Tactical Strength Challenge gives competitors a new outlook

Nicole Goodwright lifts 270.6 pounds during the Tactical Strength Challenge at Ridgeline Fitness, 805 South Ave., on Saturday.

Whenever Nancy Kimbrough would work out, her back pain would flare up.

“Every time I felt I was in good shape, I had back problems,” Kimbrough said. “Having spent the first few months doing core work was kind of boring, but it was what needed to happen so I could move on.

“Once I got that figured out, it cured a lot of my problems. I do yoga to keep my back in check. I’m more flexible.”

Kimbrough was one of six people competing Saturday in the third Grand Junction Tactical Strength Challenge at Ridgeline Fitness, 605 South Ave.

The Tactical Strength Challenge took place all over the world Saturday, with results posted at http://www.tacticalstrengthchallenge.com.

There are six classes of competition. The Men’s Open Division and Men’s Masters Division use a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups and snatches with a 24-kilogram (52 pounds, 14.57 ounces) kettlebell in five minutes.

The Men’s Elite Division uses a max deadlift, pull-ups with 10kg of added weight (22 pounds), and snatches with a 32kg kettlebell. The Men’s Novice Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups, and snatches with a 16kg (35 pounds, 4.38 ounces) kettlebell.

The Women’s Open Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups, and snatches with a 16kg kettlebell.  The Women’s Novice Division uses a max deadlift, bodyweight pull-ups and snatches with a 12kg (26 pounds, 7.28 ounces) kettlebell.

There are no weight classes, since the different events favor heavier or lighter competitors by design.

Nate Beard won the men’s division with a deadlift of 230 kilograms (506 pounds), 17 pull-ups and 116 snatches with a 24kg kettlebell. Nicole Goodknight won the women’s division with a 123kg (270 pounds) deadlift, 8 pull-ups and 104 snatches with a 16kg kettlebell. Both winners set personal records for deadlifts.

Kimbrough, who was an aerobics instructor for nearly a dozen years, got tired of the gym routine.
“After I had my kids, as a treat to myself I decided to hire a trainer and do something different,” she said. “I found (Ridgeline Fitness owner) Adam (Ford). I wanted something that was good on the joints. After kids, I took a beating having twins (one boy, one girl).”

Kimbrough started training in the spring and participated in a tactical strength challenge in April.

“Deadlifts was something I never thought I could do,” she said. “I had a bad back. Physical therapists would say, ‘do anything but don’t do deadlifts,’ but if you learn to do it properly ...

“The other thing is I had really weak core muscles. I focused on the core muscles here and that helped too, because everything else feels better.”

Kimbrough wasn’t sure she’d get 88 kettlebell snatches she did in the first challenge because of the refined technique, but she did more, finishing with 94.

She had five pull-ups and lifted 215.6 pounds in a deadlift.

“I feel good,” Kimbrough said. “I’m happy, mostly happy that it’s over. The last time I did the kettlebell snatches, I felt like I was going to die. You know how you get shivery when you’re so tired? I needed something to kick my metabolism in. This totally did it with the cardio and weight training.”

Kimbrough’s friend, Katie Donohue, 37, of Grand Junction started training at Ridgeline Fitness a little more than one month ago and Saturday participated in her first challenge.

She did eight pull-ups, lifted 169.4 pounds on a deadlift and did 79 kettlebell snatches with 12kg.

“Adam talked me into the competition,” Donohue said. “I would’ve never thought about doing this ever. I’m having fun.

“With this increased activity, I’m feeling good. Aches and pains are going away. I’m doing it to stay healthy.”

Donohue said she’ll try to talk her husband into participating in the next competition.

“I got that reaction initially from my husband, that surprise that I’m doing deadlifts and squats,” she said. “He knows I’m feeling better. The initial shock is gone.”


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