Tactical Strength Challenge Results


by Dan Cenidoza, RKC, CSCS

Great day for me!

Opened the deadlift with 530, easy pull but felt a little bit of a stretch in my bicep.

2nd attempt was at 555, I switched grips to protect the bicep that I was now conscious of. I had some negative thoughts going through my head but the weight went up smooth and steady.

Next attempt was at 575. This time my adrenaline was rushing, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up and in my mind's eye I already saw myself completing the lift. I fought through it and stood erect with a 15lb PR... I'm now a mere 10lbs away from 6 wheels!

A 15 minute break and we were onto the pull ups.

I got 10 reps, fighting long and hard for that last one, which was a PR rep. My goal was 10-12 here, so I was happy with that. (There was one very impressive performance during this event that you'll just have to wait to see on the video.)

A 15 minute break and we were onto the snatches.

The snatch record in this event is 132 in 5 minutes with a 24kg, which 3 people have actually accomplished. In retrospect, I wish I would have set my sights at 133 but my goal coming into this was 132 and that's what I did. I'm happy, don't get me wrong, but it would have been cool to take the record. A 2 rep PR never the less.

Out of 42 international competitors, I placed 1st in the deadlift, 2nd in the snatch and 33rd in the pull ups - LOL! That put me at 6th place overall. This, just like any other competition for me, is about beating my past performances. I don't care how I stack up to other people as much as I care how I stack up to my old self.

For more information go to www.tacticalstrengthchallenge.com

Here's some info from the site...

The Tactical Strength Challenge (TSC) is a strength competition consisting of three events:

  • A three-attempt powerlifting deadlift
  • Pullups for max reps
  • Kettlebell snatches for max reps in a 5:00 time period

The winner is determined by combined placement in the three events. For example, if Lifter A finishes third in the deadlift, fifth in pullups, and second in snatches, his score is 10 (3+5+2). The lowest combined score wins. In the event of a deadlift tie, the lighter competitor places higher. In the event of a pullup tie, the heavier competitor places higher. In the event of a snatch tie, the tie stands. In the event of an overall tie (two or more lifters get same combined score), the tie stands.

Purpose

The purpose of the TSC is to test absolute strength (deadlift), bodyweight-relative strength (pullups), and cardiovascular endurance (kettlebell snatches). The three events test a unique trade-off between these abilities. Heavier participants have an advantage in the deadlift, lighter participants have an advantage in pullups. The kettlebell snatch tests all participants more or less equally.

Classes of Competition

There are three classes of competition. The Men's Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pullups, and snatches with a 24kg kettlebell. The Men's Elite Division uses a max deadlift, pullups with 10kg of added weight (22 lbs), and snatches with a 32kg kettlebell. The Women's Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pullups, and snatches with a 16kg kettlebell. There may be Masters (over 50 - not over 40) categories in the Men's Division and Women's Division (not however in Men's Elite).

There are no weight classes, since the different events variously favor heavier or lighter competitors by design.

Rules

The Tactical Strength Challenge (TSC) has the following rules.

Contest

The contest must be held on a single day. The events consist of a three-attempt powerlifting deadlift, pullups for max reps, and kettlebell snatches for max reps in a 5:00 time period. There are three competition classes: Men's Division, Men's Elite Division, and Women's Division. There may be separate awards for Masters (competitors over 50, same as the RKC, not the more common over 40) at the organizers' discretion; however, Masters lifters should lift in the same flights as other competitors. The weights used for pullups and snatches vary by competition class as described below.

The events must be contested in the order of deadlift, pullups, snatches. Each competitor must be allowed at least 15 minutes of rest between events but 30-60 minutes is recommended.

Scoring

In the deadlift, the winner is the competitor that successfully lifts the most weight. In the pullups and snatches, the winner is the competitor that successfully performs the most repetitions. The winner is determined by combined placement in the three events. For example:

  • If Lifter A finishes third in the deadlift, fifth in pullups, and second in snatches, his score is 10 (3+5+2).
  • If Lifter B finishes first in the deadlift; third in pullups, and third in snatches, his score is 7 (1+3+3).
  • The lowest combined score wins. In the above example, Lifter B would finish higher than Lifter A (7 is lower score than 10).
  • In the event of a deadlift tie, the lighter competitor places higher. In the event of a pullup tie, the heavier competitor places higher. In the event of a snatch tie, the tie stands. In the event of an overall tie (two or more lifters get same combined score), the tie stands.

Equipment

The equipment consists of a standard Olympic bar and plates, a 16kg, 24kg, or 32kg kettlebell, a pullup bar, a weight belt with a chain, and a timer. The pullup bar should be high enough so that tall competitors can use it without excessively bending their legs. It should also be sturdy enough to handle heavier competitors and kettlebells.

The weight belt with a chain is for weighted pullups in the Men's Elite Division. Competitors may use their own weightlifting or powerlifting belts for the deadlift event, but not for other events.

Deadlift

For the deadlift, the bar will be loaded to the weight the competitor specifies and placed on the ground. The competitor will approach the bar and lift it in one continuous motion. When the weight is fully locked out (knees and back fully straightened), the referee will give the "Down" command and the competitor will drop the bar or lower it under control.

The competitor has three attempts and may specify the same weight or a heavier weight in each successive attempt. The competitor may not request a lighter weight after missing with a heavier weight.

Pullups

In the Men's/Masters division and the Women's Division, bodyweight pullups are performed. In the Men's Elite division, pullups are performed with 22 lbs (10kg) attached to the competitor using a weight belt and chain. The total assembly (weight belt and plates) should weigh between 21 and 23 lbs and should be weighed before the competition. Any assembly of belt and plates in this weight range is official and will count for competition purposes or for TSC records.

For pullups, the competitor will approach the bar, grasp it with both hands, and settle into a dead hang with both arms fully straightened. (Competitors may initially stand on a block or box in order to reach the bar.) After settling into a dead hang, the competitor will pull with both arms, using no kipping or swinging, and pull up until the neck or the chest cleanly touches the bar. The competitor will then lower back to a dead hang and do another rep.

For each successful rep, the referee will count 1, 2, 3, and so on. The set is terminated when the competitor quits or fails to make three successive attempts.

Kettlebell snatches

In the Men's/Masters division, a 24kg kettlebell is used. In the Men's Elite division, a 32kg kettlebell is used. In the Women's Division, a 16kg kettlebell is used. Competitors may use chalk to improve their grip.

A snatch is defined as swinging a single kettlebell between the legs with one arm, bringing the kettlebell overhead in a single motion, and locking it out overhead with a straight arm. After each rep, the competitor will let the kettlebell fall in a single motion (without dropping the kettlebell to the chest or shoulder) and perform another rep. The knees must be locked out at the completion of the lift for the rep to count. The competitor may not use the non-lifting arm to assist the lift in any way - the lift does not count if the free arm or some other part of body touches the platform, the kettlebell, the working arm, the legs, or the torso.

The competitor has 5:00 to perform as many repetitions as possible. The referee will use a timer and tell the competitor when to begin. Once the timer starts, the competitor can snatch with either arm and switch arms as many times as he/she prefers. The competitor can also set the kettlebell down on the ground, rest, or pace on or around the platform (without disturbing other competitors). The set is terminated when the competitor quits or the 5:00 time limit expires. If the competitor violates another technical rule during performance of the set (for example, lowers the kettlebell to the shoulder), the set is not terminated, but the rep preceding the violation does not count. The competitor may resume performing repetitions provided that he/she complies with all relevant rules.

Referee's discretion

The rules of the TSC are basic and straightforward. A brief rules meetings should precede each event but should be brief and not legalistic. The referee may, at his/her discretion, disallow any unorthodox equipment or practice that he/she feels provides a competitor with an unfair advantage. The exact equipment or practice does not have to be disallowed specifically by these rules.