimised, as it always can, but why not just enjoy it.
If you’re thinking ‘well that was useless advice, why can’t I do both?’. Then I would say look for a routine that builds a strong foundation. High volume, and nonspecific powerlifting lifts. A lot of the best powerlifters have a background in bodybuilding before they specialised. You can move to a peaking routine closer to the time of your comp.
Hope that helps, just my take, don’t take it as gospel.
I’d recommend one of these programs: https://liftvault.com/programs/powerlifting/beginner-powerlifting-programs/
Another good choice would be https://liftvault.com/programs/powerlifting/tsa-general-beginner-powerlifting-program/ when it comes time to look toward preparing for the meet, starting about 13 weeks out.