View Full Version : Suggestions on how to prep for Tactical Strength Challenge

01-27-2012, 01:14 PM
I want to start training for the Tactical Strength Challenge (see below), it takes place in May so I have a few months to train.

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
Where: Many locations in the U.S. and also a few in other countries
When: Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Cost: The TSC does not charge an entry fee

The winner is determined by the combined score in the three events, based on percentages of the TSC References Scores. The highest 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.

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.

The TSC does not charge an entry fee. (Optional fund-raising for charitable purposes is allowed as long as itís strictly optional.) There is no organization to join and therefore no membership fee. No uniform or gear is required. Just show up and lift.

Classes of Competition
There are six classes of competition.

Menís Open Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups, and snatches with a 24kg kettlebell.
Menís Masters Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups, and snatches with a 24kg kettlebell.
Menís Elite Division uses a max deadlift, pull-ups with 10kg of added weight (22 lbs), and snatches with a 32kg kettlebell.
Menís Novice Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups, and snatches with a 16kg kettlebell.
Womenís Open Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups, and snatches with a 16kg kettlebell.
Womenís Novice Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups, and snatches with a 12kg kettlebell.
There are no weight classes, since the different events variously favor heavier or lighter competitors by design.

Official site: http://www.tacticalstrengthchallenge.com
Registration: contact the closest TSC location to you by looking here.

-Current DL of 510lbs @ 200lbs BW
-10 strict pullups slightly wider than shoulder width apart (not max, I would guess I can do 12-14)
-5:00 KB snatch.... not tested yet, limited experience with KBs other than KB swings in xfit.

I'd like to get a little bit lighter, cut down to 185, hopefully not lose much strength (I cut from 245lbs to 200lbs and deadlift actually went up, 500# --> 510#)

The Plan:
Coan/Phillipi deadlift program and basically just practice the hell out of my pullups and start learning technique on the KB snatches.

I currently xfit about 4-5 days a week and strength train 3 days a week (usually 2 a days)

Thoughts and advice?

01-30-2012, 02:33 PM
If getting a high score in this contest is a primary goal, then you'll want to take the scoring equivalencies of the three disciplines into consideration when prioritizing your training.

Score = ( ( (Deadlift / 440) + (Pullups / 20) + (Snatches / 100) ) / 3) * 100

That means that +1 pull-up = +22# deadlift = +5 snatches.

01-30-2012, 03:10 PM
I did the TSC in 2010, and it nearly killed me, because we didn't take the allotted time between events. They are run pretty loosey goosey, so if you're looking for a high score (as opposed to doing it for fun), make sure you let whoever's running the show know you want your due.

The website has several links for training the KB snatch and pullups. Here's what else I found:
1. Form and of course stamina are key for KB Snatches. They are much harder than swings. If you don't do them right, you're going to bang the shit outta your forearm.
2. Training the events separately is fine and the smart way to go most of the time, but be sure to occasionally do all three events in the same workout, else you won't have anything left in the tank at the end. You're beating the piss out of your CNS by starting with deadlifts, and destroying your upper body with the pullups. So, if you don't condition yourself properly, you'll crap out in the middle of the snataches, like everyone in my group did.

Best of luck.

01-31-2012, 09:27 AM
Thanks for the tips guys.

I read back through the site and found where they suggest how to train for it. I agree, conditioning is going to be a big factor.

After talking to a few people and thinking it through, the best strategy is going to be more of a focus on the snatches and pullups as I don't think I will be able to bring my deadlift up too much in a few months time.

Bottom line is I'm looking to have a good time and some fun. Appreciate the advice!

01-31-2012, 10:46 AM
Oops, almost forgot:
*On the deadlift, you don't have to ride the bar down after lockout. So, just drop it to save energy.
*Don't forget, in order a pullup rep to count, it has to be done from a dead hang, and you have to touch the bar with your neck or chest. No kipping either (only pussies do that anyway).