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PreBlast – F3 Functional Strength Challenge – 2021

What:  a challenge – to measure all of the hard work you put in week after week

  • a query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof
  • a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something
  • a call to take part in a contest or competition

Who:  ALL pax  (yes, that means bootcampers, meatheads, and even runners)

When:  0700, Saturday, 22 May 2021

Where:  Olde Providence Elementary School

How:  watch Slack/Twitter for Google Doc signup


The Thang:

The inaugural F3 Functional Strength Challenge is designed to test, nay, to challenge the functional fitness you’ve been striving for week after week.  Why?  Why not??  Besides the fun of it and the CSAUP nature of a challenge, it will provide a measuring stick for where you are now versus where you want to be (above/at/below) and enable you to quantify future improvements (beyond simply thinking, “well, I feel stronger”).  It will also challenge you to improve.  Happy with your performance?  Can you beat it next time?  Heck, can you maintain it through the daily challenges we all face – aging, injury, other commitments, etc?? Unhappy with your performance?  Can you address the areas that disappointed and improve next time?

The events:

The three events are designed to identify well-rounded overall functional strength.

Deadlift – gross strength.  This expresses itself in so many areas of daily life – carrying in the groceries, picking up kids, yard work, lifting the corner of the car with one hand while changing a tire with the other, etc.  You know, the work capacity to get $hit done.

Pullup – strength to weight.  It’s not enough to be a 400 lb. mountain who can lift a small car, if you can’t pull your chin over a bar.  Similarly, if you’re a 120 lb. sinewy runner, can you pull yourself up and get over the proverbial wall?  Either way, the pull-up tests your ability to ambulate your body.

Snatch – strength endurance.  How big is your engine?  How long can you move that load?  Besides being everyone’s favorite exercise, the czar of kettlebell movements covers all the bases.  It builds hip strength and power, helping you in the deadlift.  It builds grip and back strength, helping you in the pull-up.  And it builds aerobic endurance, necessary to move loads over time.  If you only train one exercise…train the snatch.

Which division is for you?

With three divisions, it’s easy to tailor the challenge appropriately for you.

  • The Pax division is intended to be approachable for anyone reading this preblast. Weights in the deadlift and snatch are more reasonable, allowing anyone to truly test their functional strength in a non-intimidating manner.
  • The Meathead division is geared toward those pax more familiar with kettlebells, lifting weights, or who is just generally strong. The snatch weight is the standard weight used for most all kettlebell certifications as well as the revered Secret Service Snatch Test.   The deadlift weight is a little higher than in the Pax division, but still reasonable, to allow solid confidence at banging out multiple reps.
  • The Respect division, for pax 50 & older, uses the same weights as the Pax division, in recognition of the wear and tear that occurs when you’ve made that many trips around the sun. (Respect pax are also welcome to compete in the Meathead division, if so inclined.)


Deadlift – Competitors will be ranked based on the number of successful reps completed.  Competitors will use the designated weight for their division.

Pull-ups – Competitors will be ranked based on the number of successful reps completed.

Snatches – Competitors will be ranked based on the number of successful reps completed.  Competitors will use the designated weight for their division.

Scoring for each exercise is based on the pax’s rank. 1 point for 1st place, 2 for 2nd, and so on. In the event of a tie, the pull-up goes to the heaviest person and the deadlift will go to the lightest. A tie in the snatch test will stand.  These points will provide a ranking for each event and for each division.  Points will be added across the three events for each division to provide an overall standing for the divisions. The pax with the lowest score across all events in his division will be deemed the winner of his division.


Rank Pax Deadlift Pull-ups Snatches
1 A 6  (24 reps) 9T  (15 reps) 3     (114 reps)
2 B 10 (19) 2   (19) 7     (103)
3 C 1  (30) 5   (17) 18  (91)
4 D 8  (21) 9T  (15) 13  (95)
5 E 14  (14) 12  (14) 5     (108)


Watch for Rules (to be posted) for more information.

How does this fit into Flipper’s Rut-Breaker CSAUP?  I have no idea, but I know that it does.  Brush up on your calculus skills and check out the Rut-Breaker preblast here.

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