Starting Strength Challenge Details

Starting Strength Challenge Dinosaur

The 2016 Starting Strength Challenge will take place on Sunday,  April 24th at CrossFit Oakland’s Emeryville location and I’ve got details for you. Firstly, the anticipated schedule is shown below:

07:30 – Doors Open
08:00 – Weigh In Commences by Lot Number
09:15 – Rules Briefing
09:40 – Warm ups begin, Judges and Spotters Meeting
10:15 – Lifting commences
12:00 – Yep, still lifting
15:00 – Probably getting closer to done
16:00 – Probable awards ceremony

As linked above, weigh-in order will be determined by lot number, which was assigned based upon when you registered for the meet. Lot numbers can be found here:

2016 Starting Strength Challenge Lot Numbers


When you register at the door, you will get an attempt card and your t-shirt or tank top. Upon weigh-in, you will provide the official with your attempt card along with the opening attempts for the squat, press, and deadlift. Assuming that weigh-ins will take about a minute to a minute and a half per person, you can roughly guess when you will be called. If you miss your weigh-in slot, you will need to go to the back of the line. If you need to potentially get naked to make weight, we will have a sex-appropriate official on hand to allow for that. While waiting to be weighed in, you can go to the front of the room and determine your rack heights for the squat and press.

The order in which you lift will be determined by your opening weights for the squat. This information will place you into your flight for the meet and, provided all goes according to plan, I will have the flights published for you right before the rules briefing. There will be three flights and everyone will complete all their squats before moving to presses and deadlifts.

Please read the rules in their entirety. I know that no one likes to read the rules, but these rules are actually riveting. Trust me. They are Hemmingway-esque in their compact and powerful prose.

Teams need to submit their roster in advance. This is to make sure that I award team points correctly. To help, I created a helpful Team Registration Form. Please fill it out and submit it to me prior to the meet. I only need one form per team, so have your coach or team captain fill it out.

Attire and Equipment

This meet requires that you wear a singlet. I do this to make you suffer. An unintended benefit is that the judges can easily see whether you are squatting to depth and whether your joints are in extension at appropriate times in the lifts.

You need to have a t-shirt on for both the squat and the press. T-shirts need to worn underneath your singlet. If you selected a t-shirt instead of a tank top, you get one upon checking in. It even has a dinosaur on it. For the deadlift, you do not need a t-shirt.

Long socks are required for the deadlift. They must fully cover the calf to immediately below the knee. Soccer, baseball, rugby, etc… socks all fit the bill. We will not let you deadlift if your shins are not covered. This is for the protection of the other lifters as well as for your shins.

Shoes of some sort are required for all of the lifts. Deadlift slippers qualify as shoes, but you cannot just lift in your socks. All deadlifts will need to be pulled from a conventional stance with the legs inside the arms.


We have some cool prizes for the winners. As with last meet, the best male and female winner walk away with a stuffed Tyrannosaurus Rex.

T. Rex
Hi there. I might not look like it, but about 65 million years ago, I was THE apex predator on land.

Heavyweight, lightweight, and masters winners get smaller stuffed Triceratops. They are pretty cool, too.

Best female and male lifters will be determined via the Wilks equation. Same for best heavy, light, and masters lifters. Masters lifters are calculated via a combination of the Wilks and McCulloch coefficients. So much math! Weight class winners will be determined via total within the weight class and will be announced at the meet. Unfortunately, the only prize for winning your weight class is pride. You won’t necessarily get to take home any dinos, unless you also win your division. Hey, if everyone gets a dino, then no one may as well get a dino. That stuffed T. Rex did not become the most coveted award in all of strength sports because I gave them away with abandon.

Speaking of awards, this meet will take place at the same time as six other locations across the US. We will combine our results, which actually means I will combine the results, and announce an overall winner for the men’s and women’s divisions. Those two strong individuals will be awarded a cash prize. I am waiting for a final tally, but that prize will be in excess of $200. The top scoring team from the combined meet will win $100. All of these prizes are thanks to the entry fees that everyone competing throughout the country paid.

Closing Details

The competition will take place using a York B&R bar. This is a 29mm bare steel bar that has a center knurl in addition to the knurl on the sides. No special squat or deadlift bars will be used. The weights will be in pounds.

Spectators are welcome and admittance for them is free of charge.

Lastly, bring food and a bottle for water. The meet will not be catered, nor will there be food for sale. There are some restaurants and the Berkeley Bowl grocery store within about two or three blocks north of the gym, so you have plenty of options for food. None of them, unfortunately, are in the building. CrossFit Oakland has water for you, but will likely not have any cups, so bring something in which to hold and drink water. The map below shows the gym along with places to obtain sustenance.