On October 31st, 2015, I competed in the Fall Tactical Strength Challenge at Tyson’s Playground in Vienna, VA. For those who aren’t familiar, the Tactical Strength Challenge is an event sponsored by StrongFirst, held twice a year at locations all over the world. The 3 events tested are 1 rep max Deadlift, Max Pull Ups and the dreaded 5 minutes of max Kettlebell Snatches with a 24kg (or 53lb) Kettlebell.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of these events at this stage of my life. While I see and appreciate the value of them, I’m 35, have 3 kids and work 3 jobs to make ends meet. Stress is high and training times and availability to train are not as abundant as they once were.

It was critical for me to have a plan that stressed restoration and recovery minimizing the amount of physiological stressed placed on the body: Enter Original Strength.

My plan was very simple:

Mondays I followed Geoff Neupert’s “Dry Fighting Weight” program. For those who aren’t familiar here is the link. It is essentially 30 minutes of Double Kettlebell Work: The Clean and Press and the Front Squat. You alternate between sets of each movement, performing as many sets as possible in a ladder format while remaining as fresh as possible. Autoregulation is key here. Every rep should be crisp and you shouldn’t sniff at failure.  I generally added a set of pull ups in between a Clean and Press set. Always fresh and well below failure.

After each set I would do resets that matched up with the corresponding strength movement. For instance after Clean and Presses I would no neck nods. After squats I would do rocks. Occasionally I would mix things up and do standing cross-crawls or upper segmental rolls.

Tuesdays were all resets. I would run through the Big 5 (Breathing, neck nods, rolling, rocking and cross-crawls). From there I would transition to a loaded reset. I prefer head weighted crawling forwards and backwards. I would go back and forth between the baby and Spiderman crawl based on how I felt.

Wednesdays: I worked on either Single Arm Swings and Heavy Get Ups(Think Simple and Sinister) or an escalating Snatch Protocol. Scott Iardella has an excellent write up here. I did the Big 5 pre and post training with Cross-Crawls and Deep Breaths in between sets, usually about 25 seconds.

Thursdays: Repeat Tuesday.

Fridays: I used a very basic Westside Deadlift Protocol working between 70-90% of my 1 rep max for sets of 1. Occasionally I would do a high volume set (Think 10-15 sets of 1 rep). I rested as I saw fit and did resets in between.


The Results

I weighed in at 172 lbs, the lightest competitor in my rank, the Men’s Open at Tyson’s Playground in Northern VA.

The deadlift came first, I hit 380, 405 and 415lb. 405lb would have been a PR for me by 20 lbs. I hadn’t come close to hitting 385lb in almost 3 years. 415LBS smashed my PR by 30lbs. In between attempts, many standing cross-crawls were performed. This resets simply felt right for me at that time.

The second event was Max Pull Ups. I hit 17 strict pull ups. Not a PR, but acceptable to me after the Deadlifts.

As for the Snatches, Full Disclosure: I hate the 5 Minute Snatch test with vengeance. It always sucks no matter how many years you have been training. I did it 100 snatches in 4:40. I had a full 20 seconds to keep going but I stopped. I listened to my body. Oh and not to mention that this bested my previous best time by 10 seconds.

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The Conclusion

This was not accomplished by eating chalk, smashing my head into walls, screaming, grunting or the like. I simply trained intelligently, intuitively and listened to my body. More resets, restorative work and reflexive stability.

I firmly believe, in fact I know, that Original Strength allowed me to excel and compete at a high level. Not only did my body hold up during the training process, it held up the following day and the day after. I do not feel like I got hit by truck, I feel energized and invigorated. I have The OS Movement System to thank for that.



Learn more about OS Certified Coach, Colin Cooley or contact Colin for some Original Strength coaching here.

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