T Nation

STREND Challenge

Has anyone ever done the “STREND Challenge?” Or heard of the guy that started it - Edward Bugarin?

Site: http://www.strend.com/welcome.html

It’s based on 5 strength exercises (bench press, wide grip pull up, military press, chin up and bar dip) and a 3 mile run.

There are upcoming challenges in USA: California and Minnesota
and in Canada: Ontario.

I think it sounds like fun ? thinking of doing it.

I’ve heard of it and think it looks pretty cool. Lighter guys who run 5ks and have strong upper-bodies are naturals for it but it seems like a good change of pace for a lot of lifters and also some motivation to get stronger for runners.

The STREND competitors are actually some of the finest conditioned athletes in the world! Their system of fitness is second to none.

(I respect them can you tell?)

wow, this isnt just a test of fitness, do pullups, bench press, dips, running…

but like a giant race! its one right after the other. Thats insane!

It starts as bench, wide grip pullups, military press, chinups, dips, then a 3 mile run. Each exercise is done for 3 minutes.

I dont think after 3 minutes of benching, i would be able to do many pullups,… let alone military press and chinups… and then dips after that!.. and then finally a 3 mile run. My arms would feel all rubbery. wow.

Each station is taken to failure!! OUCH. The 3 minutes per station can be used to rest for the next event and once you assist yourself in any way the exercise is terminated.

The description said most max out their reps in 30-45s and rest 2 min before moving to the next station.

Sounds like some challenge though.

How would you train for such an event, I cant imagine performing bench, pull up, military press, chin and dips to failure every week.

Is there a day allocated to each lift and then one for the run?? Or antagonist pairings?

Any thoughs T-Nation?

Ally

I think it’s a jack of all trades master of none thing. who really cares. I respect triathletes, powerlifters, marathoners, etc. Why dilute it?

It’s just specific enough for me.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1111421132855.Ed_Bugarin.jpg

Ed Bugarin, the founder
of Strend and former
Delta Force Operator

The following is a workout posted by John Carmony, who I understand is one of the Strend World Champions. You may find it interesting to note the incredible performance levels that John has achieved at 49.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

"— JOHN R CARMONY <jcar75@…> wrote:
Merry Christmas and all the Best for the New Year, Strendists!!

Everyone probably has a different approach and training program for STREND. One system that has worked well for Tom Groves (age 54 and 50+ World Record Holder) and myself (age 49) is to basically train all the time in the
STREND sequence. I am a strong believer that if you want to do STREND well, you have to do a lot of STREND type training sequences so that your body is use to it. Tom and I have both been runners for years, although we each
bring some strength background (Tom was a wrestler for Ohio State and I was a pole vaulter at Dartmouth-- back in the Dark Ages) to the sport. Since we are getting on in our years, we are trying to focus on the long haul by stressing reps and avoiding overdoing it and injuring ourselves.

We run 5 days a week, mostly long distance (5 miles+/day with longer on weekend), but try to do some interval
training, 800’s and some sprinting, for leg speed. We lift two and a “half” times a week–two heavy workouts and one light. Any more and we just do not recover between workouts. Also. we do not use extra weights except for a little in the Bench Press. We just found
that the extra weight on pullups etc. just tended to cause injuries to our joints and make us more sore than just pure reps with body weight.

Our typical “heavy” lifting workout is to do two STREND lifting sequences back to back, beginning with a sequence of 7 bench press sets. (We do all of our bench press at the beginning because we find it hard (and dangerous!) to go back to BP after we have done the other sets.) We try to keep our lifts and pullups etc. throughout the workout to the 3 minute STREND rule. This trains you to lift when you are tired. Also, each set throughout (except the warm bench press) is taken right up to the failure point i.e. the last rep you can do without failing.

Heavy Workout (3 minute rule throughout, each set to max rep.) “My normal reps” my body weight is normally about 146# (much higher at Christmas!)

Bench Press
#1 BW-10# “10 reps” Warmup (body weight minus 10 pounds)
#2 BW “17 reps”
#3 BW+10# “8 reps”
#4 BW+10# “8 reps”
#5 BW “10 reps”
#6 BW-5# “10 reps”
#7 BW-10# “12 reps”
Pullup BW “26 reps”
Mil. Pr. 1/2 BW “24 reps”
Chinup BW “20 reps”
Dips BW “50 reps”
Pullup BW “16 reps”
Mil. Pr. 1/2 BW-10# “25 reps” (We lower the weight because it is easy to get hurt on military press when you are tired.)
Chinup BW “16 reps”
Dips BW “40 reps”

Then Run, if you can!!

This workout takes less than 45 minutes and I guarantee that you will feel it when you are done. Again, the key is to stay with the 3 minute cycle. If we are really feeling our oats we try to run afterward, but that doesn’t happen too often!

When I start getting within several weeks of a competition, I do one heavy workout a week and one STREND a week (normal STREND lifting sequence + hard 3 mile run) plus the extra light workout. It is just as important to work on the transition from lifting to running as the transition between the lifts. I think you will find that your reps for a regular STREND will be noticeably higher, particularly for the military press and dips, when you do not do all of that benching in the beginning.

This training regimen, together with some 10 K and 5 K racing and trail running (and now some masters pole vaulting!!) has worked well for me. My best score in a STREND event was a 7.4 at Miramar (2001) and I think on a good day I should be able to do an 8.0, even as I approach my 50th birthday. I might add that Tom at 54 is right there with me, although he hasn’t done a STREND competition for a couple of years. He did participate in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Pump and Run (Bench Press Reps + 5K run) in Columbus, Ohio last year and placed second out of 300+ competitors.

This may not be the best workout for STREND, but we must be doing something right!!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!!

John Carmony"

Thanks for posting the workout regimen, Coach! I appreciate it.

It sounds tough, but the challenge in Ontario is in the end of July so I’ve got time to train.

Any more input (from anyone) on training strategies, opinion’s or experiences doing the STREND would be great.

body weight squats would be a much needed addition instead of all those repetitive upper body excercises like bench, dip, and military or chinup and pullup. how about running with a given percentage of your body weight. It is so obvious that the test is so biased towards type 1 fiber and small lower bodied individuals. That’s typical of most trainees anyway so it just perpetuates what’s out there. I like the olympic decathelons because they include both power and endurance events making those the best overall atheletes in the world. laters pk

I just checked out the site and me and a few friends will definately be going to the challenge at the end of July, in Hamilton.

It sounds like a lot of fun and a cool new goal to train towards.

Anyone else going out?

Mat Bertrand

I agree with PK that the upper body exercises are repetitive - there is so much overlap between bench, dips, and shoulder press that these exercises really don’t test anything different. I also agree that there needs to be a lower body movement.

There was a group in Philadelphia that put together a neat concept to combine strength and strength-endurance. They did a deadlift for a max, competitors got 3 attempts (just like in powerlifting). They then had to do pull ups for max reps. Add the 3 mile run to these two events and I think such a test would be a better way to measure strength and endurance in a simpler format.

[quote]MikeTheBear wrote:
There was a group in Philadelphia that put together a neat concept to combine strength and strength-endurance. They did a deadlift for a max, competitors got 3 attempts (just like in powerlifting). They then had to do pull ups for max reps. Add the 3 mile run to these two events and I think such a test would be a better way to measure strength and endurance in a simpler format. [/quote]

i think a 45 degree incline press takes care of the upper body push motions allowing all three muscle groups to work, with chin ups for upper body pull, the deadlift takes care of the lower body pull motion and then the close stance squat for push. for running i would include a 100meter run and a 5K.

It would be cool to have a pre set rep range to complete at a certain percentage of your body weight for each lift and then to move on to the next event at your own pace. this would tax your power and endurance systems. Depending on the time completion of all the parameters your point total would be calculated. So even if you ran a 16 minute 5k it would count the same as if you ran a 11.5 sec 100 or done 25 reps with bodyweight squats in 60 seconds. I just through out some numbers to make a point. i doubt if all of the competitors in the strend event could even half squat their own bodyweight. laters pk

Hey I know Eddie. My wife is teammates with him in a sports conditioning team with an emphasis on endurance athletics (marathon running and STREND). I am not sure though if he is back from Iraq. He went over as a private security contractor I believe, back in 2003.

Here is a planned contest scheduled for September that may interest those who are interested in STREND. The plan is to have several locations nationwide to make it more convenient for participants to attend. There will definitely be a site in New Jersey. Other areas that have expressed an interest in holding a meet are San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, and perhaps a city in Texas and Minnesota.

Advanced -

  1. 3 attempt raw powerlifting Deadlift
  2. Tactical pullups w/ 32kg kettlebell
  3. 5 minute version of the Secret Service snatch test w/ 32kg kettlebell

Open class -

  1. 3 attempt raw powerlifting Deadlift
  2. tactical pullups - bodyweight
  3. 5 minute Secret Service snatch test w/ 24kg kettlebell

Womens

  1. 3 attempt raw powerlifting Deadlift
  2. tactical pullups - bodyweight
  3. 5 minute Secret Service snatch test w/ 16kg kettlebell

The winner will be determined by combined placement in the 3 events - 3rd in DL, 2nd and pullups and 4th in snatch and you have a 9. Lowest score wins. Ties in the DL and snatch go to the lighter competitor, ties in pullups go to the heavier competitor. Overal ties remain.

We really want to stress that this opens the comp to up to all participants. Guys, if you can DL 135 (or anything really), do a couple pullups and snatch a 24kg KB, you can, and should compete. Women, same thing, DL the bar if you want - work on those pullups. The advanced division should be brutal enough to satisfy even the most hardcore.

[quote]tom63 wrote:
I think it’s a jack of all trades master of none thing. who really cares. I respect triathletes, powerlifters, marathoners, etc. Why dilute it?

It’s just specific enough for me.[/quote]

Some people want to be great at one thing. Others want to be good at many things. Variety is the spice of life!

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
tom63 wrote:
I think it’s a jack of all trades master of none thing. who really cares. I respect triathletes, powerlifters, marathoners, etc. Why dilute it?

It’s just specific enough for me.

Some people want to be great at one thing. Others want to be good at many things. Variety is the spice of life![/quote]

Very nicely stated!

Mike the Bear,

Can you explain what the Secret Service snatch test is exactly, or point me to an explanation?

Thanks,

Ajaz

Secret Service snatch test:

Note: the ORIGINAL Secret Service snatch test lasted 10 minutes. The one at this competition will only last 5 minutes, but all of the other rules apply.

Your total score is the total reps you did with both arms. So, if you did 10 reps with your left arm and 12 with your right, your score is 22.

The best score performed by a real live Secret Service agent in the 10 minute version using a 24 kg kettlebell is 250.

One more thing about the rules for the snatch test: you can switch arms as many times as you like and you can even set the kettlebell on the ground if you like.

[quote]MikeTheBear wrote:

The best score performed by a real live Secret Service agent in the 10 minute version using a 24 kg kettlebell is 250.
[/quote]

250 - yikes! That is an average of 25 snatches per minute. And for ten full minutes. Not bad, not bad at all…