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The StrongFirst Tactical Power Problem returns around the globe on Saturday, October 26. The TSC is a private problem held twice a yr, however the October instalment additionally sees women and men within the Competitors Division vie to be topped annual TSC Champion.

What does it take to succeed in the highest of the scoreboard? Somebody who is aware of—14-time TSC winner, Derek Toshner—caught up with Jackie Michaels to learn how she’s been getting ready to defend her title.

You’ve received the women’ TSC 3 times. Inform us a bit of about how you bought began and what introduced you to the TSC.

I used to be a hurdler in highschool. After that, I saved working, beginning with 5km, then half-marathons, after which I began working marathons. It was when a gaggle of us needed to do a Robust Mudder, we determined we couldn’t simply be runners, we would have liked to start out lifting. So, we did some path working the place we might carry a log. One of many guys on the group owns a health club in Campbellsport, so he invited us to return in and take a look at some kettlebells and that’s how we received began, again in 2009.

So, you’ve been coaching with kettlebells for 10 years now. Have been
you instantly hooked on it?

Oh, yeah! I like the sensation of being robust. Working marathons hurts another way and I had loads of ache. I like to have the ability to are available and get a extremely good exercise after which nonetheless have the ability to perform the following day. It was cool feeling stronger and that carried into my working too. I turned quicker as I began lifting.

How did you get into competing on the TSC? And the way did your first one go?

I used to be coaching at TNT in West Bend and Steven inspired anybody who needed to do the TSC.

My first ever max deadlift was 275lbs; I nonetheless have it written in my journal, “275, felt robust!” with a giant coronary heart and a smiley face. I used to be so excited. That was the beginning of my deadlift coaching, then at my first TSC I pulled 335lbs. You had been there and informed me, “That’s not your max.” I had already finished my three lifts, however I requested to do a fourth carry simply to strive, as a result of there was a man on the scoreboard with 350lb and I needed to beat him. So, I lifted 355lbs, despite the fact that it didn’t rely in direction of my rating for the TSC.

A good distance since pulling 275. Jackie after a 420lb deadlift in coaching.

Was it your first TSC that motivated you to get StrongFirst licensed and open a health club?

Sure, it began with simply listening to about how superb the certification is— from the various who did it in Chicago—and I needed to be a part of that. I used to be working a couple of lessons right here and there when the coach was away, so I needed to go and be taught extra about being a StrongFirst teacher. I wasn’t certain if I used to be going to make use of it for rather more than simply an expertise.

I went down there to Chicago and it was simply an incredible weekend, such an excellent time. I realized a lot and I got here dwelling with my SFG I certification, so I made a decision I needed to make use of it. I simply went again there to get my SFL as properly, and in April of this yr, we opened THE GYM WB.

I noticed on-line you began your TSC coaching 17 weeks out. Why
so lengthy?

With my deadlifting, I really feel I can solely carry actually strongly sooner or later each week. Even with that, it nonetheless takes rather a lot out of me. What I do is take an eight-week deadlifting program with two periods every week and cut up that into one session per week, unfold throughout sixteen weeks. Then the 17th week is the week earlier than the TSC and that’s after I do your ‘100 quick pulls on Monday’.

You talked about it on the StrongFirst Podcast, so that you revealed the key: 100 quick pulls at 17% on the Monday earlier than the TSC. It really works—I deal with each one prefer it’s 420lbs and hit it onerous and quick.

TSC  spring 2019 Krakow
The TSC occurs internationally, all on the identical day

Speak us by way of your deadlift coaching development—is it
linear or various?

Week A begins with 5×5 at a light-weight share that builds up
slowly to 4×4, then 3×3, then finally as much as a 2×2 that’s super-heavy. That
half builds up each different week. Week B is heavier; you’re doing triples, doubles
and singles with a lot heavier weight. So, week B is heavier whereas week A has a
little greater quantity.

We all know it really works since you pulled 420lbs on the final TSC.
Didn’t you strive heavier too?

I attempted 441lbs, which is 3 times body weight, in order that’s my aim for this subsequent TSC. Fabio Zonin gave me some nice ideas on the SFL.

That might be an amazing carry. And also you’re deadlifting standard
or Sumo?

Sumo—I had been lifting standard up till the start of 2019. I simply needed to strive Sumo as I had some folks I used to be coaching who needed to be taught extra about it and I had by no means finished it myself, so I figured I had higher be taught it if I needed to show it. The final TSC was the primary one the place I pulled Sumo. I’d lifted 405lbs standard on the earlier TSC, then modified and hit a 15lb PR. It really works for me; I recuperate higher, it places much less stress on my again, so I really feel I can go once more sooner.

Jackie pulling 420lbs on the Spring 2019 TSC

What about pull-ups? It’s the carry the place I see probably the most
versatility in coaching; some favour excessive quantity, some low quantity. What works
for you?

Pull-ups are the onerous one for me, the one I want I may
enhance on probably the most. On the TSC, I’ve hit 16 body weight reps, which I don’t assume
is a powerful quantity for me. I’ve hit 17 in coaching and I actually need to
hit 20. I’m undecided I’ve discovered what works greatest for me. I can do weighted
pull-ups fairly properly, however after I go to body weight reps, I really feel the quantity I can
get doesn’t correlate.

You’re an Iron Maiden, so heavy pull-ups are clearly no drawback. What coaching are you making an attempt for this TSC?

This time, I’m doing the Fighter Pull-Up Program for the primary month, plus some weighted pull-ups. I used Grease the Groove rather a lot to get excessive quantity pull-ups in when coaching for the Iron Maiden. I work on a dairy farm through the day the place we have now a cow exit lane with a pipe that goes throughout. We put on knee-high boots and coveralls, so with all this further weight, we’ll hit a pull-up each time we stroll previous it.

Possibly that’s what it takes to win the TSC: numerous milk and lifting cows! The key is you carry the infant cow on day one, then maintain choosing it up day by day till it weighs 2000lbs.

Jackie demonstrating the Iron Maiden trilogy of 24kg pull-up, press, and pistol

Snatching is one other robust carry for you. What’s your
highest quantity on the TSC?

Snatching the 16kg I used to be in a position to hit 158 in apply, however now it’s the 20kg, I feel I hit 143 within the Spring TSC, which was a PR. My intention for the TSC is at all times to hit three PRs.

In the event you’re hitting PRs your plan clearly works. What’s your
method for snatching?

For me, simply to get loads of snatching days in. I don’t really feel prefer it actually issues what I’m doing, simply so long as I’m snatching. If we are available and I don’t really feel 100%, I’ll simply go a bit lighter. We do attempt to observe a program of 10/10 on the minute, each minute for so long as we will. As soon as I hit 10/10 on the minute for 10 minutes, I’ll transfer up a bell. This week, I hit these 200 snatches in ten minutes with the 20kg, which was intense, so subsequent week I’ll begin coaching with the 22kg.

My problem is to do all of it with the 24kg—that’s the last word aim, however the child step is to make use of the 22kg. I used to be shut final yr with the 22kg; I made it to seven minutes, then dropped to five/5 for 2 minutes, then completed the ultimate minute again up at 10/10, so I used to be just a few reps away. As soon as I hit that, sure, the last word aim is the 24kg.

TSC spring 2019 at PowerZone HJ, Seoul
You could find TSC venues across the globe

One other snatching protocol we love is Three minutes on/Three minutes
off, 2 minutes on/2 minutes off, then 1 minute on. That one will ship you to
the ground too. I like to make use of the 22kg for many of my coaching; I’m making an attempt to
make the 20kg really feel as mild as doable. For pace, some days I’ll seize the
16kg and simply fly.

Do you ever snatch for lengthy durations, reminiscent of 30 minutes?

I don’t do loads of that, no. I prefer to get my snatching and pull-up coaching in, then nonetheless do exercises in my lessons, so I nonetheless hit a few of the different issues everybody else is getting in, like entrance squats or farmer carries. I prefer to maintain these altering, so I normally simply have my 10 minutes of snatching, hit my pull-ups, then leap in a category.

Trying round your health club, there are barbells and kettlebells, however do you add any working coaching, rowing, ski-erg, or something like that?

I don’t. Effectively, perhaps a bit of little bit of path working right here and there, if I can match it in. I like path working and would love so as to add it in for my snatch program, however it’s robust discovering any further time.

The Gym, West Bend WI
Instructing lessons provides a bit of selection for physique and thoughts

Are you utterly TSC-focussed, or are you continue to doing impediment
races and different issues too?

In the course of the 17-week program, I’m just about focussed on TSC
coaching. A part of doing properly on the TSC is that laser focus. My quantity—like my 441lbs
aim—is in my head from the start. You concentrate on that, you envision it, you
image your self lifting it; that’s an enormous a part of doing it on the day.

No exercise ADD—that’s one of many causes you’re the champ. That mentioned, how do you offset all of the pulling that’s concerned within the TSC?

Leaping within the class exercises helps add selection. I additionally embody loads of restoration. If I’m not feeling superior, I’ll merely take it simpler that day. After the TSC, I undoubtedly take a full week of not doing a lot in any respect. Then, one thing that works for me is I love to do a again squat and bench press program for 5 weeks, simply to alter issues up. After that, I’ll take every week off earlier than beginning the TSC coaching interval.

It sounds such as you principally observe particular coaching, however with
little bits of selection added for enjoyable.

Even in our TSC-specific coaching, we make it enjoyable. Each Wednesday evening, after I deadlift with Ray, my fiancé (who additionally rocks the TSC), we are available, flip the music up, carry heavy, then we go and get a burrito bowl. Possibly that’s one other secret—burrito bowls! It’s received to be enjoyable, otherwise you’re not going to keep it up.

TSC group USA spring 2019
TSC spring 2019 at Gasoline Home, Seattle

Good recommendation. Anything you need to share with the
StrongFirst group?

Merely, don’t be afraid to do the TSC. It’s actually beginner-friendly. One of many nice issues is you’re competing towards your self. Individuals will at all times ask me, “Did you see what that woman’s deadlifting?”, or “Have you ever been watching this woman snatching?”, or “Are you fearful if somebody’s going to grab greater than you?” I don’t fear about what anybody else is doing. All I have to do is beat my numbers. That is my aim, my focus. If I do what I need to do and the numbers put me in first place, so be it. If another person places up higher numbers, however I nonetheless hit my 441lbs aim, I’m going to be simply as comfortable.


Test the principles, discover a venue close to you, or register for the Tactical Power Problem earlier than October 26. You’ll additionally discover numerous extra data within the devoted TSC part of the StrongFirst discussion board.

Derek Toshner

SFG Crew Chief

Derek Toshner is the Co-Founder, along with his brother Ryan, of TNT Health Outcomes. TNT is a gaggle of 4 gyms and one sister health club in Wisconsin. TNT in Fond du Lac, the place Derek is most frequently, has a military-style impediment course on 8.7 acres of land.

Moreover being a TSC division champion, Derek was a 5x NCAA nationwide champion in observe and area (3x 400m hurdles and 2x 4x400m relay) and competed on the USA World and Olympic Crew Trials from ’03 to ’05. He’s additionally a guide for Nike as a member of the Nike Coach’s Community.