Posts tagged #strongfirstgym

Tactical Strength Challenge May 2019

Tactical Strength Challenge

In a galaxy far far away…

It is a grueling time for the FH Rebel Alliance. Although the Tactical Strength Challenge awaits, Imperial troops are working hard at driving the Rebel forces from making Leaderboard gains.

Evading the dreaded Deadlift, Pullup, and Snatch test is NOT an option. A group of Freedom FUELers, led by FH Special Forces in partnership with the Rebel Alliance, has established a secret base in the remote rainy City of Seattle. They call it FUELhouse.

It is here the FH Rebellion stands bravely against the evil of the TSC Empire, never backing down despite overwhelming odds.

This May 4th, armed with the firepower of strong Hinges and Pullups, and the leadership of figures including Princess Scott and Admiral Sokol, the Rebel Alliance plans to triumph over the Empire at the Tactical Strength Challenge.

-May the 4th Be with You

The @strongfirst Tactical Strength Challenge is a goal worthy of your efforts.

The three exercises that make up the Tactical Strength Challenge are:

1. A max powerlifting deadlift (three attempts)
2. Pull ups for max reps (palms forward, no kipping, neck must touch the bar) or a flexed arm hang
3. Kettlebell snatches for max reps in a 5:00 time period (unlimited hand switches and different weights for different competitor categories). If you are unable to perform KB Snatches, FH will give you the option to perform Single Arm KB Swings.

Preparing requires your focus on different types of strength and endurance—as demanded by real life’s challenges.

Join us for this fun spirited, worldwide strength event.

Participants will give it their all with deadlifts, pull ups and kettlebell snatches.

Individuals and groups from other gyms/studios are welcome.

Be sure to mark FUELhouse in Seattle, WA as your facility of choice. If you are interested in TRAINING for TSC, FUELhouse is your answer. We just launched our 12-week programming to make sure all levels are ready to compete!

Good people, new friends and BEERS after!!!

New Programming Update

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:

  1. Deadlift (Maximum Strength/ Absolute Lower Body Strength)

  2. Pull up or Flexed Arm Hang (Bodyweight Strength/ Absolute Upper Body Strength)

  3. 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 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.


    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



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.


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.


Team FH

A Letter to our HOUSE


StrongFirst Lifter Certification @ FH, Nov 9-11- limited class hours. Please plan ahead!

MO-LYMPICS Charity Workout, Nov 17th- find a partner and sign up!

Looking back…

I wanted to take some reflection time before posting an event recap for the StrongFirst Tactical Strength Challenge.  There were many things that stood out to me as I watched all of you perform this past weekend. I know it was for some of you, your first competition. I know that some of you wanted to do this event but could not. I hope you can next year (April 2019;).  Regardless of your status, you represent what FUELhouse prides itself on – class, sportsmanship, kinship, motivation, drive, family, fun, community, humility, hunger, excellence, smarts, character, and more fun.

As your coach and as a leader of FUELhouse, I cannot tell you how much happiness it brings me when other owners and visitors compliment our FH family.  You may not know it, but our guests take note. They observe your actions, your athleticism, your demeanor, your interactions with others, including the support from your own fellow athletes and family.

They tell me, “The members at FUELhouse are top notch.” “High class humans at FUELhouse.” “Such friendly and welcoming people from your gym.” “What an amazing community you have at FUELhouse.”

I assure you, if these compliments were not shared with you directly, they were with me. And to be honest, this is what I hear all of the time.  Thank you for being a FH Ambassador. What we have, what you are doing as a community at FUELhouse is noticed by others because it is special. It is special because of you.  Daily, I am grateful for our family.

So, let’s talk about our Epic Humans who participated at the TSC on Oct 27th...

Yes we did very well as athletes at the TSC. Your training and dedication paid off.  We are beyond ecstatic with your results in the Deadlift, Pull-Up, and KB Snatch Test events. You guys worked hard to strategize your lifts, to work with teammates, some of whom you met for the first time because of this competition. And you all performed beyond measure.  We PR’d the TSC. You set the standard of what a community should be and to me, that is greater than any weightlifting PR because in life, setting an example of what character should be leaves a much greater impression than the weight on a bar. People who had never Deadlifted before 12 weeks ago, saw incredible gains.  INCREDIBLE! Some got their first dead hang pull-ups, and others did their first Snatch Test unbroken. Sometimes you felt good about your score and sometimes you may have wanted to punch the one of the unicorns prancing around the room (and thank you, everyone, for not punching anything or anyone). Regardless, most of you pleasantly surprised yourself with what you could accomplish when you had to dig deep.

I would like to take the time to thank each and every one of you for hiking up your pants, putting your game faces on, and signing up for this Fall’s TSC.

And now, it’s over!  

Twelve weeks of smart training, excitement, nerves, and probably a little bit of cursing Coach Kiel’s name on Wednesdays is no more;).  FUELhouse had 26 people register for the TSC this Fall. Let’s say that again: 26 of our FUELers took the plunge and signed themselves up for a rollercoaster ride of deadlifts, pull-ups/flexed arm hang, and KB Snatches.  We’re so ‘effing proud of you.

A very special THANK YOU…


To our FH Coaches- I love you guys like the brothers and sisters I never had, but the kind of siblings you actually want to hang out with;). You are my family. I am so very grateful for each of you. You continue to bring humility, hunger, and incredible wit to our Crew of humans. Thank you for your passion, willingness to help at anytime, and for being just a FUCKING magical unicorn. And, to our TSC Judges, assists and volunteers, thank you for taking your Saturday to give back to our community and to provide an excellent experience for all participants. We hope you can play with us in April 2019. Special shout out to Charlotte who spent hours making our TSC Halloween cookies and helped keep our HOUSE intact. Woman, we love you.

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Please share...

Are you happy you participated in this Fall’s TSC?  What did you learn over the course of 12 weeks about yourself and your experience?  What would you say to someone who was scared but curious about participating? Has this showed you how smart programming and consistency pays off?  Will you participate at a future TSC knowing what you know now? Email us your thoughts, recap on your experience, feedback, and any questions about TSC. We want to hear from you!

Feeling all the feels...

We’ve now hosted 7 Tactical Strength Challenges at FUELhouse.  At each event the feels get stronger and stronger. We witness more heart, dedication, and comradery at the gym than we see in any other moment (and that says a lot because we strongly feel all of our members are supportive all the time).  Watching you coach each other and cheer one another on fills us with so much pride. It shows that you not only care about yourself, but you care about your fellow athletes, you care about your gym, and you care about your community. That right there, is respect.  That right there, is the core of FUELhouse.

Looking ahead…


Take some time to think about what parts of the prep workouts gave you the most problems mentally and physically.  Those areas should be attacked with consistent work. Here’s a perfect opportunity to turn your goals into strengths, but it will ONLY happen with WORK on a REGULAR basis.  If you have questions about what appropriate goals are for you, or you want help creating a plan, please have a discussion with one of our Coaches.  

We want nothing more in the world than for each of you to reach the goals you set for yourself.

For everyone...  


FUELers, whether you completed the Tactical Strength Challenge this Fall or not, we consider you all to be EPIC HUMANS.  When the going gets tough, you get tougher (in mind and body), and it’s truly inspiring for us to watch. Scores and times aren’t everything in our HOUSE, but they sure provide a great measure for us to understand how we’re progressing.  Heart and dedication is all we ask from YOU, regardless if you’re prepping for TSC or not.

As your Coaches, we encourage everyone to think about their goals going into 2019.  Lets be prepared and ready to kick ass before the NYE ball drops. To everyone in our family, we thank you for working so hard and thank you for helping our community become stronger and closer.

We don’t know about you, but we sure are enjoying this crazy ride with you all.

Looking forward to helping EVERYONE step up their health and fitness GAME so we’re all ready to hit the ground running before Jan 1, 2019;). Get in the mindset now to crush some new goals for this next year.

Love your faces,

Strong Hugs- Molly

VIEW OUR entire TSC photo album HERE