The competition is designed to test absolute strength, relative strength and strength endurance and does so with 3 events: max deadlift, rep-max pull up and 5 min snatch. There are men's and women's divisions for novice, open, elite and masters categories. There are no weight classes, but bodyweight is used as a tie-breaker in the deadlift (tie goes to the lighter lifter) and the pull up (tie goes to the heavier lifter).
I've competed in this contest twice, 2007 and 2008, in the men's open and elite divisions. I decided to try to match my 2007 open scores with a 575 deadlift, 10 pull ups (at 246) and 132 snatches. I'll tell you more about that later... there are more important things than my lifting, and these days I'm more interested in what others can do...
First of all, my wife, Jessica. Not only was this her first competition but she actually let me train her for it! This is a BIG step in our relationship! A marriage milestone! LOL! I have long waited for the day where I could give my wife fitness advice and not get the stink-eye from her! I was so happy - I wrote her an 8 week program and she crushed it! She did great. It was an accomplishment just to step onto a competitive platform considering she's been pregnant or nursing the majority of the last decade! What's much more is that she did awesome - 195lb deadlift, 1:02 flexed arm hang (the women's novice version of the pull up event) and 135 x 12kg snatches - 3 for 3 personal records AND she placed 52nd out of 289 other women!
Next I need to mention Nick Mavronis' performance, not as a competitor but as the host and head judge. He did great; he gave clear instructions, the judging was fair and consistent with the rules, and he set the tone for an atmosphere that was fun, friendly and competitive. Not to mention that he did it on no sleep! He worked the night shift, came in at 6:30am to do his workout and by 8 he was weighing in the competitors.
Holding the competition was actually Nick's idea, it wasn't even on my radar until late August when he mentioned something about it. I think we're all glad it went down the way it did. I received a lot of positive messages about the contest, how well it was run and how much people enjoyed being there. We sparked the interest of several who have already told me they plan to compete next year.
One thing I love about our gym is the diversity of people who work out there; we've got pregnant ladies, we've got professional athletes, we've got office workers and military elite. A 220lb man can be working along side a grandmother of 9 and doing the same workout (of course he better be using more weight than grandma or he's gonna hear about it!) Anyway, I our oldest competitor was Paul at 59 and our youngest Delaney who just turned 15. When people see this, not the run-of-the-mill muscle head, but regular people, like them, doing spectacular things, it's inspiring. It gets people motivated. So whether it be a competition, an end-of-year goal or just gym time, it helps to have other people working towards a common goal as you.
As for me, I deadlifted 545, did 12 pull ups and 132 snatches. 8 years later and my bodyweight was 5lbs heavier than my last contest, deadlift was down 30lbs, pull up was up 2 reps and snatch stayed the same. I'm pretty happy with my performance but here's a few other highlights that I was even more happy to see...
In no particular order:
Rod Vasquez 30 pull ups
Rob Sullivan 400lb deadlift (< 4 months post knee surgery)
Laurie Bender 141 x 16kg snatches
Sara Cooper 13 pull ups
Tom Bruns 585lb deadlift and pre-lift routine
There were many personal records set, too many to name here. I'm proud of everyone who competed. And a nod to all of our first time competitors. I hope you enjoyed yourself.
The final scores and division winners were announced today- TSC Leaderboards
Job well done everyone, thanks for coming out! If you have any pictures, please post them in the comments!