We’re rolling into another season of training for the Tactical Strength Challenge - which means our programming is changing to focus on some different specifics. Whether you choose to participate actively in TSC (hint hint, we think EVERYONE should) or if you’re just along for the ride, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your FUELhouse time over the next 12 weeks.
What is the Tactical Strength Challenge?
The TSC is a one-day, worldwide event (May 4th 2019) where people gather at various host gyms and try and set new personal bests in three different areas:
Deadlift (Maximum Strength/ Absolute Lower Body Strength)
Pull up or Flexed Arm Hang (Bodyweight Strength/ Absolute Upper Body Strength)
5 Minute Kettlebell Snatch Test (Strength and Endurance)
This May will be our 8th time hosting the Tactical Strength Challenge. If you know us then you know that the TSC is our favorite day of the year… in fact we’ve deemed it a ‘holiday’ at FUELhouse. We LOVE watching our people work hard in preparation, cheer each other on, and achieve new personal bests all in one amazing morning. You can read more about the Tactical Strength Challenge here.
But I’ve NEVER done a deadlift, pull up, OR snatch! Is this the right challenge for me?
No worries! We’ve got your back…LITERALLY. Whether you’re brand new to FUELhouse or you’re a repeat TSC-er, we’ve got programming ready to meet you where you are and help you make strides to improve and enjoy your TSC experience safely while pushing yourself *just a bit* outside of your comfort zone. In our years of experience, we’ve found that nothing aids progress like focusing your training/workouts on a short term goal. And while the TSC is a worldwide “competition,” here at FUELhouse we prefer to think of it as a competition against ourselves, aiming to be just a bit better than we were yesterday.
OK, I’m in! How will we prepare?
Whether you sign up for TSC or not, the next 12 weeks will help improve your overall strength, bodyweight endurance (pull-up and push-up skills), and cardio capacity. If you're not sure how to structure your week to best fit your goals, just reach out to a coach and we'll help you out!
Here’s a summary of what to expect in classes over the next 12 weeks.
The first 3 weeks of our cycle (beginning Monday, February 11th) will be spent feeling out this new format, getting to know movements, and prepping our bodies for the 9 week "prep" cycle that will culminate on TSC day (May 4th). The prep cycle is designed to work us up to a new personal best in our 1RM deadlift, pull-up, and KB snatches...so if you’re not choosing to participate in TSC, you can work on volume and technique if you’d prefer, rather than peaking to a new PR. We're doing a few things differently this time around - for example, adding more specific bodyweight, pullup, and pistol progressions, we’ll be cycling our T/Th every week between Heavy 2HSwings, Single Arm swings, Heavy and light Snatch training, and a second day of deadlifting -- and we always appreciate your feedback on how you're feeling and how your body's responding to the training stimulus.
MONDAYS - DEADLIFT DAY!
We'll spend our first three weeks (Phase 1) getting used to barbell deadlifting with purpose and, if it's appropriate, setting a training max (Feb 6th) that will then help guide our progression towards a new PR at the Tactical Strength Challenge! Accessory work will include lots of pulling/pull-up variations and core work, finishing with 12-15 minutes of metabolic conditioning. If you're not planning to participate in TSC, not to worry, you'll still be deadlifting but with a different, more generalized rep scheme. We, as a team, decided that it would be best to move the deadlift day to Monday as most people (for the most part) will be the most rested come Monday. Also because we are training more pure strength / power we want to be able to expend as much energy as necessary to move the weight. In doing so we will be able to maximize our overall strength gain with the deadlift but still have room for knocking out Simple and Sinister or a ton of snatches the next day. We’re also going to throw in pull ups variations on deadlift day to again work maximal strength for the pull up. If you are trying to get your first pull up, it should be like going for a deadlift PR in the sense that you will be moving more weight than you ever have before. When going for a strength PR you MUST lift very heavy weight. As your coaches, we’ll make sure you do it right!
Kettlebell Conditioning: Cycling weekly, for example in Week 1, we’ll be performing 2HSwings and Presses on Tuesdays and Simple and Sinister programming focusing on single arm swings and Turkish Get-Ups on Thursdays. In Week 2, on Tuesdays we’ll focus on Heavy KB Snatches (or Single Swings) and Viking Warrior training on Thursdays (higher volume KB Snatch training) sprinkled with plank variations (1 arm planks), Single Leg Deadlifts, Hang variations (hanging leg raises and L-Sits). And as always, Original Strength inspired movement flows will help you shake off any creakiness/soreness!
WEDNESDAYS -BB/KB Front Squats
Front squats facilitate awesome core strength and have incredible carry over into other strength movements. This is not just strength-wise, but in terms of position and mechanics, too. Lower body strength – The increased instability of the kettlebells compensates for the lack of load. Core stability – This exercise puts your core on overdrive and forces you to maintain position. The deadlift is a movement that primarily stimulates the posterior chain. The front squat, being anterior chain dominant, is a great complement to the aforementioned.
FRIDAYS - SnowStrong format + Unilateral Work
When it comes to unilateral training, we've got to talk about the core. You have to do a butt-load of core stabilization every time you do a single-limb exercise. Lunges, Step Ups, single-leg deadlifts, single-arm presses, and single-arm pulls all require you to activate your core so that you don't fall over.Deep hip, knee, ankle and core strength and stability
Balance, agility, and plyometric strength using single side work and movements inspired by prehab/rehab to keep you in tip top shape
Picture agility ladders, landmine deadlifts/rotational presses, upper and mid/back strength, sled pushes, etc!
Focusing on progressive pull-up strength to help you improve, whether you're a pull-up master and just want more reps, still training to get your first pull-up, or are opting to focus on the flexed arm hang (psssst we'll be posting progressions for you to follow based on where you currently are, so keep an eye out!) accessory work will include squats (barbell, double kettlebell, or goblet) to compliment our deadlift day while building super strong cores and upper backs. We'll also finish Fridays with 12-15 minutes of metabolic conditioning and should have plenty of time for mobility work and a cool down.
Gym Class Heroes (8am and 10am) will still be fun partner/team based conditioning.
Barbell Strong: Deadlift and Bench Press (9am and 11am) will focus on deadlift technique (for those that need extra practice) and variations (for those that have reached sticking points and need to push through them to improve). You'll also have the opportunity to make up missed snatches and/or pull-up work from the week if needed.
Gym Class Heroes (8:30am) will be fun, partner/team based conditioning circuits
YOGA AT 9:30AM IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
HOW TO SEE AND FEEL RESULTS:
Participation is quite simple. Schedule your week of workouts in advance, come to class, do the workouts, log your weights, reps and progress. At the end of the 12-weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to test your hard work and progress at the Tactical Strength Challenge on May 4th. This is a great way to drive progress and accountability.
YOU'RE ENCOURAGED TO:
Log your results in a notebook/phone and take detailed notes as you’ll want to track your progress over the course of the 12 weeks. Tracking is essential so you can easily recall past notes, data, and scaling options. We also encourage you to log your sleep, food and mindset. Please feel free to ask any of our coaches how to go about this. We all have our own special way that works for us.
For TSC participants: We will be providing tips on how to FUEL your body for training for the TSC.
For ALL MEMBERS: We offer 1x/month nutrition clinics with Coach Jess Mullen for ALL MEMBERS. If you have questions about your nutrition then please plan on attending these clinics. Usually they take place the 3rd week of the month on a Wednesday at 5:30pm! Next one is on Feb 20th at 5:30pm!Throughout this cycle, aside from training in classes, we’ll be posting special kettlebell snatch workshops with Coach Jeff and Coach Molly to hone technique. We also offer 30 min Tune Up sessions ($47) with any of our coaches to drill technique with homework! If you’re working on deadlift technique we highly recommend booking a tune up session with one of our Coaches OR coming to weekend Barbell Strong classes.